View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Grant Regan

10 October 2004, 12:03 PM
Grant Regan has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Concept Sketch: Interstices - Living Ships (

This is an idea that I probably won't take any further, however I thought I'd include the roughs here and get people's thoughts. I will probably progress with the original idea of great cities in flight (I hope to have the line-art finalised by the weekend), and I'll include a human element within the image. I'm working one a few preliminary comps for this at the moment...

In the meantime the premise behind these roughs is a design for a species of bio-engineered, living ships. Created by a people who avoid, where possible, mechanical and inanimate solutions, and who believe it's their duty to seed the universe with life, they voluntarily adapt themselves to new worlds and new challenges through gene engineering, creating biological diversity where possible.

A select group have over time, geneered themselves for interstellar travel. They are the vessels by which interstellar travel is achieved. Known as the Aruik-al or Farseers, they are highly revered by all.

The concept I've been pondering for this is the moment when a certain Aruik-al, Narosse successfully fold the fabric of space, making the great interstellar jump that is sung of by all Aruik-al and their descendants for millenia.

It's just an idea....

10 October 2004, 12:05 PM
I just hope with all the work I have, that I find the time for this challenge, but I'm kicking myself for not entering the last one.

Good luck to everyone.


10 October 2004, 04:02 PM (

Hey people,

Just toying with ideas and compositions which convey a monumental and epic quality, and a sense of high drama, which are some of the core ingredients of a grand space opera imho.

Here is the first in a number of conceptual roughs I'm going to submit as I explore and crystallise the ideas I'm toying with.

The general theme I'm going with here with is an ancient mass migration which has passed into the realms of legend and myth. The working title is 'Cities in Flight', after the novel by James Blish. Beyond this title, the concept bears no resemblence to the book however - it just seemed fitting as I want to convey a massive migration of vast cities...

More to follow...


El Toro
10 October 2004, 04:05 PM
Nice sketch! (used Wacom I assume, I want it too! :( ):thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 04:08 PM
Cheers El Toro, :) Actually it's a pen and marker sketch, quickly touched up in Pshop - thatis, adjusting some of the values which I may have overworked in the original sketch...

10 October 2004, 04:18 PM
Great sketching and concept, I especially like the extra space in the upper canvas where you can depict the surrounding planets

10 October 2004, 04:20 PM
looks very good , dude !

10 October 2004, 04:28 PM
Cheers guys for your +ive comments. I hope to have another few roughs on the thread over the next few days, but right now it's time for bed.


10 October 2004, 04:43 PM
Yes! You've entered :D
And...damn, I was thinking of having massive ships trail off in my next sketch too, lol!
Looking forward to more of that CZ scale you had ;)


10 October 2004, 05:40 PM
Nice concept... there's a real sense of scale!!

SO where are the cities going...? And why...? :)

El Toro
10 October 2004, 05:59 PM
Cheers El Toro, :) Actually it's a pen and marker sketch, quickly touched up in Pshop - thatis, adjusting some of the values which I may have overworked in the original sketch... Really?! Cool! Atm I'm mostly practissing sketching and drawing. I'm not very good at that. But since I want to become an architect I think it will be handy in the future. :)
And I really like your style of sketching, some advice for me maybe? :rolleyes:

10 October 2004, 12:21 AM
Good luck El Toro with becoming an architect. I too wanted to be an architect but somehow ended up concepting for the games industry, which i don't mind given i don't have the constraints imposed by reality :D

First, i tend to do some quick thumbs (literally the size of a thumb) to determine overall composition and massing, as well as athe vanishing points. This piece has two point perspective. Then using a mid-tone marker (say a Copic C4 or Prismacolor Cool Gray @ 40%, i flesh out the forms referring back to the thumb, putting down the preliminary areas of value. Once satisfied, I begin marking and blocking out the forms and rudimentary details with a drafting pen. Last, using a darker tone marker (C6 or Prismacolor Cool Gray 60% for example) I begin to block in shadows and areas that are recessed, being mindful of the balance and composition of the overall piece. phew...

Wiro - you know me, the more epic the better. :) Really I can't help myself. Re, the massive ships trailing off, it's a fairly common theme - I certainly don't have a monopoly on the idea. Look forward to seeing what you produce.

duddlebug - I haven't fleshed out the story too much, and probably won't given that I want it to have the sense of being a tale that has been passed down over the millenia...

The general premise is that the people of a certain planet, Liitaea, despite their differences, collectively hold a common legend or myth that they originated elsewhere and came to Liitaea in the bellies of vast motile cities that seeded the world they now call home.

Their original homeworld Eerea was grossly overpopulated - its surface almost completely covered by a vast city, many kilometres in depth (a nod to Asimov's Foundation series here). Legend has it that Liitaea's three moons, Gaia, Oraete, and Iirtya (also the names of 3 goddesses in ancient Liitaean beliefs) had been terraformed to serve as Eerea's food bowl...literally thousands of freighters plying the routes every day just to feed the teeming billions.

As a means of alleviating the overpopulation it was decided by the high council that great polii would be contructed and dispatched out in the hope of finding new worlds to populate. All told a third of the population were selected to undertake the journey, the city-sized seedships to venture out in every direction in the hope of finding suitable worlds.

For the Liitaeans, the location of their homeworld or whether in fact Eerea is it's actual name given that it is the root word for 'mother' in many of Liitaea's languages is unknown, and many have come to doubt whether the story has any real basis in fact, citing evidence that the Liitaeans are indigenous to their world.

El Toro
10 October 2004, 07:25 AM
Thanks man, I'll keep that in mind.

10 October 2004, 03:19 PM
The scetch is nice. It looks very monumental but keep in mind to add something dramatic just to get a nice balance between the surroundig and the action.

keep up, buddy

10 October 2004, 04:43 PM
Great first sketch! You get a real sense of scale and massiveness.

I like your idea of an exodus to another planet and the fact that those that have migrated arnt sure if it really happened. Sounds like a beliveable (distant) future to me.

Good Luck, Im gonna keep an eye on this thread.

10 October 2004, 09:58 PM
hi unitstudio

clear start and very interesting concept. good job...

cant wait to see more from you


10 October 2004, 12:16 AM
Cheers guys. I should have a few more roughs posted either tonight or by the weekend at the latest. Nearing the end of a milestone at work, and so a bit snowed under right now. I'll probably spend the next month or so finessing the ideas and the composition, with break-outs for details etc before commencing the actual painting.

All of your feedback is really helpful. cheers! good luck to everyone...


10 October 2004, 12:25 AM
Good to see another Aussie around in the challenge, goodluck with your work mate, the first sketch you created looks like youre off to a great start, keep it up and i look forward to seeing more from you.:beer: :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 01:58 AM
I really like the concept... it has a great sense of scale and story. What if you had someone standing in the foreground, on a ledge or balcony, like the last person remaining on this planet or something... a foreground element may help push the composition even further. Great work!

10 October 2004, 12:54 PM
That's why I have not entered to the challenge 2d because there are great as you....:thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 01:07 PM
Great sketch! I hope you'll post more very soon !

10 October 2004, 03:25 PM
An alternative composition for the same scene. While I like the composition and the barge in the foreground, overall I believe this rough is less clear in relaying what is actually going on, and the motile cities are much less of a focal point.

Still just toying with ideas and compositions, and this was completed while making dinner :) I have a number of ideas that I hope to submit very shortly before finessing and refining the chosen design.

C&C's welcome of course. Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far and for your kind words. Cheers guys! :thumbsup:


10 October 2004, 03:30 PM (

:::sorry posted the wrong image - resubmitting :::


10 October 2004, 03:41 PM
Lovely marker work there, I can see this turning into a great thread. I've read Cities in Flight by James Blish, fantastic book. I seem to recall the cities flew with devices called spindizzies? Always thought that name was great. I look forward to seeing more from you. :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 04:42 PM
Yeah man! I prefer this one much more. Actually I think it would be cooler with even more of an upview, if you moved the whole thing 1/4th page down and plonked in another ship in the resulting open sky. The structures and tiny ships really give a sense of scale.


10 October 2004, 04:47 PM
wow, these are really nice :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 06:43 PM
wow ! nice sketch over here !

10 October 2004, 10:33 PM
Lovin the concepts, you've got great composition in both pics, i'm not too sure which one i like better!!
Inoticed you put a post of a few of the steps you used to create, did you colour on the sketch or on your 'puter?? I would really like to know.

I have alot of experience with computers and my artwork as far as paper and pen go but trying to colour in photoshop, or corel is a task i have not yet mastered.....but hopefully will by the end of this challenge

good luck, keep it comin'

10 October 2004, 11:58 PM
great start :buttrock:

10 October 2004, 12:30 AM
Thanks again guys. Another handful of roughs to be posted. I have a few more compositional ideas I'm mulling over. I'll throw them out there and see what sticks. After which I'll begin to concept the seedships and environments much more clearly.

sketchfiend - yep, there are a few aussies lurking around this forum, posting some amazing work. Thanks mate!

Haman - i will, regardless of which rough i select as the basis for my final piece, place a small ship in the foreground - your comments have reinforced what i was thinking so cheers!

Speaky - I half read Cities in Flight a number of years ago. I found it a little dry to be honest but some of the concepts were really cool. I like the title Cities in Flight but given that its a book, which my work has no relation to, I'll need to come up with an alternative title to avoid any association. But for now it'll suffice.

Wiro - hey mate, I was actually thinking along the same lines after completing this sketch - I think too it would help refocus the piece on the seedships. Still I'm tending towards a revised version of the first rough I posted, simply because its clearer to understand what's going on. Thanks for the critique - as they say, watch this space... :D

newcenturydsn - cheers, I simply placed a few points of colour onto the piece when i brought it into PShop. It doesn't reflect the final colours of the piece - it's merely a quick and dirty way of establishing a point of interest or focal point.


10 October 2004, 12:45 AM
Hey there Unitstudio:

Another aussie here, I like the second sketch you have done... more dramatic.
Nice concepting will be waiting for updates :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 06:06 AM

Your search starts very quite good luck for the

10 October 2004, 09:07 AM
Great! The sensation of gigantism is already here! Nice work :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 09:15 AM
Another great concept!!

The low view point and the perspective really add to the sense of scale... as do the smaller ships whizzing about

I'd prefer it with a little bit less structure and a little more sky...Maybe more sky would help create a sense of 'open horizons', if you know what i mean, and give a better view of the cities...?
A fantastic concept... looking forward to your next sketch...

10 October 2004, 03:50 PM
element5 - hey, another aussie :thumbsup: I've checked some of your work on other threads and i must say, you seem to be brimming with ideas!. Inspiring stuff.

Tranchefeux - thank you for your words of encouragement - i read through the cg networks article on the photorealistic cat you produced - that is truly outstanding. I can't fault how believable it looks.

EyeS-L & duddlebug - cheers guys for your comments and encouragement. It's great to have people here watching - providing suggestions and tips, and the occasional words of encouragement in the evolution of a piece. Usually the scrutiny comes from art directors and clients, who can be a tad less supportive - so this is great. Thanks everyone - it is appreciated

I'll have a few more roughs posted over the weekend - many of your suggestion correlate with plans i had myself. So it's good to get the positive reinforcement of ideas.

See you guys well

10 October 2004, 08:51 PM
Love the last sketch. Great marker style and composition. One thing I think would add to the scale is if you took the vapor trail of the bottom right round ship and moved it to the far background. This would give the impression that you're viewing these massive ships from the deck of another ship.

Keep going though ... would love to see this in the final judging. :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 09:49 PM
Some fabulous sketches there mate!

One thing I cant help thinking though. What would the scene be like from a first person point of view as though the viewer was on board the ship and going on this epic journey...?

It might add to the emotive power of the idea as I feel at the moment its just structure and vehicles...?

Great work so far - keep it up!

10 October 2004, 11:57 PM
element5 - hey, another aussie :thumbsup: I've checked some of your work on other threads and i must say, you seem to be brimming with ideas!. Inspiring stuff.
Thanx for checking my work out, It seems I have made many new friends due to CGTalk :)

And I have already cracked a coldy and pulled up a comfy chair aswell

10 October 2004, 01:01 AM
Gota check up on this thread here and there see how things are going for ya. Looks good so far, I like the 2nd sketch you've got going so far.

10 October 2004, 01:34 AM
Very nice concepts Grant....................I am torn in-between the first one and last one.I think the last one could use a little more of an exaggerated upwards angle.A bit more dramatic,more intense and give it a little more of a Wow factor.................The first one has great scope,and a very large scale epic look and feel........Either way I like these very much,and think I will pull up a chair and watch the fun with your updates.................Nice start,interesting epic feel....................:arteest:

10 October 2004, 01:41 AM
i really like the 2nd design although i am not sure i dig the tail on the ship ... i guess that's the only thing that looks a bit odd

anywho my 2 cents :)

keep it up

10 October 2004, 03:10 PM
well, i really like the first one coz of the format u used, and the open space on the top which lets the pic to breath. But the secon one is really dinamic, with all of those diagonal lines. The composition and everything else is great on both. Cant tell which one i prefer more, but u r sure one talented artist.. cant wait to see more of u!

10 October 2004, 03:42 PM
Great concepts! Keep it up and good luck!

10 October 2004, 04:35 AM
You're off to an amazing start! I love your backstory and your rough drawings are awesome so far. Can't wait to see this develope :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 05:31 AM
I liked the 2nd comp a lot, the sense of actually being in the pic that's shown is pretty strong from the worm perspective. I'll look forward to your other thumbs but I think tha's the most interesting to look at.

10 October 2004, 05:31 AM
Nice concept and background idea. I really like the first design of the city-ships. Very epic in scale.

10 October 2004, 06:17 AM (

Here's two alternative compositional variants. There are more to follow...

I'm looking at trying a completely different tack with some future pieces until I'm entirely happy with the overall composition.

I should point out too that the design of the ships and environments aren't necessarily reflected in these pieces - I'm merely playing with possible compostions and appropriate massing.

I will, once I'm happy with the composition, begin to concept the vessels and environments in greater detail. I do however, want the seedships to convey a simple, monolithic quality, which i feel is appropriate for a space opera and for the backstory.


10 October 2004, 06:19 AM
I will respond to everyone's messages. Thanks guys, but I have to shut down my computer due to a major electrical storm overheard. back soon!


10 October 2004, 07:11 AM
Back online...First up, thanks to everyone for the feedback and critiques. It helps greatly. So cheers!

I have made it hard for myself - like many of you there are aspects of both the first and second style of compositions that I like, and I'm going to make it harder by throwing a few more alternatives into the mix, in addition to those I've already posted. The critiques that everyone has been giving regarding the respective merits or otherwise of both approaches has been excellent and really useful.

The Ton - Thanks for your comments. There is certainly a temptation to include a person in the foreground, be it watching the ships depart or someone aboard a ship watching as their homeworld falls away for the last time. Both would be poignant and quite interesting pices but it would also make it their personal story, and they would be the focus, not the events that are affecting billions. I also want to avoid personalising it to keep the somewhat mythical quality to it. These are nameless ancestors of the Liitaeans after all, and the events being portrayed may not have even occured. It's a stylistic choice...howeve,r you're comments are certainly valid. I think you'll find there'll be a number of people who will havbe a protagonist in the foreground to 'personalise' the events. The mix should be interesting...

Kirt - i totally agree regarding the vapour trail. and should i decide on that kind of composition i will more than likely set the vapour trail further back.

cheers guys! off to go check out some other work here. There's some awesome threads on this forum already.


10 October 2004, 07:35 AM
the one with higher viewpoint is better in my opinion, it allows you to see where that thing is coming from - my first thought with the other one was that "it won't fit through that!"

Anyway, good looking stuff you have there

10 October 2004, 07:52 AM
These are looking awesome. Very quick and clean, but just enough detail to make you beg for more.

I really like the angel on the concept on the right of your last post. Keep up the great work, can't wait to see some ship designs :)

10 October 2004, 08:02 AM
unitstudio, nice work on the sketches and story, this'll certainly be a thread to watch.

I think the second of your latest concepts is my fav (imho, round ship out of a round hole sits nicely). The ship crossing on the diagonal does seem to throw me out of the side of the frame...although it does add urgency to the piece.

Good luck!

10 October 2004, 10:32 AM
hey grant .. the last two work well for me, probably the right one more .. i'm pulled into the silo, where as the other ..well, just doesn't grab me so much ..

i prefer these over the others cause of the openess and the story of a mass exit is more evident than the first two close up sketches

wonderful work any way ya look at it though :thumbsup:

10 October 2004, 11:55 AM
the one with higher viewpoint is better in my opinion, it allows you to see where that thing is coming from - my first thought with the other one was that "it won't fit through that!"

Anyway, good looking stuff you have there yep agree with you, the fourth is a lot better than the third one, and it allows a beautiful view of smoke coming out this big silo :D
But i prefer the second sketch, it gives a great sense of scale, more at the human scale! Perhaps if you extend a bit down, it will allow to play more with lighting. And i'm interested in seeing where this heavy ship come from :)
good luck

10 October 2004, 12:38 PM
your new search are good one smell perhaps better the size of the
things I think than I prefer the second
good continuation....

10 October 2004, 12:56 PM
Is difficult to say what of your concepts are better... I think that the two last, like the first, have a opensky composition that gives more epic to the scene, but the second composition (the lower point of view one) have more possibilities for a approach to the idea of a place being abandoned.
In any case of the two last i like more the right one composition.

10 October 2004, 07:09 PM
I think the right one is better, but it would be better if the focal point wasn't dead center. I think it's an amazing concept though, would definately need to see how this goes through!

10 October 2004, 07:24 PM
unitstudio: I like the new concept on the right the most. At first I read about your idea and didn't think much of it, but now that I see all these concepts I really am starting to love your idea. It's so simple yet brilliant. Good luck to you.

10 October 2004, 07:49 PM
i like your concept very - i imagine it in real movie and its great!

10 October 2004, 09:39 PM
lookin' good grant,
I'm glad you've moved towards the 1st veiw looking down on the planet, the shot from beloww was nice but i think it would've restricted your creative flow, which ever way you decide to take it.
watchin' for updates

10 October 2004, 10:46 PM
I think second sketch (with low perspective) was the best so far, not only because of impression of scale and dynamic composition, but also because of possibilities of playing with light and shadow- the other ones are great as drawings, concepts but they are at the same time a bit "dry" just "explaining" instead of evocating feelings. Maybe because of their light shading and very clasical composition, based on strong vertical lines.

Just my 3 cents...

10 October 2004, 10:49 PM
what a sketch..
i love your details, gonna be fantastic if turned 3d
wish you the best luck

Frank Lake
10 October 2004, 12:25 AM

I'm digging the idea of intial space expansion as a theme and I truely like the idea of using a lower perspective to help convey the feeling of monolithic quantites/qualitys. I'd have one of the seedships in the foreground, really close like the classic NASA shot of the shuttle taking off right from the support tower! What would really make it look great would be to have a used and dirty city contrast with the shiny clean ships. :cool:

10 October 2004, 01:02 AM
Wow, so many posts to respond to...thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond to my concepts and ideas. I'll try to respond to everyone - I apologise if I miss anyone out there :D

First up, none of these concepts are sett in stone. I am leaning towards the above the city shots simply because it more succinctly and cleanly conveys the story and has a grand epic scale. However, I have a few idea for alternative compositions, which i plan to get to over the coming week. I probably won't commence my line art for another 2 weeks at least, not least because of the other contractual work on my plate (the stuff that pays the bills! :) )

Frank Lake - thanks for the considered response - i love some of the ideas you presented that, particularly the dirty city - i may run with that - so credit where credit is due!

splotch - i'll be skicking to 2D...i can model but much prefer the process of painting. I may however model the basic forms to serve as the basis for the line art, and to ensure the perspecitve is dead right.

RK - thanks for those comments - I am concerned that the piece maybe a bit 'dry' as you put it - I've tried to pay homage to the great SF painters like Berkey and Foss of the 1960's and 1970's and i may need to look at how I'm going to convey more than just a wow factor at the scale of it...thanks for your 3 cents - it's well spent...i owe you for sure ;)

newcenturydsn - cheers! Yes, I am leaning towards the 1st view but i do have a soft spot for the 2nd, beneath the city's surface, not least because of the strong diagonals, and because it's less conventional. I am pondering some altogether different comps so let's see what sticks. Thanks mate!

centavrus - a movie? wow, cheers!

ChrisMayernik - thanks - i guess my ideas aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea and that's fine. I wanted to keep the backstory simple and let the piece convey it succintly - also I wanted it to have a timeless feel, a moment lost in the mists of time. Our most powerful stories are ones that are carried on through the ages, and though in all likelihood have some basis in fact, become fantasy, legend, morality tales and children's beditme stories. I wanted therefore a deceptively simple tale, not burdened by extraneous detail, conveyed in a simple image. thanks mate!

dgpilot, LuisNCT, Tranchefeux, Hecartha, pigwater, Ranath - thanks guys for your votes and comments. It all helps in refining the concepts as you've raised many pertinant points and your responses inform me which ideas people respond more readily to.

Ariborn - cheers for your +ive freedback. I do have to say that the angel you refer to is in fact an ornate barge - a viewing platform although it doesn't probably look like it in that rough. Should i go with that composition, no doubt the design will be refined but i do like the angel allusions, however unintentional. cheers!


10 October 2004, 02:31 PM
Oh, I should have a few more compositional variants by thursday - right now i have a tonne of work to get through by then, after which by next week i hope to commence detailed environment and object concepting...


10 October 2004, 05:31 PM
your job is without doubt my preferred in 2d challenge…

good good awesome!!!:bounce:


10 October 2004, 06:25 PM
can't wait for the new ideas, your avatar is great by the way do you have a finished copy we could all see, iknow it has nothing to do with the contest, but it looks great

idiot box
10 October 2004, 06:37 PM
I like the direction and flow of your sketches, they are simple and to the point.
Im looking forward to more work.

10 October 2004, 11:15 PM
I like your sketches, already looking clear whats going on
I'll keep watching to see the details. Keep up the good work:)

10 October 2004, 11:22 PM
I too think that a low perspective will give it a dramatic epic feeling , maybe even put few people figures up close staring at the structure as it takes off.
Awesome stuff

10 October 2004, 11:24 PM
yo Unit,
Digging your concept big time. I had some C&C for the first one, then opened up more pages on your thread and found you had addressed them and then some!! I like that lower view of the take-off, but the others with the round openings in the surface that the cities are leaving from were the CAKE. I'm feelin' the one on the left more, but like the planet's loose treatment in the one on the right. SICK marker work, and I cant wait to see how you flesh out the colors on yer sheeeeit.


10 October 2004, 12:34 AM
Cheers ppl - I think the competition is going to be very competitive - there are some outstanding concepts and ideas on the 2D and 3D forums, with some amazingly original and compelling ideas. I'm enjoying watching and participating in the progress of other people's work as much as my own.

ficolo - thanks mate. I ducked over to 'the other side' yesterday I saw that your piece was really coming together. incredible work.

newcenturydsn - my avatar comes from one of my pieces, the link to it one cgnetalk can be found in the sig below and on my website. Ta very muchly! :)

idiot box, polybuilder - cheers guys. I personally, think it's important for a composition at this stage to be clear and concise - to demonstrate clear massing and values. It's something I've learnt when presenting roughs to clients, and it pays off in the end, if you get the composition right. I'm not entirely happy with any of the pieces so far. I think something is missing but I'll address that when i next get the opportunity to work on this - it maybe the layout (a broader field of view), more interesting architecture, in particular on the surface, and/or including something in the foreground - ie the observational barge or traffic, or may even one of the freighters I mentioned in the backstory...

ViDA - I'm leaning towards the lower perspective myself, and i think something, possibly people in the foreground maybe needs as you suggestesd. Thanks for the feedback...

funkbuttah - thanks mate! the comments and criticisms have been really useful - it's a great opportunity to have a fresh set of eyes look over what you've done. Once I've finalised my comp, I'll being a more detailed treatment of the ships and architecture, do my line-work, and then start the colour-studies. phew...usually I wouldn't take so long to complete a piece but I want to spend as much time as feasible in the planning stage.

Time to go check out what everyone else is doing...thanks again people for taking the trouble to comment.

be well

10 October 2004, 01:12 AM
Heya Grant,
really nice work man. love the idea and the execution. i have to say i like the 3rd rough. i find the ship has a more dominating presence at the lower angle. can't wait to see more.

10 October 2004, 02:18 PM
waw! nice terrible sketchees i think maybe a mix of both it's maybe the best?? like when the small ship is fly under the fat one but the persp is more dynamic in the other..anyway that's really great!!really want to see updates cheers ...jaba.

10 October 2004, 03:31 PM
Your style is GREAT! That power I can feel in your sketches is great! You can just visualise your ideas really good in that sketches! I'm gonna follow this thread really close :)

BTW: I really like that Elven Girl you made! :)

I wish you allot good luck & even more power,


10 October 2004, 03:05 AM
hi.. very good style.. you are an excellent artist.. sorry, im very weak in 2D stuff so no crits or advices from my side..
just best of luck in challenge..

10 October 2004, 05:29 AM
from the last two concepts, im stuck liking the one on the right. maybe its just the way its shaded, but it has more impact, even though i know the lower angle should work better. its odd. either way, awesome concepts, keep them coming!

10 October 2004, 07:26 AM
Thanks people for your comments and messages. I've had to take some time off the challenge due to work commitments.

Also I'm not entirely happy with what I've produced so far - there's something lacking, and I don't think I've pushed myself quite enough. Also I've noticed that in the past few days there are other entries that seem have a similar 'cities in flight' theme. I know its not an overly original idea but nonetheless its becoming a bit crowded. I need to find something to make the existing idea more dramatic or develop a new concept entirely - I have a few thoughts on the matter which i hope to explore over the weekend.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment guys!


10 October 2004, 02:35 PM
Yes, I've been quiet. I must get around to commenting on some of the tremendous work that's developing. I think have an idea that I'm happier with - a development of my initial idea. I'll see if i can refine it some more and post over the coming days. I've been absolutely inundated with over work and projects, and this must take a backseat unfortunately.

But I'm itching to get into it, and excited about some of the ideas I want to begin developing...


10 October 2004, 04:55 PM
Wonderfull!! I agree that the whole 'cities in flight' is being a little mass produced, The entries i've seen are all fabulous, but i am on the lookout for any threads that are as far away from the 'cities in flight' theme, I'm eager to see what you come up with.

Check out essencedesign on the 3d page, and mine, we felt the same way so we went in a different direction.:beer:

11 November 2004, 07:49 AM
Although I agree that its a shame so many other entries are using the "Cities in Flight" theme and it may feel its detracting from your piece I think that changing your idea too much just to be different might not necessarily get the best piece out of you. Perhaps taking a break and looking at the other entries isn’t the answer but looking inside your self and forgetting the rest will produce a better result. I know it sounds a bit trite but I really think your first idea is usually the strongest, I guess it’s about what you want to get out of it. To win the comp then maybe deviating from your original idea and stand out from the rest might be the answer however to create the best piece you possibly can with the theme given then maybe sticking to your guns is the way to go.

Then again what do I know, I'm sure whatever you create will be awesome none the less!


11 November 2004, 08:25 AM
I wouldn´t worry about the masses of flying cities out there- it just happens to be among the most impressive sights if done right and you are on the right way. Personally I think while showing the city from slighly above may be easiest choosing any other angle could be a lot more interesting. Considering that part of our job is to create a "epic" scene maybe I´m wrong and (the more is shown the better) which would again make a frontal/slightly above angle very cool. So far I like No.1 and No.5 a lot

11 November 2004, 02:46 AM
You Have a Very Creative Work In your Web site nice nice work.
for This Thread ... Nothing To syay , I love The Way You Look To Your
i will Keep Whatching You For This Challenge.

11 November 2004, 03:11 AM
i knew id seen your stuff before, and i just realise it was on sumea! good stuff.

11 November 2004, 03:36 AM
Thanks guys. I have some new ideas in gestation, which i hope to have here (soon... :S ). I've just been so terribly busy with milestones and all that....

Hope to have something by the weekend and undertake the painting by month's end. I'll try to offer comments to other entrants over the weekend. I've not had much time to browse the submissions but there are some great pieces developing to be sure...

Thanks again...will post very shortly!

11 November 2004, 12:28 PM
Awesome sketches very clean and easy to read style!:thumbsup:

I like rough #4 best with slightly topdown view you get a bigger scale to it then i guess.

I'm looking forward to seeing more this looks gorgeous!!


11 November 2004, 02:00 PM
super concept sketches - the ideas are really good. I liked the title 'cities in flight' too, as so evocative, but I agree the book was very dry and bland. better, as you are, to develop own ideas. On images, very garnd, thinking of adding anything on a more human/personal level too?

11 November 2004, 09:07 PM
We are waiting patiently :)

I am dieing here. Please post something soon!

11 November 2004, 01:50 AM
Hi Grant

Great idea, and great possibilities for cool visuals. I skimmed through the previous pages so I don't know if this has been mentioned or not - are you planning on having any human or humanoid characters in your final painting? I think that can help establish a sense of scale, but also provides something immediate for the viewer to connect with. I guess I am thinking about (for instance) the Star Wars movie posters, where there are plenty of space ships and and planets, but also human characters. John Berkey's space ship paintings do a great job of conveying "space opera" without obvious human characters, but the ones I tend to like are the ones that engage us with some sign of human existence. Oh, the book Mass: the Art of John Harris is actually a great example of that - huge flying cities dwarfing tiny, ant-like people on the ground. His stuff is really effective that way.

El Toro
11 November 2004, 03:04 PM
I have some new ideas in gestation, which i hope to have here (soon... :S ). Still no progress?! :sad:

Moon Dragon
11 November 2004, 08:31 PM
I like your work, it's complex and interesting. However, keep in mind that it sometimes is easy to get a cluttered painting when having many details in a painting (I'm not saying that your's is cluttered, I just wanted to make you aware of the risk :) )

Good luck mate, and cheers! =)

12 December 2004, 03:30 PM
Wooaah, I'm back I hope. What a frenetic month it's been. A mountain of work to complete before we go alpha, ut I exprect to have something to show here tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who's been checking in and posting - I have been reading the comments and I do appreciate it. Cheers!!! :D

hey Francis. Good to see you. Sorry, I've not had much time to visit concept design forum lately but I will drop by soon, i promise:) I like where your space opera is going too. Thanks for your considered critique. I am actually looking at ways to incorporate a sense of human scale into the image. I've spent this evening toying with some fresh comps but fear that I'm getting overly ambitious given the time constraints I now face. I'll outline this in great detail tomorrow.

Thanks again...if everything goes to plan, I'll post tomorrow. til then, be well all...


12 December 2004, 10:09 PM
here, here!:bounce:
Great to see you've returned, due to lack of thought process I too have not posted for quite some time, can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve!

12 December 2004, 02:38 PM
Almost there.. :S I had been toying with an variation on the original idea - which was to have a lone droid witnessing the return of a seedship aeons after it had departed - a kind of noah's ark carrying the genetic material of every species. It was sent out long ago to ensure the perserve life on that planet and would repopulate it should a calamity befall it. The droid acts as a kind of scribe to the events. But the sketches and concept don't really grab me...

So i'll return to my initial concept and endeavour to push that a little before finally commencing the you newcenturydsn, part of the reason why I've been absent is that my original concept hasn't truly grabbed me either, but I've had little time to ponder it further...anyhow, enough whining. Time to get one with it...

Thanks again guys. will post very shortly...

12 December 2004, 02:59 PM (

This is the kernal of an idea that I probably won't take any further - however I thought I'd include the roughs for the vessel and get people's thoughts. I will probably progress with the original idea of great cities in flight (I hope to have the line-art finalised by the weekend), and I'll include a human element within the image. I'm working one a few preliminary comps for this at the moment...

In the meantime the premise behind these roughs is a design for a species of bio-engineered, living ships. Created by a people who avoid, where possible, mechanical and inanimate solutions, and who believe it's their duty to seed the universe with life, they voluntarily adapt themselves to new worlds and new challenges through gene engineering, creating biological diversity where possible.

A select group have over time, geneered themselves for interstellar travel. They are the vessels by which interstellar travel is achieved. Known as the Aruik-al or Farseers, they are highly revered by all.

The concept I've been pondering for this is the moment when a certain Aruik-al, Narosse is the first to successfully fold the fabric of space, making the great interstellar leap that is thereafter sung of by all Aruik-al and their descendants for millenia.

It's just an idea....

12 December 2004, 03:16 PM
Contrasting from your earlier sketches with this new one of the ship, i can sense a dichotomy of hard edges versus softer forms. I do like the ship design, only because it's indicative of a more refined and stylishly sexy shape.

I'd, personally, be cautious of adding any more additional "wings" or holes/vents, but I guess artistic freedom can ever fully define nor explain the purpose of these additions ;)

12 December 2004, 03:21 PM
Cheers, I will keep this in mind. These roughs have nothing to do with the earlier comps however. It's an entirely different and unrelated tangent. Just thought I'd tentatively explore another idea before commiting myself...

I began doing a comp based on these designs but feel that the results would probably be less 'iconic' that the original comps for the cities in flight. As I said, I just wanted to throw them in here and see what people thought...


12 December 2004, 05:51 AM
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!! Hey Grant really nice work! I especially like rough 2. It's got really good sense of presence/scale! Beautiful drawings keep it up! :buttrock:

12 December 2004, 11:17 AM
really cool spaceship !
I can't wait to see it in 3D !

12 December 2004, 11:22 PM
Nice concept Grant, will be watching to see how the endless hours of rendering turn out and judging by some of your other work you are no stranger to a late night. Keep on kicking arse!

12 December 2004, 11:44 PM
Awesome work Grant !! always been a fan of your concepts...:thumbsup:
keep up the great work..

12 December 2004, 06:02 PM
Hi, Glad to re-examine you for your progression GSO, good road.

12 December 2004, 06:22 PM
love you rconcepts...lice the flying citys too but you did something with those?...a composition or something with those? will be to sad not to see you last ships in some comp or something...few time left you know....cheers ...great stuff man

12 December 2004, 03:24 AM
Liking the ship design grant, can't wait to see it in a scene!:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 03:19 AM
Thanks guys for the encouragement and support - i realise I have little time to complete this and it'll be a stretch. All i can do, given the work on my plate, is to keep progressing until the end and see what where I'm at by then. I have a few sketches to put up and hopefully I can commence the colouring process late this week or next. The living ships idea probably won't go anywhere.

Thanks again!

12 December 2004, 04:38 AM
Hey Grant, I really hope you can pull through and get your entry finished, Youve made an awesome start and the last set of concepts look great. I can definatley understand how difficult it can be to find the time to fit in all the things you love to do, keep up the great work. I hope i will see you at the finish line. Goodluck bud :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 01:51 PM
can't wait to see your city in the sky line art. Your sketches make me want to see more !

12 December 2004, 09:03 PM
nice story concept but i think you ships designs could be better they don't give you the feeling that they are alive you might want to try to make them look more organic and more grand.

my space opera (

12 December 2004, 12:52 AM
The "tangent" you just posted has some great ideas! But I agree that the cities in flight thing might have more purely visual bang. If monumental scale is the message you're going for, I think the orthogonal forms and familiarity of architecture will help a lot in conveying that.

I saw in an earlier post that you had thought about studying architecture. That was actually my educational background before I got into the games industry. There are some parallels but I have to say this industry is a lot more fun than architecture...

12 December 2004, 04:43 AM
hey i like the organic shark like ships and wonder if they could be combined in the city scene and add a sense of movement to it.

01 January 2005, 02:19 AM
WOw, did I miss a beat or what? so CHEERS on your elven piece, it is - after all - amazing, and a quality I hope to achieve lol. I refuse to say someday because it could be my NEXT PAINTING hehehe I don't want to give it the "try" stamp Yoda always talks about. Do or Do not. I like what you have going, and you should push yourself through and submit what you have...FOR ME! So I can see it. lol Goodness, just don't be like me and notice competitions too late lol and THEN rush yourself. I really look forward to seeing your final or at least something headed there...and worse comes to worse you can take your submission and finish upgrading afterwards! ;}

01 January 2005, 08:28 AM
I'm afraid time has run out on this. :( Damn. I've simply been too snowed under with work and all motivation for personal work went out the window. There simply wasn't the time or headspace to do this justice. I will however, try to complete it in my own time and you might see it on these forums some day soon

Thanks to everyone who followed the thread, provided support and feedback. It is all very much appreciated, and through your comments and your own CG challenge threads, I've learnt so much.

Speaking of your own CG Challenge threads. Good luck to everyone. I really can't wait to see the final results. So many look promising already.

So signing off and here's hoping I'll find the time for the next challenge. See you on the forums...

cheers and be well,

01 January 2005, 05:51 PM
Hi, i like the design of your ships, it's no "mechanics", it's a style of ship like babylon 5 more organics, i like this, i hope you can finish your project because i want the the paint of the ships, good luck

01 January 2005, 07:38 AM
Unitstudio, I was hoping to see your piece finished before the deadline :( The concepts looked soooo promising.

But then again, you did mention you'd finish it later on, so I'll be looking out for your finished piece in the next few weeks. :)

01 January 2005, 12:31 AM
thank yo so much ;} and I am sorry to hear it. Keep me posted if you decide to finish later?


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