View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: John Picton

10 October 2004, 04:41 PM
John Picton has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Coloring WIP: alternative (

OK, now I'm not so sure... the omnipresent alien is a little more siolid in this version. Am I getting caught up in the drawing rather than in what he represents? The idea was that he was going to be a ghostly presence watching over the whole unfolding drama... but there's no real point if you can't actually see him... is there? aaaargh. whaddya reckon guys?

10 October 2004, 10:02 AM
well, where to go with this one! it's very broad isn't it! the task to create an image that sums up an eternity within an empire! I've got a couple of ideas, the sketch will be coming soon. Meantime good luck to evryone who's entering.

10 October 2004, 10:57 AM (

I don't think I'm going to follow this one up, but the idea is of someone, possibly female walking along a semi technological landscape contemplating the stars and the potential battle going on above... the idea is to get the peaceful tranquility that's on the planet's surface... that pivotal moment where she makes her decision. but I don't think it reflects the massive scale that is the competition brief

10 October 2004, 11:02 AM (

This is closer to what I want. It's more like a movie poster I think, but as the brief is so broad I wanted an image that has a sense of the passage of time; that reflects the different groups involved, the determination of the individuals and groups involved...

10 October 2004, 02:38 PM
looking good mate, interesting to go for the movie poster style mixed pictures etc this will show alot of information in one compasition, not sure I can see any technology in the picture, this is not a problem and would be very different to most other entries, will be interested to see how this develops.

10 October 2004, 12:09 AM (

this is somewhere along the lines of where i want the alien face to head... no pun intended. It may be that we only see a portion of the face in the final layout, but I thought it was important to get the whole image done, just in case...

it's probably going to be ghosted into the atmosphere, to give the feeling that he's always there, watching, and ever present.

10 October 2004, 12:14 AM
looking good mate, interesting to go for the movie poster style mixed pictures etc this will show alot of information in one compasition, not sure I can see any technology in the picture, this is not a problem and would be very different to most other entries, will be interested to see how this develops.
Thank you, in the lower left part of the basic sketch there's a mass of scribbles which will actually be some kind of orbital space station, and what i'm also thinking about is a load of little fighter ships around one of the planetarey globes. also the figure on the ground will have technical weaponry, in contrast to the airborn one... ambitious? probably :bounce:

11 November 2004, 08:04 PM (

I\'m going for a very organic feel for my crafts, so for the station itself, which will feature in the battle bit in the background, I\'m going for a Thistle seed head design. not quite there yet, but getting close

11 November 2004, 08:14 PM (

for the little ships in the background battle, again for one of the factions, I\\\'m looking to nature for inspiration - primarily insects. so the little beetle ships seem to be taking a nice direction, still got some way to go, but progressing quite nicely. as for faction 2... stilkl not sure yet....

11 November 2004, 08:26 PM
i think ur latest designs are great,i am looking at insects too for inspiration.

*hint* things with more legs look the best *hint*

11 November 2004, 08:31 PM (

I'm wanting a beast for my key shot which will be in the foreground of the image, so something that has its grounding in human mythology. as I want it to be an aerial attack, the thing obviously has to fly, so a griffin it is, or a variation that theme anyway. these are the pen roughs for the head... ignore the insectoid one, I'm not going there :)

11 November 2004, 08:35 PM
the griffin is excellent,eyes are its best feature.i do think it cud look more manic though.maybe make its face a birds skull or something.just a thought.

11 November 2004, 08:44 PM
hey there john. so far so good. ur ship ideas look unique and i like ur sketch of the alien. keep it up! :)

11 November 2004, 08:53 PM (

ok, so it took on a life of its own, and ended up looking nothing like my favourite rough sketch, but hey who am I to argue. the foot is on the wrong side so that needs ammending, and I'm not sure whether the leathery wings work. It makes it more of a drgon than a griffin or gryphon depending on which book you read. It's also going to have a rider...

11 November 2004, 09:08 PM (

deciding not ot go with the leather! feathers is where it's at! makes him closer to the griffin, and the eagle wings are much more predatory, the feet have been ammended so at least they're now on the right side, and the other claw's gone in. Oh yeah nad he has a rider. I'm toying with the idea of making the sheild an energy one, and it may need to be bigger too.

11 November 2004, 09:21 PM
thanks for the support guys. I was a bit worried I was getting caught up in the organic rather the technical... being as that's what I do best. But still, this is a chjallenge ands my personal one will be to get better at the techy! I'm trying to get a balance of the two, the griffin being very "past2 and the rest of the technology being future-present, hopefully to reflect a sense of history, and the Empire spanning the ages...
I'm liking Noobs' idea of more legged things... maybe I ought to look away from the beetle and hit scorpions? the curved tail could be something to do with weaponry...
and from annisahmad, the alien's not as agressive as I wanted him so I think there's a bit more modification to do on him.

11 November 2004, 09:26 PM
i'm liking the tip i was given a while back for designing creatures is to exxagerate allota features.maybe that cud help you too.i guess it really depends on what type of creature ur goin for.

is this a calm or manic creature???

i agree the shield should be bigger.

but damn ....excellent work so far!

11 November 2004, 09:28 PM
oh before i forget. i would love to see u do a scorpion mech kinda thing.

11 November 2004, 09:35 PM
well, the thing about wars is that both sides believe they're in the right. I'm not going to get political, AT ALL, so I'm going to leave it for the viewer to decide which side is which. I'm also rather fond of this creature, so that automatically makes him a good guy in my book... but having said that, he does have horns and some rather nasty talons, so that could potentially project him as "the bad guy".

11 November 2004, 07:45 PM (

spurred on by Noob, and not wanting to let the dust settle, so to speak, I've started the scorpion-based attack ship. It probably won't feature as a prominent design in the final piece, but I still need to know what they look like. As ever there's still a long way to go...

11 November 2004, 07:58 PM
the sting shoud be much longer or bigger.the frontal bit could be longer too....remember *exxageration is important*

however ,still a nice design.

11 November 2004, 07:59 PM (

just playing

11 November 2004, 08:01 PM (

same thing just slightly different angle
obviously the middle bit wilkl need filling in

11 November 2004, 09:41 AM (

tried to make him a bit moe threatening, with lower slung forehead/brows, and thicker set cranium. I can imagine colour will help a bit too

11 November 2004, 01:52 PM (

okay, so this is where he's heading. I'm using paintshop Pro 7, haven't been learning it very long (basically self taught) so there's a lot of mistakes being made, but how else do we learn. While I realise that red is a very dominant colour, which jumps forward in an image, I'm using this face as a ghost, so although I'm doing a lot of detail here, it will end up being nearly invisible, or not... as the composition requires. I don't think he's going to need costume, there won't be enough of him seen, and there need to be some work done round the eyes, cos they're a little intense right now.

11 November 2004, 09:20 PM
yeh coloring is hard,i use photshop 7.0 though,do u have a wacom???

man i'm dieing to see ur final composition for ur piece.

11 November 2004, 11:02 PM (

well, I'm probably gonna take take a break from him for a bit and move onto the next bit, I know this one's going to work. Having a few problems getting used to the layering effect, but slowly coming to grips with it. I think my sky is going to be the "reddish-black" that I've set this guy against. which will make for a nice "rich" picture, but obviously is going to set me a few problems with everything trying to jump forward colour-wise. that may yet change
and Noob, what's a wacom?

11 November 2004, 11:20 PM

its a colorists aid,just connect wacom tablet to ur comp.its just a tablet and pen u can draw on to it with,it pressure sensitive for easier colouring and painting effects.i'm sure someone else can give a better explanation.

they are pretty damn expensive,if i recall,in the last contest wacoms where part of the prize....check out the last contest prizes.

11 November 2004, 12:41 AM
ah right.... no I definitely don't have one, but am seriously thinking about it. and have been for some time. at the moment it's all drawing with a mouse and then using the areas as masks to colour in and build up!

11 November 2004, 02:41 PM
mouse??? phew....brave man!! hehe

11 November 2004, 06:17 PM
looking great mate, really getting going now with the ehole piece from what I can see, wacoms good as said but expensive so have to wait a while for one ( possibly get a cheeper make to start with just to get the hang of it ) like the alien work and the ships, deffinatly a move towards the mechanical and technical design that is nice to see, can't wait to see how it all comes together in the end.. good luck.. never know I may get a moment to continue mine soon..

11 November 2004, 01:07 AM (

a little more, and I think getting closer

11 November 2004, 03:14 AM (

I was tryin g to get the bosy of the fighter right, so drew it without the sting... and I'm actuakky quite pleased with it like that. not sure whether or not leave it without, or put it in!...

11 November 2004, 03:24 AM
Mouse? Geez man, I am going to give you props on the coloring. That must have taken you ages.

11 November 2004, 08:57 AM
lol i bet u wish u won the last contest and got a wacom i admire u for coloring with a mouse still.

i like those scorpion designs man,the one in the top right is my fave!

11 November 2004, 06:27 PM (

so I've refined the design a bit, taken off the pointed nose on the cock pit, and added some flame to the guns. The support legs to the claw-nacelles are now a bit more pronounced. I've put in a mock up of the tail section. I'm not sure I like it... so there may be a couple of them in the dogfight bit without it... It certainly needs something to improve the look of it. It's all a bit nondescript at the moment, in comparison to the rest of it.

11 November 2004, 12:29 PM (

okay, so I'm starting to experiment with the layering and positioning. there's still a long way to go (as ever) I've still got to work out the pose for the girl with the gun at ground level, and then there's the whole dogfight bit. The big blob in the background is going to be a planet, but I have to work out colouring, and it'll probably need some geography and atmosphere, but I wanted to get a feel for how it's going to look. The alien's presence is "ghosting" nicely, but I'm not sure how 'obvious' he needs to be. Oh and his shoulders which aren't shown in this mock up are going to form the ground level.
I am getting a bit worried that it's going to be a very "busy" picture with too much going on, so the balance is going to have be carefully thought thru aswell....

11 November 2004, 08:39 PM (

they've got to have adversaries in the dog fight, so here's an idea... they were goign to be based on ramsheads, but somewhere along the line I got a duck bill for a cockpit!!!! ah well....

11 November 2004, 11:54 AM (

She's been thru a number of poses and costumes, but this is pretty much what I've decided on, not sure if she'll stay in brown, might change it to something a bit less tarzan, given that she's representing the technology lot. I was also considering her in a tunic. but somehow thios seemed to work better.
And while I realise that she's in the middle of a major battle, with some dirty great creature plumetting thru the sky at her, she could be killed aat any moment... but in all the best space Operas, the heroine (which she may or may not be) always looks incredibly sexy, doesn't have her make-up smudged and there's not a hair out of place. Hopefully that's how she's perceived, and yes I am aware that high heels are totally impractical in the midst of battle, btu if it's good enough for 7 of 9 ....

11 November 2004, 12:04 PM
looking good bro,what happened to the gurls right arm in the pic heh.dunno how u guys have time to do all this.....*sigh*stupid college

11 November 2004, 12:29 PM
LOL, dang you noticed! I was having sopme real problems with the positioning of her and the way she was holding the gun... I didn't even know what the gun was going to look like til last night :D so anyway I got carried away with the costume and the gun and thought I could get away with saying the arm was behind it... and errrrr.... nah! the gun actually looks wrong. I think It's going to have to drop down slightly, what she's holding it with, just doesn't feel right. It's too hevay. that'll make it easier I thi to work out where her right hand is. It's either going to be holding it from underneath, but I'm also considering whether she could be giving extra support on the top structuere....

11 November 2004, 04:42 PM
Looking good there mate, love the scorpion fighter ( very you ) have you thought about a retractable tail so it lays behind the ship in normal flight and comes out only in attack mode, or maybe look at having the tail under the main body of the ship wrapped under and pointing out the front..

not sure which race the ships belong to you may be able to add some clues to the costumes of your main characters, a piece of technology ie communication device or jewellry which has similar charactaristics to the ship design may link them..

anyway just wanted to say well done looking food there..

11 November 2004, 06:15 PM
Looking good, I like the idea, double check your proportions on the girl. The one arm that she has looks too small. Torso looks a bit long too (or ad length to the legs. People are extramly hard for me to render and paint. Good Luck!

11 November 2004, 06:18 PM
Sorry another thought... You could put her second arm holding the gun as well, kinda like a rifle or somthing (sorry I don't know guns very well) Have the second arm and hand comming up and holding towards the center of the gun somwhere.

12 December 2004, 12:29 PM
Hey there blue eyed lizard, thanks for the support and also your comments about proportions on the girl, the arm is possibly a little short, but that's cos I've had a bit of a problem with foreshortening. In order to be able to hold the gun, she's got to have her arm sticking out slightly... so yeah it needs a bit of work.

My feeling as to how she's holding the gun with the other arm, is definitely from underneath - If you think about the M41a pulse rifle in "Aliens", it's going to be held in a similar way. though not from waist height.

as for the legs, well my references earlier to 7 of 9 do imply that she should have legs that probably stretch to her neck :) so I'll look into that and see if it feels right
but thanks again for your comments and support - some very nice work on yours by the way.

good luck too

12 December 2004, 02:45 PM (

I thought I'd do another p[utting together of the elements so far, just to see how it's going on... obviouly the girl needs to have the gun's/her arm's angle adjusted so she can be firing at the gryphon...and I've got to do some adjusting of planetry colours to make them not so obtrusive - possibly give them atmosphere haze... and then then the gryphon needs colour, another wing, his rider's possibly a bit too small, and his sheild needs enhancement. I've still ot even thought about what the dogfight battle will look like yet... and I've still got to decide where to crop the final image, cos the omnipresent alien is too... obvious.
can I get an extension on my deadline pleeeease

12 December 2004, 02:53 PM (

OK, now I'm not so sure... the omnipresent alien is a little more siolid in this version. Am I getting caught up in the drawing rather than in what he represents? The idea was that he was going to be a ghostly presence watching over the whole unfolding drama... but there's no real point if you can't actually see him... is there? aaaargh. whaddya reckon guys?

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