View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Cory L. Loftis

10 October 2004, 11:09 PM
Cory L. Loftis has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Reigns of Water, Fire, and Earth (

Tweaked a little in the earth panel, missed a few paint strokes, but it's done.

01 January 2005, 07:22 AM (

I'm seriously considering doing a tryptic piece. I'm running out of time though, and this may be too ambitious but I like a challenge. This piece illustrates the reigns of the three major powers in the universe; water, fire, and earth. Give me some feedback if you have time. Line art on the way, should clear things up some.

01 January 2005, 07:28 AM
Here are the major drawings I\\\'ll need to start painting. Most details I put in without underlying line art, but I hope this gives you an idea. The symbols by the way, are only placeholders. I have to design those later tonight.

01 January 2005, 09:34 AM
this is great! i like it so much , do u plan to select one of them or go with all 3?
awesome design ! good luck!

01 January 2005, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I plan on all three forming one cohesive piece. I don't think any one of them would be as strong as the three panels together. Got to get going on painting as soon as 4:30 hits and I get out of the office.

01 January 2005, 09:07 AM (

Started on the painting late this evening, some stuff got in my way this afternoon. Hope to get an early start tommorrow and really crank it out. Please give me some feedback if you have time. Here is a detail from the center plate.

01 January 2005, 03:20 PM
This is fantastic! It's a shame your entry came so late, because this is one stunning piece.

I'm really curious about this one, and I hope that you will be able to finish it on time.

I have to check out more of your stuff! And the pencil artwork is just amazing.

01 January 2005, 05:01 PM
This is a great stuff you got there man:eek:.Very very beautiful:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 11:39 PM (

Just trying to get the background nailed down before tackling the minor character highlights. Wanted to see where the hot spots would be. Comments would be appreciated.

01 January 2005, 07:39 AM (

Almost finished with the center panel. I still have to paint the two guys at the top of the circle, but I'm tired of painting red guys now. I'm going back to the blue panel and I'll have some jpegs of that later on. Let me know what you think. Lata playas.

01 January 2005, 07:50 AM
I suck with these post things, I keep adding images and I don't know why it's doing it. Sorry guys.

01 January 2005, 11:39 AM (

Took a break from the fire and worked on the main figure in the water plate. I really wasted a lot of time with freckles and jewelry. Gotta pick up the pace. One whole plate left and I designed it full of stinkin' plants. I'll need all day on that.

01 January 2005, 12:56 PM
I think the fire section could benefit from some darker shading...some charred black. But it looks great!

About the female...the only thing that doesn't look quite symmetrical is her nose. I don't understand if it is her nose that is off place or if it is her that is tilitng her head. I think some darker shading is also needed in this one...or better, just experiment with the Levels sliders.

I really hope you can finish this until tomorrow. It would be a shame if you didn't make it!

01 January 2005, 12:58 PM
Nice work Cory!

But still i would like to have seen space plate in your set. So it would work more in the Grand Space Opera theme.

Nevertheless pro work. Specially if you manage the picture in time. Id hope you join earlier next time :)

01 January 2005, 04:14 PM
great painting so far, i like the idea of separate panels, very differnent to most entries. although i agree about the lack of space themes i cant fault your technical ability so no real crits. looking forward to seeing it finished, good luck

01 January 2005, 07:19 PM
great painting so far, i like the idea of separate panels, very differnent to most entries. although i agree about the lack of space themes i cant fault your technical ability so no real crits.
I kinda have to agree with conundrum, although this would also be an excellent piece to submit for Expose 3.

01 January 2005, 07:43 PM
Hey guys, really appreciate the helpful feedback. I am going to put in some darker values, but I usually try to do that once all painting is mostly finished. I try to use levels and gradients, and then pop some really bright highlights on the focal points. As far as space goes, I was trying to think outside the box a little here. I don't have space ships or planets, but this is supposed to be a piece that celebrates three independent prehistoric alien races. They don't have alot of mechanical capabilities but are more like bronze age cultures on earth. In each piece there is a star map and an image of their galaxy. Just trying to be different, not circumvent the "grandspace opera" theme. Keep your comments a coming. Thanks a lot.

01 January 2005, 04:19 AM (

The water panel is going slowly. I guess I'm just a little tired. But, it's almost time to flatten a couple of layers and get to work on their hair. After that a few "fish-like" creatures and their galactic symbol and that baby's in the bag. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

01 January 2005, 04:23 AM
duplicate image again. Sorry guys, this is getting frustrating for me :banghead:

01 January 2005, 09:19 AM (

At long last, this panel is done. I didn't get to add as many details as I wanted but Im happy with the results. 14 hours left, one panel, jug of mountain dew, its crunch time baby. Comments please. They mean a lot to me.

01 January 2005, 09:24 AM
You keep blowing my mind away...I just don't understand how almost nobody is commenting your wonderful artwork!


01 January 2005, 02:57 PM (

I haven't been able to post for a while, since the server was sooo busy. But I got the background finished for the last panel and one character. Two characters, some tweaking, and I'm done baby!!!! Unless someone has something that I might need to consider, so please let me know what you think.

01 January 2005, 03:17 PM
This is comming late - but OMG I HOPE YOU FINISHED

I tried to stick to just a few people's forums so I could consistantly reply and still work, but it makes me sad that I missed some threads such as this one!!

This is beautiful - UPLOAD HURRY

01 January 2005, 06:59 PM (

Just got to put them all together now and finish the last few bits on the fire panel, color correct, and I'm done!!!!!!

01 January 2005, 08:01 PM (

At long last Im doing with it. I appreciate all your comments, I don't think I'll do much tweaking. Right now Im happy with the results. If you have any urgent suggestions, I'll wait about ten minutes before uploading and posting my final image.

01 January 2005, 08:03 PM (

I'm getting too tired, sorry everyone but I accidentally uploaded the wrong jpg last time. My apologies to everybody. Here is the correct one.

01 January 2005, 08:21 PM (

Tweaked a little in the earth panel, missed a few paint strokes, but it's done.

01 January 2005, 09:13 PM
Man i love your art. i think is one of the best work i have seen in years. no doubt you are going to be famous some day.
good luck! (which you don't need it)

01 January 2005, 09:21 PM
God, I love this illustration.
Seriously, man, you need to enter this piece to be in Expose 3. :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 12:34 AM
Holy Crap, you have my vote!

Do you have a website so I can see more?

Bravo! Well done!


01 January 2005, 12:36 AM
talking about trippling your work load!... woah!! and the out come is amazing!!

01 January 2005, 11:24 AM
Man! Aawesome! I see bit of HRG but that's O.K! Very good lightning especially in green one. Don't stop workin! If U setup some other works online I'll see them with pleasure.

I vote on U

:thumbsup: Chris

01 January 2005, 01:52 AM
Few days ago I found concept of Your work. I thought : The man can draw. Now I must say The man can paint. Pure imaginacion. It remind works of Pascal Blanché. Love it.

01 January 2005, 03:33 AM
Hi Cory,

Man O' Man, some very nice work. My buddy Kris won the Machine Flesh contest awhile back. So its cool to see your work out there. I haven't seen any of the other entries yet but you have some very beautiful and imaginative work Cory.

I love the over all colors you have going as well as the design elements you've put into each piece. Did you have fun designing all the fonts and symbols? Looks like you put some time and thought into it. Do we get to hear more about the story of these people? Or these beings?

The only C&C that I would have is about the over all composition, the two on the sides being parallel as the center piece is more chaotic. I would think you did it on purpose and the fact that it has more of an unstable and has an evil presence makes it work really well. So I guess my C&C is more about the "Why" did you do it? Again me wanting to know the story behind it all.

Very cool work.

Anyways man you got my vote unless something else just totally blows my socks off.

Take Care.


01 January 2005, 04:06 AM
Yes, it really is a beautiful, striking, well-rendered piece, well done! (and very fast, too!)
It comes off to me as much more of a fantasy piece and I don't get any sense of a Grand Space Opera whatsoever (sorry!) but it really is very lovely.


01 January 2005, 07:08 AM
Whoa man! Absolutely brilliant work. Terrific overall. I do have one question...HOW? How do you do it so fast! It's incredible. I just started using painter and photoshop for its paint ability, but it takes me a long time to get any where. I can draw fast, but, then I get all caught up in layers and copies and being too anal about everything. Do you pretty much just go full bore into it without really dwelling on certain things? Please post a tutorial on Speed Painting! Awesome stuff, reminds me of nice art from Magic especially with the elements and colors and all. Terrific art, and please post a quick synopsis of your technique.

01 January 2005, 10:03 AM
A great piece of artwork.......... fantastic. I love it! But is it Grand Space Opera..........? That is up to each of our imaginations on how to interpret that title and challenge............! Good luck. :thumbsup: Claireabella

01 January 2005, 05:02 PM
Hey everyone, thanks so much for your encouragement. I'm glad you enjoy my piece, I wish I'd had more time to work on it. It seems like every time I got ready to sit down and start, something came up but at least i got it done. After hearing everyone's comments, I'm starting to think that "Grand Space Opera" has more meaning than just a title for the contest. i thought I'd stayed with the theme, but if any of you can give me more insight into this genre, please let me know. I'm pretty new to digital art (a year and a half), so I haven't done as much research as most of you.
As far as my speed, that's something I'm really proud of. This piece took me about 22 hours straight. I don't really paint in layers, this piece was made of three seperate pieces with three layers each. One layer contained the general background, one contained characters, and the last had glows, symbols and layer effects. After the first two are painted I flatten and blend the edges using palette knifes, round camelhairs, and pastel variants in Painter 7. Color adjustments and effects are done in Photoshop and symbols are made in Illustrator and brought in. i'll post a more detailed tutorial later on, but I just wanted to respond. I kinda dive right in and hope for the best. Thanks again everyone.

01 January 2005, 05:22 PM
but if any of you can give me more insight into this genre, please let me know.

from the contest rules:
"Create an iconic image that captures a moment of galactic civilisation or conflict. Entrants are to construct an entire, complete scene depicting anything that is relevant to the grand space opera theme."
"Images should be iconic – the stuff that legends and myths are built from. The subject could be an individual or group, a space ship or fleet, a city or city-world. Whatever it is, it should capture a pivotal moment that is part of a vast galactic civilisation or conflict."

There's also a whole pile of inspirational ideas posted at
Arthur C. Clarke, Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov, Syd Mead, Stephan Martiniere, Star Wars, Star Trek, and many others are cited.

Your speed and skill really are impressive, cory, but next time round, keep the contest in mind. Not merely the stated theme, but the fact that the contest is really about working at a pace where others have a chance to give feedback on what you're working on and you have a chance to give others feedback on their works as well. It's not a speedpaint competition, and it's not even entirely about the final image. "The journey is the reward," as the old saying goes, and if you're moving too fast, you'll miss it. You're a talented artist and i'm sure a good many other artists in tis conpetition would have benefitted from your insight. And your piece too could possibly have benefitted from taking the time to hear what some of the other people could have had to offer.

best regards,


01 January 2005, 05:25 PM
What is GrandSpaceOpera ?

Well that is a good question. Well when you entered the contest did you take a look at the inspiration thread? That will propably give a better idea what it is all about.

It is about drama. Lifes in outer space. Distant galaxies. Extreme passion. Larger than life subjects. I hope somebody else can give you better explanations about it.

If your artwork specially FirePlate could have been more clearer aspect of the universum. I think there already is a fire spiral. Which could have been brought out more. Letting us now it is an galaxy in making. Giving in black colors and kinda nebulaes you see in NASA pictures.
Also you could have made the galaxy blueprints larger than life. Showing more constellations and planetary projections it would have make the experience more "Grand"
Dividing the picture into 3 separate plates looks good, but giving in the grand theme you might have tried to implement all the gods and elements together. Creating the BIG BANG itself. Dublicating figures slightly hurt your pic, but not much. Gives out this card feeling.

Enough of me babbling. I have to admire your skills.. Thats pretty good for a 1½ newbie :applause:
It all really depends on so many things. If i can vote for many pictures i'll propably give you vote for your outstanding artwork.:deal:

But we can all think does this picture belong in Magic the gathering fantasy cardgame? Or if you look at it outside this competion and think of Grand Space Opera?:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 02:25 AM
I agree with Falcor_!


Lookat those sketches!


Man is great!



I was lookin once again at 16 th Jan picture IIIIINNNNNNCCCCCRRREEEDDIBLE! Just look at the light from inside!


01 January 2005, 12:11 PM
An artistically impressive piece. :)
Seeing something like that is always inspiring. It has a strong symbolic story to tell and I don't mind at all that I cannot see the space opera theme in there. :thumbsup: (Artistically speaking)

01 January 2005, 11:48 AM
I have to say bravo. You have amazing abiities Cory, beautiful imagination and an excellent follow through, but this is fantasy. If this were a fantasy contest I would say you deserve to be in the winners circle, but since this is grand space opera, I feel I cannot in good faith vote for this image. I am sorry but I will probably vote for you in the next one, especially if its fantasy! Fatastic work overall though. Good luck and I hope to see lots more of your art in the future.

01 January 2005, 01:26 PM
impressive work ... I would love this piece as a poster
:buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

go for it

01 January 2005, 05:45 PM
I don't think that this work is the indicated one for this challenge but of all ways this is great.


01 January 2005, 07:12 PM
I didnt see this one coming... shame on me. It is a great piece, nice concept and wisely chosen colors for telling the characteristic and story behind the concept. Good luck!

01 January 2005, 09:25 PM
Hey everybody, I am continually glad to hear that so many people are enjoying my work. It's nice to hear that my work is considered inspirational.
As for the criticisms that my work does not fit the space opera theme, I am becoming increasingly exasperated. I have read most of the books and seen most of the movies that are to provide inspiration. But I do not see how my piece falls outside of this genre. Spaceships, laser beams, and battles are not what this genre is all about. Those are the cliches of the grander idea and theme that those books and movies made popular. Long lost civilizations of aliens and men, distant galaxies, a history as tangible as our own are at the heart of their allure. I tried to capture that. Three grand murals celebrating the races that would one day conquer galaxies. In our own murals of greek gods, ancient warriors, and iconic heroes we celebrate our history. I don't think any of us would say the earth's greatest monuments of our history were composed of tanks, machine guns, and modern soldiers killing enemies.

I am trying to illustrate a fictional history, not capture a singular moment. i don't see how so many people feel I am off base. You can have your opinion, but please see it from my point of view, i was just trying to do something different. Wookies, ewoks on endor, gungans on naboo, geiger's alien, these "primitive races" are easily accepted as space even though they don't possess any real "technology" as you all suggest, yet many feel my piece falls to the side of fantastic. Last time I looked fantasy pieces consisted of elves, centaurs, trolls, and dwarfs.....Hardly what I'm illustrating here. Please keep an open mind when viewing my piece, I am doing the same for yours. Thanks.

01 January 2005, 11:47 PM


01 January 2005, 03:15 AM
You opened my mind and now I understand your concept;)

Your explanation is valuable and better is your work.

Good luck in the finals:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 03:24 AM
Cory: wasn't aware of that; the image makes much more sense now. :)

01 January 2005, 02:02 PM
Cory no need to worry! :shrug:

I even voted for you, but there were also soo many artworks..I just couldnt just pick one winner i wanted to give votes for many who were succesful. I'll admit i voted for more than 10 pieces on 2D challenge! All of them exploring different kinds of ideas. Using totally different techniques.

If few hundred cgtalk members vote and they all choose couple of their favorites some of the works will bound to be on the rise. I dont know how the community phase or the judge phase goes, but good luck!

About GrandSpaceOpera ... well this topic was so huge opening too many different possibilities. Its not like a challenge when we are being told to draw a pretty face.
That would make the challenge really narrow and placing more importancy over rendering techniques.

Thats the reason why its so hard to judge all of these. Anyway cory ill be hoping you join next challenge. Seeya when the next challenge starts! :bounce:

01 January 2005, 03:29 AM
:eek: I'm shocked you've been able to finish such an amazing piece in 3 days!!
I was going through the voting pages, and was wondering why I've never noticed this image.

......amazing... Reminds me of a piece by Julie Dillion, dunno if you know her.
Congratz for being able to pull off such an amazing piece in the short time frame.

:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

01 January 2005, 12:12 AM
Wow! You did an amazing beautiful job on this piece... and from going through the others in this category it was nicely creative comparably. And I really love the fact that it is a tryptic. I really haven't seen that before in the computer graphics world... it works really well with your subject. Maybe I will now do a tryptic of something or other... *feels inspired.

02 February 2005, 08:19 PM
:buttrock:Cory this work rocks! I was looking through the list of entries to see another artist's work and yours pulled me in. There's something intriguing and complicated with the fluid poses of the figures. That they don't look human but appear real just shows how good your talent really is.

Do you have a gallery website of other examples of your work? Also when do you plan to post that tutorial? I'm curious to see a little of how you work.


02 February 2005, 09:24 AM
Cory, this is amazing!
I like everything about the piece! the lighting and theme!
hehe if i had to put it in words, i'd describe your piece as a Cosmic Renaissence!
Looks like these panels could be in temples from far away planets!
I hope you win this thing!:applause:

CGTalk Moderation
02 February 2006, 10:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.