View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Fernando Garcia Diez

10 October 2004, 09:14 PM
Fernando Garcia Diez has entered the Grand Space Opera 2D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: The defense of Raskalapanza (

at last, this is the final image, here's the story that goes with it:

In a far future, humans are travelling across the galaxy, searching for new planets to exploit their natural resources. They have arrived to the planetary system of Raskalapanza, where they pretend to stablish a huge power station. Only a group of aliens without any technological civilization stands against them, and they are still living in their empires' age. Subestimating their foes, humans attack this aliens, thinking about an easy victory, but soon they'll discover that they seem to be made out of rock and that their laser fire does very little against them, additionally, they are greater in number than the expected and they start shooting down human's spaceships helped by some flying creatures and the use of an ancient magic.
The image shows the diminished human fleet fleeing away, while the alien emperor and his troops celebrate their victory and destroy the few attackers left. but... will the demons-that-came-from-the-sky be back? we'll pray to gods they don't

10 October 2004, 09:48 PM
so here I am, I've decided to join in, I consider myself a 3D-er that has just discovered 2D in the daily sketches forum ( and has find it much more fun than expected, so I don't think I'm going to be one of the best around here, the level is too high, but, hey, the best way of learning to walk is walking! I'll give it a try, my plan is to finish it, maybe not for 17th jan... I'm going to be quite busy around december and january.

About the drawing, I've got some ideas, I'll post them here in the next days, the theme will be "the invasion of Kagarria", it will show the figure of the military hero that leads the alien army during the invasion of the planetary system of Kagarria, with the army itself in the background, some cities burning far away, lots of spaceships filling the skies...
so, until now it doesnt sound very original to me, the original part is that I want this army to be based on a roman empire army, dressing similarly, with similar weapons/troops...that way I can mix thngs from the future and the past, the idea is that other civilizations may have developed differently, and can be very advanced in some features while very old-aged in others...
I'm also thinking of introducing a composition based on the fibonacci series (serie of numbers where each one is the addition of the two previous) that can be represented graphically like this:
so, this will be the second "originality", I will experiment with it

and now I will stop writing or nobody's going to read all of that text ;)

10 October 2004, 07:25 AM
I really like the composition idea. It is the basis for a lot of famous paintings. I read your posts on the Daily's, and you really shouldn't worry about the quality. I'm in this challange too, and you can't make things worse than me.:)

Just have fun as you aim for the stars. Good luck!

captain chapo
10 October 2004, 07:39 AM
tu puedes hacerlo! i say that to people all the time, and finally someone who will understand it. :D I especially like the roman idea...that could turn out to look awesome! can't wait to see some sketches.

10 October 2004, 09:15 AM
elmasfeo, can't wait to see your concepts...regarding the composition idea (based on the fibonacci series), i don't recall seeing it presented like that before, did you make it up?...looks like it would be a useful aid for perspecitive in a scene.

10 October 2004, 01:13 PM (

I've drawn this in the train, with a piece of paper over my leg, it's quite crappy but you can make an idea, I will explain what each number is:
1-cities in flames
2-smoke from the cities
3-fleet of spaceships
4-some kind of road/railway/something like that, and some general wreckage
5-an enemy spacecraft crashed down
6-main hero
7-planets in the background
8-the army, formed by different kind of units/vehicles

I found it difficult to make an image that would fit the fibonacci squares and/or spiral, it's going to be difficult to see it in the final image...I did it the best I could

I'm making the concept for the main character, I will post it after I've eaten something...

10 October 2004, 04:10 PM (

so, this is going to be the main character, he will be standing on the top of a crashed down enemy spacefighter, wearing a long waving cape. In fact I thought about doing everything roman-style because I wanted the cape...
I want him to be a character that inspires authority, wisdom and knowledge. The alien race of the Kagarrians are basically humanoid, they have horns in their heads and they are made of a strong material, similar to stone. There are also sub-races, the same way that humans can be white, black, nordic or oriental, they can be made of different kind of rocks. "The Captain", as I call him, is not fisically strong, he is made of some kind of soft sand-rock and that's why he wears armory in his body, he will be looking slightly up, like asking for wisdom to his gods for future battles...

10 October 2004, 04:43 PM
drawmonger, cap chapo & zem, thanks for the encouragement
drawmonger, I didnt made the graphical representation of fibonacci, I just googled the image, as you can see in my prev post it can be represented with squares an also with a spiral. It appears in many places in nature, for example (if I'm not wrong) the shellters from the nautilus (the animal, not cap.nemo's ship):

Btw, I didn't mention it before, but I'm thinking of maybe growing him some kind of beard made of moss, that's what you can see at the bottom drawing from my second pic

An here comes the
(edited 11-14)

Humans have developed a new kind of power station to get energy from, based on gravitatory forces. This system only works in planetary systems that have big planets very close one to another, or planets with huge moons, so that gravitational forces are stronger and can variate through time, like the tides caused by the influence of the moon in the Earth, but stronger.
With this purpose they have moved to the planetary system of Raskalapanza, a good place to set their power stations. They decided to settle on a nice-looking habitable planet, planning to eradicate all alien lifeforms that could exist and that were of no benefit to them. The problem was that in this particular planet lived the Kagarrians, an alien race whose body seemed to be made out of rocks and that were living in their particular roman empire moment of their History. Kagarrians were tough, well organized in battle and superior in number to humans, who had understimated them and have realized that normal laser weapons doesn't have the expected effect, so, instead of dying, the particular body part that was hitten was broken and cut trough, but the Kagarrian continued alive.
So, against the expected, Kagarrians are wining all the battles (at least for the moment) and defeating the enemies that came from the skies...

sorry for making humans being the bad guys and being killed, but... I think that sometimes they (we) act like that

Shadow Seraph
10 October 2004, 04:48 PM
I enjoy your workflow, great short and long term site as well as focal points. The captain looks really good so far, clean and smooth artwork, great shapes and design. Has a starcraft feel to it. Can't wait to see him advance. Great job! :bounce:

10 October 2004, 08:17 PM
hi elmasfeo, nice to you see you joining the challenge in spite of your initial hesitation...
i'm convinced that you'll do a great job, especially with your nice concept...:)

good luck
yours Salamander

10 October 2004, 09:37 AM (

well, here are some designs, you've got a spaceship, a beast of burden that will be carrying something heavy (I don't know what yet), the crashed down fighter with the guy standing on it, and some kind of cart trying to emulate romans'...the guns in the cart will be different, I don't like the ones it has now, and it will have 2 legs at the front and 1 at the back

seraph and salamander, thanks for your comments, I'll try to change some things so it doesn't look too starcraft-ish,
take care

10 October 2004, 10:11 AM
U got a cool story developing there and the sketches are very nice :)
I like ur flying cannons.. for me the pointed one looks better than the round one.

10 October 2004, 02:01 AM
I like it I think the style is awesome, kind of a oddworld feel, I like. I also like that ur are using the golden rule, all my art teacher tell me to try and use that in most of me work and its cool wo see someone use it. I think it will be nice piece.

10 October 2004, 08:58 AM
thanks visionist and vahn for the comments!

I have a (better) idea for the story: lets say that my alien race are the original inhabitants of the planet, they are still not very advanced technologically so that's why they look like romans, they don't have any kind of fire weapon, just swords, arrows...things like that
They have been invaded by a hostile race (humans?), with lots of technological stuff, spaceships, lasers.... and, guess what? my primitive-alien-stonemen win!
I'm thinking of making 3 main characters + the army, they will be the emperor (prev. sketch), the ground forces commander, and the air forces commander. Air forces will be riding winged monsters and destroying enemy's spaceships
What do you think? is it better than the original idea?

I'm writing too much and drawing too few... back to work

10 October 2004, 09:22 AM
It's a good idea, aliens winning against impossible odds. You might want to figure out how to show the reason for their victory. Lasers and spaceships should beat swords and spears. So what are the reason? Are there so many aliens that you simply can't shoot them all before they reach your lasers? Have the flying creatures some sort of acid saliva that burns through your ships? Or maby they have mirror shields, bouncing your lasers back at you? Just throwing out questions to trigger your creativity, not expecting an answer.
Good luck, and keep it up!

10 October 2004, 06:13 PM (

this will be the air forces commander, he will probably be placed almost in the upper-right corner, while his troops destroy enemy's spaceships...

10 October 2004, 08:47 PM
Hey Elmasfeo, just wanted to say 'good luck'!

Great start.

10 October 2004, 11:52 AM
Elmasfeo no dibuja tan feo :)

I like your story very much and just wanted to wish you good luck!
I would work some more on the concept of the captain because he's so protoss-like... :shrug:

10 October 2004, 04:10 PM (

I've painted over my first sketch very roughly to experiment and see what colors may I use...I'll probably change a lot of things yet
stay tuned, more concepts are on their way
I think I'm going to make the emperor with a green moss beard and change a little the shape of his head to avoid the protoss look
Thanks for the comments!

10 October 2004, 05:53 PM (

here are some more concepts for a "horsemen", a soldier, and the battle happening in the sky

I'm thinking that the armor of the soldier looks too roman, I just want it to look vaguely roman, not completely copied... and I don't know how to make original swords, this one looks like a banana

10 October 2004, 06:41 PM
The colored concept looks like it'll make an interesting piece. Its in an early stage, so I cant offer much advice, but I DO recommend that you fill up the space on the left side of the drawing, maybe with some of the burning city. Its a little empty right now.
I'll keep my eyes open for this.

10 October 2004, 06:46 AM
good work, elmasfeo. i like your concepts of the spaceships, the cart and this spider-like horseman very much. can't wait for updates...


10 October 2004, 07:00 AM
Great tip for making original swords, or at least it works for me. I was watching tv the other night when I saw someone welding two objects together. The first thing that struck me was "Hey, that would be a cool design for the spears I'm designing for my Space Opera theme". So I ran and got some pen and paper and started sketching the design down.

So my suggestion is that you just start looking all around you. TV, newspapers, Photos, even in your own kitchen and look for designs and shapes that could become a sword. The just sketch them down.

Good luck!

10 October 2004, 06:51 PM
sidchagan, you are absolutely right, thanks a lot for the tip, I will put something on that corner (sketch in the next post), I've also thought that if I put something that is close to the viewer I will achieve more perspective and that way I could kill two birds in one shot...

salamander, thanks for the encouragement!

zem, thanks for your tip too! I've tried it in some of the sketches in the next post, I continue not being completely happy with them but I think they are better than the banana sword (banana sword... that's a concept someone may be interested in develop :D hehehe)

10 October 2004, 06:51 PM (

in this image you can see some weapons designs, a pair of designs for enemy's helmets, and some rocks and a flag to be added at the bottom-left corner, as sidchagan suggested

10 October 2004, 03:14 PM (

I started to make this one thinking in the ground units commander, but it turned as a simple heavy soldier, anyway, the commander is going to look similar, a little less fat and with better armor/clothes

btw, I've realized that in english "stonemen" usually means "people from the stone age", so maybe I could've said something wrong... I used it as "people made out of stone", so my aliens are going to be made out of different stones/rocks, this one will be granite or concrete...
hope you like it

10 October 2004, 06:52 PM (

this is just an experiment to see how can I achieve a granite texture... I'll try to look some references to see if I can make it look better

10 October 2004, 11:14 PM
Ja, ja, ja! Rasca la panza! Muy bien! Well, I suposed you speak spanish. Let me know. With this funny names you could develop an epic and, at the same time, funny image. Characters are ok, but, as aI said, why dont you add some kind of funny actitude? Well, just thinking...

10 October 2004, 12:32 PM
An idea with the he is rock, he perhaps doesn't need so much armour...if you scale down on the clothes it might give you a chance to show off some nice rock textures and make it easier to show that he's made of different types of rocks.

love your creature vehicles and weapons. The sky battle is good too, i'm thinking it might look a little two dimensional, perhaps overlap some of the elements to add some depth??

10 October 2004, 03:14 PM
thanks for the comments guys!

kaparo - Con lo de los nombres he hecho un poco como con mi nombre (el mas feo), es una especie de guiño para los hispanos, lo malo de los nombres es que al final no van a aparecer en el dibujo, pero sí que estaba pensando en a lo mejor añadir algun detalle pequeñito (que no se vea a primera vista) que fuera divertido, absurdo, o una referencia a algo... no se, supongo que saldrá solo cuando me meta con los detalles ;) :p

drawmonger - Thanks for the tips, yes, I know that if they are made of stone it doesn't seem to make sense to have them armoured, but I neither want to make them naked, I need to find the equilibrium... I was also thinking in making the important characters (emperor & 2 commanders) with more armor/clothes, to make them appear important, and then making the soldiers with much simpler and fewer clothes... :shrug:
I will take a look at the sky battle, maybe a new arrangement of the ships, I'm thinking that maybe if I overlap them it will be more difficult to spot them as separated things... mmm... I'll see what happens, thasnks

10 October 2004, 03:28 PM (

This is the semi-definitive version of the smashed ship where the alien emperor will be standing, I'm still not very sure about the slashes and broken parts I've included... the roundish thing on the right is the fuel container, maybe I'll make some fuel coming out of it sliding across the fuselage

I would appreciate also comments on the granite texture, I'll try to make another version to compare...

10 October 2004, 11:37 PM (

I've started coloring the fighter, basic colors + some early shadows, I've got lots of work to do yet...

11 November 2004, 02:21 PM (

This is the emperor, he may look like dancing the conga right now, but think that he will be standing on the ship... I may change the position of his right arm a little, I don't know...

11 November 2004, 02:26 PM (

this is a zoom at the two possible heads, now I need your opinion... should he have a moss-like beard or not?

11 November 2004, 02:39 PM
Hey Elmasfeo, good work so far.

As for the skin texture, I would make it more like the "Fantastic Four" Thing.
Big chunky rock skin. Because you won't do any close ups of the creatures,
I think this would work better than the fine sand like texture you have.

You could also bring the designs of the spaceship and that of the Rockcreatures closer
together. For the emperor and his soldiers you chose a Roman influenced design.
You could also apply this to their ship. Maybe use some Roman shield decorations on the ships or Roman colors. This would bring it all together I think.


11 November 2004, 03:37 PM
art2, you are right about the close-ups, maybe that's one reason for not putting the beard on the emperor, and worrying less about tiny details that wont be visible, about the rock textures, I'm thinking about making 3 subraces, one "fantastic four" as you suggest (heavy soldiers and ground commander), one marble (air commander + air forces) and another sand or cracked-dry-mud (emperor and standard troops)...what do you think?

about the ship, it was supposed to be an enemy spaceship (human), because my rockcreatures are not advanced enough to have spaceships (I changed my mind, at the start of the thread I said that spaceships were from the rock aliens)

Thanks for the feedback!

11 November 2004, 04:38 AM
Looking through your concepts, the first thing that strikes me is: everything you draw looks so cute! lol I'm not sure if that's intentional, but they all look chubby and cuddly, including the space ships and weapons lol (this is a good thing btw, dunno if it's a girl thing, but cute makes me grin) would be nice to see everything put together bit by bit. Here's looking forward to updates :) as for textures: try rusty/gritty maybe

11 November 2004, 05:49 AM
Your very well organised and well thought out. I have no doubt you'll finish. Keep up the production! I like the Moss :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 10:37 AM
Yeah, common, a REAL man needs a REAL beard :scream:

11 November 2004, 06:24 PM
hey, thanks for the replies and comments!

cocoKnight, hehehe, I think I'll keep the beard decision for later, I can paint it in a new layer and see what's better, but I fear that it's going to be too small to make out that it is a moss beard and not an strange shadow or his mouth or something like that ... we'll see what happens

V_Shane, thanks! well, I am the one who doubts he'll finish, hehehe, now I am relatively free but as time passes I'm busier and busier... anyway, I plan to finish it, inside the deadline or not

deaderthanred, first let me tell you that your name is very difficult to spell, I've ended copypasting it :P ... and now, chubby, cuddly, rusty, gritty?, you made me look the english dictionary a lot :Dhehe...about the chubbiness and cuddliness, eeer...I guess that's a positive comment, hehehe, and about the textures I'll try to make some tests in the next days, thanks for the sugerences, for the moment I continue painting the spaceship, I'll go with the textures when it's done (or better done, I'm not finishing nothing yet)

C you!:)

11 November 2004, 06:32 PM
Hey, I'd like to see some more concepts. Dont be affraid to use reference. Taking pictures of yourself and friends/family in certain poses helps a great deal in bringing your characters to life. Try some radical designs too, something out of the ordinary. Keep those sketches comin.

Good Luck. Looking forward to some more work.

11 November 2004, 07:41 PM
man you got pretty cool desings ova here, they are awesome, and the animals you do are the best.
definetly i will check this threat, i will be around, again jeje im from venezuela and i dont talk to much english.

i think you dont need help, in the begiging was a litle confused about your ideas but now is getting shape, bye man see you later

have funn everybody, thanks for your critics in my threat.

11 November 2004, 10:15 PM
Hey good start , keep it up ;)

11 November 2004, 08:27 PM (

I've been quite busy today, but here is an update on the spaceship shading, I've used techniques (sp?) I had never used before, so I'm happy cause I'm learning things as I go on
Thanks for the comments people! your replies make the gears in my head continue rolling!

11 November 2004, 01:51 AM (

Here are some experiments with textures for the rocky aliens, I started with the upper-middle knowing exactly what I wanted, then I went to upper-right with a very generic idea, then to upper-left, having no idea of what was I doing, playing with controls... bottom row is just the result of playing with hue/saturation/brightness/contrast of upper layers
I'll try to make more of these in the next days to decide how to make them at the end


11 November 2004, 02:03 AM
lower left and lower middle looks best, i think.. good work so far! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 11:12 PM
I like the ship design thats coming along- looks unique compared to a lot of what I see, particularly in the colors. About the exposed bit at the top, I recommened you make the bending of the metal a little sharper though- it looks more like it's peeling off, like paper.
Hehe, the first alien design reminds me of the Protoss (not that it really looks like them though, just the rocky skin texture). Good stuff.

11 November 2004, 12:49 AM
I like the bottom right texture :thumbsup:

And the ship is comming along nicely.

11 November 2004, 06:02 PM
Rares_Halmagean - you are right, I need to work on the poses, thanks for the tip and the encouragement

Genesisa - Thanks a lot! animals you say...I was thinking in making some more animals, but I don't want to turn my army into a zoo...;)

Aerion - Thanks!

Deaderthanred - thanks for your opinion - something curious: your reply in my thread and my reply in your thread were made at the same hour, you were just some seconds faster, hehehe

sidchagan - I wasn't sure about my ship's colors, but if you like them, well, maybe they were not that bad. I'll change the bending of the metal and maybe do the exposed part bigger, you are right with it looking like paper... and about the protoss thing...*ouch* from the beggining I've been trying to make them not too similar to starcraft protoss, I don't want this to be related to starcraft at all, maybe I should eliminate the "cells" in their skin...were protoss made out of stone? thanks for your post

art2 - many thanks, in the next post I'll show an update in the textures and then I'll continue with the ship...

11 November 2004, 06:13 PM (

I think I'm going to keep this textures or something similar to this.
This will be the 3 alien sub-races, I want the emperor to look like an abandoned ancient temple partially eaten by vegetation, and those of his own sub-race would be similar but not so old and greenish.
The air troops will have an orange marble texture, I think that the elegance of marble will fit there
And last, I'm thinking of making the heavy-size ground troops to look like volcanic rock with lava inside, cracking their skin, that way, the "chunks" and cracks would be more irregular than the emperor's

The beard is just a quick test and the fourth drawing was made quickly just to show the irregular cracks, it should be a mix between the 3rd and 4th...

11 November 2004, 03:47 PM
Hey elmasfeo! I like the cracks best in the one on the lower right. I also like the green and orange eyes better than the blue ones on top left. The blue isn't as threatening for some reason. Also, just don't think the moss beard is working. It might be a detail to keep in mind for some future project though, because I like the idea. But at the distance these characters will be, it will most likely just look blurry.

As for deaderthanred and spelling, etc... it is really 3 words and maybe breaking it down will help: deader than red
Its kind of like: el mas feo! :)

11 November 2004, 07:45 PM
deader than red! now it looks obvious, hehe, I was separating it into dead earth and red :scream: hehehe

Thanks for your post robin, you are quite right about the beard being too small detail to be understandable, and in fact I think I'm making too much detail that wont be visible at the end, I'm planning on making the "big" image at 4000x2300 or so, but even at that size the beard and cracks will be very small... about the blue eyes...I think I'm going to keep them, but just for the emperor, I thought it could represent wisdom and knowledge, and also, they dont have to look frightening necessarily...

Yesterday I did a newer version of the spaceship's exposed part at the top, making the wreckage bigger and with 3-fingered-slashes, but I didn't like it, if you want I could post it, I don't know if I will make more versions or keep it as it is now...
I'm also making the lineart for the ground commander, I'll post it on weekend probably

take care, be happy, elmasfeo.

11 November 2004, 09:30 PM
post it, we wanna see :bounce:

11 November 2004, 11:16 PM
hey cocoknight, thanks for your interest :) you asked for it, but I'm not submitting it as part of the challenge because I prefer the other version... I will submit it through cgnetworks if it's that case, somebody tell me

Note that only the top part with the 3 slashes is new, I still have to make small details like paint scratches and that, and the reflections/highlights... I'm thinking that maybe I should make the background first so that I have more clear where the light is coming from...mmm...
and then, if I have enough time, I will continue refining it until I can erase the lineart completely (now it's at 33% opacity) ( <---(click to enlarge)

comments, sugerences and ideas are welcome, as always, thanks!!!

11 November 2004, 07:47 PM (

I've started painting the background, there's nothing definitive yet, so sugerences, tips and ideas will be very welcome...

I've also pasted over it the spaceship and the emperor, the two elements that I've got more "definitive-looking"

11 November 2004, 08:05 PM
i'm not sure if ur gunna keep the colours but i think they are too bright and colourful,i think u need to darken it down for this type of scene.

11 November 2004, 09:52 PM
Thanks for posting

The hero looks a little off balance right now, keep an eye on that.

11 November 2004, 10:36 PM
Hello my friend! I really love where this is headed.

Its funny you didn't like the 3 finger like scratches, I really like them. But I guess its just personal you don't need to overwork all the details as we said before.

This is looking really nice! BRAVO!

11 November 2004, 01:27 PM (

just some changes in the colors + a placeholder army... I don't know why, but I trend to make everything too colourful, I think I corrected it now, didn't I?

I'll see about the posing, I'll search references or make some photos, thanks

And about the 3 fingered slashes, if I have time I'll make another variation, ... "if I have time" (*sigh*)

Thaks for the comments a lot!!!

11 November 2004, 08:03 PM (

This is the line art for the ground commander, I tried to make him in a more dinamic pose

11 November 2004, 07:48 PM
I've just edited the Story in the first page ( for better reading, instead of saying:"it's like this, no, like that, no, I changed that bit..."

It has come to my mind a scene in Godzilla, the movie from 1998 by Roland emerich, where there was a huge ship that had been attacked by godzilla, and it was stuck at a beach, with 3 giant slashes in its metal... I've been looking for it in the internet to use it as a reference, but I've found nothing... well, I've found some photos of crashed cars but it's not the same.
Anyone here knows where could I find a picture of that scene?

11 November 2004, 02:09 AM
oooo! lots of progress since I last stopped by! and it's developing nicely :) btw dont worry about the nick, just call me Michele :D

suggestion for the ground commander.. how about give him two swords or maybe a shield for the empty hand.. would give him a more "authority figure" look, i think, since he doesnt wear much :D

I don't own godzilla on dvd.. maybe someone who has could give you a screenie of the scene? try searching for airplane wreckage photos too.. those are quite nastily pretty :)

11 November 2004, 08:35 PM
yes, Michele has the right idea - either rent the DVD or find someone who has it, freeze frame and save the pic for your reference.

11 November 2004, 05:44 PM (

This is the (final?) spaceship, I'm not sure if I have overdone the details and scratches... it still lacks the stones around it and the "crater" caused by the ship's fall (that tube in the right is not going to be floating as it is now). Anyway, I think now I will continue with other pieces of this puzzle

Michele and robin, thanks, at the end I didn't use any references... and deadertr, that's a great idea, I will give him something to hold on that hand, and also some shoulderpads maybe...
Thanks for your support!!

11 November 2004, 07:17 PM
Hey elmasfeo, that's looking pretty good.
Is this the only remaining part of the ship or will there be fragments all over the place.

Man, I hope that engine isn't radioactive...with all those rock dudes standing around it...hope their skin is thick enough.

11 November 2004, 11:38 PM
Hey Elmasfeo! looking good. I really like the character sketches and the detail in the ship. I does need some more debris and most definitley a nice big crater (I realise you said you were going to do this...) It also requires a nice bit of smoke like you have with the other wrecks in the background.

One thing has been bothering me about the pic though and I have finally worked out what it is...

In the background, the smoke from the wreckage is rising as though the wind is coming from the right, but the captain's cape is flowing as though the wind is coming from the left... This confuses the viewer so I would change one or the other to make it consistent...

That's it for now mate!

Looking forward to the next stage!


The Ton

11 November 2004, 11:03 PM
oooh... the ton, you noticed it, you won the free beer:beer: , somehow I imagined that the wind thing would come up eventually...I knew it, and I did it that way because I thought it was compositionally good - look to the first page and you'll see that I wanted to make the image fit that spiral and squares...
so, the problem was that if I flip the cape the emperor "moves" to the center of the image and I dont like that, and if I flip the smoke I would break the spiral - you are right that it's not fisically realistic, so if it's very noticeable I will change it, if it's not... who cares
maybe I should forget about my complicated composition with spirals, squares, lines....:shrug:

Tomorrow or at the weekend I will make some sketches to compare: one as it is now, one with the wind blowing to the right and other with the wind blowing to the left... I'll post it and see wich one is better...

smoke from the ship and other little fragments shatered through the image belong to the puzzle's piece "various stuff" that will come at the end...(if the end does come)

Thanks for your support guys!

11 November 2004, 10:58 AM
hi, I'm glad I've come across your thread. Nice sketches and very good colouring. You also are explaining your process very clearly, which is, I guess, part of the point of this WIP challenge :)

11 November 2004, 09:12 PM (

here are some variations on the composition, mainly regarding the wind thing that the ton mentioned

first one: just as it is now, you can see the composition lines and how the smoke "follows" them... you could consider that those are cities burning far away and that the wind is different there an here where the caped guy is standing

2nd one: wind to the left, the cape "invades" the center of the image... maybe not a big change, but I have now an emty space behind the emperor

3rd one: wind to the left, the distant background may be a good choice, even when it breaks the spiral (in red)

side one: well, I feel like running out of time already, I'm very busy at the university and I'll be even more busy each day, so instead of stressing myself I could cut the image in two and limit myself to the right half...


Thanks for looking!

11 November 2004, 09:46 PM
i love the way you have thought about composition before comitting to the image, that's admirable. my opinion on the cape situation is that having the cape and smoke blowing different ways is unacceptable as it just can't happen, unless he's got one of those wannabe one-position capes for heroes that value the style of their cape over practicality. hold on, what practical use is a cape anyway? i mean in times when space flight is commonplace, is there really a need for people to be clinging on to their robin hood fashion ideas? NO.

i couldn't take a man in a cape seriously, especially if he'd just crashed his ship.

I say get rid of the cloak, let's bring down the cloak-count for this challenge and start producing some innovative concepts. i'm sorry if i've missed something here, but how about filling that space under the other crash sites, maybe some hills, or surface water to get in some nice reflections. you could put in some heat haze to suggest the climate and what the character is feeling. i think the ship would be in a worse state had it crashed, get a big crater and skid mark where the ships ground to a halt.

the viewpoint looks boring to me, why not turn his ship round so the back's facing the other wreckage then look at the scene from over his shoulder, you could then crop the image in, still use the swirly composition thing and have more killer, less filler (or less dead, boring, brown space).

Food for thought there.

Courtesy of Team Freefall

11 November 2004, 10:44 PM
Hola Elmasfeo, I think that wind to the right version is little better, but like Vapourtrail says you could try other viewpoints that gives more dinamic feeling to the composition. And be aware with the background colors saturation: more distant=less saturation.
(pasate por mi post, anda)

11 November 2004, 10:49 PM
Hi elmasfeo,

I like the 3rd composition best.
You can make the emperor and the craft fill up more space imo. The smoke makes a nice background. Even if you'll be having things flying in the sky, it's ok, cos you could make that happen on the left with the planets as background. I think you're going to put an army in between the craft and the smoke, so I'll just wait and see what happens ;)

Like the guy before me, I'm not a cloak man, but in this context it's acceptable. It's the portrayal of a clash between hightech and lowtech species. Instead of a cloak you could also pick another symbol of leadership (crown, helmet, armour, staff etc).

Keep going!

11 November 2004, 01:06 AM
Hey Elmasfeo! I must agree with Art2 on this and say that the 3rd comp is the best...

I dont think that the composition is lost with the smoke going the other way, in fact I think it helps to bring the eye to the right point and makes the Captain stand out even more.

I wouldnt mind seeing a different perspective on the whole pic either but I would be careful that you don't lose the original idea of the composition...

You could zoom in a lot closer to the hero and still keep the "spiral" effect if you were behind him or over his shoulder... Get some sketches up and we'll all tell you which one to take to the end...

Nice one mate

The Ton

11 November 2004, 12:19 PM
wooha... lot of replies and sugerences!

ok, I will make the wind blowing to the right, but... I've taken a decision, considering that MY personal deadline is not 17 jan but 31 december or so (around christmas, later I wont have time at all for this kind of games), I'm going to cut the image in two... *me picks up scissors and cuts, cuts, cuts...*, I'm sorry but I was starting to loose the point of this challenge, that was (for me) to have fun, learn something, practice, and maybe produce a beautiful image... I was starting to feel this as an obligation and stressing myself... so, maybe I COULD make the complete version on time, but...I don't WANT to. I prefer to make this in a more relaxing way...

For this same reason I'm not going to change the viewpoint, even when I agree that it could be a very good idea, but I don't want to start again (3d guys don't have this problem)... I want, at least, to use the spaceship as it is...and I want a guy standing on it, and I like the cape just as a personal preference, I do like capes, even when they are absolutely un-practical, yes, but they...give...power...ummm...I like them, that's it.

@vapourtrail, I don't know who or what the Team Freefall is, but your crits look very professional, so, as a hobbyist, I must thank you a lot for them, I really appreciate them, even when I'm not going to follow any of your ideas as I've just explained, hehehe... I will consider it for the future though, thanks :)

@Luis: I will consider it, thanks! por tu post me he pasado ya un puñado de veces, no he escrito nunca porque no se me ocurria qué decir :p, me aburre decir solo ":thumbsup:, great!", cuando vayas progresando ya te comentaré algo más... desaturaré más el horizonte, gracias

@ton, art2 & bolchover: thanks for your posts, "if I had time" I think would pick the 3rd composition
Thanks for your support and ideas!

11 November 2004, 12:28 PM
Hey,That's nice man,I like teh 3rd one also the best.Ths smoke indeed gives a nice feeling for the BG.
And indeed i think that if the cape and the smoke goes into different ways it won't be credible for the image.
For the moment i think too(and i know you will be coming up with after ofcourse)that the ship is missing a little bit of shadow at the bottom near the ground.Also ofcourse the shadow of the ship on to the ground.
Maybe it could be cool if some smoke still comes out of the ship on the foreground.
Keep it coming!!!

My grint spacebra 2D:

11 November 2004, 02:55 PM (

I've just learned how to customize photoshop brushes, now I want to learn how to make good clouds (or smoke)...

this image is a test for the new layout, I'm still not very sure about anything, but I think I'll continue this way, refining this image

okmer, I've included here some rocks, I'll probably change them to appear more crater-like


11 November 2004, 03:40 PM
Very nice the ship rendering (mu guapo el acabado de la nave)
Be aware with the use of gaussian blur: the result of the blur in your image is a bit contradictory. If you blur the smoke, why didn't do the same with the far planets of the background?

11 November 2004, 05:08 PM
Hi, elmasfeo. I am agree with Luis. I think it is better to work everything in different layers, very sharp. At the end you should adjust the blur of each one taking care of the deep sense. I like composition as it is right now. The two planets look great. Coments about color: the ship is armonic in tones and hue but the rest of the painting loose strengh by having too different types of colors (one planet is green, the other orange, the sky is blue...) I prefer to be a litttle more "monocromatic". I use to apply an unique color to the whole and go adjusting its brightess, contrast, hue, saturation a little to get a range of color similir between them. Remember those incredible images we have seen: all the Star Wars backgrounds, and the work of some great illustrators involve in this project. It ids a great example of what I am saying. Keep on it. I am expecting to see the captain over the ship.

11 November 2004, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the comments guys!

In my defense I would say that planets are solid spheres and clouds are... cloudy, and not very sharp, but yeah, I agree with you, I shouldn't have blurred the clouds that much... clouds are just a sketch, I'm going to refine them as soon as I found some good method for doing them...

About the colors, you are right, I'm used to use every color in the palette (don't know why) and I'm fighting against my natural tendency, so thanks for the tip!... I'm glad you liked the new composition :) , that was the part of your comments that I was most interested in at the moment

new picture coming in 2min...

11 November 2004, 07:46 PM (

I've changed the colors as kaparo sugested, and I've added some characters...

the ship at the top is almost a placeholder, it's the mother ship fleeing away in defeat,

The main character has got a new pose, I made a new line art for him, and I changed a bit the guy at the bottom...
I cut his arm off because someone (zem) asked why this primitive aliens were winning against high-tech foes... so, they are winning because they are not totally destroyed by enemy's weapons (as they expected), and they can still fight quite good without an arm, a leg... or a head (!)

And finally the flag...I'm not sure if I should make the helmet smaller and put it at the back of the image, or leave it and make more obvious that it is placed quite near the viewer (to gain perspective)

I'm also thinking about adding a third character somewhere behind the ship, or flying...we'll see

good luck

11 November 2004, 10:57 PM
Elmasfeo, think that even the planets are solid spheres there is a lot of atmosphere between your scene and them. Think about how you see the moon in a moist day.

11 November 2004, 11:08 PM
elmasfeo...I'm LOVING it! Keep it up!

11 November 2004, 06:59 PM
Hehe, yeah, that's already looking very cool. That poor guy with the one arm :)

11 November 2004, 08:28 PM
very cool project indeed.
I like the arrangement of the whole secene...
keep it up !
ciao (chao) :D

11 November 2004, 08:40 AM
hehe smart solution to the high tech vs. low tech war, with the low tech winning. Reminds me of the black knight in "Monty Python and the search for the holy grail"

-Come back here! I'll bite your legs off!

I like the colouring of the ship and the hero stance.
It's looking good, keep it up

11 November 2004, 08:30 AM (

First of all, thank you a lot for all your comments and encouragement, it means a lot to me!
I didn't wanted to post without submiting some images, so, I've painted more smoke, changed a tiny bit the elements' placement and started defining areas in the captain
I think that the smoke looks somehow like giant hairy snakes, it's maybe too straight and parallel, and its opacy is too constant...if anybody has any sugerences about how to make it...I'm going to start again with it

Again, thanks for your posts, I can only paint now at sleep-time and they help me to continue...

11 November 2004, 04:01 PM
Wow! I really like where you're heading with this. Here's a few things to keep in mind as you go:

That orange planet is REALLY REALLY close and its gravitational pull would cause serious problems for the planet your guys are on. Also, big planets in the top corner are all the rage in this competition to the point of being cliche. You might consider putting something else in its place like a catapult or another primitive device that explains how your guys were able to take down the space ship.

I really like the enemy's head planted on a spear, but the spear shaft is exceptionally long. I realize it's part of your composition, but the spear is 4x the size of the soldiers who would carry it.

I love what you've done with the ship, and the soldiers swarming around it with their swords is a great way to represent both sides of the conflict. You're making good time. Keep it up!

11 November 2004, 07:40 PM
elmasfeo...this look good! I think I liked your smoke better before you turned it into big hairy snakes! :)

I can't wait to see more progress. Keep it up!

12 December 2004, 12:48 AM (

I've been coloring and detailing the captain, notice that his skin (flesh) is not even started cause I wanted to focus at it as a separate problem... I'll try to make it this week. The armor and clothes are more or less finished, I could change some things here and there...

I've used a different technique that the one I used for the ship, I've used much less layers, for the spaceship shadows were on a layer, lights in another, base color in other, etc. In this one I've just separated "functional" layers: the cape, the skin, things that go above other things...

About the spear: I'll try to make it wider, that way it will look shorter without in fact shortening it... and I'm thinking about including some kind of alien-bug in the rocks at the right bottom corner

And again, thanks for your comments!

12 December 2004, 12:58 AM (

Just a minor change in the spaceship, and I'm not very sure about it...
I've changed the blue-ish colors it had for others more brown-ish... I thought that metal is usually painted blue because it reflects the sky, but if in my image the environment is not blue, metal should be more brown...
what do you think?

oh, and I've changed the letters written on it from THPBT to THX DS, as a detail for everybody who has ever participated in the daily sketch forum... ;)

12 December 2004, 01:19 AM
Nice going Elmasfeo. Heehee, THX DS funny idea man!

12 December 2004, 03:08 PM
Hello el mas feo! I've been lost for a while. I have seen your last progress here. About your composition I prefeer the one with the wind to the right. Yes, it breaks your early scheme but it helps focus the attention on the emperor while the smoke is going on his direction. Also the smoke behind the emperor gives him a more dramatic feeling that the planets. I saw it as an opened book cover, so I could divide it in my imagination. The progress with the space ship are great but I would like to see some progress on the character. Hey, I haven't notice till now that the first sketch have some fliyng spaceships in the sky. They could be a great addition too, but small, in the distance flying through the city smoke. I know the University took too much time in this season but try to keep goin on this one too. Good luck!!

12 December 2004, 05:07 PM
hi, yes, metal if slightly reflective will be reflecting whatever is the ambient colour around it. It may have also a slight hue of it's own. You evoke the almost matte metal feel very well, so I wouldn't go overboard with reflected light :) look forward to mroe on the main scene too

12 December 2004, 10:37 PM
thanks for your comments guys!
kaparo, thanks for the composition comment, I plan to add some flying spaceships in the sky, probably not very big and not very detailed (I could try to make them almost as a silouette with highlights and firey engines... far away, fleeing in defeat... I don't know, I havent think about it yet...)

my doubt about the last spaceship color update is that I fear that now it's too desaturated... it's maybe a bit more realistic without that blues, but now it looks too grey...:shrug: ...well, bolchover, I was going to rework all the highlights to better fit the global ilumination, I'll try not too change it too much so that it conserves that "matte metal feel", hehe
thanks again

12 December 2004, 07:34 PM (

here is a bit more of work... I've joined the 2 previous posts, made the emperor's skin and painted the spear/flag, and I've also made some changes in the smoke...

In the line art part, I've done some kind of winged alien frog to be standing on the rock at the corner (not in this image) and the spaceships in the sky...

This thing needs a lot more work yet and I don't have time, aaargh!

12 December 2004, 01:43 PM (

well, I've been working in the rocks and ground at the bottom of the image, I'm not completely happy with the way they look, sugerences are welcome as I don't have much experience with this...

Happy new year to you all!

12 December 2004, 03:38 PM
Hi "El Mas"! I'm loving this a lot. I like the rocks they way they look now. This is really so good. I'm glad you are participating!:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 07:35 PM (

ok, I've reached at last an important point in this process: the image you are seeing could be submitted as my final entry in case I fall dead tomorrow, or what is more likely to happen, if I don't have enough time to finish it properly...
I've been working a bit in every part of the drawing, so, what I must do now is to add more characters, details and refine the whole picture here and there

The 2 most noticeable updates might be the spaceships in the sky and the red planet... C&C is welcome as always, thanks for your support!

12 December 2004, 08:38 PM
Hey elmasfeo, you're almost finished !
Hope I can finish mine in time too, haha...

Things you could consider:
- more white and yellow in the rocketengines of the spaceships, just to give it more... heat.
- some kind of trail from the rocketengines, sense of movement
- are the smaller ships flying in the foreground in relation to the big ship?
- the smallest moon looks a bit flat

12 December 2004, 10:44 PM
the smaller ships (that are, by the way, supposed to be the same as the crashed one) are more or less at the same level than the big one, is it something good? or bad? I will play with the rocketengines, thanks
I was surprised when I looked to the Moon (our moon, Earth's real moon) and saw that it looked quite flat, and not like an sphere at all... I might make smaller details in the borders and bigger ones in the middle, but I wasn't shading it like an sphere for that reason

I think I need a lot more shadows in the image, especially in the ship

and I have to fix some things in the clouds
and I'm still not happy with the ground and the rocks
...and I have to make an alien-bug-frog, and 1 or 2 more characters
and etc, etc, etc
and I have to sleep! see you next year! :scream:

01 January 2005, 05:05 PM (

A small update in the flying ships, with a little trail coming out of them, and an alien frog to stand in the corner.

I don't have much time for this challenge, so probably I will need to reduce my sleeping during next week if I want to make another character, or some greater updates...

I have a question that I don't dare to ask in the FAQ thread... is there any difference between "tif" and "tiff" formats? cause I can save in tif, but I don't know how to save as tiff... and in fact, I don't have an idea about what are those formats about...

01 January 2005, 04:15 PM (

I wasn't sure about posting this image, because I'm not going to have the time to include anything like this in my pic, but I thought that I should share everything about this project...
During this christmas I've been away from home some days, and being bored I started making doodles in the first paper I found... then they turned as possible characters for this challenge (if we had more time)...

they are some kind of dark priests, and, if included, it would be placed at the other side od the spaceship, at the left of the image

I'm not very sure if I should work now on the missing character (the one with the axe) or refine the picture as it is now... it's going to be an intense week!

01 January 2005, 10:43 PM (

This is the WIP of the guy at the bottom of the image... I'm quite confused about where to place him exactly, and I don't know what to do with his skin, so ideas and sugerences are welcome, as well as comments on the full image...

01 January 2005, 10:52 PM
elmasfeo- You 're doing really nice work here, everything looks really 3D, it really jumps off the page at you.

Hope you get it all done in time.
Are there gonna be more characters? I really like your pencilling style too, very original.

Keep it up!!

01 January 2005, 07:51 PM
hey, thanks newcentury! 3d? I never thought of it as looking particularly 3D, but I'm very happy that you like it!:) I would like to make more characters (a whole army if I had the time, hehehe) but this challenge is closing soon and I've got lots of work, and finals exams coming closer each day...:scream:

Anyway, I plan to finish this character tonight, with the help of some coffee:D, I'll post the result later

01 January 2005, 12:38 AM (

ok, here it is for today, I wanted his skin to look like dry lava or something like that...I think it could be better, but it's time to go and get some sleep...

01 January 2005, 12:45 AM
I will catch some sleep when I have this finished :)

That creature is looking cool! It's a good thing you added another creature, else it'll look like the emperor has downed that ship all by himself. Hope you have time for another, that priest looks nice.

01 January 2005, 12:48 AM
It's great to see your concept realised so well...looking forward to the final image.

01 January 2005, 01:58 PM
drawmonger and art2, thanks for your comments! :beer: (

This image is to show 3 possible options for placing this new character, I think that the 3rd one could be used if I introduce a 3rd char at the left, and I don't know which to choose from the 2 first ones... (I guess this is the reward for drawing more things that I needed, I can move anything without repainting...)

I want to make various touch-ups here and there, re-work the rocks, and then I'll try to make a third character...

01 January 2005, 02:56 PM
I would choose the second option. There you can better see his chopped off arm.
Behind him you can add a praying priest (who is thanking the heavens that they've brought down this mighty enemy). Just an idea...

01 January 2005, 03:17 PM
I agree, the composition in the second one seems more balanced.

01 January 2005, 11:53 PM
The lava look is very fitting for this guy, i really like it!!

I know time is limited, but make the cracks in the rock in the skin brighter...
try making it look like the lava is flowing underneath his you know what i mean.
That would be really cool!!

Alot of the characters are missing from my scene as well, because of time limits.

01 January 2005, 11:16 AM (

Here is a possible line art with the first global mask for the third character... it's a bit unlikely that this one appears in the final image, I'll have to leave it until monday... we'll see what happens

01 January 2005, 11:23 AM (

I've made various touch-ups and I'm more or less happy with this one, so I think I could submit it as the final...

I will wait until monday to see if I can change something more or add the priest

Thanks for your support everyone!

01 January 2005, 04:52 PM (

ok, when I said I was going to leave this character for monday...I lied. hehehe...

It's just that I enjoy doing characters rather than rocks and backgrounds, and I thought that the image wouldn't be complete without this one...I couldn't resist the temptation

So, this guy uses his magic to attack the enemies, I don't know if that blue flame in his hand is a bit cliché, but... clichés are clichés because they look good, so...
oh, and his skin is supposed to imitate marble...I might rework that later

01 January 2005, 05:44 PM (

...sorry, I need your input again again... from this 3 placements, which one would you choose? my fav. is the second, but the lava-man is a bit hidden... any other ideas that are not this 3 are also welcome, and sugerences about other issues in the image too

I think I'm finished at last (more or less), I never thought I could go so far! 3 characters! I've surprised myself, hehehe

01 January 2005, 06:41 PM
I like the first best. Good job!

01 January 2005, 09:03 AM (

at last, this is the final image, here's the story that goes with it:

In a far future, humans are travelling across the galaxy, searching for new planets to exploit their natural resources. They have arrived to the planetary system of Raskalapanza, where they pretend to stablish a huge power station. Only a group of aliens without any technological civilization stands against them, and they are still living in their empires' age. Subestimating their foes, humans attack this aliens, thinking about an easy victory, but soon they'll discover that they seem to be made out of rock and that their laser fire does very little against them, additionally, they are greater in number than the expected and they start shooting down human's spaceships helped by some flying creatures and the use of an ancient magic.
The image shows the diminished human fleet fleeing away, while the alien emperor and his troops celebrate their victory and destroy the few attackers left. but... will the demons-that-came-from-the-sky be back? we'll pray to gods they don't

01 January 2005, 06:29 PM
First, I wanted to thank a lot everybody who has contributed here, you were a great help, thanks for your continous support!

I've hosted the final image at full size here (, it's at 2655x4227 pixels, and it weights around 900KB...

This is my first "serious" and "big" painting, and IMHO it's the best piece I've ever I'm very happy of finishing it, and finishing it as I wanted...I think there's not much that I could change or add, I'm still a begginer in this world and I'm very happy to have participated here

It has been a great experience where I've learned a lot and gained a lot of practice, I've learned to use masks, I've recently discovered that there exists something called "set of layers", quite useful for keeping everything organized, I've learned some english here reading and writing too (hehe), and I've discovered the magic power of the tablet... believe it or not, most of my drawing was done with the mouse...just the 2 final characters are tablet-made, I think. Why? eeeer... you don't want to know, it's stupid having a tablet and not using it, hehehe...

Just a curiosity: at the beggining of the challenge I created a new folder in my HD named GSO... today, it has 133 files and 1,24GB totally...

Sorry about the long text, thanks a lot everybody, and congratulations and good luck for the participants!!!

01 January 2005, 09:02 PM
A lot of work from the beginning to that point... good luck Fernando!
(hay que ver como controlan en este foro todos, eh? resulta un poco deprimente, pero se disfruta viendo tanto buen trabajo)

01 January 2005, 01:55 AM
¡¡Venga esas cañitas!! ......:thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 06:01 AM
Fernando, Congratulations for making it to the final...and i am ahppy to let you know that i just voted for your piece.

Good luck.

01 January 2005, 07:16 AM
Congrats for finishing! I am totally envious of you as i'm yet to do a big finished piece and chickened out of the challenge. I hope that when i finally do create an artwork it is as stylish and as pleasing to look at as this!! :thumbsup: i must go and find out where to vote...

01 January 2005, 06:52 PM
wow, thanks a lot! I didn't knew there was public voting in this challenge, but... getting some votes, when there's such an amount of great entries here, was something completely unexpected! :) thanks a lot everybody for your support!

cabertevon, I don't remember now if I have posted in your thread or not, but I'm sure that I've followed it, and I think you did a great job!...(that's why I don't understand how could you vote for me, hehehee...:D )

Thanks and good luck!

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