View Full Version : Spectacular 2D Entry: Carlos E. Vega

09 September 2005, 06:05 AM
Carlos E. Vega is entered in the "Spectacular Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Signed and sealed (

09 September 2005, 10:40 PM (

Here we go again. Let introduce to you, Ellie the alien. He is going to be mankinds first contact. I'm still working on sketches for the illustration. I'll post some tonight. GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!

09 September 2005, 12:46 AM
hey man.. love the leg.. waiting to see the line art.. c ya ! =)

09 September 2005, 03:50 AM (

This is the first concept sketch, still trying various and angles and possibilites. Almost sure this won't be a final approach. This is going to harder than I though—but always fun. Comments would be really appreciated!

09 September 2005, 03:55 AM (

Pen sketch, looking for an angle...

09 September 2005, 06:32 AM (

More doodles on Ellie...

09 September 2005, 06:34 AM (

... maybe ellie dies being considered a universal threat.

09 September 2005, 06:38 AM (

... I could also portray a darker, sinister side of the visitors. It would be nice to create an image that is National Geographic meets, Alfred Hitchcock. Hmm, what do you think?

09 September 2005, 07:38 AM
yeh! don't kill Ellie!

Very interesting concepts here, specially the first sketch about the looks really good

Good luck!!

09 September 2005, 08:54 AM (

I think I got it!
Instead of just putting the scene in plain sight, I'll try a more subtle approach. The image is going to be fron the perspective of the astronaut looking at Ellie and through its eye's reflection we can see what's about to be revealed. A Gigantic spacecraft and two over-sized siblings of Ellie as mysterious silohuettes approaching from behind as well. I really like this one.

Elmasfeo — Ellie lives!

I'll try mood sketches of this one later today, I can't wait! What do you guys think?

09 September 2005, 05:12 PM (

I threw some color on my last sketch, don't know if I like it as my final approach yet. Maybe I need to play w color a bit more.

09 September 2005, 06:11 PM
haha cool! :) This is looking good, nice work!

09 September 2005, 10:49 PM
very cool creature design, like the reflection in the eyes, good luck :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 10:58 PM
Cool sketches!

I like your latest idea, but I think it would be more interesting if you reversed it, you know instead of looking at the alien with the spacedude reflecting in his/her eyes I think it would be cooler if we were looking at the spacedude with the alien reflecting in his helmet, just a thought:) keep it up!

09 September 2005, 11:40 PM
Cool sketches!

I like your latest idea, but I think it would be more interesting if you reversed it, you know instead of looking at the alien with the spacedude reflecting in his/her eyes I think it would be cooler if we were looking at the spacedude with the alien reflecting in his helmet, just a thought:) keep it up!

Carlos, great idea!! So on the lines of what Carlos said, I think it'd be great if you reversed it. It would really make it more subtle, but more scary I think.

09 September 2005, 12:19 AM
hey! realy nice sketch!!

can't wait to see more!!:bounce:

09 September 2005, 01:06 AM
I truly appreciate it. I will keep on sketching this week trying to tighten the composition and the angle—trying to make it more "spectacular". I think my biggest concern is to be able to communicate successfully using only the reflective surface. I'll work on the sketch tonight and post a revised tomorrow or maybe later tonight.

09 September 2005, 02:41 AM (

Here's the revised sketch, I like this one too. I'll play w color later tonight. I got to Spectacularize the background somehow. Hmmm, I'm going to browse for some inspiration. Thanks again for the feedback!

09 September 2005, 08:56 AM (

I think this is it, don't remember ever putting so much time into coloring a "quick" sketch. It was all worth it. I feel pretty good about this one, it could be ready for line art by this weekend. I'll sit on it for a couple of days to see if I change my mind. Of course, feedback is always very much appreciated!

09 September 2005, 10:40 AM (

You know I couldn't leave it alone. Here's another approach, composition is not totally there, this is more for mood and set-up. Now I can't decide... I'll give it a couple of days, your feedback will be much appreciated.

09 September 2005, 07:27 AM (

I'm still debating on which one of the sketches to pick, my head hurts. In the meantime I sat down for a few hours to do a rendering test, just to workout kinks and narrow down my approach once I decide on a sketch. Any thoughs?

09 September 2005, 08:27 AM
well, I think it's a good idea to show the men's face through the glass, like in your last one, otherwise it could look a bit like an alien wearing a spacesuit... personally I don't like a lot perspectives from someone's eyes, I find it difficult to realise that the image is what someone is seeing, but that's just personal I think...

That face rendering is great! it looks very realistic...lights are very well done (why is he looking up if the alien is in front of him?) You are also doing a great work with the distorted reflections, you make it difficult to confuse with the 'alien wearing a spacesuit' I mentioned...

great work, keep it up!

09 September 2005, 10:36 PM
Thank for the feedback!
I had the same thoughts about the sketch with the visible astronaut's face, it helps to integrate the human element to the picture. In the sketch w/o the astronaut's face on is difficult to figure out who or what is in the suit.
In regards to the astronaut looking up ...
In another concept I was fiddling with I had the astronaut look up because I was planning to have a few smaller UFOs hovering out of the clouds in front of him, which you'd be able to see on the reflection of the helmet. I think I'll try it both ways, I usually say simpler is better but this time, why not?!
Thanks again, I think I'll start the linework this week!

09 September 2005, 01:31 PM
Hi Carlos... I'm going to disagree and say that I like the one where you only see the alien's face in the head-on human shot, and not the humans face through the helmet... I think you could add other things to the outfit of the human that make it obvious thats what he is (for example a USA flag, or russian if you fancied being more rebllious... *grin*), and that way you can spend much more time imagining what the alien looks like. I alos think the narrative is nice in that too, it's more of a discovery from the alien's POV, which I think is more original. Aliens are your stronger suit as well, I think, rather than human faces. You could have more of the little aliens hopping round him too then, and maybe move the camera angle down, having the human looking down too, and then you could get a bit more of the mother ship in. I think I like it because it reminds me of the shot of iconic image you'd get on all the newspaper front pages when something like this happens... good work though.

Oh, and one other thing... you're signature link takes you to your M&S entry, not your spectacular one... I almost left you a great long comment on that one instead... :D

10 October 2005, 12:38 AM
:lightbulb I think I have an idea of what the final approach is going to be. Now that I have let it rest for a bit plus the greaat feedback, I think I'm ready get my hands "dirty" with the line work. :wip: :arteest: :beer:

:blush:ps — spectacular link fixed, thanks

11 November 2005, 03:15 AM (

Hey gang, I have been visiting the site with much jealousy, seeing all your entries develop—great stuff! I have not had time to touch my entry till tonight, FINALLY Linework. This will be my starting point. As the coloring moves along I will add other elements like the Mother spaceship and Ellie a.k.a. the extraterrestrial and company. Now lets get dirty!

11 November 2005, 04:14 AM
Welcome back! Nice linework!

11 November 2005, 05:11 AM (

I can't believe I have started the coloring! I an determined to finish this challenge, something always comes up—not fair! BUT, in the words of Donna Summer "enough is enough". I'm not sleepy tonight so I think I'm going to do as much as I can w/o overdoing it or rushing.

11 November 2005, 07:18 AM (

OK, a bit more on the background. I finished the moon the asteroid with a debree cloud.I'm gonna give it another hour or so and let it rest. Maybe...

11 November 2005, 08:34 AM (

Here's the second part of the linework - the fleet. Also helps give a sense of scale. I'm playing with the idea of instead of making this scene be of first contact with ET maybe more along the lines of a Galactic Exchange Program. Hmm, I'll sleep on it. Good nite, Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

11 November 2005, 06:11 PM (

OK, I'm so wired that I didn't even have coffee this morning. Here's an update on the coloring of the Fleet. Sorry about the quality of the image, I'll give it less compression next time.

11 November 2005, 10:23 PM (

More details to the spaceships and finishing up of the center bigger one in the middle. I'm going to rest up for a while to look at it with fresh eyes and make edits an touch ups.

11 November 2005, 12:19 AM (

I needed a bite to eat. Anyway, here's the astronaut in progress. I realized that the past postings had been washed out because I had forgotten to turn off a layer before saving it - Duh! Chugging along, hopefully I'll get to finish the face tonight as well.

11 November 2005, 03:16 AM (

In the zone. You know I have not done anything this weekend but work on this... But it's been lots of fun. I guess from this point on I'll be concentrating on the fine details and adding the aliens hand finishing up a couple of the tiny ships in the background, etc. I'm exhausted... but satisfied.

11 November 2005, 04:43 AM (

CloseUp of the face.

11 November 2005, 08:44 AM
hi cLos71

Nice airbrush work, and futuristic image, the teeth could be a bit more white
overall nice development

my spec


11 November 2005, 01:44 PM
Nice start on the rendering!

11 November 2005, 03:37 PM
Really great rendering, and i love the line drawing of the astronauts face. I feel it loses something in the transition to colour though. The chin and bottom lip need more light on them to bring them forward a touch, and the nose feels a bit disjointed. Also, as someone else said, the teeth need whitening... unless he's a heavy coffee drinker. Overall though this shows awesome promise. I'll check back for sure.

11 November 2005, 09:18 PM
I thought about that — the teeth. I'll bleach them out a little bit without making Astroboy look to bucky. The chin could definitely need a little umph. I'll be taking care of all of those tonight.! Thanks for the feed back I really appreciate it! I got to make the most of the few days I've been able to put some time in it and finally get to finish a Challenge.

Thanks again!

11 November 2005, 07:16 AM (

I think the face needed a little more TLC, glad I went back to it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to work on it a bit more. For some reason the colors look off—washed out... Hm. I'll look into it.

11 November 2005, 12:08 AM (

Finally the extraterrestrial element is present. Also I toned down the background, added windows to the spaceships and hinted a landing—barely visible. Now the colors are to dark, I got to figure out a way so when I post the colors are closer to what they are. Can anyone help me with this?

11 November 2005, 12:23 AM (

Here's a closeUp of the arm. I'm also posting this to see if I figured out the color shifting dilema, strange...
Colors are perfect on this one! I cracked it! :)

11 November 2005, 04:42 AM (

After having some dinner and coming back to it. I decided that is was a bit too much. Sometimes less is more and it totally applies to this case. In addition I also changed the directional light so I could move it to the foreground, I'm much happier with it.

11 November 2005, 10:20 AM
last image is cool but i think i like the one that the alien is looking to the guy and you can see the reflection in his eyes. ejeejeje all of them are spectacuclar,anyway is going to look really awesome if you put that glass on the face at the last image... see you man, good job!!

11 November 2005, 06:02 AM (

Here's a bit a could do tonight. I threw a layer really quick to sketch more or less what might end up being the reflection on the glass of the helmet/mask thing. Just to get a feel. Hmm? What do you think?

11 November 2005, 06:04 AM (

Had to give you a closeup, ain't she cute! :D

11 November 2005, 06:13 AM
Sincerely i got to the point where I had to pick one and run with it. Just because i was running out of time and had a window of opportunity to actually sit down and get to work. I could be one of those that procrastinates. And goes back to it and start the whole... maybe I'll try this or maybe that... and I endup never finishing it up.
This time I decided that I was going to finish this Challenge (a cualquier costo!), so I ran with it. Otherwise, trust me, I'd still be fiddling with the sketch, and later try to finish it the night before... you know.
Thanks for the feedback :D Se le agradece mucho!

11 November 2005, 06:06 AM (

Today I focused a bit more time on the spacesuit. The lines are not only for aesthetic purposes. Is a network of sensors that monitor body reactions and functions. The brighter stripes are an integrated light system that uses body heat to power up the luminescent material.

11 November 2005, 09:15 AM
WOW... great job!

when you first drawed the spaceships I thought the image would be too busy, with too many things around, but when you coloured them... you did it wonderfully, it just brings that kind of "spectacularity"... and the alien arm finishes it.... it's...great :thumbsup:

:applause: :applause: :applause:

PS: I wonder why I never get notifications when you update your thread....:shrug:

11 November 2005, 01:35 PM
I'm glad it doesn't look overwhelming, I was a bit concerned about that. In regards to the update on the thread, I can only think of checking that the thread subscriprion option is set to Notification type: Instant email notification. Other than that I would ask the Forum Leaders.

11 November 2005, 12:28 AM (

This is my contribution for today. I added sort of an armature to the space suit, I think it helps it. In regards to the mask glass, I haven't touched that yet, I'll probably tackle that next and I think the last step is going to be revisitng the background. I feel it could use a bit more detail — just the mountain/rocky part. Suggestions are always welcomed!

11 November 2005, 06:44 AM (

I can't believe I'm saying this but, it's true, I'm almost done! I played a bit with the background, adding color and texture. I also added a few more spaceships in the distance and heightened the atmospheric light. Last but not least added a moon and stars. The overall colors seem to be pretty much there, I've been adjusting them often. The last piece to this puzzle will be the reflection of the big mothership on the helmet glass.

11 November 2005, 09:09 PM
Great idea and technique! Please, could you tell how you made the lighting stripes on the costume? Congrats again! (the reflected alien is great!)

11 November 2005, 09:52 PM
medunecer, I imported a low res version of the image in illustrator and drew the lines. Then copied and pasted the lines in the photoshop file.
Once there, I changed the color and added an outer glow with noise. The dark lines were too plain so i made then have a different reflectiveness from the base material of the suit. So I duplicated the layer on top of itself and changed the color of the lines to a lighter color. Then created a mask that totally hides this new layer and then used the mask to strategically paint back the light colored lines as highlights of the dark ones — my little secret. This way you can easily change the color of the lines if you need to, without erasing the original artwork. Since you'll be working on the mask, switching from black to white to changes the opacity of the object on the layer. Voilá

11 November 2005, 09:55 PM
you just meant the glowing ones. Basically the same way but without all the masking. Just draw in illustrator and paste them in Photoshop and add an outer glow.

11 November 2005, 10:49 PM
excellent work. I like the design of the space suit, the glowing sensor wires look really cool. the expression on the guy's face has a sense of wonder, and gives a good sense of mystery. One little thing that's not really important, but it might look better if the ship on the left of the alien finger was moved to right of the finger. it might be easier to distinguish perspective wise.

11 November 2005, 12:49 AM (

OK I'm one round away from finalizing this. I can't believe I'm saying that. And just in time, I got a couple of freelance jobs in today so I got to get this baby done! My vacation is around the corner - sort of speak... OK, focus.
This is what I'm calling my pre final image from this point one is basically just minor changes and fiddling with highlight here or there to make something or other pop.

11 November 2005, 12:52 AM (

This is a closeup of the UFO. Enjoy!

11 November 2005, 04:22 AM
This is really shaping up! It would make a great book cover! :applause:

11 November 2005, 01:27 AM
The same think about yours! I have always like jesters, maybe because they are fun, but also depending on the context they could look very... tricky, they could have a dark side as well.
I consider myself lucky to have had the time to work on it. The whole community experience really helped and encouraged me to keep on going and make time. Actually working on this illustration helped me further hone my PhotoShop painting skills. Last but not least, it added another piece to my book. Is sort of a multi function project.
I'm looking forward to keep this going, it's a lot of fun.

11 November 2005, 01:41 AM
This is coming out great! It reminds me of some classic old scifi book covers.

11 November 2005, 06:06 AM
zpapageo I indeed love those old posters. In a very subtle kind of way tried to emulate that kind of feel. No one had brought it up yet - until now! :bounce: Is all about the astronaut suit, kinda retro-mod feel. Thanks again, now I can go to sleep, in SciFi Heaven.

11 November 2005, 10:52 AM
Hey, I like this one very much! Great style and idea, Great work with reflections! Keep on rocking :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 03:24 AM (

Thanks to all that encouraged me to go on and to all the feedback. Here's my final coloring of the image. An most likely the final image as well. I don't think I have anything more to do to it. Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

ps - jpg compression is making the colors a bit saturated at least on my machine, just in case it looks dark.

11 November 2005, 03:51 AM
Finally mankind makes contact ...
Their technology is way more advanced as we expected. In a year there are major positive changes all over the world. All diseases are cured, and what drives the nations world is not a search for power but for survival. They have helped us save our planet and now they want to show us more. There are others out there...
For this purpose the Galactic Exchange program is created. A group of us is exchanged with a group from another kind and get a chance to discover other worlds far beyond our expectations. So far we have made contact with two other species, today I get to rendevouz with third species. Only a couple of galaxies away... it was spectacular . (

I wonder... do I have enough time to do another one? hmmm

11 November 2005, 04:16 AM
You did a great job! Good luck in the judging!

11 November 2005, 04:25 AM
Good luck to you too bro!

Hey, what's the rule on entering another one?
I just found out that I have off all next week :twisted:
and I have another sketch... one of my first ideas,
and I was trying thinking of giving it a go.

11 November 2005, 01:46 PM
Only one entry per artist, unless they changed the rules, PM one of the administrators to make sure.

11 November 2005, 02:05 PM
woaw great image & supa clean render congrats!!:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 12:48 PM
congratulations for finishing!!!:buttrock:

It looks amazing, mucha suerte!

11 November 2005, 06:52 PM
I'm very glad I finished. Do to ork I wasn't able to finish the previous two challenges and the feeling of frustration was incredible. Finally not only I get to finish it, but two weeks early! Good luck to all! :bounce:

:lightbulb FIY - Whan you guys are ready to upload your image. Follow the FTP directions word by word even the filename that is provided. When you are presented with the FTP info, copy and paste the number you'll be provided and then zip the file. I had to upload it again because it wasn't showing as uploaded. So I used the name provided in the form and zipped the file, seconds after uploading, I hit refresh on the webpage and it updatded a thubmnail of it as confirmation.

11 November 2005, 10:50 PM
Definitively, this is one of my favorites for the challenge.

Great final image... Good luck friend!:buttrock:

11 November 2005, 09:42 PM
Good luck,Carlos, like the guy suit hehe:thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 01:45 AM
Nice job. Looks very spectacular. Good luck with it!

11 November 2005, 11:56 AM
Ducklator, Gonzalo Golpe, SquishMe
Thanks guys I really appreciate your kind words.
Is very encouraging, best of luck to all :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 10:08 PM
very nice! What I prefer the most about this pic r all those little details, reflections and designs of the outfit. really cool! Maybe u could only seperate aliens hand from the human a bit, its sort of hard to read it :/ but that is my only critic. good work!

11 November 2005, 07:23 AM
Thanks Ninja! Your entry does not fall short on wonderfull details either. The birds and the cascade beyond adding visual interest and scale they almost adds a sound element to it. Great atmospheric lighting too. Very cool, best of luck! :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 02:06 PM
Hey, It is finally finished! :applause:

Congratz, it look so great, I like main character very much.
Materials and reflections are great too, keep it up and good luck! :bounce:

12 December 2005, 02:11 PM
I agree very much with Blaz. Well done Carlos - I have watched this one with great enjoyment and I think the sense of awe - of the spectacular is very well captured in the expression of the character and the space craft.

12 December 2005, 10:25 AM
Thanks guys, I can't believe I had the time to finish it -- 2 wks early no less, otherwise the holidays rush would not have let me finish.

rawwad, I'm looking forward to the next one already.

Avatarist, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think my biggest concern was the facial expression. If I didn't achieve that sense of awe, I think it would have fallen appart. Capturing that reaction was key.

Thanks again and happy holidays!

12 December 2005, 11:31 AM
Hi! I really like your work! The super futuristic design! Congratulations! I wish you good luck! :)

12 December 2005, 12:57 PM
Thanks and good luck to you too Atris! :beer:

12 December 2005, 04:10 AM
Gracias por el apoyo durante el Challenge mate:thumbsup:

Buena suerte con la calificacion... yo se que vas a estar entre los primeros...

Good luck!:buttrock:

12 December 2005, 07:44 PM
Ducklator — Thanks, I really appreciate the support. :thumbsup:

And to everyone, have a wonderful Holiday Season.
May 2006 be 10x better than this year.
Till next year and next challenge! Good Luck to ALL!! :bounce:

12 December 2005, 12:24 PM
I really like this space suit.

(and the guy reminds me of Buzz Lightyear XD)

12 December 2005, 05:02 PM
The funny part about the space suit is that... I just found out that there is an aerospace laboratory working on one just like it. Is more like a second skin. Also they are integrating a technology much like the one i have pictured here, in which there are stripe-like sensors all over the suit, it looks more like a scuba suit than the traditional space suit. Funny it's it!

Thanks for the feedback! :beer:

01 January 2006, 12:29 AM
Finally going back to New York on Tuesday. Ready for a new challenge!

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