View Full Version : Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Matt Benya

03 March 2008, 11:06 AM
Matt Benya is entered in the "Uplift Universe Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Final (

03 March 2008, 11:40 AM (

Hey everybody,

It has been a while since I have taken part in one of the challenges. But when I saw the theme I couldn't resist.

Here is a really quick rough I did this morning to get the basic ideas down for what I plan to do. It is basically a multi-species family, who is destroyed due to civil unrest.

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 11:03 AM
Matt, glad to see you in the challenges again :thumbsup:
I hope you remember me (changed my alias)
My best wishes
Waiting for the further developments

03 March 2008, 12:12 PM
Hey man, great to see you here! Of course I remember you! :D I was looking through the list of other entries and I didn't recognize one name. :P Thanks for stopping by! This is going to be a blast.

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 06:43 PM (

Greetings everyone,

Here are a couple of costume designs for the father figure in the image. Since he has a human child as his adopted son I wanted his form to be mostly humanoid in appearance. Also since the son is human I want the environment/climate to mirror ours (at least to some extent). So that thought also partially influenced some of the designs.

The ability to convey his emotion through his facial expression was very important to me when I was designing him. I went through several different body and head types before I came to the current design. Some of the other designed will be reused in the supporting characters.

03 March 2008, 06:48 PM (


03 March 2008, 06:49 PM (


03 March 2008, 06:52 PM (


03 March 2008, 06:02 AM
This is an amazing, if sad concept. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out. As for the father's outfit, my vote goes for either the dark blue suit, or the one with the striped red skirt.

Good luck for the challenge!

03 March 2008, 11:22 AM
I liked the deer-brown colored diamond seamed, armored design but it demolishes the misery feeling and gives an impression as if he will possibly have his vengeance soon.

I suggest you to combine three of them. Topmost left -roman slave- is the main design. Add its neighbor's indigo trousers with that strange -mat- texture leggings. The chains and the gorget on the blue-yellow one is another feature must be added i think. What do you say?

03 March 2008, 02:27 PM
Great design of the characters Matt !

03 March 2008, 09:28 AM
Nekomouse: Thanks a lot for stopping in. :) When I read about the topic of the challenge the theme for the image just popped into my head. Yeah I like the dark blue one too and it is what I actually ended up putting the father in. I think it still looks contemporary enough to be believable. I had other plans for the character behind him but I really liked the way the green and gold one turned out so I put his friend in that.

KU2GUN: Hey Levent, thanks a lot for the input. You are right with the deer brown outfit. I think that anything with armor like elements would ruin the feel of the image. And I don't want the image to read wrong, it defiantly is about mourning not revenge. But hey I likes my armor and I just couldn't resist throwing some in. :p Maybe a background character could be wearing it around. I like the idea of mixing and matching some of the pieces. And the combination you talked about is really cool. In the end I decided on the bark blue suit with the leggings. I think I will leave the metal bits off of the father all together. And give them to his friend behind him. Thanks again man! :D

gpepper: Hey man thanks a lot! I am glad to see you in the challenge. :) I'll be looking forward to seeing your entry progress.

Thanks again everyone! Now it is time to upload some images before this thread stagnates any further. :P

Matt :D

03 March 2008, 10:09 AM (

Greetings everyone,

Here is a super quick concept of the friend that will be standing behind the father.

03 March 2008, 10:13 AM (

Here is the line art for the scene. The foreground characters were sketched in Photoshop. The background line art is done in Xara because I like doing it vector better. Additional bg characters are still coming.

03 March 2008, 10:17 AM (

And here are the colors for the fg characters and the palette that I am going for for the bg.

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 11:06 AM
I think it takes guts to create a scene that zooms in this close the characters..and from what i have seen, it is going to be one hell of a final piece..such a clean and strong foundation to build on.

Fabtastic work :)


03 March 2008, 11:26 AM
Hey Matt, what a strong start you got here! Are you planning to go 2d or 3d with this?
Either way, I wish you good luck!

03 March 2008, 12:35 PM
I'll keep one eye on your work man... y like the pieces where the chracters como close and you can see them.

03 March 2008, 02:44 PM
That is looking good Matt. But, I'm not sure the new version has the same power as the very first sketch. In the first one the father's gesture was so powerful and stricken with grief, now he seems almost... angry? As if the viewer of the picture is the one who has caused the death of the child? I'm not sure, maybe it's just me. I do like the colours and the background is just amazing. I am very envious!

03 March 2008, 03:43 AM
Hmmm... Seeing the likes of you in this challenge is almost enough to pull me in... Still non comittal tho... :shrug:

Awesome to see your styling here again Matt, I will follow closely here

03 March 2008, 03:25 PM
LightSovereign: Thanks a lot for coming by and checking my entry out! I'm glad that you think so hopefully it reflects that when it is finished. :p

Gunilla: Hey Gunilla, thank a lot for checking out my entry! :D I think this time I'll go 2d. I have been doing a lot of 2d lately so I'll just stick with that for the challenge. Are you planning on entering the challenge this time around? I'll keep an eye out!

SataFLASH: Hey man thanks a lot! Yeah so do I, I usually try to have a nice balance between characters and backgrounds. And for this one I wanted to show both the father and child in full.

Nekomouse: Hey Bronwen, thanks for the C&C! You're right about the expression looking angry. Which was getting away from my desired outcome. I went back and worked that out, but having his hand over the face wasn't working for me any more. I didn't want to give it a forced/overdone feel also I didn't want to hide his emotion from the viewer. I'll update soon. :)

DaddyMack: Hey man thanks for stopping in! :D I know what you mean, I wasn't sure about entering either but then I had the idea and decided to give it another go. And unlike the EON challenge I plan to put enough time aside to finish it. I'll keep a look out if you decide to enter. Have a good one man. :)

Thanks again everybody!

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 11:29 PM
Hey this is looking excellent. Your character design is great - very believable stuff. I like your choice of colour palette too. This is off to a very strong start

03 March 2008, 10:05 PM
Hey David thanks a lot, I am glad to hear that! :D

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 10:10 PM (

Hey everyone,

Just thought that I would drop in and post the progress I've made since the last update. As you can see the most work has gone into the characters but there was also some sporadic work put into the bg. Have a good one!

Matt :)

03 March 2008, 03:14 AM
This is really coming together wonderfully Matt.
I think that closing the father's eyes had definately solved the problem of him looking angry. He looks much more upset now. Nice fix!

I must say that I think your textures are absolutely amazing. Are you painting them freehand or using any cool brushes? I think you should write us a tutorial man!

04 April 2008, 09:06 AM
Woah, you've really researched your idea and put it into motion. I look forward to watching this progress further. Good luck to you.

04 April 2008, 09:15 AM
really strong start.. :bounce:
looking forward to see ya progress...
and I like the colors

04 April 2008, 10:29 AM (

Hey everyone,

I ended up getting sick last week and didn't have much time or motivation to continue on my entry. But I ended up perking up a little bit over the weekend and got at least something done on the challenge. Interesting enough I didn't like how it turned out today when I saw it and ended up scrapping it. :P Here is a semi-update.

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 11:03 AM
Nekomouse: Hey Bronwen, thanks a lot! :D I am glad that you like the texturing on the walls. It is a combination of some standard brushes and a couple of custom ones. But basically I just take and scribble around on the surface trying to build up the desired structure and then go in and tighten things up. I started to turn it into a tutorial before I got sick but didn't get it finished. I'll try and finish it up soon though. :)

Pearlyking: Hey man thanks a lot! I'm glad to hear that. Good luck to you too! :D

makaron: Hey there Mona, how are you doing? Thanks a lot for stopping by! Are you taking part in the challenge this time? Okay forget that I asked I found it! :D

Thanks again everybody! :wavey:

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 12:04 PM
really coming along man, ace.

04 April 2008, 01:05 PM
pretty style for designing the characters .. good concept keep it up

04 April 2008, 11:26 AM
There's a lot of feeling in this scene. Really nice work :thumbsup:

04 April 2008, 06:19 AM
wow nice wrok so far really like it but I was thinking he should be looking to the boy to check if he is ok

04 April 2008, 11:40 AM
I like this. Their expression is great and it felt so sad.
Suggestion: Maybe make the sky in sunset for a more dramatic scene (or is it going to be cliche?)

04 April 2008, 03:12 PM
Good illustration. I like it. Good luck!

04 April 2008, 05:33 PM
This is really developing, the concrete texture is really cool so I'm guessing that the rest of the rendering is gonna be pretty slick!

04 April 2008, 10:00 AM (

Hey everyone,

Just though that I should drop in and post some updates. Details to come.

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 10:02 AM (


04 April 2008, 10:11 AM
Neubius: Hey man thanks for stopping by again!

nightwoodwolf: I am really happy to hear that, thank you very much!

mdavid: Hey Mark, thanks a lot man!

thebest: Hopefully this is reading alright. He has checked the boy and his worst fears have come true. Thanks a lot! :D

Pegahoul: Hey there, thanks a lot for the C&C! I did play around with the different times of day but this is the one that worked the best of me in the end. I really appreciate your suggestion! :)

medunecer: Hey Marco, thanks for stopping by, it is great seeing you in the challenge!

Pearlyking: Thanks a lot man, I am glad to hear you like it!

Thanks again everybody! :wavey:

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 06:12 PM
Out of all the entries, this piece is the easist to read, it needs no explanation. You've done an incredible job with your storytelling. Excellent work.

04 April 2008, 06:47 PM
Hey Brad, thanks a lot you're too kind! I am really glad to hear that. :wavey:

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 07:08 PM
Matt! You're really fast! And you have good details in this piece!

04 April 2008, 07:17 PM
Hey Marco, thanks a lot! I actually had hoped to have it finished by now. I ended up getting sick last week and what I did paint on it I didn't like and scrapped it. I need to finish up some things here and there but it is getting close. Thanks again man!

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 07:04 AM

I admit it's a nice story depicted in your work. It looks like good ol'school sci-fi paintings. Maybe it's a little too colourful but that's the way you see it.
Right cheek of the boy character disturbs me a little. It looks a bit odd; probably it's a lil too big (too high on the canvas), isn't it?

I like your picture. It looks marvelous and all I can really say is: good luck with the judges, mate!

04 April 2008, 09:36 AM
I was off due to some reasons, but i have made my mind up to continue on the "video category" on this challenge. Thus I gave up with the "image category". I wish i have time to complete both but schedule is tough and time gets short. I pray and hope i can produce a good video here. :cool:. Let's see anyway.

I have changed my signature link to show the video category entry!!

I see that your entry growing more and more dramatic. My best wishes. I try to keep an eye for your entry.:)

04 April 2008, 02:44 PM
Nice illo, Matt! Lots of drama and emotion, and some really well-rendered aliens! So much so, in fact, that the only crits I can find are with the human! How old is he supposed to be? The body looks like a child's (maybe it's just because the main alien is so large) but the lines on the face around the mouth make him look much older to me.

Also, his left foot - the booted one - feels twisted at leat 45 degrees off of the leg from where we can see the knee. Is that an injury? If so, consider making it clearer, so it doesn't get confused with just some improper anatomy.

Anyhow, great work and you're so far along! (Wish I were! :) ) Good luck with the last little bits!

04 April 2008, 03:37 PM
hey Matt, you've been busy :) So many entries I didn't notice yours ...

Great colours, aliens, atmosphere, everything .. nice ....

04 April 2008, 04:12 PM
Hi Matt, this really has a strong and dramatic concept. The stairs are really well done! I agree with walrus' crits here. I thought that was a middle aged man with a child's body. And for the smoke behind the characters, I suggest looking for the right kind of references to study. They do help me a lot!

All the best with this one, Matt!

04 April 2008, 05:28 PM (

Just stopped in to drop an update on you. Let me know what you think.

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 05:37 PM
walrus: Hey Mike, good crits! You're right with the face and foot, I spent a little time and showed them the love. :p I am going for something around the age of twelve. Unless anyone sees some areas that need improvement I am going to finish it up soon.

hobo: Hey John, not a problem. Yeah, I was surprised by the amount of entries too. I didn't remember that many last time. :p Thanks!

jeromoo: Hey man thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I hadn't spent much time on the smoke and you were right I needed to do some research for it. Unfortunately when you do a google search there is more than enough reference material.

Thanks again guys!

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 09:26 PM
Very nice matt! Its good to see the amount of thought put into the design of the outfits and details. They add a lot to the concept you've developed. My only concern is about the boys eyes, maybe its me, but I think they are not perfectly in line... Apart from that, I'd say you're done. Congrats!

04 April 2008, 02:31 AM
Better! Now it looks like a boy! How about adding some burn marks and scars to the figures themselves. Torn, burnt and tattered clothes as well. To make the viewer more sympathetic to the condition of the boy, maybe you can depict him suffering from first or second degree burns. The smoke is an improvement, but perhaps not thick enough. You don't have to show so much fire. This ref is a good example. (I hope no one gets offended with that reference)

I really like the stairs. It looks so.. upper class!

04 April 2008, 03:49 AM
That's looking a lot nicer, Matt. The child now reads a lot more clearly.
If you're getting close to finishing up, one area which you may have been putting off is the bounced light. There are a lot of bright skin and clothing colors, and it would really look great to see some of the light and colros refelcting off of each other. Like, for example, some blue on the stairs from bounced light from the main alien's pants, or some of the the reds from the boy's pants bouncing onto the alien. Lots of opportunities for this all over...! Good luck, and it's really looking nice!

04 April 2008, 11:37 PM
its coming along really good ... keep it up

04 April 2008, 01:12 PM
GaeasHerald: Hey there, thanks a lot for the observation on the eyes. I flipped it around and you were right about the eyes. I liquified them a bit into place. Before => :surprised After =>:cry: After that => :drool:

jeromoo: Yeah I am happier with the boy now too. :) For the burns and such, I didn't want to put any visual wounds on the child since I think that would be too controversial. I will let the viewer decide what has befallen him. When I put burnt and tattered clothing on to the characters it made it feel too busy in my opinion when you saw it small. You know the funny thing when I uploaded the last image was the first thing I said was my smoke is too thin. But the whole image in general looked a little washed out when I saved it for web. I darkened it up a little now though too. The fire was inspired by a car bombing image that I saw when I was looking around. I didn't find it again when I looked today but this is roughly similar though there isn't as much fire: I ended up taking the fire all but out since it was clashing too much with the fg characters. Thanks again for the C&C man! :D

walrus: Thanks for the good observation man! I actually had started painting it in in my first coloring wip and around that time is when I got sick. And since I scrapped almost all of what I had done over that time the bounce light also disappeared. Mainly because I laid my flats back over the top. I am glad that you saw that since I would have uploaded my final looked at it and went "D'oh". :P

nightwoodwolf: Hey man, thanks a lot! :D

Nekomouse: Hi there Bronwen, I finally got around to putting that tutorial together you may find it here:
Hope everything it going good for you, take care! :)

Thanks again everybody, now I'm off to upload my final. :wavey:

Matt :)

04 April 2008, 03:01 PM (

Once mankind had conquered its own solar system, setting up bases on Mars and Io, further expansion seemed like the next step. But these colonies quickly became way stations for other visitors. Extraterrestrials of every imaginable shape and size began to trade and do business with and among the human population and what was once only several small colonies quickly blossomed into sprawling metropolis. One such metropolis is Säby-Uthamra Minor located on the martian crater sea of New Vallentunasjön. Säby-Uthamra has become the home of over 30 different lifeforms as-well-as a multitude of new plant and animal species. As with most melting pots where a variety of cultures come together, inter-species marriage is common. This would be a peaceful city, but rainfall is common here with up to 317 rain days per year. Rainfall on Mars is acidic and has left its mark on every building and street in Säby-Uthamra. This makes maintaining buildings and landing platforms difficult at best and accidents are common. Vehicles are also at risk if they are not maintained and cleaned. This isn't always the case and some companies either don't have the resources or desire to inspect and repair their transports on a regular basis. This of course leads to chaos as ship fall from the sky from time to time.

05 May 2008, 07:04 PM
Beautiful clean rendering it's a really really good entry! Good luck my friend and great job finishing :)

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