View Full Version : Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Norman Haldeman

04 April 2008, 08:17 AM
Norman Haldeman is entered in the "Uplift Universe Challenge" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Work In Progress: ReachOutWIP1 (

04 April 2008, 08:29 AM
Right, so I'm nervous as all bloody hell so I'm just going to preamble my submissions quick. I've been debating entering since I got the e-mail in the newsletter, since I'm pretty certain my skill level is woefully inadequate to whats going to be displayed here. I don't have a scanner and all I have is photoshop, so my technical aspects are rather limited (tablet is my saving grace). I'm also doing a double degree and trying to get the final essays and exams in during this same period (I also work and volunteer). And I've also only done digital art as a hobby in for a rather limited time and have no training. This concludes my excuses list =P

Now that, thats been established, I'll try to do the best I can and actually finish. Any and all comments are welcome, and any tips or resources will earn immense gratitude. I love art and creating things, but well, as with most things one loves and considers important, it holds a foreboding immensity to me.

I'll upload a few five minute sketches I made for general concept in a second. Thanks again for any comments and good luck to you if you're submitting as well!

04 April 2008, 08:41 AM (

One of two base sort of concepts I was considering. This would be along the lines of "love without boundaries". The idea was of lovers escaping a doomed world, I was thinking a human male and an alien female. I'd read through the uplift material provided and thought it might speak to the humans finding allies among some species, and in this case more, while enemies in others (hence the world being destroyed in the viewport). The different poses were my thoughts on different emotional reactions. The first, comforting each other but turned away from the scene. The second that they both can't look away and the female touches the glass in despair. And the third being that the female is turned away, distracting herself with an alien pet trying to pretend it isn't happening, while the male still comforts her and looks on at the scene through the window.

These were just five minutes sketches to sort of get the ideas out of my head, after speaking with friends I'll prolly go with the other side of the concept which I'll upload now.

04 April 2008, 08:54 AM (

Basically the opposite of the first concept. After reading the uplift material I thought about what might have happened if none of the alien species had aided earth. So effectively the extermination of the species and the uplifts. Idea is basically for a beach scene with the remains of humans, chimps and dolphins in the sand, with an alien in armour stepping down onto the remains. And to be cliche =P but for the impact, it'd likely be a skull. The sketches are different poses (and I doubt it's clear, so I'll explain). The first is a more wary look, weapon still ready and profile side on as the alien looks for more prey. The second is almost like the pictures of hunters over their prey, thinking of it almost as a trophy image. And the third is more along the lines of leaning over and forward to look into the water and check for any survivors. I think each would give a different feel for how the aliens perceived the last stand of humanity.

I'm thinking of going with this concept, just because technically it'll likely be easier than the other and a few people stated a preference for it. Disagreements with that or suggestions for altering the pose or anything else would be greatly appreciated.

Since I can't sleep, I guess I'll go draw a decent sketch or two of the alien concept =)

04 April 2008, 10:40 AM (

Still in the very rough stage. Read all the descriptions of the races in the series, some things that really stood out for me were the gill breathers, and what I understood for some of the hand structures. Incorporated those, as well as the whole genetic engineering/reptile enemy/supported by mechanical structures I read in other race descriptions. Went for the snake approach rather than the raptor though. Though was that the helmet would basically cascade the gills with breathable atmosphere for the alien. And the sort of disjointed look for the shoulders/arms would fit with trial and error engineering, with the tail replaced completely by mechanically constructed legs. Not sure if I want to show the eyes or leave it a faceless visor though. And as well, trying to think of ways to incorporate the desire for traditional culture indicated in the societies, in this case with what would be traditional wrappings, but think that might be a bit boring.

Going to try and do another concept with some other ideas and see how they compare.

04 April 2008, 11:15 AM (

Some quick little concept sketches of heads... the first one was trying something a bit reversed with the first design. The gills being hidden behind ridges on the forehead, with feeding cilia and tentacles along the edge of the skull... thought of cuttlefish and their markings (and how delicious they are). The second head is as I consider abandoning my original two concepts as potentially boring, and was more of a doodle as I thought about that. This thought in part, because after I submitted the last thing I saw Ego's, "Ego Lataire" and thought it was a rather radical take on things.

Still not tired... onward!

04 April 2008, 12:06 PM (

Well... I sat and thought about things for a bit. Considered a museum of humans among a few others following the extinction thought. Sketched some, but then this one came into my head and I love it. I'm severely concerned about my ability to pull it off though. Effectively, a human and an alien trapped in a structure collapse, reaching out to clutch hands as the lights flicker out. I like the angle I did for the concept, but I'd have to put the humans face in a reflection of the glass... and somehow show the near contortionist movement without it looking wrong.

Hrm.... I guess this is why they call it a challenge eh? I think I'll play with it for the next day or so. Thoughts appreciated, as time ticks away *chuckles*

04 April 2008, 10:24 PM
Hey Norman, cool approach to the concept an waiting for more updates on your idea. Good luck :) Cheers mate :beer:

04 April 2008, 09:55 PM (

Well, basically starting up the actual piece now. Did a whole bunch of little sketches to try and figure out how I wanted the helmet to look and the alien. Went for simplistic traditional looking helmet, to contrast to the open strange suit of the alien. Going to include some of the thoughts I had from the first concept though, including the gills. I'm hoping to make it feel very claustrophobic. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, off to go do the base layer now.

04 April 2008, 08:01 AM (

Put down the base shapes in a full size file now. Took a while... think I got the perspective right, but I'm not sure, any opinions on that would be greatly appreciated. Going to try a method I read about in a magazine, doing everything in greyscale and colouring it later. Since I have basically no experience, I hope that'll help get the values right.

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04 April 2008, 08:01 AM
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