View Full Version : Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Adam T.S. Cohen

11 November 2008, 02:13 AM
Adam T.S. Cohen is entered in the "Steampunk Myths and Legends" update: View Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Finished Video: George and the Steam Dragon (

11 November 2008, 02:21 AM
Hello everyone,
I'm not sure if I'm biting off a bit more than I can chew with this entry, but I might as well shoot for the stars...

I've been meditating on this topic since it was announced a few days ago and think that I'm going to do something loosely based on Norse mythology, particularly with regards to Dragons. I was thinking of incorporating some ideas based on Nidhoggr (, Yggdrasil (, and Ragnarok (

I've done a few sketches and will post them tomorrow once they're scanned.

For now, for a taste of what I have in mind, here is a planned voice-over to play at the beginning of the faux movie trailer:

'Not too long ago, someone asked me whether I believed in dragons...
Who would have known that now I need to kill one in order to prevent the apocalypse.'

11 November 2008, 11:44 PM (

First part of the rough sketches / storyboards.

11 November 2008, 11:49 PM (

Part two of my initial rough sketches / storyboards.

11 November 2008, 11:25 PM (

Steampunk Nidhogg Concept Art

11 November 2008, 11:28 PM (

Character concept art. Might need to be a bit more steam-punk-ified, but I'm still getting geared up. The astronaut will look more steampunkish once his suit is bronzed.

12 December 2008, 04:27 AM (

The plate I intend to use to make a digital matte for the opening shot. A photo I took in Japan.

12 December 2008, 04:31 AM (

Just sketching in some details now. I'm going to put together an animatic to get the timing right before I get serious about the modelling/animation.

12 December 2008, 04:38 AM
Good news! As of next Tuesday, I will finally be able to start putting more attention towards this. My next step is to start putting together an animatic to get the overall look and timing right.

This challenge will be a bit of a learning exercise for me. I have some experience with 2 and 3-d art, but this will be the first time I will be using Blender specifically, and the first time I'll be trying any 2d animation.

In the mean time, I'm still trying to overcome some Color Management issues. If anyone here can help at all, it would be greatly appreciated! My issue: CGThread plea for help (


12 December 2008, 11:33 PM
Alright, so I've decided that I need to simplify my idea(s) a bit for this challenge, so I am keeping the dragon and going with a straight steampunk dragon fight (St. George and the dragon-esque).

I've been learning Blender for the last few days, and have started making one of the models. As far as I can plan at this point, I will need to model:
-housing for the dragon
-steam-hover bike for protagonist :P

I'll post a render from the bike model now...

12 December 2008, 11:37 PM (

After rethinking and simplifying my concept, and going with a steampunk dragon fight idea, here is the protagonist's 'horse': a steampunk hoverbike...

12 December 2008, 11:38 PM
After reading/learning blender for the past few days, the bike above (obviously unfinished) is my FIRST model made in the program. I have a bit of prior 3d knowledge, but not in blender. Go easy!

12 December 2008, 01:57 AM (

Steampunk dragon modeling begun - only my second model made in Blender! (go easy). Should look good once I actually get into details :)

12 December 2008, 02:39 AM (

Update from today's work: added a bit of detail to the bike and built the basic interior for the facility the dragon will be housed in (will be used from my v1 storyboards).

12 December 2008, 11:21 PM (

Started the set exterior where the fight will take place. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

12 December 2008, 07:34 PM
I know that my entry still has a long way to go, but any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Anybody? Anybody?

01 January 2009, 01:27 AM
hi, i understand how you feel, when nobody comments your thread, but dont worry ! just keep working. in fact its hard to comments your work for the moment, because its very low poly, with not a lot of steampunk work in it. i am sure that after a few day of works you will have better advices and comments than mine.:beer:

01 January 2009, 09:33 PM
hi, i understand how you feel, when nobody comments your thread, but dont worry ! just keep working. in fact its hard to comments your work for the moment, because its very low poly, with not a lot of steampunk work in it. i am sure that after a few day of works you will have better advices and comments than mine.:beer:

Thanks for the reply! You're completely right about the low-poly-ness of my work so far. Being new to Blender, my work has been progressing slowly, but I am learning alot :) By the time I'm done it will start to look more polished! I think that my entry will look more steampunk'd once I eventually get to texturing and adding in particle systems, so that my bike will actually look like a hunk of metal spewing out steam rather than a magically hovering piece of clay :)

I will take your advice and keep on posting; I've just done a first shot at the outdoors terrain, so I now have all the models (initial low-poly versions); enough to piece together the animatic. Thanks again for the feedback!


01 January 2009, 09:35 PM (

First crack at the outdoors terrain. The research facility will be placed in the little crevice at the far end of the middle image.

01 January 2009, 02:22 AM
thank you for the cool words Adam. cant wait to see some animatic !


01 January 2009, 12:29 AM (

Started integrating the files. Not exactly using the link/append methodology efficiently, but it should work in the end this time. Also started animating but won't put that up until it gets a bit more advanced.

01 January 2009, 02:58 AM (

I am making progress! Started animating the scene. Here are a few shots. Please excuse the horrible blue, it will be replaced shortly.

01 January 2009, 02:25 AM (

Just learned how to UV unwrap in blender. Used it on the containers (not the ground). It's just the beginning, but thought I would post my progress. Also, I finished a basic animatic a couple of days ago, but can't get the ChallengeUploader working from my Mac, so I'll update it in a day or two when I get my hands on a PC.

01 January 2009, 03:36 AM (

Software: Blender

Animatic for my entry. Finished this a while ago, but couldn't upload it (just found the new Mac uploader on the Images thread). I'm already into the materials stage, so don't worry about how unfinished this looks! :)

Play Video >> (

01 January 2009, 02:34 PM
great progress !
will it be in color or bw ?

01 January 2009, 08:09 PM
Thanks! It will be in colour. There's one pic above the animatic, where I've started to do the materials. I posted the animatic about an hour after so it was eclipsed pretty fast. But now that I'm onto materials I can start to make things pretty.

100th Post!!!

01 January 2009, 08:42 PM
100th Post!!!

01 January 2009, 02:35 AM (

Unwrapped the bike. This is not the final texture. Created masks; the lighter regions will have the colour/reflective properties of one kind of metal while the darker areas in between 'reflect' another metal. After I've done all that, I'll put a bunch of bolts onto it. Should look goldish/copper when I get around to colouring it.

01 January 2009, 05:23 PM
Nice animatic. Some very ambitious scenes in there - really looking forward to seeing the wreckage of the defeated dragon!!

Keep up the good work and don't worry about lack of feedback - everyone's probably too busy panicking about the rapidly approaching deadline - me included!!

01 January 2009, 03:36 PM
Thanks Duncs! I'll do the best I can with the wreckage. My 3d knowledge is still limited but I'm learning a lot as I go through this challenge. I'm thinking the it will end up being a blindingly bright explosion. We'll see, not too much time left. It's a sprint to the finish line now...:)

01 January 2009, 07:00 PM (

Started lighting and particle effects. Still have a long way to go. Hopefully I can finish in time... No time to worry, have to keep pushing on!

01 January 2009, 09:09 PM
So there isn't too much time left, and I'm going to make a minor adjustment to my plan. I still want to finish my entry, but I don't think I realistically have enough time to rig and animate the dragon or animate the 2d character for all the scenes I have planned. I still have enough material to produce something, so I think I'm going to forget the 2-minute sequence in the animatic, and use parts of it in the form of a trailer.

I'm just deciding which shots are the strongest and will make it in. Will try to post some screens tonight!

01 January 2009, 10:05 PM
Very curious to see it all come together. Much work has gotten into it and would be a waste to let it all fade away due to little time.
I also have to adjust my plans constantly and time is running out so quickly i don't know wether i'll make it or not. So i hope you do!

cheers and good luck

01 January 2009, 10:35 PM
Hey Adam, looking forward to your trailer, keep on going! I also decided to just make a trailer, because there was nog enough (render) time to make a 2 min story. So just go for the trailer! Goodluck finishing it all up!

01 January 2009, 10:51 PM
Thanks for the replies!

@Nothingness: I will try to finish and not disappoint :) Keep working at it, I can't wait to see yours!

@Martijn81: I think you're right and that going for a trailer is a good idea :) I will try to finish!

01 January 2009, 10:56 PM (

Picked a few shots for the trailer and wrote up some text.

01 January 2009, 11:03 PM
Okay, so here is a little list of things I have to do still ( this is mostly for my benefit :) )

Redo terrain
Finish texturing facility & terrain (will leave the bike as-is --> no closeups)
Speed up camera motion
Move the city image into the scene (the camera will be racing towards it) --> Created the image a few days ago from a bunch of photos I took in Japan a while back, basically created a metropolis heap of buildings :)
Add in some more smoke on the bike and dragon (more particle systems!)
Add 2d character (not animated; i.e. 1 drawing each) to shots 3 and 5
Foley (only if there's time) fx (glow etc)
Random question: I don't have to credit royalty-free fonts, do I? I installed a bunch months ago, but was careful to only put royalty-free ones on that could be used commercially. Since I've never seen anybody credit fonts in entries (though some licences require it), and the ones I've installed are totally royalty-free, I think it's fine.

That's it for today! More tomorrow hopefully :)

01 January 2009, 04:59 AM
Forgot to mention that I left out the text in the timing animation, but will be putting it back in :)

01 January 2009, 05:00 AM (

Software: Blender

Got the trailer down to 30 seconds. This is just to delineate the timing for each shot. They will of course be animated. Might even throw in some foley if there's time (which there probably won't be). Getting close! Put together using AE and Blender, though I can only select one from the software application list.

Play Video >> (

02 February 2009, 03:06 PM (

Software: After Effects,Blender,Photoshop

In the New Steam Age, man has created tall steel cities, and sophisticated technologies that influence all domains of daily life. Some of his creations have proven a curse rather than a blessing. The metropolis Neo-Silene has been plagued by one such beast that periodically descends on the city, straying but a little from its place of dwelling, which the people believe to be a water treatment facility.

George, a wandering knight-errant, will confront the horror that has befallen the city, climbing aboard his steam-powered hovercycle, and setting off toward the creature's resting place, where he may confront it, and perhaps learn the secrets of the facility...

Play Video >> (

02 February 2009, 03:10 PM
I can't believe it's finally done! Okay, so I decided against the making-of material, and since my full vid was going to be around 35-40 seconds, I decided to cut it down a bit and just have one 30 second video. I will post some thoughts later about the great experience and learning process this has been.

Hope you enjoy!


02 February 2009, 01:10 AM
hey Adam, you finally made it !
you can be proud of your work, and i am sure you learned a lot during this challenge.
congrats !


02 February 2009, 02:17 AM
Hey, thanks Marc! Sorry about the late reply, I was going to leave it for a day or so to see if anyone else posted any feedback, then forgot that I never replied :P

This was definitely alot of fun. It was great to exercise my creativity and see how all the other talented artists here worked their own unique styles given the same constraints. It was also a great learning experience. I essentially went from zero knowledge of blender to what you see above. Given that about 3/4 of my time was spent learning, I'm thinking that come the next challenge, I will be able to put alot more time into the actual result and do a much better job.

I already can't wait for the next one :)

Thanks to all those that followed along and offered feedback and support!!


02 February 2009, 05:33 PM
hey, congrats to have finished the challenge...A pretty good entry considering you had to learn blender in the same time :)

02 February 2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks! The time pressure was good incentive to keep learning and pressing forward :) Next challenge, my entry will be way better and more detailed :D

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