View Full Version : ALIENWARE Challenge Entry: J Griffin

10 October 2003, 02:30 PM
J Griffin has entered the ALIENWARE Challenge.

10 October 2003, 02:37 AM
I had some time to doodle tonight... I'm trying to force myself to learn how to "paint" in photoshop and this gives me a lot to practice with. My pencil sketches are a little clearer I think... Maybe I'll post them later.

10 October 2003, 02:48 AM can you get that blue-ish night sky..i've been trying that for a moon scene on a personal project but cant get it to work.:thumbsup:

10 October 2003, 04:31 PM

Though it's hard to tell from this image, the night sky is a gradient. Just pick a really dark blue - sometimes a really dark purple works too - and black, use the gradient tool, throw in a few white dots for stars and you're done!

10 October 2003, 05:42 PM (

I went ahead and threw together some rough models and textures just so I could get the perspective right... I stink at drawing perspective, especially on a grand scale like this. I painted in the glowing things, some highlights and shadows and the fog in photoshop.

10 October 2003, 10:20 PM (

Okay - I think I've got something now. There just wasn't enough in the last sketch. I'm pretty happy with where this is going and I'm no concept artist, so it may be time to start some serious modeling. Anybody have any suggestions?

10 October 2003, 04:27 AM
I like the white pedastls on the floor in the first sketch. The walls don't seem all that exciting to me though.
Love the vortex and the ambience on the floor in the second one, a lot of power in it.

10 October 2003, 01:15 PM
The perspecive gives the image a very grandiose feel. I also like how the floor seems to be transparant. The "vortex", to me, seems like an alien-mother roaming these deep halls checking on those lit compartments. Maybe they contain eggs? :hmm:

Perhaps you may want the lit "windows" to extend up into infinity...

10 October 2003, 02:17 PM
"a lot of power in it" - Sweet! That's exactly the impression I wanted to give. Looks like I'm on the right track!:buttrock: There will definitely be more interesting details in the walls once I start modeling. I'm just too lazy to paint in all the details right now. :D Thanks for your comments!

Yes, the window things will extend off into infinity - again my laziness shines through. They'll be much more randomly placed and organic too. I don't think I like the nice, neat rows and columns.

The vortex and the floor will be made of some sort of plasma-energy-gelatin type stuff... mmmm.... looking forward to creating that shader!:surprised Thanks for the comments!

10 October 2003, 03:33 PM
ehm....i can feel the mood...great!

10 October 2003, 03:46 AM (

I finished the model for the vortex/neuron thing and threw on a quick texture. After some heavy photoshop work I've got this image. For some reason, it doesn't seem to have the same 'kick' as the last sketch.... I need to work on that.

Anyway - I'm pretty happy with the model so now it's on to the cavern walls!

As always, crits are much appreciated.

10 October 2003, 03:57 AM
hey i got a sujestion........ more tendrils from the bluesih vortex, and elaborate the red glows a little maore... make them mroe complex shapes.


10 October 2003, 06:51 AM
since the vortex has become the main focus point of the composition,... i think u should add a wholesome lot of details to the model.... as the first thing ppl gonna look at is dat!

10 October 2003, 01:13 PM
Good points... the devil is in the details. I'll work on more details and other refinements to the vortex thing. I'm building the cavern walls right now and I'll post a quick render today (hopefully).

Thanks for the crits!

10 October 2003, 07:34 PM
more FX!!!
and some more details in the structure.
go find pictures, lots of pictures. It will help with some ideas for adding the dtails that will take this to the next level!

keep up the great work.

10 October 2003, 11:16 PM
Wow... I got a crit from Kory! Thanks for taking a peek at my efforts... I've been keeping up with your thread but I haven't posted anything because it would just be another fanboy post. Great stuff... can't wait to see your new sketches.

Anyway - I went to the library before I started and got a ton of great pics of landscape paintings and some of Ansel Adams' more dramatic photos. Those pics and some research into the nervous system have been my primary references thus far. Oh! And I poured over Craig Mullins' site for a few hours too. :)

Did you have anything more specific in mind as a reference? This is the first time I've tried a landscape style image so anything you could point me to would be much appreciated!


10 October 2003, 11:33 PM (

I yanked the textures on the neuron thing. I just didn't like the way they were turning out. This quick render is mainly to show the left wall of the cavern. The wall is actually two pieces - 1. A fairly detailed modeled version with all the holes and such. And 2. the distant version which is just a warped plane with a color & bump map. Though the two pieces don't seem to fit in this image, I've done some tests with fog and it looks like they're going to work pretty well... Time to model more details!

10 October 2003, 12:26 AM
well there seems to be a bit structure and regularity to the cavern walls. you might play with that a bit. either go with the "manmad" feel or go completly the other way. you could check out the time machine remake. they had some cool canyon stuff.but I really didn't have anything specific in mind, it sounds like you are on the right track.

I added another neutron thing in the distance and messed with some shapes of the walls. added a land bridge for visual interest and a forground element to help with the depth. I hope that helps a bit.

keep up the good work

10 October 2003, 12:44 AM
I really like what you've got happening here... I think I like the vortex depicted in the concept as opposed to what you modelled in it's place. Try adding more of the swirl and complexity that you drew to your model and I think this will be outstanding. :thumbsup:

10 October 2003, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by funnydoodle
since the vortex has become the main focus point of the composition,... i think u should add a wholesome lot of details to the model.... as the first thing ppl gonna look at is dat!

ya, i agree with funnydoodle, the main focus point could be more details, and more 'surprises' on it....u can consider this when u come to model the 'thing'.....anyway, just a suggestion....u've done a great composition with the grandious perspective....
keep on man!!!!


10 October 2003, 01:41 PM
KOryH -
Thanks for the sketch! You da man! Now I can really see the direction I need to go.

future14 & JDex -
It's funny how one word can make a concept 'click' in your head... I've been working on "details" which, in my mind, means cool texture maps and such. But when JDex said "complexity" it hit me - my models are just way too simple! Thanks a ton man!

It may be a while before I can update things again... This contest is really distracting me from my job hunt.:shame:

Thanks again!

10 October 2003, 06:22 AM
i like the quick render modeling is good! kinda looks like parts of a brain......? or nerve endings... looks alive...,
check out my concepts, thanks for your opinion before what do you think of the inmprovments.... Andrew Finch

12 December 2003, 03:42 AM (

Oh my god! I actually managed to get something new posted! Has it really been a whole month since my last post? Wow...

Anyway... This is a much improved (IMO) model and composition over my last few tests. The basics of the models are done but there is still much detail work to do.

The textures are still in the WIP phase as well... I was inspired by Finchy's vines so I'm trying to make a surface that looks like layers of translucent vines. I think I've got the transparency image nailed, now I've got to get it all lined up and then do the bump map and whatnot.

I'm starting to fiddle with the lighting here as well. There are only 2 lights in this render but I think I've hit the colors and mood I like. Of course, the light from the cavern walls and from the vortex things will add another layer of depth and complexity... but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

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