View Full Version : ALIENWARE Challenge Entry: Ken Collins

10 October 2003, 01:29 AM
Ken Collins has entered the ALIENWARE Challenge.

10 October 2003, 10:59 PM (

a warm gaseous landscape ever changing with soft organic volumes that momentarily defy gravity as they ascend toward amber heavens before falling sofly in a meandering fashion and rejoining the turbid landscape below

10 October 2003, 01:43 AM (

alien constructed to emit undulating gas which cloaks their cities in a wave of particles ... I'm thinking it's like a kind of 'smartgas' that gathers information from its surroundings and mimics to camouflage the incased structure. Maybe one of the machines isn't fully operational and causes parts of the 'smokescreen' to malfunction and reveal sections of their city. This might give it the appearance of floating in the sky. Perhaps while containing some translucency???

10 October 2003, 04:59 AM (

Hello again, another early idea. This sketch is mainly to work out a pov. In this case looking out over an edge, its a kind of twisted downshot. At least I hope it conveys that *L* It's in much need of perspective. Will be updating this one. Hopefully I'll have a more grounded idea next time round. thanks for viewing :) any comments are welcome :)

10 October 2003, 07:36 AM
Hey, I like your idea and the general feel to the pics... the colours are nice as well.
Suggestion: Work more on the composition! Try to find some kind of focal point, or clean the whole thing up a little. They way its now, it's a little too messy (for my taste anyway)!

10 October 2003, 03:08 PM
Hey thanks for the suggestions stefan, I'm in agreement with your comment on the messiness. Hopefully I can gel the ideas together to find a better overall image.

10 October 2003, 06:56 AM (

Hiya folks. Still working around at the sketch level. Trying to mix up some ideas on the textures. I keep departing from the previous images however I promise ... well, hope that I can marry the ideas for the final image. C+C appreciated. Nice work from everyone by the by. Some great stuff happening over the last few days.

10 October 2003, 07:31 AM
Your third pick reminds me of shag art. Nice pics. Although I can't really tell what the last one is.

10 October 2003, 11:24 PM (

Another drawing messing about with shapes. Trying to get some kind of framing happening. I'm working quite eclectically here huh. :D Thanks for taking a look. Any thoughts? It's desaturated right now for clarity. Perhaps the last image needs the same treatment to get across. To Cullen: it's just some rock like formations with archways. Maybe an update will clarify. Time to model a bit perhaps.

10 October 2003, 12:46 AM (

quick update, the 'tower' should be over *there* :)

10 October 2003, 09:41 AM
I really love those "swiss-cheese towers" you did there, they'll look really great in the colours of your first concept sketch.
But I don't think the tower in the background fits in that well. It just doesn't work well with the feel of the foreground objects... :shrug:

10 October 2003, 03:42 PM
Thanx stefan. I wanted a nice focal point with the tower. Without it it just doesn't have scale. Maybe I'll have some more of the swiss cheesy thingymabobs meandering and spiraling toward something else in that area. A nice big chasm or something. *Hmmmmmm-he pondered* Ya we'll see. Thanks for the feedback :)

11 November 2003, 05:25 PM
Just testing link. Updates shall follow, researching researching.....~My ALIENWARE CG Challenge entry~ (

11 November 2003, 05:47 PM
Don't slap me I'm new... I better post some actual pictures after this so people don't get peeved. :wip:

11 November 2003, 05:38 AM (

Good old inky biro does it again. Quick sketch that just came together tonight from doodling. Tangents galore but I think it could be worked up into something that er, works. Bear in mind that mr.liquid paper even touched this one *L* I'm looking into the last concept a bit more with research for surface types etc. I might actually make a semi-committal to that one. No wait - quasi.
In any case I'm sure a multitude of other concepts will arise. Better to flush them out with pencil and smudging than modelling and eyestrain.
Thanks for taking a gander :)

11 November 2003, 12:26 PM
the last sketch is great it is hard to figure out what is going on with your sketches i'm realy anxious to see more colored ones...


11 November 2003, 03:30 AM (

AHA - a reply! Thanks Designer2 - appreciate it. Got some time to do a rough colour update. Got rid of the islands on water thing, it's getting closer to what I want but this is too much FG/BG right now with no midground. It needs .. "FLOW".

"it is hard to figure out what is going on with your sketches " what d'ya mean exactly? The lack of connection between them or individually they're just hard to take in? They are a little, -here and there- alright. Anyways let me know what you think.

C+C always appreciated :)

11 November 2003, 06:59 AM
A line from the movie "Armagedon" comes to mind.

"It's like Dr. Suess' worst nightmare":D

11 November 2003, 08:14 AM (

Cheers - I think~ :P
Ok, closer to the kind of style I'm gonna push for.

11 November 2003, 08:19 AM (

And here's some more of same. Tell me what ya think folks.
Thanks for peeking.

11 November 2003, 12:34 PM
Really like those two last sketches!!! :)
I think you should continue that way!!!

11 November 2003, 03:51 AM
Cheers Franky. Yeah I think that might be the direction to go ahead and start modelling with. I think I'll get some modelled components together and then rework them into my concepts. I WISH we could submit more than one final image, or if only the same image from different camera views. Although this way ensures everyone's gonna put their best efforts into the one image. Thanks again and g'luck to ya :thumbsup:

11 November 2003, 06:06 AM
Seems like your having a bit of a tough time deciding on a concept here.
I definately agree that concepts 8&9 are the way to go, theres some great unique forms in those and they appear more probable and realistic than some of the less detailed forms in your other images. Also i think the background structure in concept #7 has some good potential, it would be great IMO to see this incorperated into the image.
I think your in-depth concept work has paid off, good luck with the modeling if this is the way you decide to go.
Keep the progress coming :beer:

11 November 2003, 08:04 AM
Thanks Gobbledoc, yup - I've been torn between oh this would look cool for THIS reason and this is way better for THIS reason. So I think finally, I'm happy with what for me is an amalgamation of the concept progress that's been unfolding for the past week or so. I do intend to include the BG from "no 7", I think it does have as you said, potential and it's the closet I've got to so far in terms of interesting lighting. I'm planning on going with a kind of pseudo aurora borealis. It will be quite the challenge for me as I, to put it bluntly, suck at lighting.

Good the see a positive response to these last two. Helps with the decision making you know :p

Thanks for taking time to comment. Always appreciated.

Update to follow in 5... 4... 3... 2...

11 November 2003, 08:09 AM (

... Possible composition. Need to work on the "awe factor" tho. The vastness/grandness/GIMONGOUSNESS!


11 November 2003, 10:36 AM
Hey, looking good, although the main bulk of the image seems a bit too central to me. I would mabe have part of the main structure off screen to the right.... on second thought mabe another smaller structure thats half off screen.
Just a thought anyway apart from the empty spot on the right i think the composition is perfect.
Prehaps even a close forefround object on the right.
Anyway, good job here, im looking forward to seeing some modeling. :beer:

11 November 2003, 07:06 PM
Cheers Gobbledoc, happy it's invoking replies :) Nice to hear you feel the composition works albeit with some changes of course. Saying that I will have to change it, it's just not gonna cut it for the sense of scale ya know? :shrug:. I'm thinking - upshot OR extreme downshot with forced perspective, but with this structure here as an integral part of it. Or well, something like it.
I dunno, might keep it but need to show scale somehow :shrug:

Ya - modelling, I'm hoping time will permit some SOME day soon
Thanks for the reply.

11 November 2003, 02:23 AM
Hey kjc I really like your concept. I suggest camera looking up, but not with crazy forced perspective because you already have something that is the tallest in the layout. Just looking through the camera through a standard lense from a little lover should give you a cool angle. (the color conept you drew at the bottom there reminds me of Havarti cheese, sorry. I love havarti):bounce:

11 November 2003, 06:34 AM
I'm more of a friulano man :beer:
Cheers for the input. Methinks more concept work is needed. I'll consider the upshot for now then :wavey:. See what shapes and ideas come about. Ok, should have some models to post soon.

On a side note: How many people are re-reading the guidelines everyday? There's a lot of characters going about for some reason :shrug:.

Thanks for looking guys.

11 November 2003, 06:46 AM
you need to move on from your sketches your gonna run out of time!!!!! JK ! nice sketches I think your on to something

11 November 2003, 07:01 AM
you need to move on from your sketches your gonna run out of time
It'll probably be the people who rush the sketches that will run out of time. Anyways... we all have plenty of time.

Yeah... these last several pieces of art are really great. I especially like the one 2 drawings back, with the curly dangley bits. Makes it alot more dangerous knowing that it can open up alot larger than it currently is.

11 November 2003, 10:48 PM
Thanks for your comments kjc, i'll definitly keep in mind what you said for my next steps!!!
No 3D test for the moment, just did a quick one with polys and mesh mooth, but nothing interesting to post for the moment!!

You've got pretty nice sketches, like the first one for the colors and the last three ones... special dedicace to number 9!!!

Did you try any 3D test for the moment? What software are you gonna use???

11 November 2003, 02:56 AM
Cheers guys. I have just started to move toward some modelling using Max. Gonna post them next. I'm finding that my modelling skills are a tad rusty, hopefully I can work through the bad ones as I hope I've done with the concepts. Thanks for the feedback.

11 November 2003, 03:14 AM (

Started on an element from no 8. Having trouble with the 'webbing' area. Hopefully I can rectify the problem.
Poly modelling in MAX using tessellation to smooth out areas.
Thanks for taking a look.

11 November 2003, 06:09 AM
No, definately that is not what i meant (it is not lack of connection between them) but the deep composition and ambiguity (if this word helps) makes all the work a mystery thats why i was wondering what is going on,

very nice modeling.

12 December 2003, 11:20 PM
Looks good, an interesting work here in progress, but you seem to be stuck by some lil' modeling problem. Here's an Idea to solve that problem:
use 2 parallel splines, (you can create this from the edge of the solid part, or just draw one along right side of your object set the verts where you want the connections later, then clone the shape(element spline, shift and move) then crosssection, then convert choose spline and move the verts on the right spline now to where the connections should end, now go to submenupart rendering, set visable, display rendermesh (now experiment to get close to the wanted thickness and give 20% more cuz nurmssmoothing takes down your mass), generate mappingcords, sides 4, interpolation 2, delete the left leadingspline, (macke a copy of this) and convert it back to a poly. if you want them to remain on the mainobject, then select by smootingroups, select sg 6 (should be that one and delete the caps) and delete the caps on the left and reduce the size of the right caps to 60%. if you use nurmssubdivision now, you should get a result that comes quiet close to it.
See the effect? If you want the left leadingspline thicker, use now the copy you made of the spline, and just use the leadingspline as path for a loft, create from topview a rectangle shape, use it as shape, set shapesteps 0 pathsteps 0 and you have now the options scale(deformers, and make sure if you use scalesubdivisions, they lay not on a already used area wich u recognize on the lil broken lines), set also select create mappingcords. You won't need caps here. Convert this to a poly, if you are unsure if it's closed, use subobj. verticle, collapse the verts by the caps. watch your work selecting use nurms now.
unselect now nurmssubdiv. on the two new objectelements you built, dont worry bout the uvw's you already have generated them, select the main object, attach the 2 new objects and you're done. Have fun!
And as always, make me go wow, keep on rockin' man!

12 December 2003, 11:36 PM
if you want a webby structure, theres a much easier method. (round holes, "Eyes") draw a spline and set a point always in between of and in the middle of the "eyes". create two subobject spline copies. crosscrossection now. and place the verts now. Use subobj. spine refine and connect over the holes, and delete the splines inside the eyes now, refine the 4 spline eye now to 8 verticles, creating a "T" to diagonal to every corner and pull the rhombus of the eye now round away from the eyecenter, repeat at this on every "eye". Then make a surface, place a planar uvw on it, and use the solidifytool, wich i often use you can find it here:
solidify for max 4&5 (
Now convert to poly. Select the main object and attach the new object. Hope this helps you, your work looks interesting and if its a simple modeling tip to help you out of being stuck, this was a pleasure to give you a little tip.
Goodluck and be inspired. Let's ROCK:thumbsup:

01 January 2004, 05:29 PM (

So little days left, so much to do. Anyways here's some modelling. Good luck to everyone in these final weeks. Thanks to Designer and Angel for taking time out to comment. Angel - will have to take a closer look at your mini tutorial there. Thanks for taking the time. Appreciate it. Good luck guys, your stuff looks great.

01 January 2004, 12:36 AM
Wow that's cool, I'll have to rip it for my project, sorry just joking.

Keep going and good luck.

01 January 2004, 12:39 AM
Most welcome! Keep it up man, the model up there seems you got done with the webby stuff:thumbsup:
Keep on rockin!

01 January 2004, 08:20 PM
Thanks to everyone who commented and looked at my work, my laptop just won't take anything past 8,000 polys or so before it crashes. So sadly I must retire the pursuit of the elusive final image. I really enjoyed doing the concept work and what modelling I could. Was great to see such amazing work coming from everyone and how they approached it. Hopefully I'll have a new pc in time for the next challenge so I can really take a crack at it. Anyways in the spirit of the wip approach to the challenge I'm posting where I was going with concepts. Again thanks to everyone, good luck to those still aiming to finish and congratulations to those who have already :thumbsup:

01 January 2004, 08:26 PM (


01 January 2004, 08:28 PM
Aww... Too bad you can't finish - but at least we got to see a lot of beautiful concept paintings! There's no doubt you've got the talent.

01 January 2004, 08:28 PM (

good luck guys

01 January 2004, 01:24 AM
wow that's beautiful work, I really hope you go on to finish. Well done :thumbsup:

01 January 2004, 06:17 AM
wish I could ... wish I could. Next time. Cheers folks. Less than 24 hours to go. Woohoo can't wait to see the final images all next to each other. Gonna be a tough judging session for sure.

01 January 2004, 10:43 PM
This was such a beautiful unusual concept, with beautiful colors and the softness of an untouched world.
I wish you all the best of the best and I hope next time you will work on a much better mashine.
Best luck to you:wavey: :wavey: :wavey:

I would be honored if you have time to visit also my thread

01 January 2004, 11:01 PM
haha, i just replied to yours. coinkidinks eh. thank you, i'm gonna pursue this after the contest anyways just to prove to myself it WAS the machine limitations holding me back *L*

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