Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Michael Dashow

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Old 11 November 2004   #16
actually yes. I did not give that a good look before but 4's composition is a lot better and the perspective does add more to it . . .
Old 11 November 2004   #17
Thanks for posting the big numbers on the sketches . Will be very interesting to see how this evolves. Your insight into drawing is an inspiration.

Old 11 November 2004   #18
Thanks for the notes so far, all!

NinjaASSN and Wil - yes I agree, both #s 4 and 7 do the best job as depicting an upwards camera angle, which really is the most dramatic for aliens of this size. #2 is probably the least successful in this respect, as it's a downwards-looking shot. I like the idea of alien heores like in #8, but I'm killing the ideas of bows: There's a line between 'heroic' and 'just plain stupid,' and i can't get a sense that using a bow and arrow would be in any way effective, so it doesn't feel heroic enough for me. But it could be interesting to have these very primitive looking aliens using more modern technology, lasers or something

wil - thanks for the comments, I'm a big Joe Mad fan. Compating my work to his is duly taken as a big complement! As for the other stuff going on in the picture, originally I had thought of all of the other people in the shot as fleeing. Now I'm leaning more towards all of them fighting the incursion because that too feels more heroic and epic: Having an enemy that needs the will and resources of so many to combat. Like in the Return of the King and any WWII film. At least that's where I'm thinking about heading with it...

Oh, hey, I should also make some introductions: teknotek83, meet wil. He's also doing some beautifully stylized work, you should check it out too! As for my cartooniness level, my rough thumbnails are always really small and use a lot of cartoony shorthand to express emotions and forms. These sketches are and no more than 3 inches on a side. i think it'll get toned down a little by the time i get to a finished piece. At least they'll have real faces! :-)

Anyhow I'll have a new rough up tomorrow morning, i think. Catch you all later, and others are free to add notes and opinions too!

Michael Dashow
My web site / My art on Facebook
Old 11 November 2004   #19
Nice monsters! I really like the way they seems to move! Can't wait to see the envirironement where they'll live!
Old 11 November 2004   #20
Concept Sketch: Another layout

Okay, here we go with another layout thumbnail.
I've kept the same basic idea but brought a lot mroe tension into the foreground. Now there aren't just house-size biomechs in the background (and many more raining down from the sky,) but there are also a ton of smaller land-units fighting the heroes in the foreground... Finally! The heroes have something to do, not just gesticulate! :-)

Geez, there's a lot going on here! It makes it feel epic to me, but it's sure going to be a load of work... Oh, well, that's why they call it a challenege! :-) Anyhow, what do you all think?
Michael Dashow
My web site / My art on Facebook
Old 11 November 2004   #21
Hey Michael-

I used to converse with you on Shane Glines' ezboard- I can't remember my name from there (been awhile) I know I had a monkey for an avatar. Anyway, great to see you again, and good luck- your stuff looks awesome, which I would expect.
Old 11 November 2004   #22
Michael i am loving how this is evolving. Reminds me of another one of your posts that had an incredible amount of detail and was huge. i think you had a ton of layers on it.

Old 11 November 2004   #23
truly professional work here. all peppered with a trace of
Gimenez and his "metabarons". i love it.

Old 11 November 2004   #24
amazing sketchs here!!
about this last one, could try put the characters more close to the viewer.. maybe will add more deep to your pic.
Old 11 November 2004   #25
This one sure could be the one... but u can still make i better with more exaggerateon with the perspective. Its interesting how ppl r different sizes, is that on purpose? It is a nice detail anyway.. The compostition at this stage is just fine, so if u stick with this one, with minor corrections it could be another masterpiece.
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Old 11 November 2004   #26
I like it. I think it works well. There is a hierarchy of information in your composition, and you are able to keep everything unified in terms of placement. There is a sense of "grand" to this concepts, so I'd say you are on the right road
Old 11 November 2004   #27
Hey, thanks for the comments, all!

Hey, Eric! Seeing your work on your Space Opera thread immediately jarred my memory didn't you go by 'RPC' (or was it 'RCP?') on Shane's Board? Hope stuff if goign well for you, your piece is looking great so far! I'm still a regular at The Drawing Board, and actually, it's the folks there who convinced me to join this challenge...Folks like Russell and BlueHarp - Hi, Jill, thanks as always for all the support! :-)

Anyhow, some good points about how to add more depth into this piece.

BloodTaster, I will definately try to pull the characters forward a bit more to see how that looks.

NinjaASSN, yes, I was trying to have this huge mass of people, from the ones up close and front - the "heroes" of the piece, shrinking back to ones more in the distnace getting clobberred bu the big 'bot, and hopefully to give it a sense of scale. Do you think there's too big a jump from the front ones to the back ones? Or will it look more clear once they are drawn in, not just rough stick-figures? Or maybe it needs even a larger spread of sized to push the background size more.

My wife also thinks that I should have the second 'bot from the right unfolded more, so that it's clear that the spheres are unfolding into the big bots. Sounds like a plan, though I would hate to ruin the silhouette! :-)

Anyhow, more soon. Thanks all again for your help and kind words!

Michael Dashow
My web site / My art on Facebook
Old 11 November 2004   #28
I agreee wiith ninja! i think u can add more persp to your image , and I notice that there are too many element infront camera... just my opinion,
Secret Agent

Old 11 November 2004   #29
There is that one problem about reading the picture properly. U have those "little" people put lower than the big ones, so its not reading as if they r in the distance. It reads that they r small. U could solve this problem in 2 ways... One is that u put those people in the background higher in the pic, so it would really looked like they r in the distance, or the second option, u could draw a hill where those 2 main characters r standing on. Thats how u'll bring also more dramatic effect to the pic, where they r last two fighters on the hill defending them-self from aliens trying to reach top of the hill. And other people (those "little" ones right now) will be automatically read as if they r somewhere in the back, down in the valley (and than the biggest alien will look even more bigger than it looks right now... its in the valley but its still biger than those who stands on the hill).
I hope that u understand my broken english and that I helped just a little bit
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Last edited by NinjaA55N : 11 November 2004 at 07:09 PM.
Old 11 November 2004   #30
Concept Sketch: alien (good guy) concepts

monsitj and ninjaASSN - thanks so much for the suggestions on how to make this better. You have some good ideas about adding to the drama and improving the perspective, I'll have to see what I can incorporate.

Meanwhile, to take a break from the layout (but people can still comment on it!) I've been doing some sketches of what the "good guys" alein species looks like. In a word, 'peeved.' I intentionally drew them looking mean and nasty because I imagine that'd be their reaction to having their world invaded, at least in this depiction. These are the 2-legged characters, roughtly humanoid, fighting back the 'Bot-bardment in the layout roughs. These too are pretty rough, but if you've got opinions (or ideas for new directions,) I'd love to hear 'em!


(and in other news, I finally got my avatar. my work here is nearly through! :-) )
Michael Dashow
My web site / My art on Facebook

Last edited by walrus : 11 November 2004 at 12:17 AM.
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