Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Niko Mäkelä

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  04 April 2008
Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Niko Mäkelä

Niko Mäkelä is entered in the "Uplift Universe Challenge" update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Jovian Host

  04 April 2008
Hello all!
First time in a challenge.. Great works around, am priviledged to browse, enjoy the creativity and take part. Don't know if I have time to finish but would certainly like to. Will have fun regardless and wish the same to all !

"Jovian host"

Humans are just beginning exploring the universe. They encounter an avian race, lords of thousands jovian(gas-giant) worlds, who welcome humans to their enviroment. One of the first human guests is guided by a jovian host to one-person craft, something custom made for extrajovian races to better experience the gas world. Alongside other humans watch in rough-looking dropship. Below great depths, gigantic towers of clouds, hurricane winds, storms, presessure and perhaps floating cities await.

- Metal based human low-tech meets advanced alien bio-tech
- Avian alien resembles a big-brained and sturdy manta ray. It controls vastly larger but simple jovian life-forms (resembling mollusks, medusa and whatever) via telepathy. The race may have started as a parasite to the larger creatures, then uplifted or evolved futher. This old powerful race finds humans entertaining.
- The module/capsule for the human is a clear simple shape, almost like a gel sack with visible luminous nerves that rise and connect to the pilot. The capsule leaches nutrients and all the pilot needs from the gaseous enviroment.

Lots and lots may change but I reckon I'll stick with the main idea.

Ideas/inspiration found in "Rise of Endymion" by Dan Simmons (description of gas-world with oxygen and capacity to support life, some ideas about life-forms).
Also some inspiration found in Iain Bank's "Albegraist" - deals with a gas-giant world. Actually I have to read the latter again, right now.

The gas-giant might also have Earth like gravity, which perhaps would give life more changes. Just ideas..

Last edited by CGmascot : 04 April 2008 at 10:50 PM.
  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: blocking in shapes

Moving things around, looking for the composition.

  04 April 2008
The Algebraist sweet!

I"m actually reading the Algebraist right now! Cool! They've actually just gotten inside the gas giant and we're meeting the Dwellers. Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out!
  04 April 2008
Thanks Aglucas. Yes, Algebraist is good, not Banks's greatest imho(from what I remember), but definitely good. Going to pick it up at library today.

I'm thinking changing the concept and composition. Idea stays the same but the 'module' could change to one of the big creatures - visitors would travel to depths inside one of these creatures and would have the mantas riding along as guides. Concepts coming when I find some time..

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: avian creature sketching

Playing with the scuttlefish-like creatures. Will probably take them more towards scuttlefish-medusa-combo, if at all possible. I'd like them like medusas, as in lots of eyes and no brains, and still a lot like scuttlefish.

The telepathic manta-people control these big ones and ride them. And perhaps before they went telepathic, they interfaced directly with the big creatures nerve-systems. Former parasite/symbiote becoming the master.. sort of thing. This would go with the visitors, humans, given the big creatures as a 'ship' - visitor would control them directly via the nerves.

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: Manta-person sketch

Looks a lot like manta ray with just big brains and tentacles added. Needs work but may do rest of this playing around in 3D.

Read The Algebraist by Iain Banks a few days ago. It was even better than I remembered - can recommend to all. Certainly helped getting into the mind space for my entry but did not help much in concepting.

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: manta sketches

Looking for the general shape before moving to 3D..

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: human dropship sketch

Making shapes for the dropship. Still low-poly here. Needs some airelions/wings and of course details.

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: composition/concepting

Changed the big creatures to cloud wyrms, yes 'wyrms'(and not worms) for the cool sound of it ;) Also added to the dropship and changed composition of it all. Please excuse the bad lighting.

  04 April 2008
Concept done

The above is the main concept, pretty much, that I will go for. Look of things will certainly change but I as far as the idea goes that ought to be it. There may be object/character concepts along the way.

  04 April 2008
Concept / pre-visualization: Human lady (foreground)

Looking for the 'look' for her.
I'd like her either without a spacesuit, trusting the aliens and their unique transport, or in a light suit and handing/haven given her helmet to the alien to hold.

  04 April 2008
Work In Progress: human lady, begin modeling

So it begins..

  04 April 2008
looking cool Niko! and modeling coming along nicely
some point i notice from layout composition is distance
you can add fog or blur optical effect to seperate object distance,
or maybe I think you plan to use it in later stage already ,
so wait for more progress, good luck!
Secret Agent

  04 April 2008
Thank you Monsitj, your words are much appriciated!
Yes, the scene will certainly get lots of fog, cloud and vapor to show the distance. It is a very stormy and windy place, the gas giant.

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