IV Royal Fleet Propaganda (steampunk contest), Eugene A. Duranin (2D)

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  01 January 2009
IV Royal Fleet Propaganda (steampunk contest), Eugene A. Duranin (2D)

Title: IV Royal Fleet Propaganda (steampunk contest)
Name: Eugene A. Duranin
Country: Ukraine
Software: 3ds max, Photoshop

I was deluded by cgnetworks' steampunk contest rules. They were lazy to change cover of this contest :) I was lazy to complete reading Instructions :) Anyway I've created this artwork and wanna show it. All techniques and making of will be posted in upcoming posts.
  01 January 2009
Making of

I've "reckoned" this contest rather late, so had no more but 3 days for all my work. It's okay with me, cause being full-time game developer (and having lot of manager's stuff beside of artist's duties) I used to face short-terms art challenges.
Well, anyway, algorithm is the same for every my work (details level could differ a much depending on the time limits).
1) Idea.
2) Details level.

Idea. It's natural to create some monumental art if we are talking about gods and machine epoch. I decided to "engrave" old Egyptian gods as admirals of steam-flying fleet. The form would be greeting card/propaganda poster. Emphasis will be pointed at the age of this poster and design stuff. Poster (including its material) should maximum be looking as item from steam-power epoch. (I don't like spiritless fanciful pictures smells like Wacom (I'm using Wacom by myself as a tool, of course). First step is creating composition scheme for the poster. It isn't concept but really scheme.
I want to put two steam-powered vessels (cruiser/battleship and carrier) to point at steam-punk age. Center of composition will consist of 5 admirals (or high officers), dressed in costumes of Victorian epoch (with some Egyptian style modifications) - brave and heroic. Each of admirals is one of Egyptian legendary gods: Rah(Ra), Ammon (Amen), Horus (will probably be pilot), Anubis (some kind of secret service) and Seth-Kesu (means one who breaks bones - marine commander). Arms and motto will be military styled.

Arm-of-coat. I've created basic picture of arm-of-coat by rendering (first I quickly modeled it with no attention to mesh quality) it in 3D Max.
I've put some rough textures basement over, then I painted over it adding details and decoration. So, 1) Cannons are howitzers. It isn't naval guns, but I need some "fat", short-barrel cannons. 2) Special marine carbines (with bayonets) constructed on the base of silicon rifle (Victorian epoch, but steam-punk styled). 3) Pair of "Colts" with loooong barrel (just to support composition) 4) Air-defense guns are prsent-day, but having "used-metal" texture looks natural among steam-punk items. 5) Finally, Steer-wheel - the symbol of steam-punk and "air-naval" forces.
Details are - IV - number of the Fleet represented on the poster, armored scarab is a symbol of Egyptian origin of the Fleet. So, in the result, we have 5 admirals of IV Royal Egyptian Fleet (of course they are in the service of Britain Crown).

Vessels. 1) Cruiser (with no long consideration, I've chosen cruiser, not battleship). Let's call it "South Hornet". As a basement for steam-punk style's development, I've picked Russian cruiser "Askold" (built 1893). It doesn't belong to Victorian Epoch, but cruisers of that time were closer to sail vessels, while I'd like to show power of armored Fleet. Some details taken from German cruisers ("Essen" type). I've removed all protected artillery turrets, modify a lot steam system, and, finally, added huge side cylinder (like wheel-driven boats). 2) Carrier - I took Japanese carrier "Shinano" (1942) as an example. Some "steam-punk" parts were taken from cruiser. Basically, pipe-line for vessels was the same as for arm-of-coat. As for me it is optimal way for complicated object that needs to be drawn (quickest at least).
Comments: I got used to make parts of artwork step-by-step (having basic scheme, of course) without collecting 'em on every stage of readiness. There are surely exception, but when you need to create printable artwork with many detailed (thus it is represented by many layers, in Photoshop) objects, it is best solution.

Admirals: I spent 3 hour on Victorian naval costume research. It wasn't hard cause photography was already in the power that time. As example, I took Britain "gala" full-dress uniform (1870-80), other details were taken from Japanese admiral dress (1890-1900) and, again, Britain admirals ((1890-1900). It is okay for 3 of admirals. Rest of them will be dressed like American admirals of Civil War. All postures were also taken from real photography, cause I needed to add some time spirit. So, after basic composition, I've added details to every of admirals.
1) Fleet Admiral Rah (or Rah) - supreme God of Ancient Egypt - is a center of artwork. His classic representation is hornet or sun.
2) Vice Admiral Ammon (Amen) - second after Rah. He is little bit evil person and he is commander of heavy ships division. He is human even among beast-like Egyptian Gods.
3) Vice Admiral Horus - commander of Fleet's aviation. It's natural solution, cause Horus traditionally looks like hornet. No surprise about the fact that Horus has pilot helmet on his head.
4) Rear Admiral d'Anubis - god with jackal head is commander of Fleet's Secret Service. BTW both of Rear-Admirals are wearing American costumes. His hat is forage cap (later epoch), so let us tell, that he is Scottish Guardian (they were wearing this type of caps long time before) in his past
5) Rear Admiral Seth-Kesu (it is minor Egyptian God, literally his name means "one who breaks bones"). I intentionally made him looks like good soul, although he is commander of Marine Corps.
Then I've added small mechanical items - eye prosthesis for Horus and mechanical claws for Rah.
Well, last iteration (for Admirals) was made by adding some special Egyptian characteristics - I blackened theirs eyes, added some kind of golden feathers on the head (not too much and realistic), made their noses have beast traits (hornet's beaks, jackal's muzzle).
I've put few details on side Admirals cause in final image I'll hide them (partially, of course) behind the steam smoke.

First assembly. Well, let's put artwork parts together. I made first color scheme - red bottom (power), blue top (heaven). I also added perspective and picture depth by adding smoke and adjusting contrast level of the vessels. Vessels still need to be integrated better (shadows, more smoke...)

Second assembly/color correction. I forced picture looks like old poster (texture, color balance). Some details also were added - planes on the deck of carrier, shadows, row of marines staying behind Admirals, details on the arm-of-coat. We are almost there

Third assembly. Adding frame. It is very important step! (although most of artist just forgot about this fact). So, if I'm creating greeting card/propaganda poster, I need some paper background with signs of time (it is steam-punk !). The poster will have torn edges and I gotta use 3D Max again (plane with current artwork texture). Just very rough work to create basis for final iteration.
Well, let's take a look again. I see one "weak" moment - background isn't rich enough - so let's sharpen Admirals (and make 'em more contrasting) to catch spectators attention.

Last assembly. Well, at this stage I just did 1) Final light processing 2) Some deformation to make picture looks like it is wrinkled 3) make artwork old one last time 4) I've added frame inscriptions (Admiral's names and ranks) - let this picture be understood without special description.
  01 January 2009
Another spectacular entry, doesnt quite say steampunk to me but a phenomenal illustration regardless. 5 stars!
Jose Pardo

Massive update to my site, tons of new art!

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Roy Batty, replicant.
  01 January 2009

I made attempt to show up steampunk illustration without traditional fairies with mechanical wings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk
Victorian Era, modern items (carrier, cruiser) used steam power
I'm sure it is steampunk! Just a different angle...
  01 January 2009
I really like the details you put into the costumes, they look sooo good!
-Fiona Meng
  01 January 2009
Beautiful, Eugene!5*****
  01 January 2009
Thank you!
  01 January 2009
just amazing concept

really steampunk!

Congrats, Duranin!
  01 January 2009
Main character looks like Rutger Hauer!! So nice!!!
  01 January 2009
Love the poster looking really nice

Oh Sing Me a Song of Your Misery

  01 January 2009
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