Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Ken Henderson


Here’s the bottom view of the fighter that everyone was asking for. The next few post will show it comped into the scene. Love to hear your thoughts on if it’s working on not.



Here’s a close-up of the sky / Alien mother ship and planet that I’ve roughed in. The Alien mother ship is just blocked in for values. Details to come.

Not sure if I’m happy with the sky yet… not enough texture to it. The planet will have more polish. You can also see one of the bottom view Alien fighters in the scene as well.

Next post will be the whole scene with fighters and all.


Here’s how it’s looking to date.

I’d be interested to hear what you think of the attacking ships, their formation etc. Do I need some native fighters?

I don’t think so… I want this planet / city to be under siege. Granted, with no native peoples to be seen it may be hard to sell the scope and terror of the attack… we’ll see what I can do.

Looking forward to your comments!


Oh yah…

So, does this solve the orientation problem? Do the bottom view fighters help sell the perspective and the fact that you’re looking up?

:shrug: (I hope so… I think the planet and milky-way-esque starfield helps as well)

As well, just wanted to let lynch know that I did the glow from the thrusters on the ships. Thanks again for pointing that out!


Hi cgkrusty,

Great work. very good texturing method for the fighters. Did you build-up a low polymodel to get a better feel for placing them correctly into the scene?

I´m looking forward to see the shape of the enemies-ship and the explosion.



Ken your is looking great!

I like the composition and look forward to seeing the the big ship and background building being detailed. Good luck with the last few days and I look forward to seeing the next update.


Hi it’s always good work, the progress is very good but for the formation of the ships, i think then if the ship at the forward is in a particulary position, the four others ship must be some differentes positions, only one,… but here, the four ships are like,… a repetition with reduction, three ships ok but the four with an other position, good work



Thanks for the feedback! Yes I did do a low poly mock-up, see the image in post #60. That being said these ships are 2D illustrations all created in Photoshop. The final ships are not 3D models. (Man, I wish they were… I could throw them in any pose with ease…)


Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement!


Thanks for the crit on the ships! I agree with you… it’s tough to push the left most ship using that same illustration. I think it’s fine to do it with the three above the closest ship in the lower righthand corner but the one furthest out to the left… the perspective isn’t working at all.

If I want to keep this attack squadron composition I’ll have to do another illustration of a fighter at the appropriate angle.

Do you think the three ships above the CU ship in the FG (the one where you can see inside the cockpit) are working? I think they do and am pretty happy with them. I will try to give them a bit of individual flair… we’ll see.

I’m also thinking of maybe having one of the attacking fighters in flames, crashing… that would give me some leeway in it’s pose, break up the repitition of the ships and give me some leeway in it’s pose. I’ll mock it up and see what y’all think.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. 8 days left, I won’t be able to see after next Saturday!



If you dont want paint a other ship with the good angle, you will must be erase the ship in head (the fisrt at the left), because the perspective of this is no good (the wings are not parralelle with the plan) at the place, paint a crash ship, will be the good position for this because is the first of the squadron, but,… it’s only an idea, excuse for my terrible english


u got some serious talent there, dude. those ships look great, although those
separate wings look a bit strange… I first thought they were different ships
alltogether …
The native building design looks cool too



I totally agree with you. I will either do another drawing of have the ship in that position crashing… No worries about your english, I can understand constructive criticism from anyone!




Thanks for the comments… yah, the separate wings… what do you think? Do they need a support? I keep thinking, if Syd Mead is judging this image, will he think I copped out? For now I like them… but I may add a support.

We’ll see…

Thanks for the feedback!

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Ken -

I think the wings read fine, but if you’re worried about them, here are some ideas: You could use some sort of distortion effect, like a heat shimmer or photoshop ripple effect to convey that there’s some sort of force at work holding them together. Or maybe some electrical arc, like the coupling that held the pods of the Episode 1 Pod Racers together… Anyhow, just ideas.

I still, myself, have a little trouble with that one ship. The whole image is more clearly looking up now, and the sky and other ships helped sell that, but there’s still a moment of head-scratching and wondering why one ship is flying at an exactly 90 degree angle to the ground. Maybe in part it’s now because every ship but one is zooming along parallel to the assumed ground-plane. If the ships were at all different angles (I know, what a pain to draw when you don’t have a 3D model!) then it might sell that one ship better. Anyhow, worry about the motehr-ship first! Good luck with it, it’s looking nice.




Thanks for the feedback.

Yah, still not sure about the floating wings. I’m toying with the idea of some sort of energy field but the electric arc idea (which I also considered) isn’t gonna work for me… to much cheese. I don’t want to put a visible support on because then these fighters become pretty conventional, granted they’re pretty conventional looking already. We’ll see…

Yah, the fighter orientations are a bit of an issue. I do think I’ll need another angle but think that I can get that from the crashing fighter that I’m going to put in. The temple city will be under attack, explosions, fire etc. so the FG fighter that you have issues with will look more dynamic in a more dynamic setting.

Hopefully I can pull it all together.

For now though, as you say, I have to get the Mother ship nailed!

Thanks again for the crit and for checking in!


Just a reminder of my 3D base for the ship. My plan was to doodle over it in Photoshop to get the details for the Mother ship.


Here’s the draw-over lineart from Photoshop.


Here it is in scene. I still have a lot of work to do on the ship. The key will be to add detail without betraying the massive scale of the ship.

Once I get the lighting pretty well tweaked out (almost there), then I’ll start adding textures etc to the hull. I’ll also add lights and some more energy to the beam itself.

The volcano smoke is gonna need a blue rim on it now… crazy, hopefully it’ll all come together.

More updates tomorrow!


Here’s a low-rez mock-up of where I’m going with the final image.

Love to get your thoughts…



Well, the figther crash is very good, the progress is very good too, perhaps you must be work more the smoke of the explosion at the right of the composition because for the moment it’s so like,… a rock, more blur it’s perhaps the solution, very good work,



Thanks man… yah, the fightercrash, all of the flames within the temple city… that’s all temp. I was just blocking it in to see how it would work. As is the blue rim on the volcano smoke and a few other elements.

With the explosion in the bottom right FG I’m going to try and have the fighter flying through it… we’ll see how sucessful I am.

I’m pretty sure this is where I’m going with the piece, just wanted to get some feedback on this quick mock-up.



Excuse me, an antoner thing, the begin of the mother ship is very good i like the blue light, for the crash ship, the flame is good but you must be paint more smoke of the begin of crash to the limit right of the pic, a big colum of smoke , for see the direction, like in my compo (is not a reference but it’s for the idea)