Grand Space Opera 2D Entry: Ken Henderson


Hi cgkrusty,

you really have a good feel for textures and lightning. The mothership also develops very well. the fire comes very nicely along. Great work.

Do you intend to paint the building at last? I´m looking forward to see how the stone will look like.



hi, I`m watching your work for some time, and it looks promising :slight_smile:

one thing that bothers me, why did you erased those characters watching out of the buildings windows ? Its not very realistic though that somebody would watch the destruction of theri city / world … but I think there should be few people around

other thing ist shat stone column on the right - is it falling ? beause it looks detached, but it`s just hanging in there …

otherwise it looks great, I`m looking forward to see your final :slight_smile:


Ken - Man, you’re getting so much done so fast! The bottom hand of the mother ship is looking great. The blue lights and the light on the clouds works really well. The top half of the ship doesn’t read so clearly, though. At fist i thought there were flying saucers in the sky. It took a bit to realize that they were all attached to the same ship. Maybe some more blue lights on the bottom of them would allow them to read better? Or more mist in the sky so that the black sillhouette of the mother ship reads against a lighter color?

I like the idea and the layout of the ship crashing, though i idly wonder what would cause that to happen if this planet is apparently defenseless. Unless the fighters are a third race trying to protect the temple from the mothership…? Oh well, it’s dramatic, it works, so who cares! :slight_smile:




Thanks! Yah, like I said
this image is just a mock-up / practice layout for what is to come. Rest assured it’ll all be polished in the end.


Thanks so much for the encouragement! Yes, the temple city will be fully rendered. I haven’t touched it since the first colour update I gave. I’m trying to get the overall mood / tone down before I jump in. There is still a lot of lighting and atmosphere to come for the city; it should look MUCH better in a few days.


Thanks for visiting and for your comments! Yah, that was a layer screw-up in Photoshop. The people will be in the windows. I agree that it would be a weird thing to watch the destruction of your world, but they’re needed for scale etc.

As far as the broken column goes, an enemy fighter will have fired some missiles at it so it will have an explosion where the “space” is.


Do I have a choice but to do it fast? :slight_smile:

Yah, the Mother ship isn’t close to being done. There will be lights and other details to bring out those silhouetted shapes that are higher out. I do want to leave the silhouette, I like the idea of something ominous, something not quite discernible looming over the planet. We’ll see how it works out. I’m also planning on having the lights from the ships (especially the “UFO” areas you pointed out) illuminating the clouds that are enveloping them
oooohhh, so mysterious!

I agree about the ship crashing and what it implies. I like the dramatic affect of it but by having it, does it beg for defensive fire / forces from the planet? I may put some missile batteries in the face of the temple city, or have some gun turrets shooting at the attacking fighters. I tried a rough mock-up of that and wasn’t too happy. We’ll see.

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments and crits!



Awesome!! This has changed so much since I saw your beginning. Everything is working very well. If you’re going to be rendering the whole thing out to the level of the ships, this is going to be killer. One thing I’d like to see is a hint of the back of that huge thing at the top of the painting. The overall shape is getting lost in the darkness. Otherwise, tremendous work. Keep it coming. :applause:


Nathaniel West:

Thanks for the comments! I’m sure hoping to get everything as polished as I can before Monday. In regards to having some rim light on the top areas of the alien Mother Ship… I think I will do some. In thinking about the overall piece I had to ask myself how the fighters and town were being lit and I would think that the general ambience was coming from the suns reflection of the planet / moon (top right corner). Having conceded that then I realized that I had to have some of that light affect the mother ship (and modify teh colour of the reflected ambient light in the rest of the scene).

So, I’ll do it coming from one side but I still want some of the Mother ship to just be an ominous black mass.

Thanks for stopping by!


Here’s the latest.

Spent the last little while working on the Mother ship:

  • base texture added
  • added rim light from moon
  • modified lighting
  • added ship lights on arms

… and the Volcano:

  • modified smoke / eruption (created a custom “billow” brush in Photoshop to make my life easier)

Still have a lot to do on both these areas. The ship needs more detail, better lighting and colour mods. It also needs a better sense of scale. I may have to blur or add atmosphere to ship to push it back in the distance.

For the volcano I need to finish the mountain, the volcano explosion (with chunks o’ mountain) and the smoke. It’s feeling a little cartoony right now so I’ll rework the billows so they’re softer and a little less uniform.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Thanks for stopping by!

4days, 7 hours, 36 minutes and 53 seconds to go!!


Hi, The smoke of the volcano, is really very realistic, very good work. The mother ship is very nice too, many details, really good work



Thanks… I’m going to fix the smoke a little, I still think it feels a little cartoony. It needs more variation and dimension to it.


Subtle but progress none the less…

I’ve pretty well finalized the smoke. I worked on the mountain and the lava but am not happy with it so I’ll modify it from here.

I’ve started detailing the Mothership. You can see it in the two arms closest to the Volcano.

I should be done the Mother ship and Volcano today.

Then, it’s the weekend for the Temple village and any other tweaks.

3 Days, 6 hours, 57 minutes and 43 seconds.


Thanks for looking!


Hey cgkrusty, always very good work but,… YOU CAN’T SLEEP, YOU MUST WORK DAY AND NIGHT. YOU MUST BE FINISHED YOUR PROJECT. GO, GO, GO FOR THE END, :), hurry up and good luck for you



Thanks! Yup… I’m averaging 4 - 6 hours a night. I don’t think the temple city will take as much time as the Mother ship… organic imagery is always quicker to knock-out. My concern is the time to balance and tweak the image. That polish phase is critical.

Thanks for the support!

It’ll be done…


Hi Ken,

I´m very confident you will make it in time. No crits. Great work. Enjoy creating it. :slight_smile:






great progress ken! Keep at it. You are almost there!


||) |V| |^|:


“almost” is a relative term…




Man this is looking great. It’s getting down to the wire, but you seem to be on track. Can’t wait to see it finished.




The wire seems close for both of us… you Squid Aliens would look good in my Temple City!


A chunk more that’s off my plate…

  • Modified the Volcano mountain. I’m happier with it now.
  • Added some chunks o’ molten rock flyin’ through the air.
  • About 65% of the detail work on the Mother ship is done.

I should have the Mother ship done early tommorow and have a good start on the temple city. Sweet…

2 days, 12 hours, 1 minute and 5 seconds to go!!!

Thank God I have alcohol to see me through this, and an understanding wife.


Detail of the Mother ship work…

Love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking in…