Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Mark David


Hey Mark!
I believe you already have sorted out the camera angle and image type (landscape) for this comp, which I think works out really nice, as in your last post D, though I was looking for more of the B version, where the angle of the parasol was more contributing to the whole!
Unlike you, perhaps in this particular project, I tend to plan the work i’m about to start, down to the last details, before I start sketching, in my head, which can leave not much room for abrupt changes or replacements, sometimes a drawback, I believe! But here, you have all the possibilities to choose and drop between different Ideas, which is great!
When it comes to the background, given the fact that he is very lightly clothed and the Idea of parasol and cold drink, I could see for myself that he is leaving the atmosphere of a Volcano planet, with some craters, flowing lava and of course donut-shaped smoke (remember?) out of craters! The orange-red theme will definitely make an inviting contrast to the ship and it’s dominant green color! Of course the Issue of size of the planet, and it’s distance to the ship, together with the amount of distance blur will play an important role, which reminds me of your clever solution for the EON!
I’m sure you have other Ideas also, about thte background, so I just keep on waiting to see it by the time you are ready to make a post!
I love the hairdo on him, by the way, change the color abit and you got me, hehe!
Keep having fun with this project, most of us are!


Hey Mark,
great progress so far. At the moment layout “D” is my favorite, but it depends a lot of the background. I would love to see the sun somewhere in the pic. What place would be better to take a nice sun bath?
Something like this with one of the eruption heading to the ship.

Can’t wait to see the final composition.



I’d go for b or d… maybe i like b a little more… anyway… sorry i have been away for so long but i am working on a project now and its taking up most of my time (dont know if i will get enough time off to finish my entry)… learning new stuff is so exciting… the hippy looks great too… only comment is that his hface looks kind of flat now… dont really know why…

keep us posted mark…

have fun,


Hi, Mark! I’m having trouble deciding which I like, and it’s between A, B, and D. C just feels too much like an orthagonal diagram of a ship rather than a dramatic illustration of one… plus you can’t see the paintings on the front of the tanks which I really love. But speaking of orthagonal, one thing you might want to experiment with is a greater - oh, what’s the term - a wider angle lens so you have more perspective on the ship. It is, after all, a large ship, and to have no perspective or distance on it makes it feel more like, well, a 3D model of a ship. In “real life” (ha ha) there’d be more perspective. B and D would especially look nice with a wider lens, I think, even if it were just very subtle.

Anyhow, just my thoughts on it. Good luck!


I like A and D dude. If I had to choose I’d choose D I guess…


Thank you to everyone who offered their opinions on the camera angle. You helped me a real lot. I’ve finally settled on a camera angle which I think will be about as good as I can get. Everything is a compromise and I could keep trying forever without getting a perfect shot, so I’m happy to settle on something that is probably somewhere between B and D. I’ve also taken Mike’s advice and shifted to a wide-angle lens, which I think adds some interest to the shot.

Hey thank you Mathias for your extremely thoughtful and interesting comments. Your suggestion of a volcanic planet would definitely lead to a beautiful scene. However I’m keen to stay with my concept of a hippy going mad from years of solitude on a long (endless?) space voyage and therefore I’d be reluctant to have him at a destination or even at a stop-over. But your idea is wonderful and could make a fine image at another time :slight_smile: One thing I’ve done after reading your comments was to tilt the umbrella around to see it better

Thank you Torsten. That pic of the sun is superb. That is exactly the kind of thing I imagine hippynaut cruising past while he pics up his blast of cosmic rays. I’m keen to observe the requirements of the light source though. If that star was in the background then the light would have to be flooding in from that direction, and we would be then be looking at the dark (shaded) side of the spaceship and hippynaut. So I’m keen to keep the light source (the star) behind our backs and out of sight. I guess I could always suspend disbelief - this scene is full of scientific inaccuracies already, but I figure I’ll probably go with a different background.

Thanks George. I’m sad to know you might not be able to finish your entry - it looked like becoming an intriguing and beautiful scene. Good luck with your other project mate.

Thanks Mike. That’s a really cool idea to go for a wide angle lens. I’ve done that and I think it does help, for exactly the reasons you describe

Hey Jeff, it’s great to see you still dropping in after you’ve finished your own entry. Thank you mate. I’ve gone for an angle fairly close to D


Here are some options for the background.

I’m reluctant to have a planet nearby because I want hippynaut to be in the middle of an extremely long space voyage. That’s why he’s going mad - too much solitude and nothing to do (I guess he doesn’t have broadband)

The problem is, if I’m completely true to the concept of him being in the middle of a boring voyage then there really shouldn’t be anything interesting nearby. That leads to my first option:

1 - Basic starfield
This does the job and tells the story. The simple background doesn’t clash much with all the clutter in the foreground but I think I can do a bit better

2 - Star field over a blue nebula
I like this one. The nebula effect adds a bit of interest to the sky and I think the stars look better now too

3 - Nebula and asteroids
I like this one too. Obviously I want to make a nice picture and so, as long as the story it tells is consistent and the scene doesn’t come across as impossible then I see this as another option. Perhaps he’s been coasting past those asteroids for a few years or so

4 - Asteroids against a dark sky
Pretty much the same as 3 except I’ve made the nebula clouds darker and therefore not as obvious

I’m leaning more towards 2 and 3. As always I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts about this stuff

  • Mark


Hey Mark, you work fast mate :slight_smile:
For the angle of the camera I like the D option.
About backgrounds, I like the nebula for the back ground (a nebula is a deep space object) and create the sensation that hippynaut is really far far faraway (beyond the milkyway :smiley: ) and i like that feeling in your background 2, great! . The asteroids and nebula is really cool too and puts a nice crazy and fun note on the concept (the hippynaut drinking a “margarita” when cross a field of asteriods :smiley: ). I agree with you, 2 and 3 are really cool. About the overall background, perhaps you need more “space” around the ship (maybe a more wide frame), only a comment :slight_smile: Again really great work my friend!! Cheers :beer:


I like 3. nebula with asteroids.


I agree with you, the nebula in #2 and #3 makes those two comps really interesting and keeps the sky from being too monotonous. I have a sleight preference for #3 because the asteroids also add some nice visual interest and keep the outside of the image from being just empty space.


I like the new angle of the ship. And as the rest I agree with #2 and #3 to be great choices.

There’s nothing like a nebula to communicate some scientific accuracy for a space scene :wise:


I like #2 the best.
But how about a reflection of a sun (the kind which Russel-Nash posted) in the sunglasses?
(Just a tiny hint where the light comes from anyway…)

Great work so far!:thumbsup:


3 or 4.
These asteroïds will help you to have depth in your picture. some could be the foreground and others de background with the nebula or whatever else behind.
Should be better, in my opinion.


3 or 4 according to me too.


hi, mdavid,

I agree with gpepper, the asteroids could be helpful. ANd the nebula is going to enrich your image, so i vote #3 ^^ (it’s your choice to decide the number of the asteroids)

good luck !


wow missed lots of updates :sad: …my vote goes for no 2


Another vote for 3, here. :thumbsup:


More bets on number 2!


Thank you everyone who told me their preferences. As always your feedback helped a lot.

It looks like 3 (nebula + asteroids) sneaks ahead in the vote count, just beating 2 (nebula only). 4 got a couple of nods too. All of which gives me a plan for the rest of this challenge.

The nebula goes in, then the asteroids. In that order. Because if I’m struggling too much with the asteroids then at least I’ll have that nebula already done. I call that the low-stress option.

I appreciate some of the other suggestions you offered too:

Hey thanks Fernando. Adding a bit more space on either side of the spaceship is a good idea

Thanks for a really elegant suggestion to reflect the sun off his sunglasses. I like that a lot. I guess I should have something reflecting off the glass hatch cover too.

Thank you. I like that idea of having some asteroids in front as well as in the background

Now I’ve got my camera angle sorted out I’m rendering everything out again at high resolution. I’m dropping the renders into a new file which, in a fit of creativity I’ve called Final3.psd. Yes, Final1 (and Final2) didn’t make it. They never do. But I’ve got a good feeling about Final3

  • Mark


Hi Mark, a very detailed and great work you’ve done so far, everything goes very well on the right way. May be it’s late but I would like to say that if you don’t mind you may add the asteroids on to the 2nd ones background which seems different than the 3rd one’s if I’m not wrong would be better for your concept. Cheers! Good luck!