Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Alexi Chabane


Alexi Chabane is entered in the “Uplift Universe Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: final image


I’m back for another challenge! I didn’t quite finish the journey begins and I skipped the last couple all together, but I’m determined to finish this time. I’ve never done a fully finished and polished digital painting, and I figure this is the perfect time to start (and having a deadline means I’ll be more likely to finish the piece!). My Idea for the contest is scene with “space hobos” camping around a fire. I thought this would be a good opportunity to show a diverse group with an interesting variety of clothing, gear and foods. I also think the campfire will be a great light source, and provide a centre of interest in the centre of the composition. In the background there will be a space-port with all types of flying ships so it’s clear that this is a futurist scene. I’m still planning out the groupings and expressions on the characters. I’d like keep the scene interesting by telling little stories and insert a few jokes. My main idea for a back story is that they crash landed, and now they have to get to the distant city on foot. Perhaps they’re arguing over who’s fault it is or how they will get there. I’ll post some more detailed sketches of the characters soon. Alexi


Here is the first of the detailed character drawings. The costumes are fairly generic because I’m more interested the gestures and expressions of the characters at this point. I may have them all in the same uniforms to show that they are all from the same crew. (If I go with the idea that they crash landed). Or I may stick to the idea that they are simply a collection of space hobos, sharing some hobo stew. I could throw in some space bindles and space boots with holes in them for added humor. Alexi.


I really like this idea. It seems like a scene at night to me. What are your thoughts on time of day? If they’re boozing it up, it might be funny to add in some guy that’s sick or something…dazed eyes and a little bit of puke running down his chin. Just a thought.


Here is a rough idea for the city in the background. I wanted it to seem like they where next to a freeway so I added the long line of spaceships flying past the characters. These also help to show the vast scale of the city.


These are some more detailed character studies. I was initailly thinking of them as a family group, but I may change the design of the foreground character to give the group more diversity.


i like it!


You’re emotional expressions are brilliant. The interaction shows very well, and your character skill is very strong ( I think :slight_smile: ), -I dig your line style!


I love your alein designs, gives a sense of attachement; family(emotional), i likes… keep it up


Quick and loose, with interesting characterization.
Especially the one with the spaceships in the air. Good dynamic feeling to that. Nice off axis tilt. Looking forward to seeing more.


Here are a couple sketches of the human characters in the group. I’m going to keep them in a cartoony style becasue I think it can be much more expressive. Next I’ll combine all of my detailed character drawings into one image and work on the composition. One that is done I can finalize the designs and get painting as soon as possible.


These are wonderful character sketches…imbued with nice lines and a lot of personality. I’m always jealous of prolific sketchers. I would only benefit from doing more pre-vis work, but I feel sort of keenly aware of the deadline this time around, and have had to dive right in (3d entry). Im afraid it will show in my entry.

I look forward to seeing your painting, its off to a great start!


really nice sketches Alexi


This is a composite of all the character sketches I’ve done so far. I added a fire with a few pots and various alien food and ingredients. I figured this would be a good opportunity to add some interesting details, and show a mixing of human and alien cultures. I’m doing more sketches for the alien heads in hopes of finding some more unique designs. I’ll post those soon.


i like the composite and the characters looks great !!


really like those characters… wait to see more… great drawings :thumbsup:


Im loving this concept art, keep it up.


yap, really nice and clean sketches.


I like this idea. Personally I’ keep them as hobos, it just seems like each could have more diverse backstories that way, plus you can play more around with different pallettes instead of one uniform.

How are you planning on telling the story that they want to reach the distant city? I think that just placing it in the background isn’t enough, especially since they’re all gathering for some chow and seemingly not in much of a rush. Maybe one of them could hold out a thumb or a “looking for ride” sign towards the highway to indicate they are planning on moving on?

Nice stuff, great sketches



Thanks for the feedback, I like the idea of adding a sign so its obvious that they are trying to get to the city. I think I’ll go with “space hobo” idea from now on, just so there is more variety with the characters.