Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Daniel Lieske


“Political correctness has no place in art”? On the contrary! As artists, we have a responsibility to think about the way in which our art shapes our society. While I don’t agree with externally imposed censorship, if one is going to perpetuate a stereotype with a piece of artwork, one ought to have a good reason for it. (Stereotypes should also be avoided in art because they’re dull, and art is about the new). Now in this case, it seems clear that the artist has given a good deal of thought as to why he wants to portray what he intends to portray; he also has a new and interesting spin to give to the “damsel in distress” scenario. Giving the subject matter careful thought is certainly not over-thinking, though, especially when potentially negative stereotypes are involved.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t call the equality of the sexes “politics du jour”. The women’s rights movement is a lot older than you or me, and it’s here to stay. It doesn’t mean that every “damsel in distress” is a step backwards – but we do need to be mindful of sex stereotypes, as Daniel seems to be.


I meant political correctness in the sense of that knee jerk overreaction people have developed over the last 20 years to ideas that could be tied to any concept that could be considered remotely offensive. I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the things you’ve said, but I don’t think any of them apply to anything Daniel is doing with his piece. Grimm fairy tales and King Kong will be classic stories that artists still channel hundreds of years from now, past many different social/political climates when we’ve moved on to being ridiculously over-offended by something else, like shiny purple buttons or something.

In any event, we’ll have to disagree and move on, as this is Daniel’s thread, and agree that he is off to a great start with his entry.


I’m right in the middle of retopologizing the Hawkbeast. As soon as I left the face area I stopped to care about symmetry completely. I’m basicly only trying to put the polygons were I need them.

I first thought that I might skip the retopo of the Hawkbeast because most parts of the humanoid basemesh worked quite fine. Now I’m quite happy that I spent the time and I’m really looking forward to the new mesh. I did some small sculpting tests on the new mesh part and I think that the new topology will enable me to do some nice and sharp detail.

I spent quite a lot of time on this first part (something around 5 hours) which is mostly due to the high poly count around the face and mouth and the fact that I can not use mirrored tools. The area under the chin was massive pain to retopo because you cannot hide the mesh nor make it transparent (and if I CAN, please teach me!). However, the worst part is done now and I hope that I do not need much more then 10 hours to do the rest. I just mustn’t think about the fact, that with mirrored tools I would only need half the time. I think I will retopo Captain Orion in a t-pose to avoid the doubled work. But in fact I do not regret not to have modelled the Hawkbeast in t-pose. In this case, the volumes on both sides are so different that it makes sense to work on the model unmirrored.

Ok, next post will be the finished retopo mesh.


@ ScottC:

Concerning your question, I did not use poseable symmetry on this scultpting though it maybe would have made sense on the hands. On the other hand, symmetry tends to get slow the further you get away from the symmetry axis so I might possibly not have gained anything by using it.


Wow! Great Sculpting man! :smiley:


Excellent sketches, the very first made me chuckle :slight_smile: The modellings looking really good too. Good luck with this!


Finally, I have finished the retopo of the Hawkbeast. Man, these are about 4500 Polys and they are all drawn by hand. I spend nearly 13 hours on this task. I do hope, that the other characters can be refined without massive retopo. Right at the moment I ask myself if it was worth all the work. I guess, I will find out about that when I’m sculpting the details in the next step.


hey Daniel!
Sehr schönes modelling soweit! Auch die Skizzen gefallen mir sehr gut!
Ich find, das alien könnte noch ne ganze Ecke ‘crazier’ sein, also designmäßig -vielleicht ein paar interessant definierte Körperformen, Zacken und Co. :slight_smile:
Oder die gewöhnliche 3-Zehen Fussform etwas abändern…


Really like the color sketch, and the work so far… I hope to follow your progress.


Hey Daniel…Nice Work so far…

I agree with Hideyoshi. The Shape of the Beast could be more freaky. It reads a bit ordinary at the moment. I know that detailing is the next Task, but this won’t change the main Shape.
Maybe you put on some Stuff like Feathers and Hornplates the makes the shape more interesting.
At the Moment i cannot say if the Beast ist evil or good. It’s kind of neutral for me.

Looking forward for updates…



Hi buddy.
Believe me, all the retopo is worth to do it. You will have much more fexibility now. It is now to make the expression.

Stay creative


@ Hideyoshi & GiantG:

I see your points. I’m not 100% satisfied with the silhouette of the monster, too. It’s my task now to push the design in the detailing process which I also want to use, to refine the proportions a bit. The head can become a bit more expressive, I would say and I’ll try to use the hornplates to create some accents in the silhouette.

Concerning your point, GiantG, since it is a wild animal creature it’s ok that it does not look like an ‘evil alien’. I want to create a creature, that is beautiful and menacing the same time. Just like a lion or a gorilla are not ‘evil’ creatures, but you won’t put on a fight with em, you know? I think, that the texturing of the Hawkbeast will play an important role in hopefully achieving this. Colors and markings can do so much to a creature design. I hope that in the coloring I’ll have the chance to push the design even further. But that’s future talk. First let’s see, what I can do with the form alone. :slight_smile:

@ Drikus:

Right, buddy! Now I will spend some hours sculpting on this baby. I’m looking forward to this since last weekend. :slight_smile:


Stunning work ! waiting for your more detailed version :slight_smile:


Ok, first session of detailing is over. I concentrated on the overall masses and put in the horn plates. I began to work on the head a bit more detailed but I’m still on a low detail level here. This is only subdivision level 4 and there are already enough polys to go into detail in most places. However, to create fine wrinkles and horny skin I will go up to subdivision level 5 or 6. Still a lot of work to do.

I purchased Richard Rosenman’s Depth of Field Pro plug in for photoshop recently. I hope you don’t mind me to play around with it a bit in my WIP images (like I did here). I can really recommend this plug in to everbody who uses ZBrush. Since you always get a Depth Channel when you export an image via ZAppLink into photoshop you can do really nice things with this plug in.


the depth of field works nicely…is it something that you physically adjust or it calculates on its own…hmm if you did use i am wondering if your damsil would be affected by it aswell…In anycase, its coming along nicely…i like the teal lightsoucing


Hi Daniel.
Yes, slowly we can see, where the way is going. Very nice. A little bit to much DOF, but we know, who is responsible for using this plug… :wink: :thumbsup:

Be creative


Thanks for your replies!

I don’t know yet if I will use the depth of field effect in the final composition. In this WIP it just serves the purpose to direct the attention to the part I put the most work in. For the final composition I’m going for a more illustrative look I think, were everything is in sharp focus. But I won’t finally decide on this just yet. I will definetly experiment with the alternatives.


Did some hours of sculpting today. I tried some different brushes and I experimented with the level of detail I want to reach in the end. Still a lot of work ahead!


Hey Daniel,

Nice job on your alien monster so far, it is a cool looking design. I look forward to the rest of your image.


really great modeling!