Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Mark David


Hey Mark, I’ve missed a lot of great updates. I really like where you are taking the image. I love the variety of aliens you have walking around in there. :thumbsup:

Matt :slight_smile:


This thread is a real treat Mark, i love your progress.


i think i spotted “Dora the Explorer” in there. The patience required to illustrate all the little chaaracters in their is pretty impressive…I bet ya this will be one of the most examined pieces out of the comp…

Great work, Mark :slight_smile:



You never cease to amaze me with your vivid imagination and your ability to visualise them!
3d or d3, it’s obviously all the same to you, you just nail it regardlessly!

Ps: I showed your equation to our math professor, even he couldn’t figure it out, hence
more reason to believe that there is more to your profound work than just a graphic penn
and some color crayons!
Heavy stuff, man, heavy!!!



Totally awesome. I love those alien designs, they are classic!


your work is always refreshing and full of life! :love: keep going bro!
just a thought :smiley: will you be adding textures for the entire set?
this piece is a big visual treat for us all! :stuck_out_tongue: good luck buddy! :thumbsup:


Just lov’em :wink:
And now even more convinced this would make an irresitible wallpaper - imagine going to sleep with all these aliens to study!
And yes, your calculations for the support sytem seems all fine to me - I’m glad to see you’re not cheating. I will continue to keep en eye on you to make sure you get it right.


Thanks buddy. Yep, I’ll definitely post it big enough to show what’s going on. At the moment, when I try to post the whole scene I’m having to degrade it too much to get it under the 150k limit for updates, so I’ll keep posting it in sections

Thank you very much! :slight_smile: I’m definitely going to be putting in more aliens. Lots more.

Hey thanks Mike. Yeah, making this in 3D (without the aliens) would actually not be such a big job. Maybe a few days of work??? But after that, converting the crisp, clean 3D meshes into the irregular, wobbly, cartoony, imperfect look that I enjoy, well that would send me crazy and throw the poly count through the roof! Plus, I must admit I wanted a break from 3D for a little while - I just felt like drawing a picture!

Your idea about a subtle vertical gradient applied to the whole lot is, as is usual for your suggestions, really good and I’ve now dropped in some adjustment layers to both lighten and desaturate it towards the top of the image. Thanks for a great idea

Thanks Bronwen. Yeah, jello guys come from a planet with very strong gravity. That’s why they’re climbing those walls - they can’t do that kind of thing back home

Hey thank you! That Purple Bear race has a symbiotic relationship with the Blue Dude race. The Blue Dudes benefit by riding around on the backs of the Purple Bears. And the Purple Bears benefit by carrying the Blue Dudes around on their backs. Not surprisingly, that definition of symbiosis was written by the Blue Dudes

Hey thank you Matt. As you’d realise, I’ll need to be careful not to make it look too busy/messy. This is sort of an experiment for me. But there will definitely be more aliens.

Hey thanks buddy. I appreciate that :slight_smile:

Hey thanks Marley. :slight_smile: You’re very kind. Actually I’m enjoying it. The long deadlines on these challenges take all the pressure off and also make it more fun

You’re very kind too, buddy. You’ll see your earlier suggestion, to slightly change the colour of the background hills, is sort of put into action now. Mike (walrus) suggested a gradient through the whole scene and that was the method I used

Hey thanks buddy. More aliens are coming. Lots more

Thank you matey. I might increase the texturing of the scene, yes. Maybe. I want to see how it all looks when it’s close to finished and then I’ll make some decisions about how it all works together

Thanks Gunilla. I’m glad my maths added up. But that’s the kind of rigorous attention to detail we go to around here. I know you would have done the same


A quick update to show a slight change to the background. Thanks to suggestions from Mathias (varma) and Mike (walrus) I’ve put some adjustment layers over the whole scene. (I love how easy it is to do that.) I’ve desaturated and also lightened the top of the image, to suggest a bit of distance/depth and also add a bit of interest. Thanks for the suggestions.

I’ve been drawing more aliens too. They’ve started turning up from all over the place. But there aren’t enough new ones to justify a new update just yet

  • Mark


Glad the suggestion was useful, Mark. However, now I’m going to suggest you push it further! Maybe if we saw the whole piece it would be easier to see, but right now, even knowing what I’m looking for, it just looks like the whole thing has been lightened. Take it further, push it 'til it breaks… and then dial it back a notch. (and then post a shot of the whole piece.) Good luck… and hope you don’t mind my “pushing you further,” too. :slight_smile:


Hey Mike, thanks for your time and expertise. I really appreciate it and absolutely never mind it when people suggest ways to make my illustrations better. I’ll post the full scene in a moment. The linework will be quite degraded to get it under the 150k size limit but it will show the colours just fine.

I’ll definitely try pushing it further. After all, one of the things I love about these challenges is there is plenty of time to try stuff :slight_smile:


Here’s how the whole lot is looking at this stage. (Using advanced cgsociety technology, it gets bigger when you click on it) I’ll be playing with the saturation levels for a bit…


mate u already now y opinion but again this looks awsome keep it up …no crits sorry but I`am very bad when it comes to 2D


Hey Mark, really cool man!! Love the incredible alien population, awesome!! :smiley: Really great details on the whole image. Perhaps you need to remove the building on the bottom left corner, I think cuts and distract a bit the view on the all town, only a comment :slight_smile: Great work my friend !! Cheers!! :beer:


Hi Mark,
this just looks amazing.
About the background: When I saw your lineart the first time I thought there would be some green (vegetation) in the background. If you add green there and some vegetation in the bottom corners it could give a nice frame to the image. But that are just my 2 ct.

It’s always a pleasure to see your updates. They are really “bad mode killers”. :smiley:



" that definition of symbiosis was written by the Blue Dudes " hahahahaha brilliant!


Morrrreeee aliens please! :smiley:

I think it would be wonderful to have interesting decorations on the structures itself instead of being rather plain and bare. Some signs of the place actually been and still is inhabited for quite some time like weed, dirt, water leakage, some personal touches left by the alien and human inhabitants and so on will do wonders to bring this scene to life.


Haw! I was out for a week or two and you’re this far now? Wow Mark, you’re really a man of many hands hehehehe…
I love the sweet bunch of details and the fresh looks of the alen dudes, so cute. I don’t know it that’s been pointed out before but the right area looks quite lonesome, there are many doorways and staircases there but no little buggers to use them. I feel a bit melancholic now… sniff…

I also have this lame idea you could change the color of the upper mountain layers progresively so they fade into a cooler palette, some sort of liliac, I don’t know, as a way to push them back a bit more.there’s somethig fishy about that space…
I love this kind of pics, I’ll play I walk around there for a while with the cursor hand, great fun!!


You folks never cease to amaze me. I really appreciate your feedback. When I settled on my concept for this challenge I had a pretty fixed idea in my head of what I’d be doing. And what I’ve done so far is pretty close to that. But your suggestions have shifted the way I’m thinking, and that is a really, really good thing.

Thanks for all your support buddy!

Thank you. I do want to keep something in that lower left corner, to suggest that the city extends beyond the frame, but I’m thinking the way I’ve handled it now is making those additions stand out too much, and it isn’t really following the lines of the other structures properly either. So I’ve started a new list of things to do and that’s going to be on it.

Nice idea about the vegetation. Thank you. That’s another thing I’ll think about


Yes, more aliens are definitely coming. Much more work to do there. And yes, yes, yes, that is an excellent suggestion to put in more signs of habitation/decoration. I honestly had not thought of that. Thank you.

Yep, by the time I call this image ‘Final’ there will be aliens all over it. And humans too of course. And that is a really nice idea to shift the palette to something cooler out back. Since you described it that way I can’t help agreeing with you. Many thanks buddy

So I’ve got a few things to keep me busy for a while :slight_smile: I won’t be posting an update until I’ve had a go at the stuff described here

  • Mark


Great, I lke this kind of picture where there always something to discover. Yours is full of alien shape and little tricks: ballon sustains a bridge, hole in a flat pass up a tree.

I like.