Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Michael Dashow


You hit almost exactly the image I had in mind.
The story is absolutely clear to me now. The expressions on the aliens and the human
are ace.
Not sure about the camera angle though. But as you said it needs some more work
and I think it’s definetly a good starting point. Doing some really quick tiny black and white
thumbnails to figure out the composition and the camera angle might help without spending too much time on the drawing.
I’m also not sure if I can finish mine…
Anyways I’ll be watching your thread.


Thanks for the responses, guys! I’m glad I’m moving in the right direction. Thanks for pushing me (especially you, Goro!)

I did try a version where the persepctive was inverted, where we were looking down at the guy instead of up. But it deemphasized the height difference between the species instead of accentuating it the way the lower camera angle does. My intent is to be looking up at everything, as thoguh from a human’s-eye view. I do need to work opn a lot more fore-shortening to make that happen effectively. I do have a neat design for an alien city for the background, towers in a decidedly non-terrestrial shape. Anyhow, I’ll probably post more tonight…


Maestro! Great to have the opportunity to see your new creation! I agree with jeromoo: it’s absolutely funny how the aliens find cute a creature who is quite bold and overweighted. The expressions work well. One question: are you going to work just on the last area or you’ll keep the wide look of the first sketches? Anyway, it will be a great piece! Good luck my friend!


Yep, I think it’s now very clear that the aliens find the humans cute. I agree with your approach in that there seems no definitive way to make it clear that the aliens find humans cute, so it involves drawing several aliens with different gestures. Which is precisely what you are doing :thumbsup:

I was wondering what else could convey that idea and had some thoughts which might range from potentially useful to downright silly, but I’ll write them here anyway:

[li]aliens wanting to be photographed holding a human
[/li][li]humans stuck inside some sort of alien petting zoo
[/li][li]humans being carted around in prams and/or dressed up like what that kid did to E.T in the movie
[/li][li]or just stick with what you have already done


Hey Walrus, I was following your DW3 entry and it ended up as inspiring to say the least, very glad to see you tackle this challenge as well!
I’m far from an illustrator (can barely compose stick figures) but I’d love to offer my opinion to hopefully assist.

Your latest sketch is definitly reading well. As others have said, it’s very easy to see the aliens’ reaction and fascination. It’s perhaps a double edged sword though when I suggest to maybe increase the vertical field of view, stretching perspective. It would definitly help accentuate the scale difference between human and alien (if that’s still an angle you’re going for) and add an extra dynamic layer, but I can also forsee the problem with it pushing their faces/expressions further from the camera.
Perhaps you could add a single human character trying hopelessly to reach up from between the alien’s legs to “rescue” the captain. Again though I can see how it would create problems by completely changing the captain’s expression and situation, and the mood of the piece.

Anyway I’m rambling a bit and probably didn’t contribute anything :stuck_out_tongue: but good luck and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!


Hey, nice to ya in this challenge:). All the best:thumbsup:


Okay, I’ve had all night to work on this so here’s the latest revision: Roughly the same composition, but with everything redrawn to fit the perspective I am shooting for. Side views of heads turned into three-quarters-facing-aways, and the addition of a background, which has some strong perspective lines to it and should help give the feeling of you looking up from worm’s eye, er, I mean human’s eye view. The city has a lot of long, winding, thin buildings shaped not unlike scrolls (and the aliens’ clothing is a lot of flowy fabric echoing the same shapes.) And speaking of echoed shapes, they have a lot of gigantic mushrooms on this planet… yes, it’s the Mushroom Planet: I’m referencing that science fiction great, Eleanor Cameron. I’m only partially joking: I never thought of it before now, but that’s probably one of first science fiction books I ever read, that and John Christopher. Oh, so anyhow: Mushroom shapes echoed in the rotor undersides of the ships in the sky.

Oh, and the doll in the girl’s harms in the lower right: that’s a bit bigger now, more human sized. It’s going to be wearing the same uniform as the Captain.

On to notes:

Marco - This is pretty much it. No wide angle shot this time around, I’ve instead really tightened the focus.

Mark - Oh, thanks a lot. I’ve finally settled on a theme and now you’re recommending a bunch of different ones to try. :rolleyes: I’m sticking with this one, I just don’t have that much time to keep hitting fouls. Thanks for the ideas, though!

Silvermyst - Is this perhaps what you had in mind by increasing the vertical space? I’d always planned to, but until I had a background, just didn’t post a bunch of empty white space. Now you can see what I’d intended to fill it in with.

madshooter - Thanks!


LOL! I didn’t realise you were so close to locking it in! Well, definitely no suggestions for change this time. I really love that city background, with those flying craft in the sky. That is pure sci fi fun and it brings the whole scene together beautifully. Fantastic work, Mike


I didn’t realise you were so close to locking it in!

Yeah, I know, I sometimes throw people off by trying a few ideas before settling on something. But I’d really better get moving on this if I’m going to get the whole piece done by the deadline. I need to work my tail off… just in time to have them extend the deadline at the end like they do every challange! :smiley: But anyhow, yeah, this is it, so if anyone has any crits of suggestions, now would be a great time. Thanks!



Just WOW! Bull’s eye for me, Sorry not to be more constructive but I’m too busy drooling on my keyboard…


Thats the one, mike. The perspective is killer, especially with that tall structure up the back there…




oh beautiful view on this one Mike, I just popped in to see how things were coming along and I can’t wait to see colors…I guess I need patience :slight_smile:


Hey Walrus :slight_smile: Never resting, eh? Always a pleasure following your work, and you already have something nice going on I see :thumbsup: I’m in as well. And this time I won’t fail, like I did in that horrible DW3…


Hey Walrus, yeah thats exactly what I was picturing. It’s looking fantastic, great perspective and awesome color opportunities with the mushroom-esque landscape. This is gonna be a killer entry!


Cool, thanks everyone! Good to hear I got closer this time. Now to get to work on refining the lines and doing a 3D mock-up of the buildings. Thanks for all your notes.


Lol. "Uplift". Just genius.



I’m very bad at names, I only recognize ppl from their work. I am a HUGE fan of many of your works. I love your latest DWIII piece! speechless!

a month left for this challenge, I know you will not disappoint us!


Hi Mike! With the worm’s eye view, I feel that the foremost figures (the children?) should be larger and with correct anatomical perspective as well (this also applies to the other characters).

I 'm liking the design of the architectures.
Will keep my eyes on this!


Here’s the layout a bit further along: 3D mock-ups to get the perspective and the lighting on the building/walls and mushrooms kind of close. some slight costume revisions for the Captain. And I’ve done the best I can on getting the perspective right on the alien characters. I’ve enlarged the two lower characters and moved them up some, but am not seeing much else to do with them (meaning that if you do, explicit directions or a paint-over is the only thing that’s going to sink in at this point. :slight_smile: )

But barring that, it’s about time to do some line-clean-up!


very nice, michael!