Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Michael Dashow


Hi Mike, the way you’re getting along with your ideas is marvelous and to say with Mark davids …has a wonderful sense …in a humourous way.The figures are great I love them …guess its one one of your “strengthes” in character developing, isn’t?
Keep em up…
we’re watching (guess the colleagues do as well…)
To Marley: I dont know how Mike is working on the light…but there’s aprogram for the overall light control that works quite well with PS called “Tiffen”(DFX 1.0) maybe you know
Greetz to all outside and in there


Using a custom brush of a bunch of dots (so simple you can make one yourself!) I’ve been adding some fur texture to the aliens’ bodies. I’m not going too crazy, just need to convey the general direction and density of the fur, I’ll do more in the painting stage. Once that was done, I added a new layer where I’m painting all of the secondary light source. It’s on its own layer so that I can mess around with it later - It may not be blue when all is said and done, but for now it works. As you can see, this morning I’ve only had time to add the side light on the fur, and haven’t touched the cloth yet. (Gabriel, you said you liked seeing the process shots unfinished, so here you go!)

Marley - I use 3DSMax as my weapon of choice for all 3D tasks.

Peter - I’ve never heard of “Tiffen”(DFX 1.0) before - what is it?

Anyhow, off to work for me…


damn that shading is awesome. you are fast!


Good work I love the concept, great style. I enjoy watching your progress
the lighting is brilliant. Looking forward to the next update.


Design and concepts are always a matter of opinions and taste. But your skills as a painter are flawless :slight_smile: Don’t get me wrong. I still like your concept as well :slight_smile:


Walrus, you are doing a very fine job here. The composition is great, and your art skills are also. It’s enjoyable to watch, and thanx for the insight into your technique.


Such a delicate detail! And funny living poses and expressions. Really great!


Just a question for you Mike (my apologies if this has already been answered) but are those gill slits on the sides of the aliens’ necks? I’m guessing they are because they lack nostrils


Coming along strongly now, Mike. It is interesting to see you taking a 3D like approach to shading and lighting. The idea of flying ships propelled by mushroom heads is neat!


I think i have an exact copy of your custom brush, wanna swap :stuck_out_tongue: hahaha…the hatch work looks beautiful, mike :).

good on ya.



Great work, Michael.:applause: I know it’s beside the point, but the last closeup reminded me of some old religious painting - just a funny effect when viewed as an isolated image.

Keep up the inspiring work.



Jack - We’ve got what, 16 days left? I have no choice but to be fast! :slight_smile:

Mark - You’re right that those are gill slits of some sort, but I’m so disappointed in you in how you asked the question. You missed the golden opportunity that I left out there on a platter: You were supposed to ask “It looks like they have gill slits instead of noses. How do they smell?” And then I was going to answer “Terrible!” <sigh> We’ll have to work on that routine more.

Jerome - Yay, I’m glad someone finally noticed the parallel between the mushrooms and the ships. Thanks!

Dimitrij - You know, I hadn’t even noticed it until you posted but you’re exactly right. It’s like the poses were borrowed from centuries of classic Western religious art, The Adoration of the Child, only with aliens! I guess some of that Art History sunk in after all! :wink:

And thank you, of course, to everyone else who kindly posted with encouragement.

So as Jeromoo pointed out, I take a 3D render pass approach to lighting my scenes. On the left we have the scene with no diffuse maps, just plain grey materials, and a single light source. On the right is the same scene with the depth pass (blue) and a second light source from the left (gold) added in. (Side lights were blue in the previous post, but the nice thing about using layers is that I can easily change colors.) In reality, these are just 2 more layers added on top of the values. Next I’ll break down the values into two separate layers, one for shadows and one for hilights. That’s so that I can make them two different colors, because I might want to shoot for warm shadows and cool hilights, or vise versa. Lay them on top of flat colors and presto, things will look really colorful, really soon!


Superb stuff as always Michael. I love the clarity of thought and delivery in your work. This is going to be no exception.


absolutely stunning mike!! :buttrock: now that’s what i call warp speed painting! :eek:


steady progress here michael. its starting to sing now.


Cool! I like your style a lot. It’s a good composition, I like that the lifting movement is continued in the two mushrooms in the upper left corner (I’m trying to say something smart:))


Wow, it’s coming along very nicely. How many hours have you put in to it roughly?


their expressions are awesome! hope you can finish it in time!


wow! amazing rendering. Once again a great illustration.
I very like the way(/how) you work.


Great work your shadow and hilight work is inspiring, can’t wait to see your next step with the color.
Keep up the good work :thumbsup: