Uplift Universe - Image Entry: Michael Dashow


fantastic progress - read through the whole thread and learned a lot in the process! Thanks for posting your technique info in particular :thumbsup: :arteest:


…I’d like to say something original, but…you’re doing a great job! Great technique and style. I like this entry very much!


Thank you, Marco and Magdalena.

I’ve just finished detailing out the gigantic mushroom trees. I’ve perhaps added too much detail, given that they’re off in the distance, but oh, well! Here’s a close-up of two of the more readible ones.


… I’d like to say something original, but I’ll quote medunecer:


very nice work Michael!!! awesome technique and color palette no crits just very good stuff!!


awesome details mike! … very mushroomy :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:


Just detailing out the background. The nice thing about having made rough 3D models of the walls, et. al., first is that I can slap some simple square patterns on them, render out just those squares, and them bring them into Photoshop: Voila, instant windows! Erase a bunch, paint more details, add more greeblies, and you end up with the not-altogether-inspiring hunk of architecture we see here. At least it’s an improvement over them not having any details like the shorter building on the lower left.

I still haven’t touched the spaceships - maybe they’ll be moved, rescaled, recolored? - and the sky will get a full treatment last. I’m just working my way from front to back. But I can do that because I worked out all my colors and values first: That’s why these buildings look so fogged out.


GREAT DETAILS. the scene is complex but perfect clear!! good job in any way!! splendid work:beer:


hey walrus! Just thougth i’d drop by to say hello and to congratulate you on this great image you got so far, its definitely one of my favorites from the beginning, ive seen your work and i really admire you, great job :smiley: also loved your dw3 enty btw. bye!


THanks, guys! Glad you like it (and the DW3 entry, too.)

I just finished the detailing on all of the foreground buildings. It should be obvious just from looking at this what I need to work on next: The sky, the ships in the sky, the negative space on the bottom, and the city in the background.

You would think I’d hit the city next, working from foreground to background as I am, but I’m just not sure about the city - I don’t know if I like the design of it or not. What do you all think, keep the design as is and add the small details, or redesign the thing all over again? (It may also depend on timing - there’s not a lot left, so I need to hit necessary things like the sky first.)

…Hopefully I’ll have more time today!


The town design’s cool for me. You can work on the others first if you’re not sure


The town works very well for me, Mike. :slight_smile:
Trust an architect, please and go on I want to see this piece finished within the deadline!

I love the feeling that I get from the big mushrooms and the very ‘clean’ but not aseptic city lines.
The characters are absolutely great… but you know that already.


Well, the sky went faster than I expected. But it also helped having Zachary take a 2 and a half hour nap today and Talia taking him out afterwards. Lots of time to work! Getting much closer now - looks like I should have time to redesign the city. Sorry, Tiziano, but I’m just not feeling like it hands together as a whole. It just feels like some random shapes jumbled together. don’t worry, I won’t replace it with anything worse! :slight_smile:


Mike i’m just gobsmacked at the current city design you have, often what can make or break a design (in an artistic point of view) of any sort is what surrounds it…and what you have is just beautiful. perhaps what would make you happy would be a slight palette shift?..or a break from it :P…hey, trust me mike, what you have is just amazing!..this is the level of awesomeness i want with my work…

have you flipped it horizontally?, that could reveal what ever it is thats bugging you?!..

i’m sorry i just cannot see the disharmony



Let me be more specific, Marley: It’s not the whole backdrop that’s bothering me. When I say “city” I mean just the “central city,” the “keep” or “castle” in the rear center of the picture, behind Captain Washington’s head. The current design feels to me like a bunch of pillars and curves thrown around without any concern to how they might logically connect. I’d like something that feels more legitimately architectural and less hodge-podge.

So this is my sketch-over of what I’m thinking of replacing it with. What do you all think?


Hey walrus,

I’m liking the new design of the city in the background, but something about it seems a little off.
Firstly, it looks alot more like a building structure than before, which looked maybe a bit more like some alien Museum of Modern Art. :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe it’s just me but the perspective looks a little flat, as if it should be protruding upwards a bit more. I never did get the hang of perspective though so I could definitly be wrong.
Also as it is, the castle seems like it very conveniently fits in between the two large buildings on the side. It might add to the sense of scale to have a bit more of it obscured behind the other ones, like a few wings that branch out of the central tower if that makes any sense?

Anyway, it’s coming along awesomely. Keep it up!


I see what your on about, mike…thanks for clearing that up!..although as i mentioned, i never noticed it…The keep could be forgiven for being a little more artistic than its surroundings :)…I actually like the relation of the curve that swung upwards around the building with the surrounding architecture.

Its its work of white light surrounding the shadows in it which made the whole thing pop for me…

No worries, look forward to the coming developments.



For me its just a matter of simplifing the former design. The newer one is ok, but the older one seemed to fit better with the rest of the architecture.
Another thing, both designs “fill” the gap left between the two front buildings, but are not superimposed. Maybe that’s what’s weird. Try to place it in such way that part of it is occluded by one of the two front buildings and leaves a gap on the other side. Just an idea.

Keep it on walrus!


Took me so long to write my reply that Silvermyst got ahead of me. :blush:


Hah. That is the look of a frustrated man contemplating a bitter sweet future with these new creatures. This piece is coming along quite nicely Mike. I get the scale of the city and it’s pushed back far enough with the atmospheric haze as to not be a destraction. I think once you have the details flushed out on the central building it should fit in just fine.