Steampunk Myths and Legends Entry: Christopher Bischoff


Christopher Bischoff is entered in the “Steampunk Myths and Legends” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Finished Video: Final


This comp couldnt have come at a better time! Ive been itching for some personal work, and have had an idea rattling around my head for quite some time…and here is a perfect excuse for it.

In the previous challenge, I bit off to much in the beginning, and ended up with a handful of shots that weren’t nearly as polished or complete as I would have liked. For this challenge, I am going to focus on MUCH fewer shots, and definitely try to up the quality. I learned so much in the previous challenge, so Im looking forward to getting dirty with this one!

My short will focus around a character I have had in my mind for a very long time…Charon, the ferry-master. He carries the souls of the dead across the river Styx, and into Hades. Now something that I have always loved about Charon, and the entire concept of Hades, was that it was believed to be an actual place…there is a river Styx that weaves in and out of massive underground cave systems and mountains.
Charon is a usually overlooked character in Mythology, although I think he is one of the more interesting dudes. To have the responsibility of carrying souls to the other side…whats NOT cool about that?

Im going to be doing some sketches and such, aswell as some storyboarding tonight. I want to try and incorporate some live action plates here, but more along the lines of miniature work. Cant hurt? :wink:

Good luck to all!


Cool story man… Can’t wait for the concepts!!! Best of Luck!


Messing around with some ideas for Charon. I want him to be a skeleton (cos they rock), but definitely dress him up. He has been down in the caves for centuries, and his clothes are ragged and torn.
I like the idea of his jaw being missing…so he covers it up with a scarf.


Oh ho ho…very cool :smiley: and kinda creepy!


Next up is the gates of hell…If we follow the mythos around Charon and Hades, and the fact that it was believed to be an actual place, I imagine that it would ‘evolve’ technologically along the same lines as the world around it. Seeing as the this is a steampunk challenge, the gates of hell are definitely going to be…well…steampunk’d up! Huge cogs that open massive doors into hades…all steam driven, using huge bags of gas, and hydro electric power from the river Styx.

For Charons boat, I want it to be steam driven (obviously), but still be directed by hand, with a long oar mounted to the rear.

In my ‘universe’, the souls that Charon is transporting are ‘captured’ in what appears to be gas lamps, filled with glowing gaseous forms…

Damn…I gotta go do some drawing!


Good luck man.

Nice and sharp sketch. Will be watching how the animation will come up.

Is cerberus in this myth? At the doors of hell?


Welcome to the challenge!:beer:


cheers and goodluck buddy :wink:
I’ll looking for your work sure,


good luck :):slight_smile:


good luck with your entry.
i think you’re on the right way with your basic idea.


Hi Pyke.
I love your concept. Sounds really interesting.
I’ll follow this closely :slight_smile:


Heh, I like the idea so far, and yes, skeletons do rock. Can’t wait to see more. Good luck


Some more sketches…

Fleshing out (ha!) Charon…Im trying to figure out how much if him should be skeleton, and how much clothing. Ive got a few ideas in terms of wardrobe, so will carry on sketching until I find something that really appeals to me.
The dude next to him is one of the gaurds at the doors of Hades. Wanna have him be a literal opposite to Charon, with his eye’s covered and only his mouth showing.


And finally! The door to Hades. I was thinking of a huge boiler…with metal pieces extending all the way up the sides of the caves. Definite strong verticle lines.
The actual door I envision as a huge ‘vault’ door, which is essentially an extremely complex lock-designed to both keep people in, AND out.


That’s extremely cool man! I love all the pipes leading down to the door…would be cool if they essentially just extended off into the darkness on the infinitely-huge wall that the door is in. And the complex lock is cool too. I imagine a whole bunch of collossal gears and pistons (like, the size of tall buildings) all rotating and moving slowly into place, just to open the moderately-tiny door at the bottom. As if…“the gods” designed the door to keep in/out some of the more powerful beings in the universe, so the locking mechanism is the largest and most complex device ever created.


Modeling and texturing. I replaced the scarf with something a little more ‘tunic’ like…something more permanent, that can be made of leather. Basically trying to get a bit more steampunk into him.

I’m still trying to figure out something for his body. The problem I’ve found is that because he is a skeleton, its very difficult to have him wear clothes, cos there is no place for the clothes to attach to. Bones stick out at odd angles…you cant wrap a belt around his hips, cos there are only like 3 points of contact with the bones…so it’ll look like the belt is magically floating there.

I’m thinking of some sort of high ‘corset’ around his waist and up to the base of his ribcage…something similar to what Altair has in Assassins Creed. Can also add in some nice detail there…edging and such.

Any comments and suggestions are always welcome and encouraged!


Tyson, you summed up my thoughts on the lock exactly! I was actually thinking that when the lock opens, one or two of the pieces that extend upwards would be pulled…almost as though something high up in the caves is pulling it up, releasing the latches below.


Looking pretty cool so far :slight_smile:


Models looking great so far! And the texture on the skull is looking fantastic! (although you can see the spiral “seam” at the top, although I’m assuming you’ll never show him from such a high angle in your film…)