Sunday, February 26, 2006

DomWar 12: Closing Articles

Sunday, February 26, 2006 1

Odds and ends as my participation in this cross-community competition comes to a close. The first is a mostly abandoned concept for Nkoste for a saboteur general. Abandoned since he looked mischevious and kind of nice rather than evil, and because it's a regurgitated version of half a dozen different characters of the slinky rodent type, from Gollum on up.

This second one is also for Nkoste, designed as a sibling to Downsizer's Psionic. The brother is also some sort of mentalist general encased in a robot body... that's about as far as I got. Maybe he's still a saboteur, I really don't know.

And the final image is one that I was just doodling up but also wasn't exactly set on fire by the design, so I haven't posted it until now. It's not bad, and there are some interesting texture bits in there, but the forms are pretty lazy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

DomWar 11: a horned god for Mr. Stirling

Monday, February 20, 2006 0

I said to myself I wouldn't do any over the weekend, but I got a PM and couldn't resist taking a crack. Now it's 6:30 am and I've got a well developed headache, but I think it turned out nicely. Rick Stirling is a Scotsman and so has incorporated certain Celtic/Scottish influences. Can't say I've quite retained those elements all that faithfully; mostly I've just tweaked up what he had going (see the original in this thread and changed the deer antlers to caribou antlers, for a more vertical look.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

DomWar 10: Jackablade's Vulture King

Thursday, February 16, 2006 1

Because others are waiting in line for a concept ahead of others, my methodology might seem capricious, and it may very well be. On the other hand, when I go with my instinct, like I did with Jackablade's character who asked for help a scant few hours ago, things seem to turn out well. I would wager this is my most polished 3-hour piece I've ever done, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

DomWar 9: Sectaurs Revisited

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 0
I've just finished a colored version of the first concept I did for this competition, Sectaurs' "Fleshtank" character. I had fun working with such bright, varied colors. In order to confer this character's seniority/leadership position (Sectaurs has been using a very small crown on his head), I've put inset gems into his forehead crest, as well as given that area very bright coloring as the dominant males of many animal species are known to have.

Update for the night is the quickly, but I must admit cleverly put together orthographic, to help Sectaurs realize his alien creature into three dimensional form:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

DomWar 8: Hitler & Ghostie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 1
Hitlerstravaganza! As you might recall from the Dominance War Update 2, for one of the entrants I designed a Hitler head-in-a-mech. Well the last two days I've been fleshing it out. First off was doing a mock-up 3d model, which was for my own purposes as well as making things either for my collaborator.

Thankfully I've got friends with far greater experience with 3DS Max than I. Fritz was kind enough to play around with a few renders of the model on a basic stage setup, and this one looked like it would be an excellent candidate for a paintover:

I thought the cylindrical banding in the background was interesting, but I didn't want it to interfere with the read of the mech's silhouette. So with some sweat in Painter and Photoshop here's the mid-level step after yesterday:

And finally after most of today, here's the finished (for now?) paintover, that partially incorporates the head model that Katzeimsack has built. Pretty happy with it, particularly the worn down pedestal. In Italy and other European countries, stone steps like those are everywhere and when I see them they never cease to impress upon me their immense age.

But that wasn't all that today brought! Earlier was sort of a warm-up character design, a ghostly woman infested with maggots. I'm rather proud how good those maggots look... it almost makes seeing the hideous reference pictures worth it. I like how the limbs resolve in a primitive fashion, reminiscent of something from Silent Hill or similar game:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

DomWar 7: Bortly Bot

Sunday, February 12, 2006 0

Here's another paintover run amok; for an old time #mder named Bort. His only qualification was to retain the original female character's generously proportioned rear, which I did... the rest of the design was rather liberally re-interpreted:

Back from a revitalizing weekend with what I hope is a fresh battery charge--isn't it a pity that we must speak of the state of our bodies in almost entirely mechanistic terms?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

DomWar 6: Demon Engine / Gorilla-Man

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 0
Today wasn't as productive, though I did have a strong start on a more painterly piece that I'll attend to later. In the meantime, how about the cursed war engine? (posted this to the top so that the Gorilla image isn't overwritten by the sidebar)

Slow start today but I finally revised the albino Gorilla-man commander character. He's now equipped with a traditional African war axe (gorilla-men like to keep things up close and personal, alongside a fondness for grenades), as well as some of his cadre of elite simian fighters visible:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

DomWar 5: General Birdstein / Mech Pilot

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 1
As with yesterday I'll add more pieces as I work on them, so be sure to refresh your browser when you visit this page, as it seems to get cached.

First up is General Priscilla "Knifetail" Birdstein. Giant avian species, while enormously intelligent and peerless fighters, aren't particularly clever with nicknames.

Small update: didn't quite have the juice to overhaul the mech today (sorry EQ!) but I did do a little work on fleshing out what the pilot will look like:

Only the head and chest will be visible, but it was still fun to draw. The helmet was updated based on EQ's in progress model which is looking really nice so far, it's really a privilege to work with a guy that's been advancing as steadily in his craft as EQ has.

Monday, February 06, 2006

DomWar 4: Scavenger, Dropship, Centaur

Monday, February 06, 2006 5
More good times from the frontlines. Here is a "concept tag" where I've done a briefy redesign of DTrip's robot guy. He described him as a scavenger, so I've focused on that aspect. I think of him as the Scavenger King, leader of the second wave of forces tasked with cleaning up smaller pockets of troops and subduing the weakened. Picking over the battlefield with a lumbering gait, I thought of him much as the thieves and rogues of medieval societies, the lowest order that would steal from the dead and dying on the battlefield.

I doubt this is going to be used for the contest, as it's quite a stretch to consider this a General. He, or it, is a sentient dropship, with great big bat wings that double as protective shields when disgorging troops. The streaming blue from the double-mouths is a mysterious energy-seeking ghost vapor (whatever that means).

And with respect to Mr. Andrew Jones, this was my paintover of Asthane's cyborg centaur lady. Two and half hours, I had a lot of fun putting this together. I typically try and resist the fairly trite dark-with-glowie-bits design style, but I think this turned out well.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

DomWar 3: Gorilla-Man

Saturday, February 04, 2006 0
Quick update, here's another concept I did for the Dominance Wars and for fun, really. It's an albino grenade throwin' gorilla man, though it's been pointed out that neither does he look like command material, nor does he look like he'd be able to throw the grenades. I'll likely take another pass where I give him more traditionally simian hand-feet, more dextrous hands without claws but plus maybe a cudgel or something. Also, a throat mic and some other tactical gear, plus a trophy or two.

DomWar 2: Mechs and Psionic

Alright, I've been busy with concepting for this competition, but it's been worth all the great boost of energy that's been radiating through the community. Briefly, here is a girlmech, a hitler mech, and a floaty psionic girl, concepted for Earthquake, katzeimsack, and Downsizer respectively.

earlier version here

early version here

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Thursday, February 02, 2006 2

Derived from my good friend hawken's elegant design.

Dominance War begins: Sectaurs' concept

Exciting times--the Dominance War, a contest between polycount and CGchat has just started, and both communities have hit the ground running. For my part, as I haven't completely a model since 2001, I've elected to furnish concept designs for anyone at polycount who asks for it.

There's always an inevitable bleed-off between when these contests start and when they end in terms of participation, but the sheer number of people joining in now means there should still be a healthy selection of final entries. It's only the first full day and people are chomping at the bit. Here's my thread on polycount offering my help, the first of which is for a friend who goes by Sectaurs. He requested something organic, a "flesh-tank" with a gun mounted on the back. Wanting to eschew typical cybernetic implant-type characters for this one, I went with a fairly novel take on the mounted gun:

And not to worry, my robot studies are still underway. I'm almost done with #4, in fact, it will be posted later today.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Robot 003: Radio Man

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 0
Here's a curious one: in my search for early robots from the 20's/30's, I came across this odd looking character, Radio Man. A Swiss engineer named August Huber built him in early 30's. I don't think there's any explaining the origin of his bizarre aesthetics, but he's the first "real" robot in these studies.
Maybe not the best known early robot, but easily one of the strangest looking ones--hats off to Herr Huber. For more information (and sneak peeks at several later subjects for these studies), check out the excellent site of David Zsondy. A wealth of early robot information and other emphemera from the first half of the 20th century, a great site.

Robot 002: R.U.R.

Were I to do these studies in strict chronology or importance to the history of robots, I'd have done this one first: R.U.R., Rossum's Universal Robots. Karel Capek's 1921 play first introduced the term "robot" (from the Czech robota, drudgery) into the popular lexicon. Ironically, Capek's Robots were more like clones than what we typically think of when we hear the word robot, but the significance of the play is still undeniable.

I place it second to Metropolis because 1.) these studies have no strict order to them and 2.) Capek's Robots, while historically notable, are not strongly remembered for their visual appearance. I had to do some digging to find images of the stage production to base this study on; this Robot design is from the 1923 production at St. Martin's, London. Click here for further material about the play.

gausswerks: design+concept. Design by Pocket