Thursday, January 31, 2008

The odd couple...

...couple of aliens, that is! har har The first one is a rather blatant derivation of one of the Locust Grubs. What can I say? I've been playing a lot of Gears of War for the PC lately. I mainly wanted to give these guys a sense of weight and mass, like the rather heavyset Boomers.
The second is an insectoid alien with tribal trappings. I really wanted to give these guys a distinctive gait due to their toothpick, flamingo-esque legs. I imagine they move in a strange, ostrich-like fashion. Their clothes and weapons reveal a primitive, yet unmistakably intelligent lifeform.

Boy, what a difference Z Brush makes!

So, in my continuing foray into the world of modeling I have finally discovered Z Brush. With this program, a viewer can be fooled into thinking that the low polygon object at which they're looking actually has a much higher level of resolution and surface detail. For example, I modelled the following arm and hand in Maya at a meager 640 faces.

I then imported it into Z Brush, pumped up the resolution to 655,360 polys and began what can be best described as either 3-Dimensional drawing or true digital sculpting. Using my Wacom stylus and tablet, I was able to add and subtract mesh as a sculptor adds and subtracts clay, before finally sculpting the fingernails and carving all of the intricate wrinkles and folds in all their glorious minutia (we all know I'm a detail whore).

Finally, a "normal map" is generated and exported out of Z Brush: a kind of trompe-l'œil texture map that reacts to light and shadow as if there were actually surface geometry. In reality, however, it's just the same 'ol 640 face arm and hand.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Guillotine tested--psycher approved

Okay, so I was thinkin' (note to self: need to start doin' more of that)... if the Tech Psychers are using their psychic energy (which I am theorizing is generated from their brains) to control their tech suits, then the ultimate realization of that would be to simply chop off their heads, connecting them up to machines that provide their brains with oxygenated blood. Maybe you could even throw in a couple of injectors filled with hormones, adrenaline, whatever... the point is, they're reduced to being disembodied heads... their conciousness being held in check through sheer force of psychic will . After that realization, I was able to come up with an even weirder design for the tech suit. Muse of the day: Schlotzsky's .

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Battle Royale!

Okay, so I wanted to create this big epic battle, ala Lord of the Rings; The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe; etc. I imagined this huge vista, like Albrecht Altdorfer's "The Battle of Issus" or even Alan Lee's paintings of the various battles in Lord of the Rings. Anyway, um... this is what I ended up with. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Muse of the day: Steak and Shake.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Oh, one more, just for fun!

Well, looks like my Quiznos muse theory is faulty because I drew this one in a Firehouse Subs. Maybe "lunch" is my muse or, more likely, "food" (mmm... food). Anywho, I thought I'd try my hand at another Tech Psycher. I imagine them being--how shall I put it?--a bit unhinged and frenzied due to their psychic energy being artificially boosted in order to power their exotic tech suits. I also wanted to capture the fact that they do not need to carry any weapons or equipment because their tech suit, itself, is a weapon. Being an apartment dweller, let me tell you that you wouldn't want them living upstairs from you... very loud music. Er, uh, yeah.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More of the same...

Well, Quiznos must be my new artistic muse. I drew my first Neo-wizard there, and tonight I drew another one (...all hail the creative force that is the Chicken Carbonara ...with bacon ...mmm!). Anyway, this one is in danger of being recruited by the Warhammer 40K space marines, but--I can't help it!--I love all of the 40k designs! I'll probably followup with another Tech Psycher sans the helmet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hail to the King, baby!

Here's a crappy scan of a portrait of Elvis that I drew for my father-in-law this Christmas, who is--how shall we say?--an extreme Elvis fan. Since my source picture was approximately 4" and the final drawing is around 11" X 14", I resorted to my tried-and-true method for capturing the image: I drew it completely upside down. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I find that I have much more accurate results when I draw something upside down (i.e., it confuses the left hemisphere of the brain, so it won't intrude as much). So when I presented it to my father-in-law, he not only proceeds to tell me the performance from which this picture was taken, but pulls out the DVD to prove it! Anyway, here's Elvis in all his clam bake, hunka hunka burning, peanut butter and banana-eating goodness.

More Sci-fi/Fantasy stuff

I tried to imagine what a wizard, normally associated with a fantasy/Tolkein setting, would look like if placed within a sci-fi environment. First, I designed armor that would provide free range of motion for spells that require physical gestures to cast. Next, I provided a vocal amplifier to enhance the range of spells that require an uttered phrase to be cast. Third, I provided zoom lens/thermal/night vision goggles to enhance the range of spells that require line of sight. I then added pouches for spells requiring physical ingredients and cut the fingers off the gloves for spells that require physical touch. Finally, I created digital spellbook tablets and a wand gauntlet. The armor, of course, would be enchanted using traditional magical methods. Think I played a little too much D&D growing up?
Unlike the Neo-wizard, who draws his power from the outside natural world, the Tech Psycher uses technology to boost his own inner psychic power. While the Neo-wizard uses technology to simply boost his protection and casting skills, the Tech Psycher actually powers and controls his exotic armored suit via psychic power. The suit, therefore, becomes an extension of his own body: an exoskeleton as well as a powerful weapon.

...and, yes, in the future there WILL be huge boots! It's mentioned several times in Nostradamus' quatrains!!!