Alien Artwork

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Alien Artwork

Postby Oblivion » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:32 am

Hi, I'm starting this new thread beacuse, aliens seem to be woefully absent in VS art. If there are any other artists out there please contact the minister of information, jackS.

Here are concept arts for the Aera and the Dgn/Shmrn:
Please bombard me with hate mail and other comments.. :D
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Image

Image

If anyone else has any sketches of ANY alien species in VS please contact me. I need a lot more sources for me to visualize the aliens. Complete descriptions (not only physical - inlcuding cultural , history, etc.) are most welcome. Love letters will be sent back through snail mail... or my neighbor can have them. He's into voodoo :D
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Check out the database in the wiki!

Postby Zeog » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:53 am

A big pile of information awaits you in the wiki.
You can find
1.1 Physical characteristics
1.2 Habitat
1.3 Culture
1.3.1 Music
1.3.2 Writing
1.3.3 Science
1.3.4 Politics
1.3.5 Notable Factions and Organizational Entities
1.4 Religion
1.5 Number scheme
for many species on their respective pages.
Start at the Species page!

More information on history and relations:
Factions
History and Timeline
History of First Contacts
original VS universe documents in the library
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Postby Kangaroo » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:59 am

I think that any alien race should look as smart and "weak" as humans. They should have clothes or artifical armor just like humans have, cause otherwise it looks like taken from a jungle and put inside a starship. :)
What I'm trying to say is that they should like civilised just like humans.
Perhaps if you share your knowledge about 2D art, others could be helpful too. :wink:
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Postby klauss » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:16 am

That's a very good point.
Regardless of anatomy (I don't think they have to be weak, it depends on the environment, but weak compared to their native environment could be - but if they live in hostile environments, like the Aera, what seems weak for them could very well be rather strong for us).
I was saying... regardless of anatomy (weak or not), they would and should have clothes and protective clothing of all kinds - footwear, helmets in some situations, etc... don't forget that, because an alien lacking those elements just looks like an animal.
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Postby jackS » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:16 pm

For finalized versions of images of aliens, clothing and other common accessories will be important - but at this stage of image development, they'd only serve to obscure the underlying anatomy, making development of additional imagery more difficult.

There's little point in bringing in the fashion designers when all parties involved are still making sure that everyone is on the same page as to how many limbs there are and where they're anchored (unless someone is getting a _really big_ commission on post-facto tailoring ;-))
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Postby Paslowo » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:31 pm

Oh cool, I would like to see species get added to the game.
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Postby chrisdn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:08 am

I know it sounds stupid but I have always loved the characters from Babylon5, some of them are very well thought out. I would think that the political views of each race would dictate their clothing etc. Lets get some commies in the game...would be quite fun having the green party in space!
Has anyone seen the new Doctor Who? There are some pretty funky aliens in that now. One was a big giant thing in a space station, it was so bulky and generated so much heat it had to use the entire space station's cooling system to keep cool. It was a real ugly so and so.

In the VS universe, as I understand it, some races have have advance gentic manipulation technology. Clothing , armour etc which have been genetically modified would look great as would biologic weapons like the Skrill in Earth the Final Conflict.
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Postby Oblivion » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:57 am

This is not adding species :) It's creating images for existing ones who have yet to be photographed (like my dear friend - the yeti). :)

I've been through those pages Zeog, and they're either to be fixed or incomplete entries for the aliens (except the rlaans and the aerans, of course). Still I copied all the info there already.:)

As for clothing, etc. As jackS said, first focus on naked aliens (take pics of them naked and then blackmail them later :lol: just joking - to all aerans/rlaans reading this). clothing/armor/weapons will come later. Of course they'll have things. Even SuSims will wear underwear. :lol:

For 2d art, I dont have a "style" per se. I'm not even very good at it! :roll: I'm good at making hardcopy drawings (I mean with paper), but not (..yet??..) on the computer. Want to know how I usually draw things? (I use Arcsuite's Photoimpression, by the way. I got GIMP but it takes a while to get used to its interface.) I'm not a teacher so just try to get what I mean. :wink: I smudge the basic colors on the layer(layers) at approximately where I think they should be.(example where the head should be I paint a round circle of flesh tones). Then zoom in and tidy up every detail one at a time (adding the nose the eyes, etc.) It may take a lot of layers .. Shading everything. Then after doing that to every body part, take a look at the overall picture and adjust if anything's wrong (wrong proportion/shading/etc.) . I only use a mouse. :) No cats :lol:
See the unfinished drawings of people in the bar patron thread.

for babylon 5, again likw wing commander, I don't watch the series. We don't have cable in these vast region of dark wilderness I live in. I know of it of course. See some parts of it sometimes. But I don't follow the series (like I have never followd the entire Star Trek series(es? haha) and StarGate etc.)

Anyway, THERE ARE Commies in the game. Not Commies in the modern sense but adhering to the basic principles - Raise hell against the government, topple it down so the lead rebel can become Prime Stalinister and become the largest capitalist corporation (one whole country). No offense intended on existing members of communist nations here. I'm just angry at our local communist rebels here. Revolution is not supposed to be a way of life.

Turning away from the potentially inflammatory remarks I just made on governments. 8) there is the ISO in the VS game, but they're ragtag. And their cause is more hopeless than ever, as nation-states are non-existent.

For other artists out there, please help out. The sooner art be finalized, the sooner we'll see the VS universe as it was meant to be. :)

I know it'll be misleading. But here's the WRONG Dgn concept. :) It's really not how the Dgn look like. They're slimmer and more torpedo-shaped. But I'd like to have new images in this thread anyway. For people to fight over. :) I'll post next after jackS has approved the final Dgn/Shmrn morphology.
Image
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Postby chrisdn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:39 am

I knew alot of phillipinos when I worked in Dubai and every single one was frustrated about the political setup back home.
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Postby klauss » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:47 am

Not trying to do publicity, but Oblivion... to make any drawing directly on a computer (or indirectly), you need something like this.

I know by third-party experience. That is, my sister is a killer drawing machine, and was doing quite well with the mouse (optical mouse, obviously - ball mice are really not up to the task), but it wasn't precise enough nor natural enough. But those tablets make it so natural that you don't even have to know how to use a computer to make drawings with them - just master your drawing tools, and you'll be impressed at what you can accomplish with the aid of those things.

Sure... they're not cheap. So they're only for professionals - my sister is - or people with spare bucks ;)
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Postby chrisdn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:17 pm

Klauss...I work in publishing and I agree about ball mouses (not mice) not being up to the job. The stuff in that link are the toys I would dream of! Nevermind allow one of my designers to buy them(mainly layout people)! I do want a decent trackball though!
Anyway...any recent version of Corel (Draw+photopaint), Adobe(illustrator+photoshop) or any (of many non commercial wares!) should be able to do anything a user wants! I have always felt that software limits the imaginantion (to quote somone I can't remember). Oblivion seems to have some great ideas!

Oblivion...I'll ask or look around for anything that might be of use for you but if you need anything else then just ask.


PS Had 9 pints of carling so don't expect a prompt response!
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Postby Wisq » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:21 pm

Yeah, a tablet is really the best way to do graphics stuff. I can't actually draw (yet) myself, but even just editing images is much easier on my tablet. And mine's nice and portable, and provides its own drawing surface to boot. It didn't cost me a ton, either, back when I got it (many years ago).

My biggest use is for extracting images by making the unwanted parts transparent. I throw up an alpha mask, either all black (transparent) or all white (opaque), and then paint black or white on it until the undesired parts are transparent and the desired parts are opaque. Then I use the extracted image in other images. (There are tools to do this automatically, but I've never been satisfied with their results, especially when I try to outline wild animals that, by their nature, blend in with their surroundings.)

Unfortunately, that's about the extent of my artistic and graphics editing skills, so the tablet is a bit of a waste. Ah well. That's why I'm a programmer and not an artist. :)
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Postby Privateer Ferrius » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:28 pm

I actually prefer a mouse, as off the wall crazy as that sounds. For a few reasons.

A: airbrushing - the mouse bothces this badly, but I happen to have a REAL airbush, which is much better than any graphics synthesis. Scanning metal can be a little problematic, but thats what a good quality digital camera is for.

B: sketching/drawing - again, real pen and paper is much better. Same with any sort of digital painting; anything other than watercolour doesn't render that well, unless you have Painter, and even then it's not going to look as good as the real thing.


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Postby Ryder P. Moses » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:40 pm

Tablets are also a massive pain in the ass. I've had one for about half a year now, and most times rather than bother with it I'll just use the $10 MS optical mouse on a low opacity setting instead.

The one thing tablets do really well is not accuracy (a generic optical mouse on one of those fabric-topped mousepads companies give out for free gives you excellent control within about 1.3px anyway; if anything tablets are more awkward and the cheaper ones have detection issues as well), but rather the pressure/tilt sensitivity. Which is great if you want to fake real-media drawing but for some reason can't use an actual pen and paper; if you just want to draw or noodle around in Photoshop or whatever it's a big waste of money that'll just take up space on your desktop. Use that cash and space to buy a second monitor or a scanner something; you'll get much more out of it.

Of course, it might all be a matter of different skillsets- I can't draw for crap without a computer interface so something that's meant to simulate a pen and paper is kinda wasted on me. Someone more accustomed to real media and less to digital may get more out of it.
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Postby Privateer Ferrius » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:48 pm

I'm on the other end of the spectrum and I'm saying the same thing, so I doubt skillset is a big factor :P Give me a computer tablet and I can do a digital painting in a few weeks. Give me a pallete, oils, brush, and canvas, and I can do a real painting in a day or two.

I use computer graphics programs for just that - computer graphics. Photoshop is just as any other tool, use it for the right thing and it'll excell, try to do other things, and it just looks like those finger paintings everyone didn in preschool ;) Not even Fractal Painter does paints right, (though its head and shoudlers above the competition - too bad it got bought out and turned into a cheapy photoshop clone by Corel), and photoshop sure as bloody hell don't.
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Postby chrisdn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:55 pm

ignores Ryder completely

I find a mouse is great for anything (the better dpi the better!). A tablet for me is a painkiller (joke). Depends on what sort of work you're doing though, alot of CAD companies have their workflow with 2D guys on tablets and 3D guys on trackballs or those weird new things.

Still personal preference I suppose...I like mouses but would like a trackball.

If pure 2D is your option then use a decent trace program, there's loads out there...some better for certain things than others!
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Postby Privateer Ferrius » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:57 pm

Ignore Ryder all ye want, but I actually had a logically thought out point for once and it gets ignored. Go figure.
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Postby chrisdn » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:15 pm

Ferrius...sorry about mate. I can't draw for crap, paint for crap or anyhing. Give me a compuyer though and I can do (if I do say so myself) some ok stuff. I think all software is a very personal sort of thing...if it works for me it probably won't work for the next person! eg I use AC3D for modelling and most people hate it!

In my experience I have found that photographers and and artists (canva ro realworld world based) use computers to assist themselves whereas people people with no real (canva or realworld world based) skills rely on computers to do the work.

I'm a Marine Engineer originally and yet here I am designing starships and discussing alien species concepts. I'm now in Marketing and Publishing and learn as much as I can from designers.

PS Most designers I know fall into the 2 categaories I mentioned above...they all do damn good work though!
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Postby klauss » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:11 pm

I guess it's a matter of opinions.
I "borrow" the tablet for most graphic works, just because it's SO much more comfortable than a mouse.

And accurate. Not in the pixel-pointing sense, but in the sense that you can achieve specific shapes much more accurately than with a mouse, because the way you handle a mouse is completely unnatural, so it's hard on me (and my sister) to intuitively draw shapes with it.

But... I guess if you get used to it...
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Postby Privateer Ferrius » Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:19 pm

Klauss ... it is, largely. I am just a firm believer in using the right tool for the right job ;)

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Postby Ryder P. Moses » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:05 pm

Unless it's a soup mine.
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Postby klauss » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:07 pm

Well... most of the things I do with it can't be done on paper. Like photo retouching (very rarely, but I do that from time to time), or vector graphics, or the ocasional 3D stuff.

My syster uses it to clean up scanned drawings, so indeed she's using pen and paper most of the time. But after scanning, lines have to be redrawn, otherwise they don't look smooth enough, and paint has to be reapplied (otherwise, it doesn't look uniform enough). So the pen drawing was merely a guide for further work directly on the computer.
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Postby chrisdn » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:51 am

You got a family designing firm or something Klauss? I like the idea of a soup mine---mmm, soup.

If there are any freelance web and 2D designers out there please drop me a line chris.nicholaidis@zonemag.net . Might have some opportunities.

What do you call those big tracing tablets with the laser spot pointer? They look cool!
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SHMRN

Postby Oblivion » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:30 am

... :cry: ...

stop talking about tablets or even optical mouses please. There's a reason why a lot of filipinos (chris, that's spelled FILIPINOS not Phillipinos. After King Felipe. FilipinA for women.) are working overseas. We're a third world country. :roll: Ain't no money to spare. :? Same reason why I dont have Corell or adobe. An original software like that would cost around 3000 pesos (60 dollars), a small enough amount. But quite expensive in a country with average MONTHLY income is around 5000 pesos. :) I'm not exactly poor. middle-class but that's still poor by your standards. Anyway, money would not be spent on "hobbies" as our parents still view computers here. Even my PC's getting old. :)

I agree, a tablet would make sketching easier. But a mouse and a good graphics program would be more suitable for the finishing up. (especially in 3d)

Anyway, here's some things I did today. I'm not entirely clueless as to 3d modelling. I rendered a Shmrn today. Still unpolished though... dont hate me if it looks bad :)

I'll be modelling Mishtali, Lmpl, and Nuhln this weekend. Anyone got sketches , ideas of ANY aliens out there, post it here. That's the purpose of this thread. :)

DGN CONCEPT
Image

DGN/SHMRN Locomotion
Image

WORK IN PROGRESS :)
Image


SHMRN - FRONT VIEW
[img]
http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j200/ ... nFront.jpg[/img]

SHMRN - PERSPECTIVE VIEW
Image

SHMRN in swampland
Image[/list]
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Songs of thoughts only I can hear,
Leave me be to sleep forever,
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And sing my hymns,
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Postby Zeog » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:47 am

Oblivion, could you please do me the favor and make these tiny images you're posting a little larger. I just cannot read the writing on it, you know... :-)

Just one question, where are the Dgn "knees"?
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