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Thread: Unearthly Challenge'09 | H2olt| Glacier Grotto

  1. h2olt is offline
    Knight:
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    Location: Seattle
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    Unearthly Challenge'09 | H2olt| Glacier Grotto

    Sigh, I'm not sure exactly when this thing finally kicked off, I've tried not to actually start anything until the official go date, but then I stopped checking back regularly... So how much time did I loose?

    I got a few ideas down on paper this afternoon, I'm still not settled on an idea yet. But I figured there's no harm in putting up the stuff I'm thinking of even this early in development.

    In general I consider myself a character artist, and haven't tried making an environment on this scale before (just props and things) but I figured I'd give this a go and see what I can put together for this. at the very least, by the end of next month I should have a lot of props and a nice environment to show them off in.

    Here are the thumbnails what I got. Don't pay any attention to the photo ones at this point other than as inspiration. I'll post updates when I paint over them

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  2. artist_cg is offline
    Location: Cairo
    Posts: 232
    u still have a lot of time , the deadline is 16 november
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  3. mdrid is offline
    Location: Malaysia
    Posts: 372
    dont worry. Everytime u see something catchy, just write or sketch something down. look at more concept art references. Dont worry too much on the 3D technical stuffs. There are always ways to solve technical problems later on. And wish for time extension. TIME EXTENSION ROXZ!
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  4. Postjudice is offline
    Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
    Posts: 30
    you going for a fortress of solitude? or something more organic?
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  5. Shakedown is offline
    Knight:
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 168
    Some nice ideas so far! I realy like the cavern in the bottom right corner and the ice shape reff. are very cool!

    Good luck
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  6. Wikivic is offline
    Location: Cambridge
    Posts: 53
    Yeah I had the same problem, just sort of checked the forums again on a whim and found out the comp had started! Lost about 4-5 days due to having to finish up other stuff - but hey, having a solid concept before beginning is the key to a great end product so until you find exactly what you want to do its good to give yourself the time to think about it.

    Personally I'm really digging your second concept on the second row down - a futuristic city? Sort of reminds me a bit of Blade Runner

    Best of luck with it!
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  7. Skyme is offline
    Location: Austin
    Posts: 501
    You definitely have some good concepts going so far. I personally like the top left and bottom right corner images. Bummer that you lost a few days. Good luck.
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  8. h2olt is offline
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    Final Roughs, Oxymoronic I know.

    Thanks for the comments guys.
    artist_cg - true, but i'm already hoping for an extension :/
    mdrid - thanks, I'm probably going to use unreal engine. I've used it before when making game assets for contract work, and I made a few deathmatch maps way back when, but they were never very fleshed out. Basically big concrete structures to work out game flow ideas. This will be a good exercise In making something final.
    Postjudice - Not really fortress style (i think of that as crystals and stuff) The way I'm leaning is a cavern carved out beneath a glacier, or at least an Icy cave with some sense that water helped carve it out.
    Shakedown - Thanks, that one is my wife's favorite too. I'm definately trying to figure out how to work the theme into that one
    Wikivic - The thought of trying to make a bunch of buildings and keep it under the poly and texture cap is really daunting, but I'll try to develop the idea a little further.
    Skyme - Thank you. Hopefully the deadline won't be a problem. I think the top left idea could use some touch ups at this point now that I've gotten warmed up. I'm not great at designing buildings and manmade structures, but i think the play of those off the more organic cave could be effective.


    I started concepting stuff too soon it seems. I should have read the rules before diving in. I'm not sure how to incorporate the 'End Game' theme into all these ideas, but it should be a good exercise. Some of the more monolithic ideas lend themselves well to the theme while the cave dweller ones don't quite have the punch that the theme calls for. But I'm going to try to restructure the cave ones to have a more obvious destination. I added an ominous building at the back of the cave in the bottom right one, but my wife's idea that the 'light at the end of the tunnel' may be destination enough. I dunno. I'd like to hear what you guys think. quick descriptions of each below the image.



    1 - Sub glacial Ancient Technological civilization (ala halo)
    2 - Same thing but in a crevasse
    3 - glacier (meh ignore)
    4 - Crevasse with open bottom. Sorta a floating land thing. w/ primitive cliff dwellers (not yet pictured)
    5 - Ancient and primitive beings have tethered a powerful earth spirit, keeping it from roaming freely
    6 - Base of a space elevator
    7 - Techological civilization has pulled a giant space object into VERY near earth orbit
    8 - Similar to the alien ship from the beginning of 5th element. Not sure if the ships are with or against the aliens.
    9 - energy drilling platform partway down below a glacier. (ignore the toyota)
    10 - bridge dwellers living suspended over a waterfall. (meh) not much here, but i might find a different picture to try it from an angle below the waterfall.
    11 - base of the space elevator (meh, didn't really work)
    12 - Sub glacier tree dwellers. A convergence of life has allowed amazing plant life to develop and support a semi-primitive race. (similar to the walrus people in WoW)
    13 - My favorite in form at the moment. Haven't finished developing the structure involved here, but I think I have mannaged to highlight the final goal.
    14 - Everyone's current favorite. Any individual part could easily go. I liked the cave all on it's own but i'm trying to incorporate some 'end game' feel.
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  9. OtownHobbit is offline
    Location: Lafayette
    Posts: 24
    Ok. I am gonna go through most of them and ust give you some ideas they gave me when I looked at them.

    1.Feels very peaceful for some reason. Maybe like something from a futuristic tomb raider when this aichent civilization is found at the end of the game.

    2. I like this one a bit more than one. Maybe cause I see this one darker than the first one. If the walls were collapsing would create some cool looking shapes falling though space.

    4. This one seems like a close up of number 5

    5. I love this idea. I get the sense of a civilization built around and ontop of this floating mass. What if the mass started to fall? That would be a cool ending of their civilization.

    6. This one is kind of like the first one, maybe explorers entered the Ancient Civilization via climbing down the elevator shaft.

    7. This one feels like number 5 but with a more advance civilization surrounding it. Maybe testing to see what makes the thing float.

    9. ANCIENT TOYOTA CIVILIZATION! Honeslty, having a hard time thinking of something for this.

    10. Maybe this could be tired with with what I said for the 5th one. Maybe the rock is full of pores. So these bridges could be inside of the floating rock.

    11. Reminds me alot of star wars. Could be a tree civilization that was flash frozen, so you can still see the leaves and tree, but they are all frozen in time.

    12. Could be a massive underground utopia of plants and the light could be a civilization that discovered the area (probably going to destroy it).

    Hope some of those ideas can help. The "End Game" topic seemed easy at first... but when you think about it, it seems become a bigger challenge than it seems.
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  10. h2olt is offline
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    Full Concepts

    OtownHobbit - Wow. that was unexpected. Thank you for such detailed crits. Several of those really came in handy when I was trying to think over how to implement the theme.

    I've taken a couple of the concepts I like best from the above thumbnails and develop them into full concepts. I still have some ways to go in developing details pertaining to the civilizations in each concept but I feel like I'm well on my way.

    You may notice that as the work went on I refreshed my skills at the technical aspects of painting with the wacom. I'm tempted to go back and work over the first couple ideas to see if it's the concept or my drawing skill that's leading me to like the last ones best.

    Please let me know what you think of these now that they're more thoroughly developed. The representation of the 'End Game' theme may be a bit shallow, but as this is my first full environment work up i figure better to go for my strengths than to push too hard at the theme.




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  11. nawal is offline
    Location: Milan
    Posts: 105
    really cool concept!! cant wait to see some models
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  12. Severo is offline
    Location: Hatfield
    Posts: 17
    Wow, they're all so good!
    My favorite one is the last one. I really like the contrast and the mood it creates. Very awe inspiring. I would definately love to explore that level.

    In the third one you have to moon shining in at the top. I'm wondering if it would work combining a similar element in the last concept, it might make it too busy though, but I really like that about your third concept.
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  13. alterego001 is offline
    Posts: 9
    realy nice ideas im loving the concept, have to say my favourite has to be the second from last concept peice, i realy like the enviroment you have pictured look forward to seing which you choose.
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  14. Wikivic is offline
    Location: Cambridge
    Posts: 53
    I like the second from last, with the blobby trees and possibly some kind of green goo/biological weapon?

    I think the composition works well, with 3 major focal areas: the sky at the top, the tunnel, and the pool of green at the bottom. You almost want to look into the sky to breathe, as if the world's being suffocated by a blight.

    Also, the painting style reminds me of some old fantasy/sci-fi book covers - perhaps use of something stylistic in the final rendering, like colours that are a little over-saturated, could work well to create a feeling of disharmony...

    (hehe! sorry for the ramble hew: )
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  15. ivaj is offline
    Location: Vancouver
    Posts: 64
    I like the last two the best, though the last one is the favorite of the two. I think the last one you could get some really interesting colours using the bounced light. Bouncing off the water and cave walls. Good luck!
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  16. h2olt is offline
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    Let the 3d work commence

    nawal - Thanks... and here's some modeling (and a bit of backpedaling)
    Severo - I was thinking that the last concept would be the one I would go for, but I'm just not feeling it...
    alterego001 - Thanks, I think there's too much cool stuf going on in that concept to ignore.
    Wikivic - I appreciate your ramble I really think compositionally and design content wise the tree design works the best.
    ivaj - I love the look of the last one as a concept, but it just doesn't feel like what I want to spend the next month working on...

    Before I say get on to anything else, I have to say what a relief it is that you guys like some of the concept work I've done in photoshop. For the most part I think in 3d and consider myself a sculptor foremost, then a modeler, then a texture artist and lastly a concept artist. Concepting is always an exercise in pulling teeth and it's helped a lot to get some support during this phase.

    Well, I spent yesterday working out a few things, refreshing myself with the workings of Unreal editor for the most part. I spent some other time blocking out (badly) the 4th concept and I realized, (this may bit me in the ass a month from now) that it's just too simple. Most of the modeling and texturing work would be done on it within a couple weeks and it would just come down to how well I could light and apply atmosphere to a map in Unreal editor. I want my time spent on this competition to be another chance to stretch my understanding and use of z-brush and the workflow I'm developing with it. After dealing with the technical stuff yesterday I long to sculpt curvy flowy organic things like the trees and pods in concept 3.

    Here's a quick look at what I had going with concept 4.
    Attached Images  
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  17. Postjudice is offline
    Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
    Posts: 30
    hmm I'd tone the color scheme way down in there, bump it up a bit more in poly count (I know its blocking, but I'm still getting confused with some of the lighting effects you have going on). I'd worry about the tonal quality before the hue.
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  18. Orgoth02 is offline
    Location: Phoenix
    Posts: 153
    yeah I agree with Postjudice. the color is throwing it off, i would even say get rid of all the color together at this stage.
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  19. h2olt is offline
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    Ok, I was putting that image up as progress on the dead end I wasn't going to be pursuing, before I got working on the other idea. I repeat, I am not going through with that idea above. I suppose my statement was a bit long for people who only read short captions that go along with the images.

    I'll try to edit myself in the future to streamline the responses.
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  20. h2olt is offline
    Knight:
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    Location: Seattle
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    Here is what I WILL be working on. This is just blocking stuf out before I take it into zbrush. These aren't base meshes, it's just blocking out the scene so that I can sculpt stuff in the right positions and scale in zbrush. The lighting is only a general start. Not wasting time lighting this in maya if I have to do it again in unreal.

    Again, not really an environment artist so I'm just gonna treat this thing as one big sculpture, and hope that I can break things up and texture them properly later.
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