Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by aridas sofia, Mar 3, 2008.
A most excellent 'evolution' from the early concept sketches, many kudos and well wishes !
And here are a few concepts for other vessels in the United Worlds fleet:
Again, click the image for a larger version.
There are some common elements to these designs, all inspired by certain characteristics of the Polaris. They all have disc shapes in various configurations, which I am interpreting as a key element of United Worlds FTL drive technology. Also, the two on the right follow the Polaris trend of a "vertical" profile, taking traditionally horizontal shapes and turning them on-edge.
Another feature common to all but the upper left design is a longitudinally-stacked deck configuration. I suppose the one in the upper left could have that, too, but it makes less sense with the way its hull is shaped. I'm thinking about making that one a Transhuman Authority design.
On an artistic note, I really had fun with these sketches, trying out a few new techniques, and I actually completed all of them in less than two hours. I made a deliberate effort not to overthink them, to just let the pencil flow and see what came out of it. I think the end results wound up to be fairly original.
Nice. Very deco. The top two, especially, look like '30s skyscrapers tipped on their sides and with engines bolted on.
Dang Vektor, I love your sketching style. Can you describe your technique?
Well, I use a Wacom Cintiq tablet and do almost all my artwork digitally these days. Software-wise, I’m using Corel Painter X, which does a great job of simulating all kinds of natural media from pencil sketching to oil painting.
The sketches above were done using the digital equivalents of a medium pencil and various shades of oil pastels. I used a light gray background rather than white just to reduce the contrast a little, then I completely shaded each ship with a 50% gray. From there, I used a 75% gray for the light areas and a 25% gray for the shadows (100% being white and 0% being black). Finally I created some highlights using pure white, which is nicely set off against the off-white background. The oil pastel brushes in Painter allow you to create some very nice blends between shades and are easy to work with.
These are rough shape studies with relatively little detail, but they are fast and easy to produce and do a good job of getting the concept across.
Cool. I'll have to see if I can get similar results in Photoshop, seeing as how I don't have Corel. I'm using a WACOM Intuos, which is pretty simple. What do you like about the Cintiq? Are there any fancy features that sets it apart?
Well, the Cintiq is not just a pen tablet, it’s also a graphic display so you’re working directly on-screen. I haven’t used the Intuos but I have used the Bamboo series and they work well, but not having that disconnect between my hand and my eye makes all the difference to me.
^ I would love to have a Cintiq. The idea of working directly with the screen is very appealing to my 'old school' sensibilities. I have adapted to the separation between my hand and my eyes but I would rather have that tactile connection.
And brilliant work, as always. I am amazed at how different yet familiar this ship looks and feels. (I would have loved to had a chance to design the sets for this amazing little vessel.)
I think I've mentioned it before, but I really like the "outside the trek-box" original designs. Can't wait to see this project completed.
What Vektor has done with this, building on Aridas' base structure, is really really nice in that it's got the sort of "thingness" about it that I think the basic Trek starship design does while being as you say really outside of that envelope.
The best "nacelles" I've ever seen still belong to the Gunstar in "The Last Starfighter". You can see exactly how the thrusters would work to rotate, thrust, and reverse thrust. The Starfuries from B5 borrowed the configuration almost exactly.
Actually Dennis, I do have a question about the window placement on the Polaris, maybe Vektor could chime in on this too. It's my understanding from what I've read here, and on the Polaris site that the ship's interior is actually set so that what appears in the picture as the front of the ship is actually the top as the crew would see it. If that's correct, then shouldn't the windows themselves be rotated 90 degrees? It just looks as if the windows appear taller than they are wide and I would think that having them wider than they are tall would be more appropriate. If that's an intentional design trait, then that's fine, I was just curious. Of course, that's also dependent on whether or not what I am assuming are windows are just that and not panels doors of some sort.
The decks are, indeed, stacked along the ship's direction of travel so that "up" for the occupants is in the direction of the ship's "front." Originally, there was a technological rationalization for this wherin ship's gravity was at least partially derived from accelleration. Aridas had that all worked out and it involved "banking" the acceleration forces and a number of other complicated things. For dramatic purposes, all it does is keep everyone's feet attached to the deck.
The windows shown in my latest sketch are oval in shape and taller than they are wide. I thought that was most in keeping with the ship's inspirational origins in '40s and '50s pulp science fiction. I did try orienting them the other way but didn't like the look of them.
Vek, seriously, you need to work on the next trek doing ship designs, your stuff is amazing. Whoops missed the description on the top of the page.
Reading the whole thread is good!
Well, there you go! That's pretty nifty. I can't hardly "draw" with my pen and tablet. I generally sketch with a real pencil and usually ink it and then scan it to refine digitally. I can see how how having the image right there to draw on would make digital art that much easier. Hmm, I'll have to save my pennies though. At about $1,000 give or take, I think it'l have to stay on the wish-list for a while...
Cool sketches, and thanks for the technique description!
Related question - what would you do if you wanted to add some color to these, start over fresh with a different technique, use this as an overlay to a color layer, or what?
Well, I'm still figuring these techniques out myself, but I imagine I would apply the color to a separate layer. Layers are great for keeping the various components separate and retaining the ability to adjust them relative to each other. Components include value (light and dark), color, outlines and highlights, among others. I only used two in the last set of sketches: value and outlines. Technically, I did some highlights with pure white but I combined them with the value layer. There are reasons, especially if you're using color, to do the highlights as a separate layer.
Myself, I'm patiently awaiting the technical manual to that fine vessel !
Or heck, the "Art of Polaris" coffee table book.
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