Archive for the ‘science fiction’ tag
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode SNAFU. SNAFU is a claustrophobic military story in the tradition of ALIENS. It’s nice to get a good solid science fiction story to illustrate occasionally. The spaceship corridor was constructed and rendered in Blender 2.5. I was a little tight for time on this one, so I didn’t get much of a chance to give the soldier some more futuristic gear, but it visually sells the story.
The cover for the 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode CHEMO: The Town of Golden Woods. Julie asked for an abstract cover, and that’s what happened. The story centres around a hive mind, so to express that I used a hexagonal honeycomb pattern (Bees being quite symbolic of collective behavior), that was constructed and rendered in Blender 2.5. I’ve gone for eyes again, and mouths, because they’re such powerful images, it’s how we typically connect with others, it’s where we look when we’re talking to someone. I’d love to see this animated with blinking eyes looking around, and mouths speaking simultaneously.
My own eye and mouth is in that lot somewhere. The (lengthy) attributions follow …
The cover artwork for Warp’d Space episode 5 Peace Day. This artwork was heavily inspired by the beautiful speculative and fantastic images of space travel found in the Terran Trade Authority Handbooks. In particular, the rendering of a space scene in very light colours, away from the traditional blue/blacks. I started out with yellows which became a lovely peach. This is my favourite cover of the series so far. The Drake was rendered in the new Blender 2.5 beta, which I’m starting to get to grips with.
I really need to find some time to re-create the 3D model of The Drake — it was good for my level of expertise at the time, and turned out quite well, but it is really lacking in texture and detail. This will be a project for the remainder of the year, neatly dovetailing with my goal to improve my Blender3D skills.
The cover artwork for Warp’d Space episode 4, the second part of the story “For the Record”. The photograph of the actor was supplied to me, however I had to conceal a rather stylish hat, and replace his suit with something a little more functional and utilitarian to make it look like he belonged on a space ship — a digitally altered set of fireman’s clothes!
The cover design for the new Warp’d Stories range of dramatised short stories. This will be a general cover, and won’t change (aside from the text) from release to release. I initially was under the impression the stories would be all set in the Warp’d Space universe, which is main reason The Drake is an “illustration” in the book. I learned later that the stories would be general science-fiction tales (the first is drawn from the brilliant Project Gutenberg), but the illustration fits anway — saves me making a whole new space-ship illustration! The first episode will be released via the Warp’d Space site.
I’m really happy about the way this came together, and the look of it.
The cover for the current episode of Warp’d Space. This cover features Beverly Poole, who plays the character/s called “Pilot”.
The cover for Episode 2 of Warp’d Space, showing “The Drake” in trouble in warp space.
Episode 2 of Warp’d Space is due to be released 1st December, 2009.
Licencing and Attribution
One of these projects was to do some CD covers, and I’ve been steadily doing these for 19 Nocturne Boulevard ever since. Julie who runs 19NB asked me if I’d consider doing a logo for a friend of hers — Kimberley — who was writing another audio drama: Warp’d Space which is in the tradition of thoughtful character based science-fiction/space-opera such as Star Trek.
Earlier this year I’d decided I wanted to model a spaceship in the style of Chris Foss, Peter Elson, Angus McKie etc. using Blender 3D, so I decided to combine the two goals and said “yes” when asked to do the covers.
Kimberly described the ship “The Drake” as being like a “jumping jack”, so the first cover I did had most of the right elements on, but I grabbed a jumping jack image from the internet as a placeholder to see what it would look like. Then I began re-learning how to use Blender, and we went through several iterations of the design and arrived with the above. The ship isn’t “finished” as such — there’s quite a few flaws and things I’m not happy with … but they’re the final 10% of things, and relate more to my goals and my inexperience with the software, and not to the immediate suitability of the artwork. Something that is 90% done and definitely looks okay, is ready to be used in my opinion.
There’s a precedent after all — Over the years, the Enterprise model/effects shots became progressively more detailed. I’m just following the model of stepwise refinement.
I really like doing work for other people, especially where it aligns with my own interests. I never would have thought to do a space-ship of this shape, but it’s turned out really well.
Warped Space: Episode 1 “Milk Run” is scheduled to be released October 1st, 2009.
I’ve been doing a few CD format covers for 19 Nocturne Boulevard. It’s an audio drama podcast anthology show of horror, fantasy and science fiction.
The first cover I did was for the episode The Outpost just as a sample. I’m doing them semi-regularly now. They’re great fun to do, and the anthology format lets me stretch myself creatively in a number of genres I like. It’s also good to work to some kind of deadline, and to try not to get hung up on getting it “perfect”, just to get it “done”.
I’m pleased most of all with the colour — the main theme of the play is gender, and while the male/female eyes shows it obviously, the pink and blue shading reinforces it subtly (as long as your culture subscribes to the “dress boys in blue, and girls in pink” cliché of course).