Everything about this image was hard. So relieved I’ve finally reached a point where I’m happy with it. Cheers!
Tag Archives: Alien
From strawberries to Tukti to Redbubble
In between harvesting strawberries and making passata from our homegrown tomatoes, I’ve been making another Tukti. This is the first one I made:
This is the new one:
And the reason I made a new one is that I’ve discovered Rebubble, a print-on-demand company for things rather than books. 🙂
As with Amazon, you provide the design, and Redbubble does the rest. I’m not sure if any of my designs will appeal to buyers, but there is at least the potential of turning my graphics into a passive income.
I can’t show you any of my ‘products’ yet, but I will say that the Tukti look great on socks! I figured if nothing else, I’d buy Tukti socks for winter and become a walking advertisement. 😀
Ok, enough fun. Time to harvest some more tomatoes.
A song for the Tukti
I haven’t been on Soundcloud for a while, but their algorithms know me too well! This is the first song Soundcloud recommended for me when I logged in. Sweet yet eerie. Perfect for the Tukti. Wow…just wow. 😀
Still some things to tweak, but the graphic is starting to feel more alive. Night all. 🙂
A work in progress
Getting that hand to look as if it’s actually gripping the Tukti has been hard, and I’m not really happy with it yet. But…it’s getting there.
Ta Dah… a Tukti
I don’t have time for the post I’d planned so for now I’ll just show you the Tukti, complete with legs. 🙂
I’ll show more in the next post.
I’ve been doing a lot of graphics lately. It seems to be the only creative activity I can focus on with all the craziness in the world, so here are the latest concept images of the iVokh:
These two images will never grace the cover of a book, but they have clarified a number of simple mechanical issues for me. One of them is that when the primary arms are held up above the head, the legs have to be a little bit apart otherwise there is not enough ‘give’ in the wings.
I would very much like to create an image of the iVokh flying, but I know that will be a major project so instead I’m working on creating a digital ‘collage’ of the Tukti. They’re cute little critters and have an important role to play in the on-going story of Vokhtah.
This is the original concept drawing:
And this is how far I’ve got in translating that concept into a more photo-realistic, 3D image:
Creating something that looks ‘furry’ with vector graphics has been a lot harder than I originally thought. Read…I didn’t think. Anyway, I’m pleased with how the head and body finally turned out, and once I have the legs done, I’ll do a post showing a little bit of the process. As per usual, I create my digital collages with Corel Draw X8.
Hope you’re all having a great weekend,
Why did I ever think this would be easy?
It took me an age to get the musculature of the Vokh right, but once it was done I assumed that slapping on some wings would be easy. Har de har har….
When working with Corel, I create one half of everything then copy-flip it to the other side. As a result, this image is only half finished. I was going to complete it, but then I realised it was an effective way of showing the muscles themselves instead of just the suggestion of muscles beneath the skin of the wings.
Anyway, I’ve been sweating blood over the damn wings since the Offspring – a real artist – pointed out that this fudge didn’t work:
I had to admit that the Offspring was right, but it left me in a quandary because I couldn’t work out how to do it properly. Then I found this picture of a bat:
Turning the reference pic of the bat upside down gave me an idea of how the skin would ‘pull’, but I forgot that the lighting was upside down too. -facepalm-
To cut a long story short, I have done little else but obsess about this pic for days. Now, at last, I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax, at least until tomorrow. 😀
When one thing leads to another…
I bought a super dooper video editor from a trusted brand, and it’s turned into my bête noire. But I paid for it, right? So I set about learning it and finding workarounds for its…idiosyncracies.
To learn the features I most needed to use, I began a project in which I had to weave bits of video with still photos that I could pan and zoom. How in heck can a simple zoom be so hard? But I digress. One of the still photos I wanted to use was a pic of an iVokh except…you guessed it. The more I looked at that pic in unfamiliar surroundings, the less ‘right’ it looked.
The perspective was the problem. 😦 For reasons known only to my subconscious, I began work on the iVokh body from a three-quarter perspective. At that kind of angle, the bits furthest from your line of sight appear smaller. Or at least, they’re meant to.
Now, I don’t know about you, my friends, but I tend to create images by feel. I keep tweaking them until they feel right. The one thing I don’t do is set up a vanishing point with lines to show where the tricky bits are meant to go.
Sadly, there’s a first time for everything:
So I managed to get the perspective more or less right, but then I faced another huge problem – how to represent light and shade. In the previous iteration of the iVokh, I’d cobbled together scraps of images to get both the texture and lighting effects I needed to create something approaching 3D. Now I had to do most of that again.
Digital collage is complicated by the fact that every piece has to blend in to the pieces around it. Trust me, that’s hard because even in what amounts to black and white, there are almost infinite shades of grey:
There’s no real explanation for what happened next though. Once I had all the shades of grey playing nicely, I thought, “Hmm…maybe it’s time to finally create the cilia!” So I did:
I did hunt for images I could use for ‘cilia’…
…but none of them worked, so I ended up creating a vector ‘cilia’ that I could resize, deform, and orient however I pleased. One by one….
I must admit I’m rather proud of the cilia I created. When your alien doesn’t have eyebrows to frown with, or nostrils to flare, or a mouth that smiles, smirks [hate that word], pouts, and droops etc., you really need some way of describing emotive facial expressions, so the cilia do a heck of a lot of work. Kahti peers through the ‘fringe of its cilia’, and sometimes its cilia ‘go rigid with dread’ or shrink, or droop, or wave around… You get the idea. 🙂
Oh, and while I was at it, I realised that the image needed to tell a story, so I changed the figure’s posture and gave it a starrock bead to stare at. Oddly enough, the bead and its leather thong were the easiest objects to create:
In the story, only metal objects made in the south of Vokhtah have a pinkish colour. This becomes a rather important plot point so I added the bead to the image as well.
The one thing I have not done is finish that video. Maybe tomorrow. 😀