Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maj. Mandella, 2458

And so we arrive at the last fighting suit in the series, the one Mandella wears on his final campaign, more than four-hundred years after his first.

I also did a little bit of touch-up on the Lt. suit, mostly just secondary highlighting and a name-tag on the helmet.

Speaking of tags, you'll notice I've begun to tag things!! I'll keep doing that until I forget to...

Pvt. Mandella, 1997

Got the suit I started yesterday finished. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I'm going to start on the last suit in the series right away.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pvt. Mandella, 1997

I decided that my first version of the fighting suit looked far too complex to be the one which Mandella would have fought in at the beginning of his military career, particularly compared to the suit I just finished, which would have been the second iteration.

So I went back to the drawing board with it, first re-reading the relevant sections of the book and then pawing through my vast reference files. I've been working on this all morning:

It feels much bulkier and cruder, which is exactly what I was going for. My two main pieces of reference were spacesuits and modern ballistic vests. When I finish it and the third suit (the one that Mandella wears as a Major in 2458,) I'll put them on a single image.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lt. Mandella, 2024, part 4

That colored up a lot faster than I expected it to.

Lt. Mandella, 2024, part 3

Finally got the greyscale drawing finished.

The way I've been working for a while now is to do a completely rendered greyscale drawing before even thinking about color. I get all the problems of proportion, value and design figured out before worrying about color. The color layer comes next, right above the greyscale layer and set to "multiply". You can see that in-process above. Once the color layer is down, then I start on the highlight layer.

I've also been experimenting with the layer setting "soft light recently", yielding mixed results.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lt. Mandella, 2024, pt. 2

Spent some more time on the suit I was working on yesterday. Spent too much time trying to make the legs work before finally erasing them and starting over.

Hopefully I can get this one finished soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lt. Mandella, 2024

Instead of focusing on armament details, I started doing the second fighting suit instead. This one is described as much more complex than the previous iterations, and has sixteen instant-amputation and cauterization rings in case the suit gets damaged. Trade a limb for a life.

I should have it finished soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Forever War Fighting Suits

I mentioned earlier how I'm re-reading Forever War and drawing some of the stuff described in it, and I forgot how much fun it was to do this kind of concept work.

The other really cool thing about this project is how much more stuff there is to do: The huge warships Mandella and the rest of the Army fly around in , the dropships, and the Taurens themselves. Triply-cool is the fact that there are three separate time periods, so I get to draw the fighting suits as they evolve through the war over the course of a few hundred years.

I think I'll do a detail of the laser finger next, or maybe the grenade launcher that Mandella is occasionally equipped with....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Frickin' Laser Beams!

I've got lasers on the brain. To be fair, this isn't particularly noteworthy: I've had lasers and spaceships and death-helicopters and power-armor on the brain for going on fifteen years now. But the laser stuff has been coalescing recently, and I'm trying to paint a picture of what a future war with actual lasers would actually look like.

Even partially-realistic depiction of lasers in science fiction is the exception, not the rule. For the most part, laser weapons are treated like modern-day battle rifles, only they shoot lasers instead of bullets. I'm re-reading Forever War, and Haldeman seems to have actually did his research(okay, not so much with the finger-lasers on the fighting suits, but they get a pass for being so damn cool) The bases that the army builds are ringed by giga-watt laser cannons slaved to a targeting computer, which handles defensive use automatically.

Sounds simple, but it opens up a whole new dimension for future war scenarios. Check out this clip, and imagine that instead of a manipulator hand, there's a frickin' laser on it!

After you watch that, you can imagine this guy in action:

The idea would be that the robot arms would be controlled by an A.I., sort of like a fucked up robot Master Blaster. They would melt rockets out of the sky before they could do any damage. The actual soldier becomes more like a destruction facilitator.

Hopefully more Forever War tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cool Quotes, part 1 of hella...

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

-Betrand Russell*

*Probably. I mean, the Internet says so, but the Internet will also tell you that there's a song by The Who called Teenage Wasteland....

Where to Start?

So, here we are. Should have probably done this a while ago, but..... you know.

Look to this space to see stuff I'm working on, links to stuff I think are cool, you know, bloggy shit.

To get the ball rolling, here's the first in a series of pieces of inspired by Joe Haldeman's Forever War. More to come....