Archive for November 2010

Snow Job Ch 04 Pg 12

November 1, 2010 Click for full size

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Kaagan-Vas

November 4, 2010

A few more alien designs for the flashback Kaagan-Vas. Interestingly, when doing these creatures, I had to keep reminding myself to leave areas on the back of the heads/necks for the actual KV symbols. It’s kinda surprising the number of concepts where I started to put horns or other shapes down the spine, only to realize that would interfere with the KV mark.

I did decide that maybe in some cases, aliens with horns back there might file them down or in other ways slightly modify themselves to accommodate the marks, but I ultimately didn’t end up showing any of that. I just settled on aliens with clear necks.

Snow Job Ch 04 Pg 13

November 8, 2010 Click for full size

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Kaagan-Vas Outfit

November 11, 2010

As I mentioned in the Commentary for The Big Snow Job #4, Page 11, the Kaagan-Vas outfits were a bit of a challenge since I wanted a somewhat unified look while still having the flexibility to fit over various alien body shapes. In my head, I was picturing something reminiscent of the Uruk Hai and Sauron’s orc army from The Lord of the Rings movies, which explains the first sketch, which is VERY Uruk Hai-ish. I’ll often do that sort of thing: if I know what the starting point is, I’ll usually draw that first just to get it out of my system and have it on the page so that I can start to veer AWAY from it and not make it too similar.

With the later versions, I started liking the idea of having the outfits themselves cut like very stylized versions of the KV symbol, where the areas of red would mirror the different shapes of the symbol. I worry that it straddles that Project Runway line of being interesting and showy without being too “costume-y,” but ultimately, I think it’s subtle enough as to not be too hokey. But as I said in the other Commentary, it does add a bit more red to the outfits than I originally envisioned.

However, I do like that it solves the problem of giving them a unified and instantly recognizable look from the front, especially since the telltale KV symbol itself (and their chief means of recognition) is only visible from the back, a design problem I only realized waaayyy too late!

Anyway, like I said, I’m not 100% sold on this design due to the amount of red. I think in a large group, it will start to look too uniform-y. So I might tweak it a bit in the future, but for the most part, I do like the concept enough to keep the gist of it.

Snow Job Ch 04 Pg 14

November 15, 2010 Click for full size

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Kaagan-Vas Weapon

November 18, 2010

Here we have sketches for the Kaagan-Vas weapon of choice: the firestaff, as described in the Commentary for The Big Snow Job #4, Page 12. Part blaster rifle, part flame thrower, part stabby-stick, and all fun. I knew going in that it would be a really big and cumbersome weapon, but I also like it for that reason as it enhances the bad-assery of the Kaagan-Vas. Basically, it’s a big, heavy, manly weapon that most others wouldn’t even want to try to pick up, let alone carry around into battle.

The idea was for it to be a heavy weapon that you carry low, somewhere around the waist. So it doesn’t have a gun sight and it’s not used for precise shooting like a sniper rifle. It’s more of a beast meant to inflict maximum carnage and firepower, kinda like the big guns used by Vasquez and Drake in Aliens.

The design of it was pretty tough since I wanted the user interface to fit with how it would actually be employed. Basically, some ways of holding it worked well for the rifle/flamethrower aspect, but then felt awkward with the blade slicing and/or thrusting motions. In the end, I think the secondary grip spanning the two barrels perpendicularly seemed to work best since it can be used to shoot, thrust, and slice with the least amount of awkwardness in any of those actions. And the grip also separates the two barrels a bit since you probably don’t want the flamethrower parts and blaster parts right up on each other.

I find it kinda funny that in one of the sketches, I even added a bludgeon to the back end. Because three weapons in one isn’t quite enough. Sure, you can shoot someone, set him on fire, and cut him up. But what if you really want to beat him down too? Well then your weapon is just lacking a little bit.

Anyway, with all that being said and all the thought that went into the design of the thing, you never actually see the KV firestaffs in any real detail in the sequence! Yay! Time well spent.

Snow Job Ch 04 Pg 15

November 22, 2010 Click for full size

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ciceron

November 25, 2010

It’s catch-up time!

The next few sketchbook pages are some of the earliest designs I did for the Snow Job story arc to try to settle on the look of the planet Ciceron itself. I knew I wanted the story to take place on a snowy planet, but I didn’t want it to look like Hoth. So I decided to give the planet some wooded and rocky areas instead of just having huge expanses of snow. Plus, for a story that had the crew tailing another group for a bit, I guess you kinda need stuff to hide behind.

This page was mostly about drawing real-life rock formations. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if I have a starting point in my head, I like to get it down on paper so that I can then go from there and either draw inspiration from it or deliberately try to make it different visually.

Snow Job Ch 04 Pg 16

November 29, 2010 Click for full size