Posts Tagged ‘Ulon Dosi’

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Head

December 30, 2010

I knew I wanted the Ulon Dosi to have a goat-like appearance, so that made for an easy starting point. In general, with aliens, I don’t mind drawing inspiration from actual animals, but I’m not a big fan of just putting straight-up animal heads on human bodies. I prefer to play around with features, mixing and matching them between different animals (or making them up), and I always try to play around with different proportions.

The Ulon Dosi had the extra challenge in that I knew they were going to be major characters in the story arc and needed to be sympathetic and look like intelligent beings, so I didn’t want them to look TOO animalistic. So I deliberately kept the snouts from being too long and tried to straddle that line between animal and human proportions in the face.

As a random note, back in 2007, I did a freelance comic project called The House of IL for a corporate anniversary event. The 3-issue comic was distributed among the company employees but was not made available to the masses. It was a fun D&D-type story about a band of adventurers and I really liked the different character designs I did for that series since the characters all had armor based on different historical styles, and each set of armor was distinctive and had its own telltale, instantly recognizable features. Anyway, one of the characters had tiny beads in his hair, and I always liked that look, so those beads made it into the Ulon Dosi as war beads that the fighting males of the village wear.

You can check out some pages from The House of IL, as well as the character sheets here. If, for some reason, you’d like to buy a set of the comics, just shoot me an email through my Contact page.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Body

January 6, 2011

With the Ulon Dosi head settled, I then tackled the body. As a side note, sometimes I sketch the entire body and head at the same time if I’m going for an interesting overall silhouette. In this case, I wanted to establish the personality of the race with the head first, and then use that to derive the body.

I wanted the Ulon Dosi to be beefy and intimidating, so the broad shoulders and slightly hunched bodies were there from the get-go. I also thought about having different striped patterns in the fur, a concept that I either abandoned or forgot about once I got to the coloring stage (oops).

Early on, I stumbled upon the idea of the fur capes, which was something I really liked since I personally had never seen that kind of concept before. You can read some of my comments about the fur capes back on The Big Snow Job #3, Pages 14-15. Of course those fur capes made the clothing much more awkward to design since the clothes now couldn’t wrap around or under the arms the way normal shirts can. More on the clothing in the next post…

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Clothes

January 13, 2011

The Ulon Dosi clothes were a fun design challenge since I had to work with the constraints of the fur capes and try to make clothing that would believably work with those bodies. I always planned for the race to be fairly low tech, so early on I settled on pretty basic leather hide tunics and wraps. I did try a couple other looks in the first few sketches but they definitely looked a bit too fancy for me, so they were quickly abandoned. I think the rough edges and visible stitching really pulled together the hand-made, frontier look I was going for.

In the cases of the body-crossing wraps, the idea is that the clothing wraps around the neck and down the chest, continues around the back of the waist (underneath the fur cape), and then ties in the front. Basically, I wanted the clothing to fit the body while still leaving the fur cape clear to hang in the back.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Clothes

January 20, 2011

A few more Ulon Dosi clothing concepts, including the rifle bandoliers that the village warriors would wear. With this, I had enough samples done that I could just mix and match different elements once I got to the actual drawing stage. The only Ulon Dosi characters that got specific outfit designs were Keyla, Clem, and Goshen. I’ll go into Keyla’s design in the next post, and the Goshen and Clem sketches will be popping up in the Bonus Features for The Big Snow Job #5.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Keyla

January 27, 2011

I talked a little bit about designing the Ulon Dosi females in the Commentary for The Big Snow Job #4, Page 6. Here we have the sketches I did to flesh out Keyla, especially her outfit. Obviously I wanted to make her clothing similar in “language” to the other Ulon Dosi, but it needed to be a slightly more feminine version of the standard hide tunics. And as I mentioned in the other Commentary, the yellow color of her outfit was to make it a bit “softer” visually than the tan and natural tones of the other Ulon Dosi.

Keyla’s cloak also needed to stand out, since in many of her earlier panels, only a small portion of her would be showing and I needed the look to be, more or less, instantly and easily recognizable. I liked the patchwork enough that it eventually made it into Clem’s outfit as well. As for the white fuzzy fur, I also incorporated that into Goshen’s look to visually connect them since they’re related as father and daughter.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Village

February 3, 2011

The next several Sketchbook entries will focus on the Ulon Dosi village, expanding a little on the Commentary I did back on The Big Snow Job #3, Page 21. This page shows the very first sketches I did to kick around some ideas for the look of the huts. I knew from the start that I wanted the huts to be low-tech, round in shape, and made up of some combination of stone, wood, and leather hides. Fairly early on, I settled on the mushroom-shaped overhanging roof, which got me around 80% there for the design. But it was missing that little bit of visual “oomf” so I kept playing with it here and there…

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Village

February 10, 2011

At this point, I decided to play around with the general layout of the village on a larger scale than just individual huts to see if that might provide me with a little more direction in the design of the huts themselves. I really needed the village to look a bit dilapidated and run-down, so I decided to sprinkle the village with various crude shacks and shanty huts.

I toyed with the idea of a village center or plaza, since I knew the final shootout would take place in a semi-open space. But ultimately, I thought a plaza would make the village a bit bigger and more refined than I wanted it to be.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Hut Details

February 17, 2011

Here I finally settled on the Ulon Dosi hut design, as well as some hut details (which I apparently abandoned once I got to the actual drawing of the pages!). For me, the breakthrough was in adding the long curving wood beam “ribs” all around the huts that emerge from the rock base and curve up around the edges of the roof. I think those gave the huts a very distinctive look they’d been missing.

For variety, I came up with several different window frame patterns, so that all the huts didn’t look the same. I also realized that in a snowy environment, you wouldn’t want the windows open to the elements all the time, so I designed different kinds of shutters that could be lowered to close the window openings. In the end, I pretty much just cheesed out and drew the same hut over and over again with the open windows. It was just easier that way, and as background buildings, I figured drawing those kinds of shutter details weren’t really necessary.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Village Layout

February 24, 2011

This was my general list of design aesthetics for the Ulon Dosi village, which I decided to jot down to keep track of things myself. I also did a few more sketches to play around with the terraced look of the village and how the huts would sit at different levels. At this point, I added some cliffside huts, since I thought it would be cool to see a few huts here and there built into the actual surrounding rock walls. I thought rickety wooden slats built into the rock walls to form steps would be pretty cool, especially since I would never EVER have the nerve to walk on anything remotely like that myself.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Hut Interiors

March 3, 2011

With the bulk of the Ulon Dosi village designed, I spent a little time figuring out some of the last remaining bits, like the yak stables and the hut interior where the crew would be held captive. The interior actually came to me pretty quickly as I had it already in my head to have a sunken pit with a central hearth and lofted sleeping areas around the perimeter.

I also settled on Keyla’s lab exterior and interior pretty quickly, in part because I had a pretty clear picture in my head and in part because, to be honest, I didn’t really care all that much about overworking the design since I knew it was only going to be in the story for a few pages and wasn’t a major setting.

Finally, on this page you’ll see a few sketches I did for the bricks of Crush. I kinda like the look of the banded loaf, since it has that little bit of visual flair. But in the end, I just decided that the plainer it looked, the better, so I went back to it being just a regular blocky nondescript brick.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Goshen and Clem

March 31, 2011

On this page, I did some sketches to settle on the looks of Goshen and Clem (who went by the name “Clim” in the early stages until I decided to change his name for reasons now forgotten to me). As mentioned on The Big Snow Job #3, Page 22, differentiating features included horn thickness and shape, braid length, and different combinations of beard braids, sideburn braids, and regular braids. With Goshen, I also decided that he’d have the longest braids, the only beard braid in the village, and no war-beads.

On The Big Snow Job #3, Page 13, I mentioned giving Clem a distinctive red tunic and red bands in his facial braids, as well as the layer of hide patchwork. On this page, you’ll also see the quickly abandoned idea of trying to differentiate Clem with an eyepatch.

I made a note to possibly differentiate Clem and Goshen from the other Ulon Dosi by having them with grayer fur or gray stripes, but in the end, I didn’t bother. I think I tried it and it didn’t work too well. And I found the different braid combinations and outfit details were plenty to make them visually different.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Goshen

April 7, 2011

I covered a little bit about Goshen’s design on The Big Snow Job #3, Page 22. Most of the sketches were either too drab and not ornamental enough or a bit too busy and fancy. I toyed with the idea of giving him the same hide patchwork as Clem (and Keyla’s cloak), but I thought it might be a bit too busy. And for the same reasons I decided not to give him war beads, I thought the leather armor look of the patchwork wouldn’t fit his character.

Something I did like a lot was the “trenchcoat” look of long, low-hanging cloth in both the front and the back, which gave Goshen a more regal look. It was also important to me to incorporate some element from Keyla’s cloak into Goshen’s design as the original intent was to tie them together visually through some costume details. Originally, it was going to be the hide patchwork, but once I ruled that out, I was just left with the short white fuzzy fur. As it turned out, I think that worked out well, since the fur collar and hanging stoles looked pretty regal as well, without being overly-ornamental. I repeated the stoles on both the front and the back so that Goshen would have the same defining element visible from either angle.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Ulon Dosi Weapons

April 14, 2011

I while back on The Big Snow Job #3, Pages 14-15, I talked about the Ulon Dosi weapons and how they were partially inspired by the Nimbus III weapons seen in Star Trek V. I figured they’d all be a bit hodgepodge so I wanted to sketch up a few different variations, as seen here.

On this page you’ll also see the bandolier I designed to wrap around the Ulon Dosi head and waist. It has a simple loop holster on the side, and the rifles would just slip into the holsters, resting on the wide collars.

Finally, this page also shows a couple sketches I did for Clem’s knife. I just figured he’d have an extra little weapon on him to distinguish him from the other warriors. And I had it in the script that he pulls a knife on Ril on The Big Snow Job #3, Page 21, so I guess that meant I ought to design one.

BONUS CONTENT: Sketchbook: Baso

May 26, 2011

With this page, I finally settled on Uskulon’s hat, which I based very loosely on an asian rice paddy hat. I thought that would make for a fairly simple, wide-brim hat, and unlike all the previous hat concepts, it actually seemed to work with his poncho look. I then added the straps to the back since I figured those would be nice neck protection from the elements. But the real reason for the straps is that I needed to make sure both Warsaw and Uskulon always had their necks and the backs of their heads completely covered so you wouldn’t see the Kaagan-Vas tattoos.

One last note on Uskulon: you’ll notice in all these sketches that I originally had footwear for his tentacle feet. As with Cember, I did give some thought to whether walking on snow directly would be a bit harsh or if they should have foot coverings. In the end, I decided that the foot coverings just looked a bit too silly. And I also figure with different aliens, maybe they have different physiologies, so they aren’t affected by extreme conditions the same way we would be. There are seals and walruses and penguins after all, who walk around naked all the time on snow. But then if someone gave them foot coverings, maybe they’d be grateful.

Moving on to Baso, with my first design, I gave him a duster similar in style to Warsaw’s. But then I realized that he needed something bigger and looser to hide the big gun he’s be carrying during the story. So I added a poncho similar in style to Uskulon’s. I also gave him a nose ring to (a) differentiate him facially from other Ulon Dosi characters, and (b) to give him some sort of accessory that shows his cultural break from Ulon Dosi tradition.