The Greater Mittar

Of course, I can’t forget to show how I did my other Imaginatomy project.

It was kind of neat that I was able to go and do another project that was associated with Zikkihuru.  Hopefully in the next couple of months I’ll be able to go do a few more pieces with it.  I think I know what I’ll be doing, so we’ll see how it goes between any work I might have.

Of course, I had to start somewhere. So the first step was to go and build the wire skeleton.  I decided I wanted it to be slightly more dynamic, so I started working with one of the feet off the ground.  To balance this, I curved down two of the rear toes so that it’d stick into the foam base I was going to build this on.

Then came the clay.  It was a lot easier working on this one than it was the hyena, mostly because the bones were broader, comparatively.  The main issue I kept having was that the head was pretty heavy, even with the majority of it made out of tinfoil.  Keeping it attached and not crooked in some way was troublesome.  Once it was baked it was less of an issue — though I was afraid that it’d crack right around where it stuck onto the neck.

I set to work on the base next, which was, of course, a total mess.  Since I had experience with it from last time, I sort of knew what I could get away with and how to more efficiently use the materials.  Because of this, it was pretty easy to sculpt out a little creek bed sort of shape and make it look more natural.

I painted it, then added some real dirt to blend it in better.  I left the part where the fake water would be a slight more blue tone to compensate for the yellow cast the fake water had.  I used some white glue and duct tape to create a barrier which would keep the fake water from running off and making a huge mess, and it seemed to work okay.  I really liked the result as well.

I bought a garland of fake plants and trimmed them down to be more of the right scale for the piece.   Combined with some moss and some random cheap herbs from the grocery store to be leaf litter, it blended in really well and made a much better presentation than the one I did last time.  I kept the background fairly simple, and after a few rough prints, finally got one that worked.  I got that attached, painted the front of the model, and added the very compact information card and the whole thing was ready to go.

I learned a lot from the hyena project last time I took the class, and it’s really obvious how I was able to apply that to this one.  Sculpting is definitely fun and I’ll hopefully have time to do it, if only for myself, in the future.  I’m sure that if I hadn’t graduated this term that I’d be TAing the class again and making a third — but hey, I can always do it on my own.  Just got to say thank you to Rey Bustos for teaching such an awesome class, and letting me TA for him these past four semesters.  Definitely going to miss it.

Zikkihuru : The Fog, continued

So the final version of the Fog is below.

The main change that I dealt with on this one was just going through and painting the water so it looked more like water.  All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how this came out.  Of course, as with everything, I’m sure there’s more that could be revised, but at this point I think I just want to let it go and if I do want to revise things, just start over from scratch with this as my rough.

In my original sketches, the image was flipped the other way.  I find it interesting that it and the Lava piece both started off facing in different directions.

Zikkihuru : Village, continued

Again, running through the stuff for another piece!  This time, it’s the Village.

So not as many obvious changes to this one, I think.  The main changes were to add some dappled light and objects to the other huts.

Of course, this piece shared the same plant development as the Lava did, but it also added in the idea of the treetop villages.  I think the biggest influence behind them was from the original Myst game, specifically the Channelwood Age,  which was pretty much the only Age I could reliably get to back when I was 5-12 or whenever it was I first got the game.  I should go play it again.  Maybe after graduation.

Anyway, whether or not to have walkways was always quite debatable to me; on the one hand, it would be convenient within the same tree, but on the other the critters can fly and not only that but it wouldn’t make sense to go between the massive main trunks of different trees.

I kept the background really loose because I really did not want to have to render 6.022×1023 individual leaves. Not only would be far more work than necessary, but it would be amazingly distracting for the viewer.  If I go through and redo the piece entirely I think I will end up doing the tall vertical that I had originally planned, along with some detail shots.  This project really showed I am partial to really tall vertical things a lot more than horizontal spreads.

Zikkihuru : Lava, continued

I wanted to officially revisit my Zikkihuru pieces and give a bit more information on them.

So this is what likely is the final image, for real this time.  Assuming I don’t go through and start over from square one, which I am really tempted to do now.  Zikkihuru is loosely based on the universe that I created for a short story I did back a few semesters ago.  Same planet, kind of thing, but just an island or whatnot instead of the mainland.

I have a loosely developed planet for it — but if I recall correctly, it’s slightly larger than Earth but has less mass, meaning that its gravity is slightly less than here.  Anyway, for the main ecosystem, the reptiles are most often flying types, while birds are ground creatures. I also think I was making mammals semi-aquatic creatures, but I haven’t gotten around to drawing them yet, so that’s still technically up in the air.

I did do some quick little plant studies, but I know I need to approach that more seriously if I decide to continue with the project — which I will probably do because aliens are neat.

Anyway, I did a bunch of thumbnails for the various projects.  This one was the one that I ended up using for the basis of the Lava piece.  If you notice, it was initially flipped the other direction.  I ended up flipping it because it read better the other direction — you followed the eye line of the critter the same way he would.

I ended up scaling down and expanding the foreground plants because it was throwing things off as far as distance went.  The lava was given more of a path through the image, including a more fluid outline.  From there it was mostly just rendering.

Zikkihuru : Village

Zikkihuru : Village

This one gave me quite a few issues just from not knowing what to do to complete the picture. The answer was pretty much just add more foreground.

Zikkihuru : Village

All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the final result. Regardless of how long it took me to figure out the foreground, it seemed to work out in the end.

Zikkihuru : The Fog

Zikkihuru : The Fog

I think this was technically the third piece started, but it was the second to reach a real finish.

Zikkihuru : The Fog

You’ll be seeing the bird things again later.

An interesting note is that this one also got flipped, albeit in the very early stages. In a way I want to go back and look at older pieces and see if flipping them will help the read.

It was nice to know that I do know how to paint fog. It means less work for a dramatic effect — gotta love that.

Zikkihuru : Lava

Zikkihuru : Lava

So in Senior Project, I went and picked my planet development project, Zikkihuru, as my thing to work on.

Zikkihuru : Lava

The most interesting thing about this piece was that I started with it oriented the opposite direction — with the lizard on the left.  I did my best to frame him light on dark while still keeping things on the darker sort of “evening” light.