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EOW 163: Winged Fortress
topic suggested by kingkostas
"I remember a story, a story an old man told me on his deathbed. He spoke of a fortress hidden in the clouds, a glorious winged structure which traveled above the ground. The dawn revealed it; the sunset hid it away."
Deadline: Thursday, May 5th 2011 (but really, Monday the 9th)
Sorry for the delay, folks. Vote for your favorite entries and leave feedback!
"The mage's fortress usually nestles deep within forests, where no commoners wander. But in cases of dire emergency, it has the capability to wrench itself free from the earth, revealing its translucent, yet surprisingly strong wings, usually hidden underground. Here the fortress floats above a wide expanse of rice fields. It is springtime, and having escaped from the threat, it searches for the right place to ground itself once again."
"The Dark Tower of Nazri. Often called the "flying fortress" because of the illusion of soaring the wild clouds surrounding it creates. Theres a myth that theres a passage on the clifwall leading all the way to the top, but it was forgotten ages ago and none been brave enough to rediscover it. Nowdays the only known way to get to the Dark Tower is by balloon or the trendy floatserpent."
The idea was to have a ship rising out of the misty mountain peaks in the morning with the sun catching the metallic edges and glass.
And so it was that I was lucky enough to be in the small, but not unattractive, city of Alfbakefurbelow in the tiny country of Murunbuchstansengar along with my aunt (with whom I lived) and was witness to that which many have talked of but few have set eyes upon.
At first we were terrified by the sheer scale and noise, testament to the mighty enignes that kept her aloft, but, once we grew used to these astonishing proportions we could do no other than admire, mouths agape, the majesty and power of this leviathan that had never once been used in anger.
I got jelly and icecream too, which was a bonus...
From the Memoirs of Count Coconut, B.F.D. 3339:
"I was herding some nerfs, when over Mt. Lucas came the most incredulous sight! A wing-ed castle in the sky fluffs! It roared and belched a terrible sulfurous stank. We gathered the village folk and watched it slowly flub and flutter its mass through the countryside. When it reach-ed the sea it lay down with a delightful fart and it was no more. Me thinks it was a dying sky squirt…"
New World Creation: Designers Wanted – Environment of the Week
is my image resolution too high?
please let me know.
i thought usually monitors are 19" LCDs with 1440 X 900 resolution.
so i posted 1280 pixels wide image.
let me know if its too big and annoying for anyone.
by the way, can the participants vote? and can they vote for themselves?
my vote goes to Corrick, SouMeng, coool_brain(myself) and friendlycat.
Last edited by Coool Brain; May 10th, 2011 at 12:01 AM.
Coool Brain's Blog
I voted for hunchback, friendlycat,Ragnj and soumeng
Hunchbac's work really gives me the topics mood and i like the desing. The scene and its drama presents the topic very well i think, so thats why its my first vote in this
Friendlycat i also thought this one presented the topic very well.
(in overall its like i imagine myself watching a construct like that, i try to put myself into a piece to see if i like the feeling, at least thats how i choose where my votes go in this topic )
In Ragnj piece i find something mystical, its strange but i really imagine myself in this hot air balloon discovering this colossal construct and feeling awesome . You mostly got me with the mood in this, its not close to what i had in mind but you got me hehehe, probably i personally liked it
in souMeng's piece also. Its an interesting and different idea with great execution
There are a lot of great entries each one with its own interesting aspect, but i think that these pieces really made me emerge into their world.
Probably some concepts could be more attractive with better technical execution. But i think thats the good with these competitions. You play with two aspects and when you balance between skill and idea you have an attractive piece.
Great work everyone
Keep it up!!!!
Corrick - Simple and nice. It looks serene, a little bit like the feeling of the Gorillaz - Feel Good video if you’ve ever seen it. I received similar vibes.
APW - This was a cool effort, but I wish the pink background could’ve been more developed. I find pink a rare color in environments, and in an aviation-themed environment, it can definitely compliment, or outline the ship’s mechanics. Not bad, thanks for your submission.
SouMeng - Really interesting and well executed take on the topic, but your perspective puts the slightest blotch on my overall enjoyment of this as a scene. I think it’s cool that you chose a “viewer’s perspective” approach with the hand, like a shooter’s game. The cityscape, sky, eagle, and curious woman on the roof are nice touches. As for criticism, maybe the debris falling out from the bottom of the building could’ve been more chunky, or a larger plume underneath it. It’s not everyday you see a giant eagle transporting a building, so my feedback is probably way off. Nice entry.
Urötskidoji - haha @ me always copying and pasting your name, I never write it out. First off, really intriguing fortress design. The scale is convincing, and I like that it seems to ‘float.’ It’s undercooked as a whole environment, but I like what you did here. Some definite signs of improvement during the past few activities you’ve participated in..
RedOwl - Pretty cool job, seems like you did every element of the environment ‘by the book’ if you will. The floating fortress feels somewhat stiff, almost like it’s stationary. I know since it’s an immovable image and we can’t see the fortress moving along in airspace, it’s not possible to really ‘see’ it move, but in my mind’s eye I see it sitting still for some reason, if that makes sense. Good colors, crisp presentation. The ship design is cool, I just noticed there’s 6 wings supporting it. Unless that’s a rapid motion effect.. Which would cause me to retract my statement about the movement issue
Coool_brain - This was in my top 5 favorites of this round. Effectively mysterious atmosphere, a feeling of coolness, and a nice style. I also liked your story. Some crits; the snowy mist kind of seemed thrown in there without too much transformation. Also, it would be an interesting addition if I got a better glimpse of the main fortress in the backround.. more of a teaser.
Ragnj - I don’t know Jakob, I wasn’t really into this one too much this week. It might’ve been that it was in black and white, the shapes you had or the design of the ship. For me it looks like Gumby got dyed black and molded into a dark dragon, then thrown into the sky. Haha, I’m kidding, but I’ve seen better from you.
Neilpa77 - Stellar enviro, looks like a focused attempt. I’d like to see more color variations, but consistency and a simplistic approach might’ve been your intention. Peachy.
Themonet - Why’s the fortress off to the right so much? It could be centered more so the viewer’s eyes are focused solely on it’s design, as a marvel to the eyes. When it’s to the side, I was looking at the ocean’s horizon and the individual beneath before my eyes arrived to the fortress. The landscape, ocean, and sky could use some work if your looking to improve this. The ship was done respectively though, the red lights in between the layers of metal (if that’s the material used) were a good touch.
Dayle - One of my favorite fortress designs of the round, this looked like it was thoroughly sketched and fleshed out. Almost like a super villain’s lair, crafted out of a glacier. Mr. Freeze’s summer vacation spot, by any chance? Similar to themonet, the weak aspect of this would have to be the surrounding environmental details, something time and experience will improve.
Khalo - Good fire! I like it. You also had people in a crowd below and a dragon, an interestingly strange but vital addition to the storytelling in this one. The fortress was not bad, could’ve been more eye catching, maybe taller with a valuable object at the top? The dragon could’ve stole it, set the place aflame, and is chilling while it burns. Overall, well rounded entry with room for improvement.
friendly cat - You got my vote - crisp entry. The fortress design was very convincing, a silent ghost of a hulk. The city below doesn’t really have chemistry with the fortress for me. It plays it’s role for scale, which gives the fortress a massive sense of size and smooth travel, but could be a stronger contributor.
Tomahawk Monkey - The global city/fortress, executed with style. Even though I’ve seen it before, that’s inevitable and you did a solid job on the details/design. The clouds and sky needed a lot of work - not a bad thing by any means. I like seeing newer environment designers taking risks and getting better at areas they’re not so experienced in. Good stuff: my interpretation of the fortress is a electrical power plant being exiled from a machine city for rebellious thoughts J He’s headed for greener pastures.
Penpoint - lol @ your story. A fortress on a dragon’s back is an excellent concept with lots of potential. This was realllllly chaotic. The direct middle of the image is very blurry - if the vividness of the scene was sharpened in clarity, I might’ve felt more of a connection. Wait, is that even a dragon? See what I mean?
Phil zero - Good job phil. I like the perspective and the spacing of each mountain/cliff was convincingly done. It set up good momentum for the fortress in the backround, but fell a bit flat, I thought. The fortress looks kind of boring. Suggestion: sparsely spread out city/settlements below, and a visible launching pad seen? The top of the fortress could definitely be spruced up with more visible, significant looking structures and other features. This had all the ingredients, but no flavor, in my opinion.
Sean McClain - Hey Sean, good entry man. There’s a lot going on here… I see a medieval overlord looking guy, some sharp rock formations on the left, a fortress on the ground and another feature of the fortress floating above? Maybe of a different technology, constructed by a different race? I don’t know, it didn’t all come together for me so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have with a more concrete story.
Hunchback - I know you didn’t finish this like you wanted to, unless I’m wrong and this was the finished version, but excellent entry. You got my vote. I loved the epicness of it, the fortress’s design, clouds and lightning. The man in the coat and the dog capped it all off. Ominous.
My votes went to friendlycat and hunchback. I hope any feedback helps.
Nice round everybody! Thanks to kingkostas for the great topic.
New World Creation: Designers Wanted – Environment of the Week
Fu*ker! Hehe just kidding Eric, I agree with the crit, I spent more time on the clouds then on the actual fort design once figuring out what I wanted to do. Now looking back its weak when comparing to most of the other entries. Maybe I should of put some more thought into the perspective aswell. Also fucked up with the graphite and had to "cover" it in ps, thats why the top left corner looks strange.
Vulgar - Thanks so much for the input This is my first EOW, I've never really painted environments before.
Thanks for the feedback, Vulgar! You're right, there's not enough movement there. And yes, the multiple wings was supposed to be a movement effect, but I didn't execute it properly, so it still ended up looking pretty stationary. Ah well...it's something to keep in mind for the future.
By the way, I voted for hunchback - great image! The composition is stunning, and the suble hint of color is great, and works really well with the atmosphere and mood. Awesome work.
Last edited by RedOwl; May 15th, 2011 at 05:52 PM.
Vulgar Thanks for the feedback... I'm juggling learning everything at the moment but when I get time I want to finish it properly. Look forward to trying more environment challanges, they are lots of fun and there is some really great looking art here.
Awesome stuff everyone. Congrats for the exposure on io9.com too!
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