Ornithropter

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  1. #1
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    Ornithropter

    As part of a project for college I'm doing a set of illustrations based on Frank Herbert's Dune. The flier is supposed to be my design for an ornithropter.This is the first one I've attempted and I think I'm getting close to finished. I'd appreciate any help or feedback, particularly things to bare in mind for the other illustrations I have planned.

    Thank you in advance.

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  2. #2
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    Kinda like the proportions of your design...but not sure about some of the functionality. The airfoil shape, and sweep of the wings looks backward with the trailing edge thicker than the leading edge.

    Tail seems undeveloped/un-thought. I would work out how it acts as a rudder and steering system.

    I also don't see how the bend/hinge like a wing? I would work on making that joint work better.

    I would also consider angling the pitch of it so it doesn't coincide with the canyon edge.

    Good luck with it - solid start.

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  4. #3
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    Nice start on the design.

    There seems to be a perspective issue on the "windshield", where the centerline of the triangle doesn't agree with the top of the craft.

    Also, with the current values I'm losing the object a bit against the background. This is especially apparent when you look at the thumbnail.

    There is a big size and angle discrepancy between the two notches on the front edge of the wings.

    Lookin' forward to your progress.

    Last edited by DPFX; April 26th, 2012 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Noticed something else
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  6. #4
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    I'm not digging the "stilts", just looks cumbersome, I like that your pushing for different, just play with some variations. I do like the curves of the rear stabilizers though, keep that around!

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    I love ornithopters, but this is more closer to a plane shaped quite birdlike.
    For some reason the ones in the Dune movie were those funny box shaped things, probably for money reasons, but I think its really meant to fly like a giant robot bird.






    id ignore the ornithopters out there on the web, i reckon go to the source






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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    For some reason the ones in the Dune movie were those funny box shaped things, probably for money reasons...
    OT: I'm assuming that's a bit of a joke, but one reason I have such undying admiration for David Lynch is that he seems to have deliberately chosen to make all the hardware in Dune clunky, awkward, and un-"cool" looking. A major theme of the original novel is the superiority of human/biological systems over artificial ones, and I think having the technology in the movie be non-user-friendly was a subtle and brilliant way of reinforcing that theme.

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    You've lost the flier itself in the shadow of the canyon. The composition now looks like this: a lighter triangle on top left, and a darker triangle on bottom right. There is nothing else. It would be better to silhouette the dark flier against a light background at least partially or make the flier itself light so it reads against the canyon.

    You have also got a lot of unnecessary tangents here. The nose of the flier touches the canyon edge, both tail booms touch canvas edges, the left wing touches the canvas edge too, the right wing touches a spire... there is no good reason to do all that, in this picture. Either cut the flier with the edges more boldly, or keep it clear of the edges.

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    really well painted scenery btw!

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    that scenery is really good. i like the other omnithopter in the distance too. not much to crit other than the plane being cropped off at the back tip (but maybe that was on purpose?).

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    I think rotating the craft to flow in the direction of the scenery would help with motion. Also the wings are now bisecting both light and dark areas, filling in the blank space in where it was lightest.

    Note there's still some distracting tangents in my paint over. (only had a mouse handy.)

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  16. #11
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    Thank you so much! I had no idea such a simple change could improve the composition so drastically. I'll rework the design as well and try and post an updated version this evening.

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    Oh and the craft in the distance, I almost thought was something walking across the ground. Try and find a way to separate it from the ground plane.

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    Updated. Only real changes are the change of direction, some tweaks to the wings, and some colour adjustments.

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    Looks good, but...the tangencies of the right wingtip and the tail thingie with the edge of the picture makes my teeth hurt. For God's sake, move the craft up a bit.

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    Id never though of that Giocomo, Id just assumed a flapping thopter was out of their budget so they opted for the little box plane thing.
    I do love the hints all the way through the computers are proscribed and something terrible must have happened with them for the Mentat human computers to be necessary, but a lot of the tech isnt clunky at all.
    The heighliner, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Id never though of that Giocomo, Id just assumed a flapping thopter was out of their budget so they opted for the little box plane thing.
    I do love the hints all the way through the computers are proscribed and something terrible must have happened with them for the Mentat human computers to be necessary, but a lot of the tech isnt clunky at all.
    The heighliner, for example.
    I never considered the heighliners to be out of place personally, especially if you're willing to accept the less than stellar prequels as canon. They're a hangover from a much older time, practically unchanged since the formation of the landsraad. What cements the guild's power is not so much the ships but the ability to guide them. To use their limited prescience to pick out the safe paths between planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    I'm feeling a bit bad about derailing Jake557's thread, but I just want to say that I don't think it's really possible to make a good movie of Dune---so much of the book is exposition and internal dialog, and that stuff just doesn't translate well into visual narrative. With that in mind, I absolutely love the look of Lynch's film and I'm glad that he got to direct it, rather than someone else with a less imaginative visual style.
    I don't mind at all. The critiques so far have already be extremely helpful, and it's been too long since I've seen a proper discussion of one of my favorite novels. I'm enjoying just following along.

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  24. #17
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    I suppose clunky is as clunky does. Yeah, the Heighliner is cool...compared to the rest of the medieval/Gothic hardware in the movie, though, it feels a bit out of place.

    As far as budget: as was customary for sci-fi epics in those pre-CGI days, the studio spent an enormous amount of money making "Dune" (and I believe several execs lost their jobs when the film tanked at the box office)...so I assume that if Lynch had wanted the ornithopters to flap, they would've flapped.

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    Lynch was not the guy to bring Dune to the big screen. Just mho.

    Edit: On the image - definitley agree about the tangents...but looking better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Lynch was not the guy to bring Dune to the big screen. Just mho.
    I'm feeling a bit bad about derailing Jake557's thread, but I just want to say that I don't think it's really possible to make a good movie of Dune---so much of the book is exposition and internal dialog, and that stuff just doesn't translate well into visual narrative. With that in mind, I absolutely love the look of Lynch's film and I'm glad that he got to direct it, rather than someone else with a less imaginative visual style.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    I'm feeling a bit bad about derailing Jake557's thread, but I just want to say that I don't think it's really possible to make a good movie of Dune---so much of the book is exposition and internal dialog, and that stuff just doesn't translate well into visual narrative. With that in mind, I absolutely love the look of Lynch's film and I'm glad that he got to direct it, rather than someone else with a less imaginative visual style.
    It is possible... you just need a director with a REAL good grasp of the book. Both attempts to film it were derailed not by low production quality, but by misinterpreting the characters, sometimes missing the book by a mile.

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    wicked, dune talk! im a sad dune nerd, i read it every 5 years since i was 10, i love the world, the many plots, the power politics,the adventure, the planetary ecology.., the failed jodorowsky version with pink floyd and dali, the giger connection, and the wierd crap awesomeness of the movie, everything. great casting! i bore the shit out of my friends about it all the time. i even like the music a lot. it sounds like you guys might be on the same level, if not quite as nerdish!
    i tried watching the miniseries a few weeks ago but the actor playing paul looks like my landlord whos a dick and i couldnt handle the crapness of it.
    i never read the other books, although i read the wiki all about them.

    anyway all i was originally going to say was the vagina faced navigator in his giant black case was fucking awesome.





    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; April 28th, 2012 at 09:44 PM.
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  30. #22
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    the baron is certianly a much colder fish in the book than in the movie, when hes totally batshit crazy. plus you dont see anything much of feyd, the water of life bit, the bene gesserit breeding plan, the 'paul and chani's love grew bit' , the spice ecology, etc. i thought the casting of paul, jessica, mohiam, leto gurney and pieter were really good.

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  31. #23
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    Just wanted to say that rotating that took away my dislike for the "stilts". I guess it may have just been the comp that i didn't like, but didn't realize it. I think its pretty amazing how effective rotating was, so I learned something new as well!

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  32. #24
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    also maybe ensmallen it on the page a touch to let it breath..

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    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; April 29th, 2012 at 04:52 AM.
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  34. #25
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    Once again thank you so much for all the feedback. Here's the latest version of the ornithropter painting:


    I've also been coming up with some designs for a fremen crysknife:


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