Bloodseeker, Old and New


Once there was a civilization that grew, their influence and Techno-Magic forging a vast empire.  The Gorn Empire left only massive pyramids, temples, and artifacts strewn across the North Western coast of what would become the Nightlands.

The Nightlands are forever shrouded in the darkness that creeps across the sky from an artifact known only as the Spire.  A giant structure that hangs from the clouds, like a massive inverted termite mound, made of dark iron plates, cursed blood quartz and twisted cold steel.  It is from here that six fallen heroes, known as the Shadow Lords, control their slowly expanding empire.

Bloodseeker is the 5th Shadow Lord, and the warlord that controls the undead-machine army of the Shadow Lords.  Here is the original sketch I did back in 2006.

BloodseekerOld

 

As I continue to rework old art and sketches, here is the new Bloodseeker.

BloodseekerNew

 

Bloodseeker and the Nightlands are part of my homebrew Pathfinder Universe, Galdor.

-TheGrav

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I Hunt the Dead


Years ago I created a character named Darken Visage.  He was a Hunter of the Dead, tracking down and dispatching vampires and other undead through a multiverse, that I never really figured out.  But it wasn’t uncommon for him to hunt down a vampire in 16th Century Italy on Monday, and then chase down a Lich on a Space Station orbiting Saturn on Tuesday.

Darken

He forever walks the line between cyberpunk street samurai and ancient wandering monk. This is one of the many character design piece I have done that I would like to take into a digital painting.

-TheGrav

Blood Skies, a few Sketches…


A few weeks ago, an author I follow on twitter announced an awesome deal, the first book in his current series was free on the Kindle.  So naturally I had to check it out.

In his series Blood Skies, Steven Montano has managed to rekindle my faith in humanity and our ability to realize that monsters need to stay monsters.  Anne Rice, while she based her writing style on one of my all time favorite horror writers: H.P Lovercraft, began a trend that saw vampires emasculated, feminized, de-fanged, and then rolled in glitter.  I am not a huge fan of “modern” vampires.  But Steven Montano has brought them back, made them ugly, horrible, purpose driven monsters, and then crafted a world around them that astounds me in its detail.

Also a few of my “forgot” short stories and screenplay treatments share a few broad strokes in common with his beautiful crafted world… Almost a “great minds think alike.. and so do horror authors minds”, scenario.  Blood Skies is the first novel in the series and it is a great military/sci-fi story, set in an awesome and deadly world.  At this point I have made it to book 3 and at this rate, well he better write them faster… if he pulls and R.R. Martin on me…

Anyway, like other great examples in media, his books inspired me to make a few sketches, and those are the subject of today’s post.

First we have Eric Cross the main character:cross

Next is a Shadowclaw Vampire, kinda like a badass Navy Seal but with fangs…

shadowclaw

 

Take a moment to check out Steven Montano’s website. 

-TheGrav

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Creature and Character Development: The that Kor’Jorian


The Kor’Jorian are another race of Savaged.  Often modern authors play with the concept of man attempting to become God, and the repercussions of those actions.  From the “Terminator” movie series to Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic Park novels.  This concept is something that fascinates us; as our technology level increase it is a boundary that we flirt with on an almost daily basis.  From cloned sheep to the exponential advancement of computer processors, it is possible (in our minds) that at some point soon man might be able to create life.

This brings up a load of fears, will our creations become us?  Just as we have become gods in creating them?  Will they replace us, as we are seeming to replace our gods?  The Kor’Jorian address this fear in my science fiction world.  In a much different way, as these are not man’s mechanical monsters, nor are they purely mechanical constructs, but what has evolved from a biological creature merging with their technology.

The Jori were a hive race, made up of clusters of semi intelligent multiple cell organisms, each about the size of bacteria.  As the hive clusters grew in size their intelligence level increase exponentially, some of the larger hive groups (about the size of a basket ball) are considered hyper-intelligent.

Their hive clusters often splitting and merging with other clusters allowing an entire population to share the same experience or focus on the same tasks.  In their ancient past the Jori encountered another space faring race, and were forced to defend themselves.  As a race without conventional bodies,and were almost exterminated, before they created their mechanical bodies.  The Kor’Jori were born.

KorjorianHunterKiller

In the Eons since their race was forced to inhabit Mechanical bodies, the Jori have evolved  considerably.  Now longer are the clusters large, their science and technology advanced enough that smaller clusters and even single organisms have expanded their abilities through artificial means.  At times it is hard to distinguish whether there is a even a surviving biological component to some Kor’Jori.

The Kor’Joirans have ruthlessly protected their planets for Eons, forever paranoid that another race will try to subjugate or destroy them.  Often seen as warlike, unfeeling machines, they have little to no contact with other races, and often when they do it is violent in nature.

Look for their spacecraft in my next post.

-TheGrav

 

 

City 7, The Future and Ghost Stories


About two and a half years ago I began writing a screenplay.  Over the the next 8 months it was turned into the 14 minute long Action/Horror movie: City 7.

It was a blast to make, and takes place in the world I began writing in several years ago when I still owned and ran Ravenhorde Studios.  As we went into filming we planned to continue the story line with other short films, and web series releases.  I had written the majority of the story that followed another HAVOC.  However during filming we kept getting asked the same questions by our cast and crew, and the idea behind “Ghost Stories: The Package” was born.

Over the last 3 months I have written a new story arc and screenplay based on the same world.  This time we have a personal story, no longer focused on a team, but a single highly trained man, and his trials and tribulations in the wasteland that America has become.  The focus now is to reveal more of the setting of City 7, exposing bits of the world and getting into the uncomfortable questions of “who, when and why”.

With a finalized script, we are officially moving into pre-production.  Gears shift and I become a Producer and organizer.  Responsible for raising money, designing props, costumes, and figuring out make-up direction.  Peter, our Director, and I are also looking at filming locations and contacting the community to raise awareness about our project.  We have taken a different path this time, and will be making a 12 and 14 episodes web series.  Be sure to follow our progress on our Facebook page, as well as visiting out Indiegogo Campaign to look over our awesome perks.

I also started a production blog via Tumblr, and will be updating Worldcrafter with the art/development side of the project.

-TheGrav

 

The Entic, Creature and character Development


The Entic are another race that occupies the Universe of Savaged.  Original I had no idea what I wanted them to look like, or how they were going to function.  I wanted them to look as alien as possible, having as little comfortable similarities with humans as possible.  They are dangerous, driven and very enigmatic race.  This first sketch is really just a collection of ideas, which led to how they developed even further.   EnticEarlyConceptFiguring out the how and mechanics of how the Entic would move helped a lot in the final outcome of how they looked. Three fingered hands and feet, an insectiod like configuration, allowing them to move swiftly and efficiently.

 

I wanted these guys to be able to tackle a human, and wrap their fingers around a humans neck, and hold them down.  A terror tactic that works with their anatomy and savage society.  I have yet to really design their culture or worlds, or technology.  Entic

More to come.

-TheGrav

Creature and Character Design


What does Creature and Character Design mean?  Why are they used?  What purpose do the serve?  When you sit down to pitch an idea, depending on the team involved or the complexity, sometimes it is better to have a formed presentation before you sell the idea in 15 words or less.  In the case of City 7, I wrote the entire script, formed the production team, and then we took another 3 months to go over and rewrite everything.  And that was before we looked for a location, spoke to any actors, or filmed a a single episode of our webcast.

Though most of them have now been lost to time and the filing cabinet that holds all things dealing with the film.  One of the steps that existed in tandem, with this process, consisted of cutting out photos of military uniforms and generating sketches of what our actors costumes would be.  Then we did the same process for our zombies!  Once the film schedule was decided upon by the production crew, I then had to form a make-up/costuming team, and another set of sketches/photos/magazine cuttings were generated.

Most of this is normal, every team goes through this.  Even for an episode of the most trite teenage drama.  The high school sports team’s uniforms have to be designed, and the main characters don’t just show up in what they had in the closet that morning.  Someone designs how they will look before each episode.  Even in a show like Supernatural or The Walking Dead, where the characters wear the same things every episode, those props were designed.

However at times the creative process has to go a step further.  A sci-fi television show, horror movies, and video games normally have concept artists.  This is a guy, like me, who sits in at the meetings and hear the more off the wall ideas, and then has to translate them into art work so everyone not on the creative team has a chance to get the idea.  These art works are then used by everyone else to make the film/show/game feel the way the production team wants it too.

A big part of any creative process that involves an element of fantasy is the Creature and Character Design.  Most of my personal Creature and Character design centers around the Savaged Universe.  A science fiction world/universe that I have written several short stories in, and am currently attempting to unify into one book.  I use this type of illustration and concept art to decide on what my aliens and main characters look like, so I can get the rough idea out of my head and take a look at them on paper.  It helps when it comes time to describe them to the reader.

On the fringe of the Human Empire, during the turbulent times of expansion, exploration and colonization we run into two other struggling empires, the Sage and the Jarn.  Naturally the language, social etiquette and racial differences are great enough that wars and conflicts arise.  However in both cases these first two alien species become some of humanities earliest and strongest allies.  We are going to look at both this week, starting with the Jarn.

The Jarn were originally “Space Orcs”, literally.  My only idea was they were savage brutes with green skin that crawled out of a Tolkien novel, into a space shuttle and then went on a smashing spree.  Then they became more than just savage and mindless creatures tossed in from another genre to satisfy the need for conflict.  They became an developed race, that somehow got their act together long enough to make it off their home world, and develop a small fledgling empire.  An empire that later, after a few wars, would join humanity and the sage in creating something larger.

EarlyJarnConcept

This is an early concept, I was still going with the “orc” base model.  Big muscle clad brutes that lived and died for war.  At the time,  the Jarn were a race that was brought to their knees by the Sage and Humans in a war that lasted almost a hundred years, and saw the death of most of a solar system, they just had to be more than I was giving them credit for.  I mixed in the idea of honor and pride, then a feudalistic society where dueling and single combat were often used to settle disputes between Jarn tribes.  I came up with this mix of Japanese and Native American cultures, a mix that would allow a society to advance into the space-age.

The Jarn were reborn, still brutes and giants, still more likely to get into a bar fight over a spilled drink than to talk about their feelings.  But focused and honor bound, intelligent and ambitious.  In fact even as I reworked how they looked, and how their society functioned, I reworked how they became part of the Empire.  The Jarn Wars were ended by a Peace Treaty, where each side saw the damage the war was creating.  However the Jarn Civil Wars were born in the same event.  Half the Jarn tribes siding with the Human and Sage Empire, while the other half declared war, and fought a retreating battle into what has become “Wild Space”.

Jarn

Still brutish, their bodies reflecting life-times of war, their technology bulky and inelegant.  But they had their own look, something that didn’t make them just “Space Orcs” anymore.

I still have yet to tackle what their spacecraft look like!  If you wold like to know more about the Savaged Universe check out my other blog:  One Hundred 

-TheGrav

Hardware upgrades and spring cleaning…


I finally joined the ranks of computer users that enjoy the quite and speed of a Solid State Drive.  I found a pre-black Friday sale at Fry’s a couple of weeks ago and picked up a 120Ggb SSD, and I gotta say I love it.  One of the best side effects is that the 7200rpm 1TB drive I had in the computer is now entirely given over to storage of my digital painting projects and media collection!

My only regret is not holding out just a little longer and seeing if I could get a larger drive, apparently I own to many Steam games.  But I can say this, if you are on the fence, get off the fence!  a SSD is worth the investment.  With prices slowly creeping down, and just a few more hours of Cyber Week sales, now is the time!

Plus, we all need that excuse to go through our files, and delete the stuff we don’t use anymore!  😀

-TheGrav