Did I mention I do Leatherwork…


A few months back I made my girl a burner belt out of leather.  Just another of my crazy skills.

Beltback

Back of the belt…BeltFront

Front buckle…FullBelt

Full Belt… PocketDetailPocket details..

-TheGrav

 

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The Sage, Spacecraft Edition


It seems to be a heavy theme in my last few posts but here is some more stuff from the Savaged Universe!  As mentioned in my last post about concept design for the Sage, here are their ships.

SageEventChaser SageSpaceCraft

 

I designed all the Sage ships around the basic idea of “UFOs” we have now days.  I may or may not have been watching Ancient Aliens when it occurred to me…

Since these guys have been cruising around the universe stealing and stock piling knowledge for years, I figured they were perfect suspects for the sightings we have had, and so I used that as a design base for their ships.

Traditionally Sage spacecraft are very light on weapon systems although since aligning with Humanity and the Jarn to run the Empire they have been forced to retrograde several of their century old ships, as well as redesign their new ships with weapons.

More to come soon!

You can follow the Novel of Savaged on my other blog 100 Words.

-TheGrav

Character and Creature Design: Sage


This is the follow-up post to the Jarn character and creature design post I made last week.  More artwork and design stuff that fits into the Savaged Universe.  The Sage are officially the first race humanity meets as they expand into the stars.  Our first hint that we are not alone in the universe comes when cargo starts to disappear from ships along established trade routes.  The odd thing is it isn’t cargo that is normally considered high value.

Priding themselves as students of galactic history and the only truly advanced civilization of the stars the Sage had taken it onto themselves to collect and catalog as much data as they can.  Some of the most powerful Sage becoming Knowledge pirates that plague the known universe stealing art, books, and historical records, while leaving behind weapons, technology and valued goods.

Here is the first sketch of a Sage I ever did.

sad_knowledgepirate

They were never meant to be a “Galactic Player” when I did this first sketch.  They were supposed to be a henchmen like race, spotty comic relief, an odd idea.  However as I developed the beginnings of the Council of Seven and the Empire, I was forced to comfort the idea that someone had to help humanity take and hold there place in the universe.

The Sage became the first race that humanity allies with, helping to form the backbone of the Empire.  Sage pirate armadas aligning themselves with human naval and exploratory vessels, forming a Navy in the time of crisis as both races fell into open conflict with the Jarn.

SageConcepts

 

Along those lines I worked a few concept sketches of the Sage.  Keeping the idea that they are a small humanoid reptilian race, easily adapted to fighting in tight corner and enclosed spaces.

SageNavalRating

 

This later sketch is much closer to my final vision.  I have added fighting claws to the Sage’s feet, made them much slighter of frame and worked the basic ideas of the Imperial Navies uniform into this sketch.  I also added the saber to give the Naval Rating a colonial era look and feel.

Space Combat isn’t like modern warfare.  Often tight corridor combat deciding the outcome of a naval clash, opening volleys normally ending in brutal close quarters combat.

I had to make another decision this time about what their ships and technology looked like… More about that next time!

-TheGrav

Terran it Up, A reboot.


So 2-3 years ago I got a phone call from Peter, the other half of Digital Raven, and he asked “Hey mind being a Marine in a Star Craft Short Film?”.  Star Craft 2 was weeks away from release, and I had the Beta, so no sooner than he asked did I show up ready to be a badass.

This event, a day of filming in City7’s Assistant Director‘s garage, started to get the ball rolling on what would become Digital Raven.  As announced in one of our more recent Video Blogs we have decided to return to our roots and tackle a reboot.

[Youtube:http://youtu.be/zpZhmJZLIl0%5D

As Peter mentions in the above video they were working on the very tight schedule for the contest.  Our pre-production schedule this time is a bit longer!  So we will be able to address a lot of our past issues, and deliver our vision in away that long time Star Craft fans will appreciate.

As we head into the realm of Science Fiction, we will be spending a lot more time on props and costuming, more so than we did with City7.  As the props designer, among other things :), one of my first jobs is to figure out what we need to be looking at in order to bring the world of Star Craft to life.

Just like a building, a good prop needs some  design and direction before you can even get into developing a physical version you can hold.  Arguably the biggest prop in the Star Craft Universe is the C-14 Impaler gauss rifle.  Everyone knows what it looks like, and who doesn’t want to have one of these just hanging around?

We aren’t looking at getting actors into full power suits though, as we are looking to keep the feel of the original Terran it Up! short film, here is where the design and planning stage comes in.  We have to make a smaller rifle…

In the original film, our Marines joke about how “budget cuts” from the federation have left them unarmored and under-gunned, so no powersuits and full rifles.  This is not a new concept to the Star Craft Universe.  Ghosts are an awesome example of a “light armored” unit, as well as way back in the Star Craft 1 days there was a cut scene that showed a group of marines, and a dude that was a marine, but not in a suit!

[youtube:http://youtu.be/pmbaGRjRYnw%5D

A bit of a blast from the past!  I mean those graphics were AWESOME!!! (Back in the day). Anyway, one of my first challenges is to take the C-14 Impaler, and get it to fit into the hands of someone who isn’t in-cased in 9 feet of power-armor.

Pretty steep order right?  Well not really… the great thing about Science Fiction, is normally it has some basis in fact.

C-14 Impaler, Star Craft

Let’s first look at this awesome painting of a Gauss Rifle.  I will use this image as a point of reference as I move forward, a lot of the tool markings, manufacturing standards, and design elements will need to carry over into my design in order to keep continuity in the Star Craft Universe.  Its a bit like how the: AK-47, Scorpion and Dragonov sniper rifle all share many features helping them be identified as Cold War-Era Russian Weapons.

Now the aim here is to make a smaller weapon.  With this in mind I went to existing weapons in order to collect some ideas, so we end up with a new unique prop weapon, that could still thematically fit in with the Star Craft Universe.  Here are two images of Sub-machine guns I found that I want to use to shape this design.

 

 

 

 

 

With these things in mind I can start to work on the thumbnail design, and finally full color design for the prop we shall use in our movie.  Be sure to follow my blog to keep tabs on both City7 and our Terran It Up Reboot.   More soon!

-TheGrav


Life is a lesson…


I often joke that I went to school to become and illustrator, but go to work to be a web-developer.  While true this doesn’t really say much about any of my experience.  Right after High School my big dream was to write novels, something I still have up there in the ranks of “wouldn’t it be cool if…”  but then I looked into real careers, and decided I didn’t want to be an English Teacher.

After that I flirted with computer science, history, graphic design, and finally illustration as potential majors, but never really finished any of them.  I am one of those “Some College” guys, but in my case it’s a bit more like “a lot of college, that has little to do with anything” guys.  Illustration, painting, and digital art is where I am headed though, and as I get deeper into those fields as a freelance artist the idea of going back to school and finishing a degree seems better and better.

So how did I end up sitting in a pile of web-development?  Well in late 2005 a buddy and I were sitting around complaining about clothing, and how not enough cool stuff was made for guys, and how we could make better stuff.  So we spent the next several months doing research and collecting data to the end of opening a clothing company.  In Mid-2006 that happened, and we launched Ravenhorde Studios form my garage.

Over the next 8 months we learned the hard-way, made a lot of shirts and decided it was time to go big.  We moved into a business park and ran Ravenhorde Studios as a small business to business t-shirt company until 2010.  Now that wasn’t the original dream, we had wanted to sell our own designs.. but due to lack of planning and lack of time, our own e-commerce website fell to the wayside as we focused on doing business to business sales.

T-shirts could not sustain us however, and along the way we also began doing marketing design, web design and development, and wide format printing as well.  It was here that what had been a hobby in high school and college became a skill I realized I was good at and could market.  From there I ended up realizing that there were a hundred other skills to learn and grow upon, and I saw that for a long time I had been acting as an unpaid Information Architect consultant with family and some business friends.

The Market crash was pretty hard, and left our business in the dust and in Early 2010 we had to close our doors, although I continued as a freelance web designer.  A brief 9 months spent in the hell that is known as Starbucks Coffee as a Shift Supervisor, and finally I find myself where I should have been 10 years ago.

Still a freelancer in the art, design, and web-development world I have found myself being one of two developers for a Real Estate company, and the head designer for most of the same companies marketing materials.   What the future holds however is yet to be seen.

-TheGrav