The Kor’Jorian Fleet, Character Design


A few weeks ago I posted a sketch of the Kor’Jorian, a race of microbial creatures that had melded with their bionic suits.  Here is are the sketches I worked up fro their fleet.

KorjorianDeathStalker

In the image above the top sketch was the old idea I had several years ago about how their  ships might look.  The lower sketch is an update made to reflect their bionic culture and mentalities.
KorjorianShipConcepts

Another early concept, and the thumbnail sketch that became the Silverslayer the Kor’jorian command cruiser. KorjorianSilverSlayer

A more detailed sketch of the Silverslayer…KorJorianWarshipConceptAnother quick concept that was never developed further.

All of these sketches and designs work into my Savaged Universe, and are examples of Character and Creature Design.

-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

 

 

How I Kill myself with indecision


I have been working on my portfolio site for what seems like years… although it has only been a few months.  The idea is to have this stargate like device the floats in the midst of planets, the planets making up the “artsy” links for the different sections of my site.  This works out pretty well.  Using HTML5 and CSS3 I am able to get a quarter gate, in the bottom left corner, with planets positioned around it to look awesome!  In 1920 x 1080…

The problem is with a Liquid Layout as soon as it is re-sized… everything goes to shit.  Well not everything, using some CSS3 trickery I was able to back the background starscape and the gate itself re-size and maintain relative position, but the planets go all to hell and back.  An unfortunate reality that modern web-designers have to take into account is that most people still prefer to view a webpage at 1024 x 768, whether that is their default screen-size or they prefer to browse in windowed mode so their boss doesn’t catch them.

This leaves me with a few options… write something obscenely javascript heavy, that registers the user’s screen-size and spits back the page.  This also requires a lot of coding, as CSS has to be generated for each size detected.  Or I figure out a simple solution for now, and get to finishing.

What this really means is that I am gonna repaint the gate… as I am now centering the navigation page in a 1020px box, rather than having it adhere to the rules of a traditional liquid layout.   For those of you new to Worldcrafter, here is the original gate:

Warp Gate, Digital Painting, Ryan Berry

 

And here is step one of the revision:

Gate

 

Wheee!!! Painting time!

-TheGrav

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

ARM Naval Weapons


More work on the Savaged Universe.  Still working on the political and governmental structure with the help of Freemind, but one of things I have figured out is most of the military structure.

The Imperial Navy is supported by the ARM Marine Corps.  Ships of the Imperial Naval line are patrolled and guarded by ARM Marines.  Most ships transport at least 3 full platoons for ship to ship combat and foothold actions(Planet side invasions) as well.

Lower ranked Naval Officers are often placed in charge of ARM Marine patrol and platoons, and so most are trained in and use ARM weapons.  Here are a couple quick sketches.

ARMNavalWeapons

 

Both weapons are specifically designed to be used by unmodified Naval and Marine personnel, during ship boarding and ship defending actions.  The single fire Long Pistol fires a small full jacketed round, designed to cause massive damage to organic material only.  Capable of being used either full auto or semi-auto, weapons training normally stresses that officers and troopers fire only one round at a time.  The small size of the round was designed to not puncture the bulkheads and internal system of a spacecraft.

The Kinetic Force Stun Blaster was designed to be slung around in a few quick motions before discharging energy in a blast that was designed to stun or knock an opponent out.

More to come!

-TheGrav

On the Subject of Living worlds…


The last planet I worked on painting was somewhere in the primordial stage, some green sludge, some frozen or trapped water.  The next world I decided to work on was along the same lines just a little further developed.  More of an earth like planet, capable of hosting multicellular life, or even becoming a second home to humanity?

living

 

Once again I am much happier with this planet, the level of detail is much better and showcases my digital painting a bit better.

-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

Oh Snap! Planets!


I have been trying to figure out how to finish thegrav.com.  I need planets, in two sizes, I know that much… after that I will need to sit back and think once again.  This means I need to paint a few planets.  So I set out to paint 6 planets in total.  I figured this time around I would try to reach out with social media and poll some of the people that follow my art page, in order to pick which planets I was gonna use.

The six choices I have given my fan are: A Metal World, Ice World, Living World, Desert World, Volcanic World, and a Dead World.  I however don’t get off easy, I still have to paint all 6 before I can really ask anyone to vote!  So far I have finished three!  Check em’ out!

 

Head on over to my Facebook Artist page!  Throw me a Like, and vote for your favorite!

http://www.facebook.com/ArtofTheGrav?fref=ts

-TheGrav

100 words…


Yesterday I explored why we as a culture like darker themes, and why I as a writer have a tendency to explore and expand on some of those same darker themes.  However merely exploring the how and why, doesn’t get a book written.  As identified previously, this is one of my current issues.

As a freelancer in graphic design, marketing, and illustrator I keep myself pretty busy.  Which also means I have to execute a certain amount of self-discipline in order to get any given task completed in a day.  Most of the time, I am able to get everything I need done, and still have at least some time to focus on producing art.  But I have a hard time sitting down to focus on writing itself.

What tends to happen in my case is I will go through incredibly productive writing phases, that are limited to just a few days.  Then it will be weeks before the bug hits me again, and I will have to spend the first hour or so of my writing time, reading what I have previously written.  Which leads to me tweaking it, editing things, adding things, sometimes entire paragraphs are born into the middle of pre-existing work.  All of this is good, but I feel that I am not doing it as efficiently as I could.

Focusing on the problem only gets you so far, and so I have bent my mind to seeking solutions.  An easy solution has developed out of my current muse.  ‘B’ and I have been together for a little over a month, but I have never experienced such a supportive and inspiring person.  Her ability to keep me sane, fan the flames of my creativity, and gently nudge me in a positive direction, is awe-inspiring.  I feel that in this person I have truly found a soul-mate.

Why is this so important to my goal of writing?  Simple, she encourages me to write.  Asking hard questions when I need them asked, and most recently making a promise to send me off to work on it when I am being a bump on a log.  This isn’t enough though, as mentioned she is my muse.  Poetry and art given elemental force and unleashed on my heart and soul.  Quite simply, she makes me want to paint and create beauty.  Savaged is not a pretty universe.

It is corrupt, filled with political organizations and figures that are pulling the strings of a decaying empire.  Savaged is much like a primitive bonfire, in the dark wilderness of space.  Just like primitive man, the races of Savaged play out their entire dramas around this beacon of warmth and light, with little idea of what the darkness around them holds.  Not always the type of stuff you can focus on writing when your muse is so damn beautiful.

I have set to the task if creating my own goals.  But I have little to no idea how I was going to do that.  Thankfully WordPress came to my rescue.  Glancing around at the wealth of creative bloggers, I started to notice a theme.  Creative writers are using their blogs as benchmark tools to track self-made goals, and at times relying on the community to help push them back on target.  This is where my idea to write a 100 words a day comes from.

However Worldcrafter is not the best platform to realize this task.  Those of you who have been following me for the last year or so, may remember a time when I mentioned my fictional blog, hosted at thegrav.wordpress.com.  Originally started to develop the world of City 7, I have not used it in over a year.  This is mainly due to the fact that City 7 has become a movie and soon will be an ever expanding web-series.  When I do focus on City 7 work, it is normally to take previously written material and convert it into a script, or I am working with the other 2/3rds of our production team to come up with completely new ideas.

This leaves thegrav.wordpress.com, in a prefect position.  If I can set myself to the goal of writing at least 100 words a day, and then posting the results of that exercise, not only can I make headway toward finishing my first Sci-Fi novel.  But maybe I can get a growing community of fans, and critics which will drive my ideas and fuel the Universe that is Savaged.

This is just an idea, in the works…

-TheGrav