Repo Men Winners Announced

As you know, I was a semi-finalist in the Repo Men design contest on deviantArt! The winners have been chosen. No, I didn’t win, but please join me in congratulating those who did! You can see the winning entries here.

I’ll have more on my thesis soon!

Concept Images

I just read the thesis requirements for 3D Modeling MFA candidates today. Wow! I knew some of it, but not all, though now I can see what Vince DeQuattro was helping me aim toward in my own project.

One of the requirements is to have detailed, turntable style drawings of the models I’m going to do. By turntable style, I mean from the front, back, left, and right. I won’t lie: I’m a little nervous about this! While I can draw, I’m not nearly as good as I’d like to be. I want my final concept drawings to be higher quality than I feel comfortable with, as of now.

One option–specifically mentioned in the guidelines–is to find another student, better at drawing than I am, to do the drawings based on my descriptions. I’m not sure how easy it would be to find someone to do that. But yeah, as a modeler, what’s most important is to show that I can model these. I have no doubt I can.

Before I explore the collaboration option though, I’m going to see how much I can improve my drawing over the next few weeks.

Witness my nervous grin.

Only Slightly Related, But…

Though this isn’t directly related to my thesis, except that it was also a modeling project, I wanted to announce here that I’m a semi-finalist in the Repo Men design contest on Renderosity!

Check out all the semi-finalist images, and also have a look at my entry.

The contest challenge was to create an artificial organ, as might be created by The Union in the new movie, Repo Men, staring Jude Law and Forest Whitakar. Fun stuff!

The Value of Input

Now, my thesis proposal is really shaping up! Not only do I have a great setting for my models, I also have a compelling story behind it. I have three intriguing characters (I plan to model only two for the thesis), and, well, the urge to work on the story while I work on the thesis.

This has definitely shown me the value of continuing to work on an initial idea, and not to jump into the design phase too early. It’s also important to get input even in the early idea part of a creative project. Vince has continually pushed me to make my idea more unique, and more something that will show off my skills to movie studios.

I’m at the point of wondering, how much do I share here in my blog? I’ve never been afraid of having my ideas stolen before, but now I am. A little. I also know that by sharing specifics, that actually establishes my copyright. Someone could use a similar setting or idea–I can’t copyright Old West Horror Steampunk as a genre–but the more their story looks like mine, the more I’d have a case by being able to show that I came up with them first.

How do others handle this?

Any ideas?

Add a Dash of Fear

Some comments from Vince DeQuattro convinced me to reanalyze my concept. This led me to add a horror element. What’s fun though is that I found a way that it actually compliments the Steampunk and Old West elements, and introduces a compelling back story.

I may just have to write it as a novel, or graphic novel. I like that I’ve come up with a strong background for this modeling project!


I’m not announcing my title yet, but I think I have a good one, something that sounds both Steampunk and Old West, but I think not in a heavy handed way.

I also have a list of media that has elements of what I want to do. This is a class assignment. In fact, it’s not uncommon to create a reel of clips from movies to give an idea of what one wants to do with a movie or thesis.

Here’s my list.

Firefly / Serenity – Joss Whedon’s space western does a great job of creating a science fiction setting with old west cultural and stylistic elements.

Wild Wild West – This movie was silly, but the concept is similar to mine. I want my Old West Steampunk setting to be more serious. Still, some of the gadgets used in this movie may provide inspiration.

Back to the Future III – I believe they actually did a good job of capturing the Old West in this movie, but with the science fiction ovferlay of the time travelers. The serious bits here are closer to the feel I want.

The Dark Tower (Novels & Comics) – The feel here is even closer to what I’m going for. Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” cycle, seven novels in all, is fantastic. It’s a blend of Old West style–though the Old West type setting is actually in another world–horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Some of the technology that shows up is similar to what I want in mine. For instance, there are giant robots that look like animals, a psychotic supersonic train, and remnants of a company that, eons ago, nearly destroyed the world.

Doctor Who Series 2 episode, The Girl in the Fireplace – This episode of Doctor Who had some very interesting clockwork robots. These could be inspiring for some of the technology in my setting.

The Golden Compass – I still need to see this movie! But I understand it has some Steampunk elements, which could give me some ideas.

The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne – This is very much about knowing what’s been done before in the Steampunk genre. This program had one season on SciFi, back before it was SyFy. I don’t expect any Old West influence here, but rather, inspiration from the Steampunk side.

On a side note, I’ve set up my Lulu storefront to be a sort of Internet hub to my other sites. Please bookmark it! Currently it has links to this blog and to my deviantArt gallery. I’ll update it with new links as they become available.

Also, if you’d like to check out my novels and anthology, you can find them there, in paperback and as ebooks.

zBrush Awesomeness

I just got a book from Amazon.Com, which would be useful for any 3D Modeler wanting to improve their human figures. It will certainly be useful to me, for my work in general, and for my thesis specifically.

I can hardly wait to dive into it. I’ll post the link at the end of this entry.

Meanwhile, I’m busy refining my thesis proposal. That’s fun. Research is great for bringing in new ideas.

Speaking of zBrush, Pixologic just released a free add on sure to really streamline my work! If you’re a modeler and haven’t seen this yet, you have to check it out. Amazing stuff!