Third Concept Image

Sometimes, doing something not so well is all the inspiration I need to try harder to get it right. The last concept image of Bodacious Creed wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

I worked harder on this third concept image, and I’m pretty happy with it. I think this is really close to what I want for the character. So, check it out!

This book is one of my references:

He’s So Gaunt!

So, gaunt is definitely one of the features that I want for Bodacious Creed.

I’ve done a new concept image for the main character. It’s more sketchy looking than the last one, but it also illustrates better how decrepit I want him to be. Again, he needs to be designed such that he would have to be done in CG for a movie.

Feel free to have a look!

Professional Musings

I love movies. I’ve always been fascinated by how special effects were done. I also love art, took art lessons as a kid, and always wanted to learn to draw well.

So why did I focus on writing instead? Why did I try so hard to make it as a fantasy writer? Yeah, I loved books, too, and I read some great fantasy novels that inspired me to try my hand at writing.

However, in hindsight, I got into movies more. If there was a program on about special effects, I had to see it?

Why in the world did it take me so long to pursue a career in movies? Here are some of the memes that kept me from even considering this as a possibility, and kept me a frustrated would be author for years.

1. Movies area a lower, less intelligent form of entertainment from books.

Why? Because it takes more work to become literate than it does to watch a movie? That part may be true, but movies and books are just two different media.

2. It’s really tough to get a job in the movies.

It may be, but I’d wager it’s much harder to become a successful author.

3. You can only be an artist if you have a talent for it, and that talent obvious from the beginning.

Being an artist requires many skills. Skills can be–must be–learned. I developed my skills as a writer, yet I didn’t realize I could develop my skills as an artist.

And so, I focused on writing, which I never liked as much as the visual arts, because I thought that’s all I was capable of.

At least I eventually figured out I wouldn’t be artistically happy until I pursued what I really love. Plus, the writing practice helps, too. The skills of creating good prose, story analysis, story and character creation, are extremely useful. That’s how I came up with “Bodacious Creed,” after all.

I just wish I could reverse my age to about 20 years old, so I could have an extra 20 years to be an artist.

On a side note, here are some of my books. At least I was productive as a writer, just as I am as an artist!

The Look of Creed

Check it out now, my first concept image of protagonist and anti-hero Robert Creed’s face!

As I develop him more, I plan to make him look more gaunt, more decayed. He should be a character that would only look right done in CG. Remember the rotted look of the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean? Or of the undead Ivan in Hellboy? I’m going for more of a look like that.

Still, I think I’m off to a good start.

Cortex Interface and Ulna Blade

See the marvelous Cortex Interface! Yes, partner, if you’re undead gunslinger Bodacious Creed, you get some pretty fancy upgrades, complete with ether power.

This is my latest concept drawing for my MFA thesis. If you want to read more about the thesis concept, click here.

What you’ve been watching me work on since the inception of this blog is the pre-production phase of my thesis. I still have lots of concept images and other pre-production work to do.

Oh yeah, take a look at that steel ulna blade, too. Pretty sweet, huh?

Bodacious Creed © 2010 Jonathan Fesmire

Human Reanimation Contraption

Here’s my latest piece of concept art for Bodacious CreedYes, that is the title of my thesis.  If you missed the post about it, you can read it by clicking the link.

As for the concept image, see it here!

This is the external part of the unit that replaces the main character’s heart.  Although it goes in the thorax, it doesn’t act as a heart, but rather a corpse reanimator.

As this is an early concept image, it’s subject to change.  But you get the basic idea!

The Reveal!

Here it is, the proposal for my thesis!  Now, you’ll all know what I’ve been talking about.  I also realized that posting this here, as well as having mailed myself my proposal, is additional copyright protection. 🙂

Also, sharing this with the world will make it easier to really share my progress.

Bodacious Creed ©2010 Jonathan Fesmire

Jonathan Fesmire
Thesis Proposal
ANM 670 – OL2: MS: Preproduction: Modelers & VFX
Module 7
March 17, 2010

Bodacious Creed

Background and Setting:

In Arizona, 1860, US Marshal Robert Creed is a man of tough justice, often bending the law in the pursuit and capture of criminals. Still, citizens welcome him as much as outlaws fear him. His bravery, daring, and single minded focus earn him the nickname, Bodacious Creed.

Then, in the summer of 1860, he is shot dead. Dozens of outlaws claim bragging rights on his murder, but who really killed him, none can tell.

This Old West is mostly like our own, but technology has taken a different direction. In Europe and America, steam power has given way to a new source of energy. As it turns out, the luminiferous ether, a substance thought to allow light to move through space, is real, and all around us. Not only that, it can be converted to energy. New gadgets and technologies are emerging: faster trains, marvelous calculation machines, vocal telegraphs.

Some inventors have even been dabbling in replacement body parts. Though many have been successful on animals, none have worked on people.

Well, on the living, at least. You see, other inventors have learned to make ether batteries that can raise the dead. If that weren’t amazing enough, the newly raised dead retain their living intellect, at least, if their brain was relatively intact at death and not too much time has gone by. Plus, some well crafted replacement body parts work just fine on a the raised dead.

In late 1860, a serial killer is going from town to town in Arizona, murdering prostitutes from bona fide brothels, and one madam, is determined to stop him. Turns out, she has the means, because she’s one of those secret inventors who can revive the dead. She’s brought back two of her working girls, but they can’t tell her much; they never saw the killer’s face.

So, she digs up the one lawman she’s sure will stop the killer: Bodacious Creed.

The Project:

Of course, this a 3D Modeling thesis, and so the back story is here to give it coherence, and focus, as I work on it. It also makes it less likely for the models to seem stereotypically steampunk, western, or horror, while still being a mix of those three genres.

While I understand that a lot of models aren’t necessary, I want to model the madam as well as Robert Creed.

1) Organic Models

a) US Marshal Robert Creed, aka Bodacious Creed, the undead gunslinger. He will have chunks of his face missing and a few replacement body parts that the madam designed. At best, it would be impractical to cast an actor in this role and still achieve the extreme look.
b) The madam. I want to also show that I can model a realistic human with character.
c) A coyote outfitted with a few mechanical parts. This is the gunslinger’s pet.

2) Hard Surface Models
a) An Ether based train engine.

3) Setting Possibilities, all with appropriate technology for the milieu
a) A saloon/bordello
b) A jail house
c) A train interior
d) A villa

In addition to the models, I would like to showcase my texture work. I took the initial Texturing and Lighting course last semester and am in Advanced Texturing and Lighting now. I want to get excellent at texturing, to compliment my modeling skills, so I would like to show them off a bit. I think the best way to do that would be to texture the gunslinger himself. This would allow me to do a variety of textures, from rotten skin to clothing, to some metal.

I appreciate that Vince DeQuattro kept challenging me to improve on my initial western steampunk idea, as it has led to this. I hope this is compelling, and that it will show future employers what I’m capable of creating.

I’m also excited about the basic story, as I think it would make great fiction, in any number of formats. It’s something I may expand on after my thesis is complete.

Drawing

Here is a new drawing of mine for your viewing enjoyment.

I’ll be doing my Midpoint Review for my MFA this summer. Once I’ve passed that, I’ll officially be an MFA Candidate. In my case, it will also mean that I’ve taken all my require courses except for Professional Practices, which I’ll take my last semester. Basically, for each of the next three semesters, I’ll have two Directed Study “classes” and one regular class. For the next two semesters, those will be electives.

What I’m planning on taking as of now are Drawing the Clothed Figure and Drawing from Imagination. Vince De Quattro may suggest other courses, but I think those are the two that will help me in my career the most. Drawing is an important skill, and being able to draw well helps with other areas of art.

Oh, I did get my poor man’s copyright letters back, but I still feel like keeping most of the details of my old west steampunk horror thesis project to myself. There’s a notion among writers that, if you tell a story to very many people, you lose the impetus to write it. I presume the same goes for an art project, so I’m still just going to release a bit of information at a time.

Poor Man’s Copyright Proof

Yesterday, I mailed myself three copies of my thesis proposal sheet. It’s two pages long, and it outlines the concept and its most important details. I think of this as a poor man’s proof of copyright, because it’s cheaper than getting papers notarized or registering with the copyright office.

I’m not going to write about my thesis now, however. I’ve got to get back to my sculpture for my Ecorché class. What is écorché? It’s sculpting a figure from the inside out, bones first, then muscles, but without skin. (Ecorché means “flayed” in French.) It’s the very best way for an artist to learn anatomy. So, I’ve been learning a lot in this class, all of which will help with my thesis, and my career, of course! It’s sure a lot of time consuming work, though!

So, back to it!

Reference Reel

A reference reel is a tool used in the movie industry to give an idea of the look for a project, before the concept art stage even begins. You find clips from movies, or images, that will help to give a vague idea of what you want to create.

So, we did our reference reels in Preproduction this week. My reel included clips from Young Guns II, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Doctor Who, Wild Wild West, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hellboy. Diverse, huh? But various elements from all these give an idea of the look I want for my project.

I’m going to mail my proposal to myself as proof of copyright. Probably nobody in the industry is going to try stealing the specifics of my idea, but I want to make sure. I think it’s that cool, that it might be tempting for someone. And, after that, I’ll feel more comfortable sharing details about my progress.