Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Proposal and New Artist!

I found an illustrator!

As I talked about in my last blog post, my instructor, Vince DeQuattro, encouraged me to find an illustrator to do the concept art for my thesis.

Per a suggestion by my friend, author Steve Savile, I looked to the recent winner list for the Illustrators of the Future contest, and found contest winner Joshua J. Stewart! I emailed him, and he wrote me back yesterday, letting me know he was interested in doing the concept art.

He's going to start by working on the main character himself, Bodacious Creed. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he draws. Meanwhile, check out his site and his blog!

Bodacious Creed: Updated Proposal

Jonathan Fesmire
Thesis Proposal
ANM 670 - OL2: MS: Preproduction: Modelers & VFX
Module 13
May 4, 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, three prostitutes are murdered in the town of Verne, Arizona. With fear rising in the town and the sheriff pulling up no leads, the madam of the brothel in Verne is determined to stop the killer. 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
  • 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.
  • The madam. I want to also show that I can model a realistic human with character.
  • A coyote outfitted with a few mechanical parts. This is the gunslinger's pet.
2) Hard Surface Models

  • A gun that fits within the genre, based on guns of the actual Old West, but modified. This will really go with the model of Creed, but will use hard surface techniques.
  • A seven foot tall Steampunk robot that the Madam uses as protection. It's not terribly intelligent, but it follows simple orders.
3) Setting, all with appropriate technology for the milieu

  • The saloon/bordello owned by the Madam.
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.

Per Vince's suggestion, I have found a professional illustrator to do the concept art. Joshua Stewart, one of the 2009 Illustrators of the Future winners, has enthusiastically signed on to do the concept drawings.

Bodacious Creed  © 2010 Jonathan Fesmire

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