Rather than an opinion piece this week, I thought I'd share some work I've done on a personal project over the last 2 weeks. I wanted to work on my take of a "Superhero vs Aliens" movie story, set in Vancouver B.C. Style-wise, it was based on an "X-Men meets the Avengers" vibe, with normal people who have superpowers instead of costumed heroes.
My four "superheroes" are all college students at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. I don't go into how they got their powers, but Nicolas has telekinesis and can fly, Lauren is your basic "Super Soldier" archetype, stronger, faster and more sturdy than Olympic athletes. Her boyfriend, Calvin, has telepathy, and Jenny can create destructive energy blasts from her hands. I will admit, it made my day to create a team with no beefcake white dudes, and where the white woman has "normal" human proportions, and a bit of cellulite.
As Lauren and Calvin relax and watch the summer fireworks...
An alien breach team gates in. They have been monitoring via deep-cover agents, and have an agenda before the full invasion begins.
Part of that agenda is removing potential threats, like our four heroes. Nicolas narrowly escapes an explosion in his apartment.
The alien spaceship has come down to Earth and is waiting in northern B.C.
When the assault team fails, fighters are dispatched.
They make the trip down to Vancouver as the mothership moves more slowly behind them.
Lauren and Nicolas engage the fighters while Calvin and Jenny sneak back to the mothership through the closing warp gate used by the assault team.
Jenny takes out some guards and she and Calvin advance to try to find some way to stop the ship.
Unfortunately, they are captured just after discovering one of the housing units for the mothership's power cells.
With no time to spare, Nicolas leaves Lauren to fight on the ground, and goes to rescue his friends and help them stop the invasion.
He sneaks his way aboard the vessel and is reunited with his friends.
What happens next? Not sure! I've got enough paintings for this project for right now, so I'm actually getting ready to start a new project. I really find this "storytelling approach" to development really helpful for keeping things interesting and consistent. You don't have to have a full script mapped out when you start, often as you are painting, new things will come up. There was originally going to be one more character, Jenny's 11 year old young brother, but as I started working, he didn't fit where the story was going, and he was dropped.
Timing-wise, this was about 2 weeks' worth of work. I tried to do at least one image a day, plus some paper thumbnailing of ideas. Technique-wise, this was a bit of a mix. A couple were straight "Photo-plate and painting" images, some were Daz Studio and Photoshop, and some were full 3D environments kitbashed in Unreal Engine and then brought into Photoshop.
They were not painted in story-sequence order, I jumped around all over the place. If I were going to keep working on it more, obviously I'd need a finale, and I could really use an image or two of Calvin being heroic....telepathy isn't an easy power to make look dynamic!
Thanks for reading! Two weeks today, I'm flying down to Spectrum Live! I'll have a new sketchbook with many of these paintings, plus some other projects. If you're going to be there, stop by and say "Hey" :)