Direct refs

Found in Sci-fi Art Now and Fantasy Art Now books from the library.

Ognian Bonev, Sector Blue.


I absolutely love this =) the main influence from this is a quote from Bonev that I found about this piece of work. “Represent a group of semi-mechanical, semi-organic,sentinel like creatures lurking in the shallow waters of an alien ocean.” I really like this because it shows how these creatures are living, in the sub-surface of an ocean. It is a good ref for my underwater scenes development.

Sergey Musin, The Grid

This is awesome. Found it really useful as Musin used Children of Men as inspiration. In terms of the colour scheme you can see this in his work. I really like this as I have been looking at Shanty towns etc.


Benjamin Carre, Locke Lamora Book Cover.

This is a good reference because Carre describes it as a ‘shimmering and exaggerated alternative Venice’ – obviously ref to my inspiration from Venice.


Realising The City-Scape

These are the processes that I undertook to produce my final image.

I started by doing 2 initial drawings of my final composition.

This helped me to get the basic idea for the shading/colour. I then layered these two images over one another in photo shop and started to use the brush to realise my work.

After around an hour I realised that this was going nowhere and seen as my deadline was fast approaching I voted for something I was more comfortable with; PEN!!!!

This is my final image.

I know I should have probably challenged myself a bit more but I was limited by time really. Plus, I love working in pen =)

Who are you George Kendal?

This is just a blog post on a few loose ends that I have found.

Why the same house design?

In my composition I just sort of drew all the houses in the same style. I do have a reason for this but I’m not sure if I have explained it so I shall do so here.

When George Kendal was designing the city he decided that it was easier to build a design over and over again, seen as he was pressured into making a city to inhabit citizens that were in danger of losing there homes. So he priortised his time and spend most of his time on the functionality of the house for the people who would live there. The house needed to act as a mini community, the bedroom was shared alongside the bathroom. The design is so open because it allows people to communicate better with one another. It is an open design. Although this meant that privacy was lost.

Why did Kendal choose this location?

He had dreamed of building this city ever since he had realised the inspirational value of Lui Xuan Grainger, he had a few designs already planned when the I.P.C. crashed and went about designing the best choice for the situation. This meant he had to consider the location well, because he wouldn’t want his city to be buried beneath the ocean in 2000 years when the sea level continued to rise. So, he sought high ground. He had previously traveled the world and come across Harouk’s Twin Gates, so he knew the aspect of safety that this location had. This idea fit in with his designs of a secret recluse that functioned by itself hidden away in the clouds, but in terms of the construction of housing on a mountain face, it was not going to be easy. So Kendal simplified the plans, chose to use Mahodevall and set about work. He knew that the inhabitants would be able to live off the mountain , so building the houses here was perfect. No-one would be able to get to the city and no-one would be able to leave but the statue would always hold the statement “You are not alone”. To further enhance the protection of the city, it would be built on the cliff face with a series of connecting walkways. The only way in was by air!

The other islands

In my composition I decided to put in some islands on the horizon line. These islands are vital in Saekli’s back story because when Grainger’s lights were first up and running the inhabitants of the other islands were wondering what was out there in the mist of darkness. So, they set off on a journey to the city. When they found it, they were amazed. The island they had come from was ripe with radiation and here just on the horizon was a city that had fresh water, and freshly grown food. They got greedy and decided to declare war. This lead to a rivalry between the islands, and in one of the many battles Saekli’s mum was killed.

I don’t know much about the actual make-up of the islands, but I think they would be pretty similar to the habitat of Grainger. I suppose they are just other mountain tops floating above the waters surface.


Originally when I first thought of doing an environment called Grainger right back in the archetype brief, I  thought of doing it set in an alternate reality on a planet that is similar to earth, but as I progressed it became more of a future prediction of earth, obviously a fictional one because they is war going on right now in my version, and a nuclear war at that! But, still I see it more as, if there ever is a massive nuclear war combined with the sea levels rising, and humans are still living on earth (let’s face it we will probably just jet off to whatever planet we can as soon as possible, like in  Mass Effect) this is what it will be like.

Harouk’s Twin Gates.

Concept for the twin gates situated in Grainger.

Who is Harouk?

Harouk is a fictional god in my cityscape concept. As I designed the gates I just came up with the idea that they were built in a valley before Grainger was even conceived. In the story they were built by a tribe of a thousand men who worked for 1000 days non-stop. This tribe, known as the Tshala’s worshiped the god of wisdom, Harouk. The date or even era in which they built the massive gates is unknown, even the material used is unidentifiable. Old stories tell of how Harouk’s power was shone down onto the tribe, giving them superhuman strength and speed but most people just believe it all to be simply a story. There is no way a 1000 men could have built two massive walls in a thousand days, especially seen as there is no record ever made before the wall existed. It lay unbeknown to all outsiders for centuries. Waiting for the day that a traveler would find it hidden amongst the mountains, this man was George Kendal.

Even I don’t know if Harouk is an actual living being, for the fictional purpose of the story he is an actual god in Saekli’s world, but what if he lived? I like the mystery around the gates, and I think I would love it if they did possess some weird wisdom values from this fictional god. I think it would be a really nice interaction for the inhabitants of Grainger to have. I wonder if they have ever been past the gates? When would they have ventured over the gates to see what they could get from the other side? Maybe the town is split between people who believe the ghost stories and people who think they are just some random gates. I think they would have definitely ventured over the gates, human nature would have forced that, but what if they sent out a scout party and no-one returned. Maybe something really crazy is lurking at the other side of the gates. An antagonist maybe? I don’t know I think this is all getting a little too ‘fantasy’ now. Need to hone it back to reality.

Choosing a composition

This is my final chosen drawn composition for the visual language brief. My reasons for choosing this over the other idea was simply because I like how it links the archetype, set design and final brief together. I think it captures the scene well, it is based around the rule of thirds that all cityscape’s should be based on. Plus you can see enough of the houses in the distance on the cliff to get an idea that they are situated there, which my other composition showed. It also shows a submerged house which links to my underwater idea. You also get a feeling that the houses are on top of one another as the buildings look miss-matched in the foreground of the right hand side. This composition seems to capture everything that I have jotted down about Grainger, but it is missing the gates and the statue. This is due to the angle. Saekli is stood on the same mountain side that these features are on so it makes sense for them not to be in view. I did spend a lot of time on them though but I think I will just leave these two factors in written form as I have already done the text behind the statue. Note:need to do the gates.

If I had more time.

I started doing this sketch last week for my city scape. the idea of it was that it was an underwater scape pf the lost houses of Grainger that now reside under the sea’s surface. I really liked the idea but sadly I don’t have time to develop it any further as I still have my final render for my actual city scape to do! Anyways, I thought it was a cool concept and I developed it more in my sketch book but here are the two image that I produced for it. They are very simple but as I say, if I had had more time. =)

Refs for City Scape

Initial google found images that inspired my final outcome:

Google found refs

My primary referance:

I was lucky enough to go to Venice last summer and I found that some of the photo’s I took there were really useful for my development.


I also took these random photographs and collated them into a moodboard, as I found them useful in terms of colour.

Putting some use to the first visual language brief.

As I was cruising through the web, looking at some of my previous work I found my photographs from golden Acre Park. Some of the images tie in quite well with my final studio brief, so I thought I could utilise these previous pieces of work and possibly incorporate them into my city-scape. The main use of them is the moldy, overgrown, platforms situated on the lake. They could link to the idea of piers reaching out into the sea. Here is a link to my original post with images.


Who would build a village on a hill next to the sea, when they knew the water would rise??? This is the problem I have  been trying to figure out since I did this initial sketch in photoshop:

It captures the idea of the village, inspired by shanty towns, situated on a hillside that overlooks the sea. I continued on with this basic idea and have developed a few more drawings in my sketchbook, as I worked through them I realised that I liked how some of the houses were shown submerged in the sea. This then lead onto me developing the idea that the city was originally built as a convenience. It was built so that the people who lived there could build more houses on the mountains behind the beach as the sea level rose. So under the sea -much like Venice- are maybe a hundred houses, all wrecked and worn down by the waves constant battering. This also poses a problem for the lights. These are inspired by Venice as they are sat on poles that are kept above water level by planks of wood. To make it easier for me, I have decided that te lights were invented 2000 years after the initial village was. So, the lights are on buoyant material, that is held in place by massive anchors on the sea bed. I do rather like the idea of a few lights being submerged on the sea bed aswell, maybe the inhabitants didn’t have time to find materials that would elongate the chains that keep the lights attached to the anchor. They would just be floating there trying to escape from the chains that held them in place.

References, How a city can look chaotic.

GUNKANJIMA (JAPAN): the forbidden island

In the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan there are 505 uninhabited islands, Gunkanjima is one of these islands. In 1980 a company called Mitsubishi bought the island and began a project to retrieve coal from the sea. In 1916 they build a large block of concrete apartments to reside on the island, it was designed to house the workers but also protect them from hurricanes.


Despite reminding me of the end Inception, this city is amazing. Completely corded off from the main land and the rest of humanity. It was built to serve a purpose and from looking at the photograph you can see that it was buildings literally on top of one another. I believe that the population actually reached the highest density ever recorded! In terms of inspiration, I think the main thing I will take from this is the way it reminds me of Venice, just the randomly angled streets. I think this simple thing combined with the tall buildings give a labyrinth sort of feel to the city. From my experience Venice was really daunting in some places, like in really narrow streets the houses were bowed so that when you looked up you could see literally 10inches of sky. It was quite scary, and I want to put this feeling across in my concept. I want the city to feel like it was hastily built and it is finding it hard to withstand the test of time.


The image says it all. Kowloon was a city with a massive wall around it, ad so it became a lawless city. I believe it was a watchpost before it became a city which explains the wall. The reason this is a good ref is because it is also a really chaotic city, the image below shows just how built up it was inside the walls. I even think I heard that the lower levels were just full of waste, and unused.

SAN ZHI (Taiwan): a futuristic resort

Whilst cruising around looking at ghost towns for inspiration I stumbled across a rather useful one. The North of  Taiwan is the home of a futuristic pod village initially built as a luxury vacation retreat for the rich. Construction was stopped on site after a number of fatal accidents occurred, and a lack of money and will meant that the production was abandoned. The site got the cover up treatment as the government who funded it was keen to not be associated with the mishaps on site. So, San Zhi remains an empty site that will forever be the home of the ghosts that supposedly inhabit it.

This doesn’t have a direct aesthetical link to my city but the idea behind it does. It is somewhat similar to Grainger in th sense that it was a half constructed shell of a village, that was left to decompose due to a series of unfortunate events. The image is especially useful as when I first imagined Grainger, I saw a shiny vision of the future, in an eco-friendly sense. But these images show what will inevitably happen to the city whilst it isn’t being used. It will run into degradation. When Alishar ad his band of followers find this city, they will be disappointed. Wait, they might not be really heart-broken, at least they will have a roof over their heads! In the current (future) state of the world a city as run down as San Zhi would have been a lovely place to inhabit!

What Signifies Power?

Right I haven’t done much work on my city-scape for a while but I am going to start now seen as we have only 2 weeks left to the deadline/presentation. So, I have the basic idea for my city, a have a rather in depth back story, plus feedback on that history from my mum who helped me come up with some loopholes I had missed the first time round. To start my design I have decided that since I know what the houses look like I need to work on other aspects that make up this city, so I’m going to start with the statue of Lui Xuan Grainger, situated in the town square. So, because this could be classed as a form of character design, I’m going to look at the basics. I need a statue that exemplifies power, peace and general old worldly things (old worldly thing = modern things now). So what signifies power? Black is a good colour, black and red. The stance will be important as I want it to give a positive, inspirational vibe.

After doing a quick search on google for inspirational statues I came across a blog post that was all about giant statues, from the statue of liberty to the Ushika Amida Buddha. At the top of the page it stated “there is  nothing quite as awesome as a huge free-standing statue” -this statement makes me think that having a 10foot statue isn’t quite good enough? If my houses are on 8 foot stilts, it would also be pointless having this statue, unless it was on some form of podium, I need to look into this more, and do some drawing.

Adam Adamowicz

Came across a blog that was set up to co-exist with the release date of Fallout 3 in 2008. It has a hell of a lot of post with concept art on and I was lucky enough to find a post on Adam Adamowicz, part of the concept team for environmental sets in game. Adam describes how he used memories from playing the original game to inspire the vision of the Fallout world: “Myself and the rest of the team pored over the lore, related our experiences playing the original, and researched everything 50’s we felt enhanced the drama, black comedy, and rich vintage sci fi that make this a truly unique game. At the end of these jams, as I liked to think of our discussions and debates, I did my best to put on paper what we had reached as a consensus. For my part, I like to feel I initially brought to the table a design sensibility that also favored ridiculous rocket flanged nuclear powered automobiles, and martini swilling characters who fight mutated horrors without scuffing their sharkskin suits. When the dust clears, I hope what you see is a mutated beast stamped indelibly with its inimitable origins. Whew.”  These are two examples of the initial ideas they had come up with for the city. I find them really inspirational to say these are just from a memory of  a game he loves and a lot of 50’s research.

Brink, Splash Damage. Environment.

I love the concept art of Brink but that isn’t what this blog post is about, I’ll save that rant for another day. I saw some similarities with my city-scape idea and the idea of The Ark – the environment in Brink. It is an island built in the near-future as part of a green living vision of the future. But as sea levels rose The Ark became a hub of humanity as everyone sought refuge there. A tense battle ensues, as residents of the Ark have lost all contact with what is left of the mainland, two sides fight for control of the island.

Container City Gameplay:

Container city is a really cool idea for part of the city, it is where they keep all the containers from unused ships they come across, just floating in the sea. The overall style of this part of the city is very run down, rust is the theme here, it gives a feeling of uneasiness and sets the environment up for some pretty serious warfare. The resistance are the ones who inhabit this part of the island, and they obviously don’t care about the area where they live because they don’t look after it.

This had made me think how my envionment would be influenced it’s inhabitants – I have said that they in a way worship the idea of George Kendal and his visionary idea of future living. So their attitude to the city will be thankful, grateful and I have already stated that they are peaceful people, who only fight to defend themselves and their city. So they would take care of Grainger and be proud of it. But Saekli would have some sort of contempt, she would want to explore instead of being stuck in a community.

Yang Yongliang

Totally random find here but Yang Yongliang has created a beautiful city scape that appears in the ash of a giant cigarette. It doesn’t have a lot of relevance to my current brief but it is wonderful all the same. The simplicity of the idea is what captures the art. The thing I suppose I can take from it is that appearances can be deceiving. I think I can work this into my city scape somehow. It could be the fact that Alihsar travels for so long to find this city but then it is half complete, no, wait I’ve got it. The deceiving part of it is that the houses look small in comparison to the people. humans have grown on average a foot in height by the time my city scape is set but the houses where built for the smaller humans of 4000 years in the past.

Ionizing Radiation Fungi + Mahogany = Mahodevall

So I was a tad stuck with what material the city was built out of after realising that for my set design I just said it would be wood-like. I decided to do a bit of research as to what would make this wood so sturdy, buoyant and a good choice for George Kendal to use as his main material. I randomly came up with an idea to have wood infused with mushrooms whilst talking to a friend and amazingly it paid off! I used wiki to research fungus and found that fungi are very versatile as some live in the deep-sea sediments, some in the desert and even some in areas with high salt concentrations. Some species are even able to live off ionizing radiation…this is perfect! Yeah they fungi that are living, well practically taking over now due to the amounts of radiation in my fictional world will be thriving. So I found this article – Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation By Kate Melville – and it is crazy they have actually proven that fungi can live of off radiation, they use it as a food source! Anyways, I used last part of the researcher in the articles name’s, Casadevall, and mixed it mahogany to create the name of the wood, well trees that now exist in 4050 to be a source of building material, which George Kendal uses for his blueprints of Grainger! I love it when a plan comes together!

The Republic City of Grainger Backstory

My original idea for this was too futuristic and delved into unpredictable realms, but I see it a stepping stone so here are the typed up notes:

History –

Set on Earth

-Sun gradually gets hotter and more closer to earth

-ice caps melt, causing the world to flood – similar to what happens in 2012 – ref

-stilt city is built on high ground – ref Venice – city built above water underground.

– 1000’s of years pass

– the water evaporates slowly  in the sun’s growing heat

-millions of years pass

– sun starts transformation int red dwarf star

-most of humanity has been killed through natural selection

-some of humanity still live like normal in parts of the world

– some choose to use technology to alter body, mod, into protection

-some humans are in the next stage of evolution

– mutation appears due to infected fish as only source of food

– as the sun grows more and more red, snow begins to fall again due to a shift in the north atlantic flow

– this causes humanity to source out these areas as they can turn snow into pure water

Influences – Day After Tomorrow, 2012, other disaster movies.

Look at Norway – 30 days of night – arctic circle – doesn’t get full sunlight so if sun changes position or change of gravity – this would allow snow to fall.

As you can see this is a very rough draft of the idea that I wanted to portray but it gets the essentials in there. My revised edition brings things into reality whilst trying to keep the abstract nature of it alive. I also brought a fictional company that I created for my photomontage brief into the storyline which helped me to get a timeline on events and influential people in the story. I used reference from an article in the guardian which shows what is predicted will happen as the ice caps melt, this also helped out with the timeline. The back story is written out as if it was a synopsis of a story, because I see this project plus my build and archetype brief to all be part of one story. It outlines how both Saekli and Grainger come into being, so I have taken these three separate briefs into one big brief.


Sorry it’s mainly text, it’s just the way I work. =)

The dangers of the sea level rising.

I found an article in the gaurdian that was about what woul happen when the sea levels rise in the future. I found this really useful because instead of my city being set in millions of years in the future, it can be set 10,00 years in the future. This means that instead of making these facts up I can rely on pedictions from people who actually know what they are talking about. So my city is set in 10,031, using the map from the top right hand cornor of the illustration as a basis.

Credit to the illustrators, Laura Sullivan and Joe Swainson, and also David McCandless for producing this lovely piece of work, and article.


A bit of inspiration from Fallout

Rivet City lies within the southeastern part of the map in Fallout 3. It is a massive aircraft carrier that was docked at Washington Navy Yard and left stranded here when the water levels dropped in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. In terms of its position it is very defensible, and seems to get no trouble from outsiders. It is a good referance for my city scape as it’s, obviously not the last hub of humanity within the game, but it is the most democratic settlement. The background of the settlement is that it was founded by a pre-war naval research centre, who moved in to make the most of its facilities. Rivet City was born in 2239, when Horace Pinkerton and a group of scientists cleared the ship of Mirelurks, they set up a research lab and the rest of the city formed around them. This build up of society is what I want the Republic City of Grainger to be like. People will hear of it then travel thousands of miles to be in a safe environment. I also like the defensibility of it aswell, how to do this though is another issue. As it is in the belly of a valley it will have attackers with an uphill advantage. the mouth of the valley is all water so boats will be a problem aswell! I have just though of another good referance: Helm’s Deep!

Another great example of a defensible city/castle. I love the structure of Helm’s Deep as well, the two walls, curving in half moons of the main part but then you have a side wall as well. I’m finding it hard to put a wall around my city because so far I have never considered this. It would be useful, but I think at only one part of the city, the least defensible part, not the waters edge, I love the idea of a long beach to the water so that when the tide is in the sea just floats up under the houses!


I have just realised that my posts for studio briefs 4, 5 and the final brief haven’t been consistent. I decided to continue briefs 4 and 5 into the final brief and decided to do the City-Scape idea. After coming up with the initial idea for my environment in brief 5 I expanded this into a full city of stilt like houses. So, this post is to clarify what my actually idea is because it has evolved a hell of a lot. Originally during the character brief, I constructed an environment based in the future, it was apocalyptic in its setting and very industrial. The main idea of the city – The Republic City of Grainger – was that my character Saekli was assigned to go to the city to destroy the Queen of the Halitu, a fictional race. My idea changed somewhat as my character developed. I decided that Saekli was part of a band of humans, and instead of the world being set in alternate reality I decided that it was actually Earth but in the distant future. This meant that the Halitu race changed into humans that are in the next stage of evolution but they are still called Halitu. The setting is millions of years in the future and I speeded up events like the sun turning into a red dwarf star and also altered the predicted future of earth so that humans would still be alive in the millions of years to come. A big factor that changed my idea was the environment being made up of sand, I changed this to snow which altered the character somewhat but I felt like it was more appropriate as my idea consists of the turmoil of natural disasters and how it is affecting our world. So taking inspiration from 2012 and The Day After tomorrow films I am using the shift in the weather to be snow. The general idea of an apocalyptic world is still my main theme for this piece, but like the character brief I want it to be stylized int a weird vision of the future. In the background story The Republic City of Grainger is the last known hub of pure humanity on Earth, who exist purely to defend their city and their people. The city lies within a valley and is near to the coast, which is a valid source of food. The man enemies are still unknown, I have developed the Halitu but am unsure on who else they are defending the city from. basically the city is the best place for anyone to live currently in the state of the world due to it having good growing soil from the mountains and a good source of fish from the ocean. Plus the structure of it meant that it was able to withstand the shifts in weather as it is built on stilts.

How to set a scene properly.

ImagineFX was a jem this week, in terms of research, I came across Dimitar Tzvetanov based in Bulgaria. As soon as I had a look at his website I knew that he was a perfect reference for my City-Scape idea. His compositions are just flawless, he seems to have the right balance in each painting he produces. Each scene feels really magical, yet realistic, you feel submerged in the environment, like you could just walk straight into it. Tzvetanov also has a wonderful sense of scale, he depicts massive buildings in crazy places. The scense of scale is shown through often single human put into the scene like a parachutist falling through the air or a figure stood staring towards a building 50 times there size! They are really nice and appealing for the eye, but my main use from Tzvetanov is 1. his use of snow, and 2. the scale. My idea doesn’t require any massive buildings, but the scale of the city itself should be pretty big, plus if I go by doubling the size of the households currently then we will have an even bigger surface mass. Also I want the image to have the impact which he creates by composition and scaling.