SCIENCE FICTION ARTIST IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS DigitalArtLIVE.com
ISSUE 57 | APRIL 2021
VUE ● BLENDER ● POSER ● DAZ STUDIO ● REAL-TIME 3D ● 2D DIGITAL PAINTING ● 2D/3D COMBINATIONS
We now have a monthly ‘little sister’ title for makers of comics:VisNews. This is part of our new Visual Narratives Academy for comics makers.
VisNews #1 | Aug 2019
VisNews #2 | Sept 2019
VisNews #3 | Oct 2019
VisNews #4 | Nov 2019
“Treasured Stories” — your various options for making comics in 2019.
“Mind the Gaps” — where are the current opportunities in indie comics in 2019?
“But that’s cheating!” —is using 3D to emulate 2D really ‘cheating’?
“Every Page Counts” — our survey of the usual page-counts across various formats.
An interview with the head of the UK’s leading comics degree course. The Tookit - our survey of all the key digital comics production tools.
Manu de May interview with a leading maker of DAZ Studio comics.
Lin Welly - interview with a leading DAZ Studio comics storyteller.
Neil Gibson - an interview with the mastermind behind Tpub Comics.
Freebies - NoName Doll and Zdog.
Freebies - a wealth of Krita comics production add-on tools.
VisNews #5 | Dec 2019
VisNews #6 | Jan 2020
VisNews #7 | Feb 2020
VisNews #8 | Mar 2020
“Big Hair Males” which Poser male hair looks good in Poser’s Comic Book mode?
“Storyboard Software” - we survey the options for comics.
“Dotting Hell” - we find a robust free solution to ‘speckle removal’ on scanned art.
“The Moebius Twist” comics advice from Moebius, and how to emulate him in Poser.
Kaz Windess - a leading maker of quirky ‘goth’ storybooks.
Matt Timson - we interview an acclaimed maker of horror comics, also a spot cartoonist.
Georges Peters - we interview a leading DAZ Studio graphic novelist.
Shadow Corp. - we interview an artist doing serious planning for a Blender graphic novel.
Freebies - 21 day Poser trial, free Motion files, free font.
Freebies - Everything freeware, a full Poser Pro 11 training DVD.
Freebies — Poser Watercolour Shaders, 2 Expressii, Desktops 2.0.
Freebies - Comic Materials for ZBrush.
Freebies - Lightwell, MB-Lab for Blender.
VisNews #9 | May 2020
VisNews #10 | June 2020
Miriam Rivera — the world’s leading heathcare comics artist, with a specialisation in viruses!
John Swogger — one of the world’s top makers of archaeology ‘outreach’ comics.
Interested in making comics and telling stories with the aid of 3D software and other tools? Digital Art LIVE had created the new Visual Narratives Academy to help you develop your story ideas onto fully rendered sequential artwork. The Academy is a unique on-line group of artists sharing and refining their skills to produce rich and fulfilling narratives. We specialise in teaching the use of 3D character software DAZ Studio and Poser and placing it at the heart of the workflow. Our professional mentor artists also coach the use of supporting applications for further postwork effects, layout and framing of your stories.
You’ll be surprised at how many cost effective resources are available for your subscription! The Academy’s core learning is structured around seven modules, to which you have access for six months. Members also get access to the monthly Visual Narratives webinar workshop recordings; the monthly VisNews newsletter edited by David Haden (see index opposite) and the main DAL magazine stack; the special monthly online Coaching group; over 50 hours of video in the Tutorial Library — and there’s also a private forum! Please try it out — there’s a 30 day money-back guarantee!
Discover more online at: https://digitalartlive.com/plans/visual-narratives-academy/ 3
INTRODUCING THE NEW DIGITAL ART LIVE
Members’ list: Discover and search for members who may have similar likes to you. You can FOLLOW a member and get notified of anything they post. You can even find members who are geographically near to you!
Topics: Your personal STUDIO posts can be tagged with a topic. You can follow a topic — this gives you the power to filter down to what interests you. You can also click on a topic and search on all posts just inside that topic.
Events: This section will reflect our LIVE webinar events for 2021 — and will also include the Zoom links for these.
Coaching Groups: Resources:
This includes the Visual Narratives Academy tutorials library, and VISNews which is our regular informative publication for graphic story-telling artists.
This provides a general chat area for anyone who is currently online at the STUDIO. You can also chat to members individually. 4
This gives access to private chat and posting areas that are just for a coaching program’s members. It’s an area where you can also see details of our upcoming coaching programs.
Home: A feed of latest posts, events etc. are shown here. The central FEATURED area shows pinned posts, events and other content that are highlighted for your attention.
Paul Bussey introduces your new Digital Art Live STUDIO.
“Digital Art Live STUDIO is a brand new and highly engaging forum for digital artists.
Discovery: This offers a ‘bird’s eye view’ of all the different kinds of content inside your STUDIO.
It’s a place that offers community, resources, education, support and fun... all in one place. No matter what digital art software you use, you'll find a committed group of artists who are striving together to learn to be better illustrators, better visual storytellers and better 3D content creators.
Instant Search Results: A nice, super quick search tool, to get an overview of what the STUDIO offers on a specific topic.
Manage: Easy access to management of your settings, profile picture and more. Here you can also access your drafts and saved posts. 5
I would like to invite you to join Digital Art Live STUDIO for free and connect and engage with other digital artists like you. Please use the link below to join.”
DIGITAL ART LIVE!
YOUR EXPERIENCE AND YOUR CREATIVE STORY
Vladimir Chopine : VUE
John Haverkamp : ZBrush
Drew Spence : DAZ Studio
Esha : DAZ Studio
Just a few of the talented webinar presenters who have partnered with Digital Art Live!
Would you enjoy the opportunity of teaching other artists, in a live online setting? We are actively looking for artists or content creators to work with Digital Art Live as a partner, in presenting some of our live webinars. We’re particularly looking for artists and content creators who work with DAZ Studio and/or Poser, Vue and other landscape software, or digital comics production.
We will also consider webinar ideas which relate to your specialist skills, or which help users to fully use a software plugin that you’ve developed. Webinars are recorded, and we profit-share with our presenters on any future sales. We sell on the popular DAZ content store, which has strong traffic and sales. Please use the link below to submit your application, and we’ll be in touch!
Front Cover: Detail from the ‘Moses’ entry for the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper contest by Darko Darmar Markovic and Vuk Djordjevic. With thanks to Darko and eVolo. We hope to have an interview with Darko in a future issue.
THE ‘FUTURE TRANSPORT’ ISSUE
CONTENTS OUR NEW STUDIO! ―― 06
EDITORIAL ―― 09
FUTURE ROBO DRIVERS ―― 28
CONTESTS ―― 44
BACK ISSUE INDEX ―― 46
GO FLY! ―― 50
COVER ART: SOLAR SAILS ―― 52
GALLERY ―― 74
IMAGINARIUM ―― 88
We’re pleased to talk with the cover artist for famous books such as Asimov’s Foundation trilogy and TTA Spacewrecks.
Veteran Vue sciencefiction artist Vladimir Yaremchuk talks about learning, loss and the cosmic in sci-fi art.
Carter is a young New Zealand designer who cut his teeth on real busshelters and bike racks, and now works with sci-fi.
BRYCE | MODO | 2D
BRYCE | VUE | STOCK
RHINO | KEYSHOT | PS
“… in a movie, most designs are on the screen for seconds. In those few seconds the audience needs to understand the context of the design and the mood the production is trying to achieve. Is this a good guy or bad guy? Is this alien or human technology?”
“… my Windows machine crashed … All of my collections of models and the applications were lost! A tragedy? I wouldn’t go that far. My head and hands are still in the right places. We can always create more. In stressful situations people often express bigger potential.” 7
“… I’m constantly considering the context that this vehicle exists in; who are the people who built this vehicle, what type of world does it operate in, and so on. This level of detail means I can dive deeper later, drawing things like cutaways, environments, or liveries”
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LIVE Join our live webinar-based workshops for digital artists. digitalartlive.com Credits for pictures, from top left: Cover detail from the science-fiction pulp ‘Other Worlds’; detail from “Monoracer 19” by Joachim F. Sverd; vehicle detail from a final environment by Darko Darmar Markovic.
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Copyright © 2021 Digital Art LIVE. Published in the United Kingdom. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. No copyright claim is made by the publisher regarding any artwork or writing made by those featured in this magazine.
Welcome to our new ‘Future Transport’ issue, in which we survey designs ranging from future trash-trucks to sleek racing wheels, via personal VTOL flight and more. What you won’t find here is the stereotypical ‘shiny red sports car’ that was so often seen in the old 3D modelling magazines, and still pops up now and again. Although we do allow one or two stylish hover-cars sneak into the issue, here and there, just for old times’ sake. Innovation in transportation has not moved forward very much since the demise of horsetravel and steam power, circa the end of the 1930s. There have been engine and fuel-mile efficiencies, and ever more stylish exteriors. Safety has improved remarkably. There’s GPS. But wholly new and innovative types of transport have been a long time coming. That could be about to change, if only city bosses can allow things like ‘autonomous-only road lanes’ and open standards can be agreed on. Autonomous urban air vehicles are also on the horizon, along with (we hope) silent power and safe automatic air-traffic control. Self-balancing scooters, aka ‘hoverboards’, and electric bicycles may yet give us a few more iterations and surprises. In bigger stuff, autonomous long haul trucks seem likely and there are emerging new possibilities in tunnel-building and longdistance hyperloop pod transport. Advanced aquaculture and offshore energy-farming will require new types of sturdy water and air transport and remote-area tourism may follow. Airships and giant hovercraft are, as always, hovering in the background. Affordable space tourism looks to be on the launch-pad at last.
Set against all this is VR and online and the question: “why travel?” It’s expensive and time consuming, even if it can be reached — in the USA around 80% of the public can’t access or easily get to public transit. The waiting is too often depressing and uncomfortable, done in or near bus and rail stations haunted by addicts and professional beggars. Once the vehicle eventually arrives the interiors are often stuffy, trash-filled and noisy. Foam ear-plugs can only block out so much, between a mobile-phone yakker and the beat of full-blast headphones. The onboard staff often leave much to be desired. Personal car travel is more individual but will, once things return toward normal, be offputtingly taxed and regulated and all too often gridlocked. Yet a car is not an option for many — 45% (nearly half) of all households in my city don’t have access to a car. VR and other forms of ‘virtual travel’ are then just so much more elegant and affordable. Sure there are some kinks to be ironed out, but we’re only at the start of the VR travel and live events revolution. And VR ‘visits’ do not mean that the excitement of physically travelling to your destination can’t be emulated. Imagine that I’m going on a custom VR tour of my region’s best prehistoric monuments, all experienced in perfect sunset lighting and detail. I’d then be happy to pay extra for leisurely ‘travel’ to these sites in my personal ‘virtual airship’, ideally complete with eccentric tour-guides and seamless landings. DAVID HADEN Editor of Digital Art Live magazine
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/3DArtDirect 9
We’re pleased to interview veteran science-fiction artist Fred Gambino. His cover work stretches from the first Dangerous Visions to the cover of TTA Spacewreck and beyond — but he now mostly creates for big-budget movies and TV series.
DAL: Fred, welcome to Digital Art Live. FG: Glad to be here. DAL: Let’s start at the beginning, how did you first become aware of your artistic talents, beyond the usual child drawings, and how did these talents express themselves? FG: Like many artists I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. Once at school it became apparent I had some kind of innate ability.
Or it may simply have been that I was so rubbish at everything else, it seemed like I had an innate ability. At any rate, my best subjects at school were Art, English and Woodwork, so very early on I decided I was going to be either a writer or an artist. When I left school I considered an apprenticeship as a woodworking joiner but I opted for a Graphic Design course at an art college instead. Graphic design was the way to make a living in art, I was told.
Picture: “Weather Warning”.
FRED GAMBINO UK
BRYCE | MODO | PHOTOSHOP | BOOK COVERS | TV & FILM
Forget illustration, no one could make a living doing that. About half way through the course I went to see an exhibition of book cover originals by Chris Foss and that crystallised my ambition. At that time publishers were the biggest patrons of science fiction and fantasy art. I’m not sure the term concept artist had even been coined then, and the games industry simply didn’t exist. So, if you wanted to get paid painting 11
science fiction or fantasy, publishing was where it was at. Once I left college I got a part-time job delivering groceries and I painted in my spare time. I made a few trips down to London to see art directors — and finally got my first commission and an introduction to an agent. DAL: Great. An agent was a big thing in those days. Still, is, to many. In those early days, did you find people who helped and developed your talents?
FG: I got a lot of support from my family and girlfriend at the time. There was one lecturer at college who I found very encouraging, in a course otherwise aimed at graphic design. He was a brilliant illustrator.
DAL: Fascinating. What memories do you have of that time, culturally and aesthetically? It was a time of great change and ferment, in music and album covers, clothes, posters, shops, attitudes, comics, books and magazines.
I’m also grateful to Alison Eldred who has been supportive and helpful above and beyond the call of duty, in giving me a place to stay during those periods when I worked in London film studios and at The Sarah Brown agency, who helped get me off ground in the very early years.
FG: It was a time of change for sure, although now we realise ‘we hadn’t seen anything yet’, given the changes that have happened in the last couple of decades. But yes, it seemed like everything was shifting back then. The economic recession [c. 1977-1984 in the UK] made finding employment hard, so I count myself very lucky that I have managed to make a living doing something I love all these years.
DAL: Great. What were your early influences in science-fiction? Were you a reader, or was media — the many late 60s and 1970s British TV shows and also radio — a more important influence for you? FG: I was an avid reader, often a book a week. A big fan of Asimov, Clarke and Larry Niven. Film and TV science-fiction were thin on the ground in those days, but as a child the Gerry Anderson puppet shows were a huge influence. Fireball XL5 was the first I remember properly, followed by Thunderbirds. Of course 2001 was seminal in film and is still influencing design in movies today. DAL: Indeed. You mentioned you went to one of our British art schools in the 1960s or 70s? If so, what was that experience like? Also, was it a culture shock? FG: My art college experience wasn’t brilliant. There were a lot of policy changes made in the four years I was there and really, I came out without a decent portfolio in either graphic design or illustration. Apart from that one lecturer, I had little proper illustration tuition, so I can say I am largely self taught, but at a time when knowledge was a hard thing to come by. No Internet or YouTube then! I think I muddled through ‘the book cover years’ and it wasn’t until I found myself working in film studios with people much more talented than myself, that I really began to learn my craft. Although I considered moving down to London, I never did, apart from latterly, for short periods, while working at big studios like Framestore. Picture: “Ring Miners”.
DAL: Yes, and paperback covers even had an afterlife then, being reprinted in the Terran Trade books. You were involved with that series, I think? FG: Yes, around the time I started getting my first cover commissions, Hamlyn published the Terran Trade Authority book series, written by Stewart Cowley. No one suspected at the time that these books would achieve cult status and have whole Web sites and Facebook pages devoted to them! They were cheaply produced, mainly using existing paintings bought for small amounts as ‘second rights’. I had work in Great Space Battles and Spacewreck: Ghostships and Derelicts of Space and I got to do the cover for Spacewreck. DAL: Congratulations. FG: The longevity and influence of these books never ceases to amaze me. The British physicist Brian Cox showed one of them on TV, citing it as a big influence in his life. I recall going for an interview at a games company a few years back. As I walked in the first thing the guy said to me was, “I have one thing to say to you, Great Space Battles”. DAL: What a great calling-card. That was 197881, in the depths of the recession. But then things changed radically in the UK as we came out of the recession. Changed in all sorts of ways. Not least the arrival of real computers that were just about viable for proper creative work, although that was a little later, the early 1990s. How did you first encounter the digital 12revolution, and what form did that take?
Picture: “Ornithopter”. 3D base in Modo, and overpaint.
FG: At that point I had been working flat out, painting book covers for about fifteen years, pretty much seven days a week. I couldn’t actually do more work and there were always about fifteen jobs booked in ahead, neatly arranged at the back of the studio space I used to rent. I was so busy that I didn’t notice the job pile was starting to diminish. Until one day, like running full tilt off the edge of a cliff, there was no more work. In a panic I began to cast about, looking for a scapegoat. Someone showed me a magazine that featured a new, then state of the art piece of landscape software called Bryce. Here it was. ‘Computers were taking all the work!’ Actually, I now know that the publishers were going through a policy change. They had decided that all those airbrush illustrations of spaceships were putting science fiction into a Star Wars / Star Trek ghetto. They were seeking to widen the audience and were opting for design-oriented covers that didn’t overtly ‘say science fiction’, black background with big silver lettering, that kind of thing. Unaware of this, I felt I had to get on the computer bandwagon and indeed felt that I might have already been left behind. Looking for a way to finance it, my girlfriend suggested I cash in an endowment mortgage that we weren’t using anymore. Another good move as it turned out, as I cashed mine in for a profit, before they all started to lose their value.
I bought an Apple Power Mac with four megabytes of RAM, yes, that’s four megabytes of RAM. It had Photoshop 3, Bryce and a 3D software called Alias Sketch which morphed into Maya a few years later. So ignorant was I that I had to get a friend to put it all together, then call him back to show me how to switch it off. As it turned out, I wasn’t left behind, I was actually ahead of the curve and so became known as a digital pioneer of sorts. DAL: Great. Multiple doses of good fortune. Very nice to have at that point in time. FG: I had reinvented myself, and for a few years did well with ‘the new look’. As the ‘digital pioneer’ guy I was invited to be included in a book written by Dick Jude and published by Harper Collins called Fantasy Art of the New Millennium, that traced the evolution of illustration ‘from paint to pixels’. It was this book that John Davis, the director of Jimmy Neutron saw, that opened the door into film work, enabling me to leave a largely moribund publishing industry behind and begin a new career as a concept artist. DAL: Brilliant. The move to digital also speeding things up for you? It was partly about speed of production for clients? How did you find Bryce in those days? It’s still perfectly capable today, of course, but I imagine that it chugged a bit on those old machines?
Did you find workarounds, or did you just have ‘grin and bear’ three-day renders and crashes? FG: Yeah, it was all so slow and unreliable. Keeping the machines going was an arcane art. SCSI cables, what were those you may ask, were the devil’s own technology. Today computers are so fast and reliable, its hard to remember what it was like and of course, young artists growing up with today’s technology have no idea. That and the access to free tutorials and readily available information on the Web have transformed it all. When I started, video tutorials, on VHS tapes, cost more than the software, which itself was really expensive. I spent long hours into the night with a thousand page manual learning how to use Photoshop and Alias Sketch. DAL: I remember those. I once walked into a remaindered bookshop in the Midlands, which would sell off publisher’s unwanted stock for cheap. It was a big place, but it was wall to wall with those big telephone-directory sized paper software manuals. The software revolution had taken off, and the rapid version iterations meant the manuals were quickly superseded. You’ll recall the early Photoshop, no doubt? With the ‘all-powerful’ layers from version 3.0. It’s amazing to look back and think there was a time when digital artists could not work in layers. Was Photoshop also part of your new toolkit in the early 1990s? Pictures: Firebreather concept craft and Firebreather ‘Heavy’.
FG: Those were exciting days, when we would look forward to the next iteration of Photoshop because we knew it would have all these amazing new tools. For me, Photoshop reached its apogee some seven years later at version 7.0 [summer 2002]. Not much was added after that that was useful, for my purposes anyway. I suspect that’s why Adobe and many software companies have gone down the subscription route. There became less and less reason to upgrade, so they had to look for a new business model. I try not to use layers too much these days, it can get overwhelming and you lose the spontaneity and commitment of traditional painting. Its funny to me that, with the advent of superpowerful computers and software, we have come full circle and I now work on a Cintiq with a stylus most of the time. DAL: Yes, we emulate the traditional. In the software too. Just in the last issue of the magazine we had a review of Realistic Paint Studio, which takes that to its logical end-point in terms of the UI design with ‘real’ brushes. FG: More recently I’ve found that, for concept art at least, there is resistance to anything overtly 3D. It’s OK to use it to help with complex perspectives, but otherwise they prefer a loose sketchy look, even if the end result will be translated into complex 3D rendering.
DAL: Interesting. What other digital software was explored by you? Was it always Bryce? Did you get into the Poser – Vue world at some point? FG: I dabbled with most of them, I found the whole 3D thing fascinating and and seductive. But you can get too bogged down in the technicalities, spending far too much time trying to figure out how to add an edge-loop or something, instead of focusing on the crux of the job, which is to iterate ideas and you can spend a lot of time trying to lose ‘that CG look’. We get used to 3D so quickly, what is astounding one month is run of the mill or ‘uncanny valley’ the next. I think that’s why, for concept art at least, clients are looking for that personal touch, that direct connection between brain and hand — that you lose when you essentially pass the job over to a second party, which is what you are doing when you use 3D.
These days most books are bought online and covers are reduced to thumbnails, so all the above applies and then some. Picture: Cover art for the famous Terran Trade Authority SpaceWreck book.
I’m not saying 3D is worthless now, far from it, it has its place like any other tool and has to be used as such. I mainly use it now as a perspective and lighting aid.
DAL: What lessons and skills did you take from your 2D paint world, into the world of 3D? FG: Once you’ve learned how to jump through all the technical hoops, all the old rules still apply, composition being nine tenths of a successful image in my opinion. Colour theory, understanding shape language, all those things are still the most important aspects, regardless of how you produce the image. At the end of the day, you are trying to produce a compelling image that ‘reads’ quickly. For example, in a movie, most designs are on the screen for seconds. In those few seconds the audience needs to understand the context of the design and the mood the production is trying to achieve. Is this a good guy or bad guy? Is this alien or human technology? Is this a happy moment or a sad moment? The same would apply to a book cover, by the way. In a bookshop readers are presented with hundreds of competing covers. The mood and genre need to be understood quickly.
DAL: Yes, it produces an eerie sameness, at least in mass market books such as crime and thrillers. It’s great that one can tell quickly what a book is, from across a crowded bookstore, but one also needs to know how it is different from all the others in the genre. Talking of more unique books, tell us about your first book Ground Zero (2001), and then your children’s book Life Size Dragons (2006), please. FG: The famous British publisher Paper Tiger asked me if I wanted to produce an artbook, through my agent Alison Eldred. It was my first book so I was very excited and it was great to see my work collected into one volume. A lot of those images come from the transition period from paint to digital, and the software was still in its infancy. Hard ray-traced shadows and nothing like global illumination or sub-surface scattering. I still have a soft spot for those pictures, but they are definitely of their time. 18
The Life Size Dragon book was fun to do, with text by John Grant. It came at a busy time. I was working in Dallas as a concept artist, trying to finish the book in the evenings and weekends. It came to a crunch when the American publisher insisted that the book be finished by a certain date or they wouldn’t publish it. I worked through the night in my apartment. Morning light was shining in by the time I emailed the final images. Then I had a shower and went to work to do a full day on the film. It’s fun to have these war stories to relate, and I have quite a few of them, but I would never work that way these days. Far too stressful.
Our script, book, whatever — because of course, everyone must have one. I was disappointed to discover I was the only person in the room who didn't.
DAL: Have you ever wanted to try your hand at full-blown painted comics? I’m thinking Trigan Empire sort of work? And tell a sequential story over a number of pages? FG: I have never done anything like that. I’m not a sequential artist. I had some idea that I might turn the Dark Shepherd story into a graphic novel, but it soon became clear that it was a vast amount of work and something beyond me. My hat goes off to those amazingly talented artist that can do it. DAL: I see. And talking of Dark Shepherd, more recently you produced the artbook Dark Shepherd: The Art of Fred Gambino (2014). Which though not a graphic novels is more than an artbook. Could you tell us more about that one too, please, and the Dark Shepherd project? Digital helped on that last one, I can see. FG: The Dark Shepherd story really had its genesis back in 2006, when I was working Dallas. The concept team were displaced from all over the world and without families to go back to at night, and so we soon became a close-knit group. Once a week we would have “film night”. We would take turns to host the event, choose the film to watch and otherwise generally chew the fat. One evening one of the guys asked of everyone in the room, “What’s your story?” I thought he was asking for a life history, but I had forgotten I was with Hollywood folk. He meant — what was the story that we were working on, our own story. 19
Several years later I was out cycling and a story popped into my head. I resolved to write it up and so finally I would have ‘My Story’. I wrote a three page synopsis. I wasn't sure what to do with it next, so I sent it to Alison to see what she thought. She in turn sent it to a literary agent who came back saying, “I love this, but what is it? Is it a novel, a graphic novel, a screenplay: we need to turn it into something.” Somewhat encouraged by this I decided to turn it into a script and then a novel, and that's what I have been doing, on and off, ever since. It’s something of ‘a ripping yarn’ in space but with more serious undertones about belief and the abuse of power. It is primarily an action-adventure story however. Someone pointed out to me that although it was called Dark Shepherd and has dark themes it is actually a lot of fun to read. I’m quoting him of course, as I find it hard to judge.
“Yeah, it was all so slow and unreliable [back then]. Keeping the machines going was an arcane art. SCSI cables, what were those you may ask, were the devil’s own technology. Today computers are so fast and reliable ... young artists growing up with today’s technology have no idea.”
Picture: From Dark Shepherd — a dismantler of giant spacewrecks in a vast and dusty wrecking yard.
Pictures: Studio interiors, digital and traditional. Above: “Trantor Panorama”, a painting well-known to American readers of Asimov’s famous original Foundation trilogy, used for the paperbacks (right).
Then, out of the blue, Titan Books approached me interested in doing an Art of Fred Gambino book. A retrospective of the last fifteen years of my career would be fantastic, but I suggested we add something extra and include parts of the script with new illustrations specially created for the book. Titan were great and pretty much let me do what I wanted. I now have the first novel written, weighing in at 90,000 words and it is with an editor at the moment. Its planned to be a trilogy. DAL: Congratulations. FG: I did propose a Kickstarter on social media, that would involve the novel and an artbook and got a very good response to the idea, so that may be a possibility.
DAL: Thanks. What’s your software toolkit and today, for a typical picture? FG: I work on a Mac with Photoshop CS6 and my 3D software is now Modo. I have a Cintiq and two other monitors, one for software palletes and one for reference images. I use PureRef to collate references for each project. I also have Clip Studio Paint, which is great for line work. But most of my time is in Photoshop. Modo is used mainly to knock out quick reference models and for lighting information, and then I paint over it in Photoshop. The Ornithopter image is a good example of this process.
“… for concept art there is resistance to anything overtly 3D. It’s OK to use it to help with complex perspectives, but otherwise they prefer a loose sketchy look, even if the end result will be translated into complex 3D rendering.” DAL: Super. Talking of print, what would you say are the three most important things you have you learned over the years, about the technical aspects of working for mass-market print? FG: The technical aspects don’t matter so much any more. When I started working digitally the printers were still trying to catch up and some of the printed results were horrible, but now their expertise and the software have caught up, so the most important things are what they have always been: Composition Readability Compelling That’s to narrow it down to three things.
DAL: Ah, so that has a 3D base, interesting. [The picture is shown earlier in the interview, reader] Talking of vehicles, as this is our vehicles issue, I should ask about your own vehicles. You have a love of cycling, I believe?
FG: Yes. We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world so cycling and walking are my main activities when I’m not working. I regularly cycle 30 to 50 hilly miles. 4,000 feet of ascent isn’t unusual on a long ride. I get into a rhythm and my mind starts to free-associate. If I ever have a work problem I can’t get past, the best solution for me is to get on the bike, rather than try to solve the problem by brute force. I’ve been lucky to be able to work around the world, Dallas, Vancouver, Los Angeles. I spent a year and half in both Vancouver and Dallas where I bought a bike and joined a local cycling club. Also a great way to see something of the place where I was living. DAL: Nice, so with all that experience under your belt… now you’re able to service very high end clients. And have been doing so for what is it… about 20 years now, I think? For instance, you helped visualise environments for Marvel for the recent Thor movie, and the big landing platform for Guardians of the Galaxy. You’ve done concept work for TV series, TV movies, animation and more. Could you give us an overview of that side of your career? FG: Gosh, I hate to say it out loud but… more like forty years now. I worked on Marvel films, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarock at Framestore in London. Mainly on Nowhere for Guardians and the city for Thor.
DAL: Yes, but not the the commute, I suspect. Which was the work you were most pleased with, in all that high-end concept work? FG: I love being able to say I worked on tentpole movie productions like Guardians or Thor but so many people are involved that it’s hard to say where your work begins or ends. I could see our work on Nowhere, but only because I knew where to look. Most of it flashed past in the background, barely on the screen long enough to register. I guess the films that realised my own concepts most completely were the Antbully and FireBreather. DAL: Right. Firebreather, the CGI film of 2010. What’s the difference between that end of concept art and most of the digital art you see produced these days? Or to put it another way, what do amateurs need to most learn to do with a picture? FG: Remember that most concept art isn’t ‘art for arts sake’. It’s there to solve problems and inform the production and most of it isn’t the glossy high-end stuff you see showcased on the Web. You will be very lucky if you spend your days painting space battles or Mount Doom exploding. It should be called concept design, because that’s what we’re really doing. DAL: What are you working on at present?
Since 2000 my main income has been from film and games. I was very lucky to be able to sidestep into a new career just as the bottom was falling out of publishing, and it gave me the opportunity to work across the world with many very talented people. Nothing has improved my work more, and after years of working on my own I really enjoyed the studio environment.
FG: I’ve worked on a variety of projects over the last year, pitch art and vis dev for two games and more recently an Australian TV production company, and I’m doing vis dev for an American TV show at the moment. DAL: Brilliant. We wish you well with that. Fred, thanks very much for this in-depth interview with Digital Art Live magazine. FG: Thanks for asking, it’s been fun.
Fred Gambino is online at:
It’s funny that so many people I met, who had only ever worked in studios, hankered after a freelance career working from home. I guess ‘the other man’s grass is greener’, but the pandemic has given a lot of people the chance to live their dream. I suspect many are now looking forward to getting back to the studios.
https://www.fredgambino.co.uk/ Fred’s book covers are at: https:// www.wow-art.com/fred-gambino 25
Picture: cover for the novel Abyss Deep: Star Corpsman: Book Two (2013).
Picture: “Journey’s End”
For ultrafast trans-continental sports racing, our advanced future racing vehicles will demand equally futuristic ‘robo-drivers’. Here are six fab robo-driver designs recently modelled by Yasser Hashem of Syria. Coast-to-coast across a continent. At 400mph. Without hitting so much as a stray chicken. Sounds fun. But future semiautonomous all-terrain racing craft will have a problem. There’ll be no space for a driver. Indeed, at trans-continental speeds and with the ability to safely hurtle a oneton vehicle through and over multiple environments, there may be no possibility of a human driver physically surviving such a long-distance race without a heart-attack. Yet the crowds on the courses and online will yearn for a face, any face, to identify with. Naff 1970s crash-test dummies just won’t do, even with a helmet on. Enter the robo-driver. Why not give the racing robodrivers the same machined and stylish exteriors as the ultrafast vehicles? Yes... they may look scary at first, but after a while we’ll get used to them and they’ll just look tough and fitted for the difficult task. Or they will... provided they’re not plastered with naff sponsor stickers. Hopefully future racing will be free of such tat, and will be done with a sleek elegant style. Of course, behind the bots and the craft will be a small army of human faces — the sports media will still have more than enough human interest stories to convey to the racing enthusiasts. 28
Name: ‘Boiler’. Regional sponsorship: United Himalayan Spice Planters. Special skill: Handles overheating well. Smooth handling over even the roughest route.
Name: ‘Radiator’. Regional sponsorship: New Arctic Nuclear City. Special skill: Long distances in cold weather.
Name: ‘Spearfly’ Regional sponsorship: West African Aquaculture Alliance (WAAA). Special skill: Handles rain and water well. 31
Name: ‘Stellar’. Regional sponsorship: Texas Astro Miners. Special skill: Anticipates and avoids multiple objects.
Name: ‘Bolthole’. Regional sponsorship: Transatlantic Tunnel Boring Company. Special skill: Goes through anything that the rules allow.
Name: ‘The Referee’. Affiliation: A.I. Robo Speed Inc.
Ability: Referee. Judges fair-play and adjudicates the winners at each trans-continental stage. Knows all, everywhere, instant event recall. Can rain spectacular destruction on cheats and sabotage agents.
Yasser Hashem is online at ArtStation.
We’re pleased to re-present a short interview with veteran Vue science-fiction artist Vladimir Yaremchuk. DAL: KuzMich, thank you for this interview and for sharing your art with readers. You are an Eastern European 3D artist, real name Vladimir Yaremchuk, but are better known by your Renderosity artist ID ‘KuzMich’.
Language differences aside, I’m looking forward to talking about your superb space and fantasy art. KM: Hello, I am very happy to be here. 36
BRYCE | VUE | STOCK
Picture: “Daydreamers”. Techno Fish vehicles by 1971s, available at Renderosity.
DAL: Were you artistic as a child?
I started my 3D creations.
KM: No, truly l always liked to draw... but I DAL: Who are your early art inspirations? never learn how to draw well. Then In 1997 I KM: Most I likely the Soviet sci-fi writers. Such got my hands on Bryce and with this application as Snegov, V. Golovachev and others. 37
And among artists definitely Boris Vallejo. I always love his fantasy art. As for 3D, I like many 3D models from my creative partner, Sergej Dobrovol’skogo who on Renderosity is 1971s. They also brought additional inspirations from his creativity. Many of his models I have been using in my artwork, and I want to thank him a lot for it. DAL: You are mostly a Bryce and Vue artist. What had been your biggest challenges? KM: Yes, mostly it’s these two applications. Beside them many other free small programs. What was hardest of all? I don’t know English language well. I am a Ukraine artist. And because of this, every program I was learning by trying and experimenting with it… slow… one step at the time… but it was learned in a more solid way. First I start learning Bryce. When I was introduced to Vue it was easier than otherwise, as I already knew Bryce and had worked with it and had the 3D experience. DAL: Yes, it was a good training in 3D for a great many people. Still available, of course, from DAZ. And free, last time I looked. KM: But it still required a lot of learning and understanding to get the best from these programs. You need to always be learning. DAL: Your gallery is a fantastic collection of really good sci-fi art. What attracted you to the genre? KM: Like I said before, I love to read sci-fi books as child. That was very likely the influence in my 3D graphics. I love to watch sci-fi movies. I like a lot the Star Wars trilogy. These factors are reason in my hobby. Also, my poor luck with drawing pushed me to use 3D art instead. DAL: Where do you get these incredible and visionary inspirations?
DAL: Let’s talk about some of that art. Your fans used words like ‘amazing’ and ‘superb’ to describe “With Us, You Can Not”. It is the “Most Favourited” image in your gallery. Why do you think that is? KM: Truly I don’t know by myself, why this work has a good rating. But viewers always right, is it true? Honestly, I always work for my soul, and if someone likes my art, then my efforts and work are not wasted. Even if my art is not accepted by anyone it’s still a child of my soul, and I cannot refuse it. DAL: They also had a lot to say about “We’re Staying Here”. It is the most commented image in your gallery. I love everything about this image, but what strikes me is the scale of the ships in relation to the scale of the character. Tell us how this one came about, please? KM: Yes, I did notice that fact of the comments! Why is it? I still wonder. How I see it, I have a lot more interesting works that we can talk about! But again viewers know what they like, and what to write about it. I am not against it. About the idea, I don’t know – “Ostanemsya Tut” is one of my first works in Vue. Personally I don’t like it much. It’s not a very complex work. I cannot say it had some special idea behind it – no! I created it in patches, freehanded and the ships I made in Vue, very simple and fast. I tried different angles and I stopped when I found one with the right perspective. Looks like it’s come out right in the end. DAL: One of my favourites is “New Magic”. The contrast of the ancient ruins in the foreground, contrasted with the future city on the white cliff side is spectacular. What inspired this image? KM: Truly? It was a creative fiasco! Yes, this is not a joke. One of my contracts with a client fell through, and I decided to relax and create some interesting art. That is how it came to life. In my opinion stressful situations can positively effect creativity, but not just creativity! In stressful situations people express bigger potential — this is interesting!
KM: Truly I don’t know by myself. Sometimes I just open the application and start working, and after a while I come up with ideas and themes. Sometimes nothing comes up. Then I set work to one side and come back later. If you have inspiration it’s always easier to work. But inspiration is like appetite — it grows when you work, and always when you are hungry. 38
Another stressful situation was when my Windows machine crashed and all my information was lost, so I need to install the latest Windows and start everything from the beginning. All of my collections of models and the applications were lost! And I want badly to create something new. I created a scene from
what I had left. Again a stressful situation! I again come up with interesting image. But I didn’t like this situation a lot. Possibly, this is exactly how you jump to the next horizon of your creativity. DAL: Wow, you lost everything?
KM: Yes, I lost all information on my computer! All my work, scene, models, presets. A tragedy? I wouldn’t go that far. My head and hands are still in the right places. We can always create more. What advice I should give? You can make backup copies, or save your work in other ways. In many ways
you can save your work. Question is, does the user need it? Personally I had chance to backup and save my work, but I decide not to do it, because I was sure ‘nothing will happen’. I did all I could for the proper functionality of my computer, otherwise. But sometimes we are powerless in the face of stupidity!
DAL: The last image I want to ask about is “The Robinson” [see previous spread]. First, the range of colour from blue to orange, cold to hot, is a nice touch. How did you come up with the title? What’s the story? KM: Excellent question. If you pay attention, many people, possibly they live quite alone. Oh, they have friends, relatives, people they know... but very often man is always feeling
‘alone by himself before God’, where eventually every one comes alone, same as at birth. This feeling of the soul I tried to express within this work. Real and potential loneliness, that happens with each of us. All people are made the same, so they have the same feelings. That state of soul I tried to express. But with the other side, the man in the image is not alone. In the far in distance you see ships, it’s like a symbol of unity. But in reality the man in the picture is alone and sad. The colour schema of the image is moving from cold to warm from loneliness to unity. DAL: Thanks. Think about starting with a blank canvas. How to you get to your final render from that point? Do you obsessively tinker until you get what you are looking for?
KM: Yes, it’s always like that for me. Practically I never have a planned decision on how I will make the art. All happens in the process, losing a lot — finding a lot, changing a lot. Sometimes making many renders till I find the optimal result for me. And very often I am still not happy with the result. DAL: What advice would you give to someone wanting to take up 3D art?
KM: Don’t do it! Just kidding! My advice is very simple. Start, start, start! If you have a wish to do it, then do it. And most importantly do not rush and don’t be shy to ask for help. The world is full of good people. Someone will answer, for example – me! DAL: Thank you for the interview!
‘KuzMich’ is online at the Renderosity Galleries. He also has a Renderosity store with many affordable creative stock collections made with Vue. 42
CREATIVE IDEA: recreate this amazing scene in 3D!
CREATIVE IDEA: solar sail vs. asteroid? Which wins?
SOLAR SAIL CRAFT IN COVER ART “The Sunjammer”
Project Solar Sail
Boys’ Life cover, March 1964.
Project Solar Sail anthology cover, RoC 1990.
In early 2021 the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 successfully demonstrated spaceflight using a solar-sail. This idea was envisoned early in 1964 by British author Arthur C. Clarke in the famous story “The Sunjammer”, seen above. NASA is now set to build on the LightSail, with its own... “‘NEA Scout’, a NASA mission to the Moon in 2021 that will use a solar sail to visit a near-Earth asteroid. NASA has also approved ‘Solar Cruiser’, a mission between Earth and Sun in 2025 to test a giant solar sail” of 18,000 square feet.
The book Project Solar Sail was a 1990 fundraising collection in aid of a planned sail project from the World Space Foundation. The anthology was edited by Arthur C. Clarke and David Brin and included work on solar sails — aka light sails — from a wide range of contributors, forming a mix of essays, poetry and short stories about the use of solar sails in space. The introduction was by Isaac Asimov, in which he very clearly explains the basic science. The lead story is the excellent “The Canvas of the Night” by K. Eric Drexler. Regrettably the book is long out-of-print and not on Archive.org, and thus the artist is unknown. We can say that this is a wellcomposed picture, possibly of a sail-probe initially launched with laser-pulsing, and the proximity of the giant asteroid adds thrills. 44
In 1964 the artist for Boys’ Life was Robert McCall (1919-2010), who was collected in The Art of Robert McCall and Vision of the Future: The Art of Robert McCall.
CREATIVE IDEA: design a big far-future solar sail ship.
CREATIVE IDEA: spacecraft big and aetherial as a comet.
Star Winds, DAW, 1978.
Starsailing by Louis Friedman, Wiley, 1988
In 1978 and following the massive success of Star Wars, a novel named 'Star... Something' might have been anything. And yet British author’s Barrington J. Bayley novel is indeed a story of solar sails, albiet also a space opera. In a far-future Solar System humans make a voyage between Earth and Mars using priceless antique solar sails recovered from the vaults of earth’s forgotten ‘Old Technology’, and then venture further out on a galactic voyage. Humans of this time have also discovered a practical working alchemy, or a science so advanced it looks like alchemy — hence the fanciful ‘olde worlde’ fantasy sailing-ship cover design. The cover illustrator was David Bergen (b. 1947), who produced a number of eye-catching paperback and magazine covers at this time.
Ten years after Star Winds, Wiley published a rather more practical book on light sails. Written with the help of Carl Sagan and NASA's JPL, the non-fiction book is a clear and exciting layman’s journey through the ideas, logically grouped into chapters on: The History and Principles of Solar Sailing; The Design and Construction; Launching the Solar Sailboats; Navigating to the Planets; Interplanetary Shuttles ; Exploring Other Worlds; and Interstellar Flight.
The Wiley cover-designer rather smothered some fine artwork with naff 1980s typography and a crude repainting (see it on Archive.org). The original is shown inside the book and we here show it above. It is Clyde Olcott’s circa 1976 NASA painting of a proposed sail mission, using Richard MacNeil’s ‘heliogyro’ craft to rendezvous with Halley’s Comet.
HAVE you missed out on an issue of our free magazine? Please enjoy this new handy double-page index of our past issues, and check if any are missing from your collection. Our 15,000 readers are also able to access back-issues of our previous title 3D
Art Direct. Every new issue can be sent to your email address, simply by subscribing to our mailing-list...
https://digitalartlive.com/ Inset: Issue 28 (’Future Oceans’ issue) cover art by Artur Rosa.
Issue 1 : October 2015 : Designing Future Cities.
Issue 19 : May/June 2017 : Sci-fi comics.
Issue 2 : November 2015 : Alien Plants/Creatures.
Issue 20 : July 2017 : Digital clothing.
Issue 3 : December 2015 : “A Galaxy Far Away…”
Issue 21 : August 2017 : Ecofutures.
Issue 4 : January 2016 : The new Poser 11.
Issue 22 : September 2017 : Lighting for effect.
Issue 5 : February 2016 : Cosmos (space art).
Issue 23 : October 2017 : Space exploration.
Issue 6 : March 2016 : Cyber-humans.
Issue 24 : November 2017 : Abstracts in sci-fi.
Issue 7 : April 2016 : Future Female Heroes.
Issue 25 : December 2017 : Dynamic posing.
Issue 8 : May 2016 : Mars - Our Future Frontier.
Issue 26 : January 2018 : To the skies!
Issue 9 : June 2016 : Blender software special.
Issue 27 : February/March 2018 : Giant monsters.
Issue 10 : July 2016 : Steampunk.
Issue 28 : April 2018 : Future oceans.
Issue 11 : August 2016 : Future Landscapes.
Issue 29 : May 2018 : Fantasy Portraits.
Issue 12 : September 2016 : Second Skin (tattoos).
Issue 30 : June 2018 : Alternative History.
Issue 13 : October 2016 : Spacewrecks (TTA).
Issue 31 : August 2018 : Sci-fi Rocks! (music).
Issue 14 : Nov/Dec 2016 : CyberTRONic issue.
Issue 32 : Sept 2018 : Design for Videogames.
Issue 15 : January 2017 : Mistworlds (Myst).
Issue 33 : Oct 2018 : Abstract characters.
Issue 16 : Feb 2017 : Future vehicles (Syd Mead).
Issue 34 : Nov 2018 : Future Interiors.
Issue 17 : March 2017 : Movie magic.
Issue 35 : Dec 2018 : Getting Value for your Art.
Issue 18 : April 2017 : Vue 2016 special issue.
Issue 36: Jan 2019 : Megacities. 46
Issue 37 Feb 2019 Giant Historic Creatures ● ‘AM’, aka Alessandro Mastronardi (LAMH) ● Arthur Dorety ● Herschel Hoffmeyer ● Index of past issues ● Gallery: underwater prehistoric creatures ● Imaginarium
Issue 41 July 2019 Moon ● ● ● ● ● ●
Xin Liu of MIT Jeremiah Humphries Jan van de Klooster NASA Moon art Index of past issues Gallery: ‘Bases and outposts’ ● Imaginarium
Issue 39 May 2019 Deserts
Issue 38 April 2019 Super Skin
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Dave Abbo Anestis Skitzis Pixeluna ‘La Femme’ review Index of past issues Gallery: exotic and alien skins ● Imaginarium
Armando Savoia Ken Musgrave MojoWorld tribute Steffen Brand Michael Efriam Moon contest Gallery: Sci-fi Deserts Imaginarium
Issue 43 Oct 2019 Real-time
Issue 42 Aug 2019 Comics ● ● ● ● ● ●
Atomic Robo Kara, ‘Karafactory’ Ricardo Bresso Best graphic novels Index of past issues Gallery: ‘Comic and cartoon art’ ● Imaginarium
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FlowScape ‘Crazy-Knife’ Michelangelo Cellini Jonathan Winbush Index of past issues Gallery: ‘PCs and devices as creatures’ ● Imaginarium
Issue 40 June 2019 Depicting character ● ● ● ● ● ●
Glen, aka ‘Glnw43’ Anja von Lenski Lisa Herron Lovecraft on covers Moon contest Gallery: Expressing character ● Imaginarium
Issue 44 Nov 2019 Ethereal ● ● ● ● ● ●
Adriano Portugal Lyndsey Hayes Marcos Alipio Murilo Francisco Index of past issues Gallery: ‘Exploring the aetherial’ ● Imaginarium
Support this free magazine via Patreon! Your Editor kindly requests your personal help, if you wish to support the production of this regular free magazine. As little a $1 a month will make all the difference. Please become my patron on Patreon, today. 47
Issue 45 Dec 2019 Ancient Gods & Heroes ● Joseph C. Knight ● Daniel Eskridge, aka ‘Deskridge’ ● Dani Owergoor ● Index of past issues ● Recent comics ● Gallery: ‘The Mythic’ ● Imaginarium
Issue 49 May 2020 Mono issue ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Logan Stahl Matt Timson ‘Kvacm’ ‘Kooki99’ Expresii 2020 review Autocolour software Gallery: ‘Mono’ Imaginarium
Issue 46 Feb 2020 Epic Vistas ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Adrian Mark Gillespie Gary Tonge Anaor Karim Gary Haimeng Cao Index of past issues Comic strip Gallery: ‘Epic Space’ Imaginarium
Issue 48 April 2020 The Lost Temple
Issue 47 March 2020 Software issue ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
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Joel Simon Virginie C. HP Z600 review Avatar maker survey Index of past issues Contests Gallery: ‘Nic022’ Imaginarium
Danny Gordon / NWDA ‘Agura Nata’ George Pal Ryzom art Index of past issues Contests Gallery: Mandelbulb Imaginarium
Issue 50 July 2020 50th issue ● For this issue we invited all previous interviewees to contribute a miniinterview ● PhotoLine 22 review ● Gallery: Spaceships ● Imaginarium
Issue 51 August 2020 Beneath ● ● ● ● ● ●
Issue 52 Sept 2020 Interface
Doug Lefler Bjorn Malmberg Richard Heggen Sylvia Ritter Graphic novels survey Gallery: Caves and underground ● Imaginarium
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Michael Okuda ‘Spiraloso’ Stefan Kraus Review: PzDB Contests Gallery: Interfaces in digital art ● Imaginarium
SOME OF OUR IN-DEPTH REVIEWS: Poser Pro 11
Ugee 1910b (pen-monitor)
Vue 2016 R2
#4 | January 2016
#14 | December 2016
#18 | April 2017
Issue 53 Nov 2020 Hair and fur ● ● ● ●
The HiveWire team Andrew Krivulya AprilYSH Survey of fur-making tools in 3D and 2D ● Contests ● Gallery: Hair ● Imaginarium
Issue 54 Dec 2020 Elon ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Issue 56 March 2021 Atmospherics
Issue 55 January 2021 Battlesuits ● ● ● ●
Hasraf Dulull Pascal Blanche Lucas Savelli Survey of the best recent graphic novels ● Group gallery ● Main gallery ● Imaginarium
Elon Musk Darya Girina Ulises Siriczman Luca Oleastri Mars habitats Contests Gallery Imaginarium
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‘Kibosh 1’ John Harris ‘Hangmoon’ Review of Realistic Paint Studio 1.2 ● Python editing ● Main gallery ● Imaginarium
Issue 57 April 2021 Future Transport ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Fred Gambino ‘KuzMich’ Carter Sheppard Robo Racers Solar Sails Go Fly Gallery: Transport Imaginarium
Are you interested in being interviewed in a future issue? Or presenting a new webinar? Please send the address of your gallery or store, and we’ll visit! email@example.com
HP Z600 Workstation
Realistic Paint Studio 1.2
#44 | November 2019
#47 | March 2020
#56 | March 2021
Here we offer our readers a small selection of contests, for your consideration. NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY— THE SPACE SETTLEMENT CONTEST 2022
This is an annual U.S. contest for all students at up to 12th grade, and entrants can be from anywhere in the world. In most nations “12th grade” means students under the age of 18. The contest seeks original art relating to free space settlements (i.e. not on a planet or moon), and must be permanent orbital or free colony-type homes and not temporary work platforms. Support systems in outer space, such as space mining and solar arrays, can also be depicted in your idea. Entry costs $15, and small teams may enter. They say “Contestants will be invited to the 2021 and 2022 International Space Development Conference” run by the National Space Society (NSS). Deadline: 15th Feb 2022. https://space.nss.org/ Picture: “Vademecum” a 2006 student entry by Dan Roam. Similar in design and interior to the famous Stanford Torus, but with a more efficient overall shape. 50
We’re pleased to present a small gallery of entrants to Boeing’s ‘Go Fly Prize’. Boeing called for teams to make personal human flight a reality. The $2m Prize attracted 3,500 entrants and 855 teams from 103 nations. Do you know how many weird and wonderful versions of the personal bicycle there were, before we had the modern Safety Bicycle with its pneumatic runner tyres, and brakes? I’m not sure anyone has ever counted them, but there must have been at least 10,000 variants. From the first primitive wooden ‘boneshakers’ to giant ‘Penny Farthings’ via curiousities such as clockwork tricycles and four-wheeled boatlike carriages. It took mankind a long time to get to our light sleek and safe modern bicycles. What if the process could be speeded up, for personal flying? Well, Boeing has had a try at that. Its prize program seeks working personal flying machines capable of flying one person 20 miles in relative safety. Vertical or near vertical take-off and landing is also a key requirement.
On offer is a $2m prize, shared thus: $250,000 for the quietest; $250,000 for the smallest; a $100,000 ‘Disruptor Award’; and a $1,000,000 Grand Prize. 3,500 entries flowed in from over 100 nations countries for the Phase I paper submissions and ten winners were awarded $20,000. Phase II then saw 31 of the teams submit entries for close technical review by experts of experts, and also produced physical prototypes by working with the world’s leading aero-design experts. Phase II saw five winners, each awarded a $50,000 prize. Phase III took the form of actual airfield trials and a ‘flyoff’ in 2020. Phase III failed to reveal a 20-mile Grand Prize Winner, but the teTra team from Japan won the $100,000 Disruptor Award. The $1 Grand Prize appears to be still up for grabs.
Picture: Leap, from Team Vantage.
Picture: Successful NACA (NASA in ‘58) manned test flight of a Stand-on Flying Platform, 1956.
Picture (left): Maria Cain and makers Jeff Elkins and Ray Brandes. Airboard 2.0 is an experimental ultralight with fully electric vertical take-off and landing. It is steered by small body movements. Lean slightly forward and the Airboard goes forward. Slightly to the side, it slips sideways. Maria normally flies a waterjet board during hydroflights.
Most people’s first idea for the contest would be to ride and steer a big drone. Well, test pilot Mariah Cain here does just that, piloting the ‘Airboard 2.0’ above Panama City, on the Go Fly entry from the Panama City Beach-based DragonAir Aviation. DragonAir reached Boeing’s prestigious Go Fly fly-off final in 2020.
Pictures: This page: ‘Mamba’ hexcopter from Team Mamba (Kansas, USA); Talaria from TU Delft (Holland). Opposite page: AeroXO LV from Era AviaBike (Latvia and Russia); EDEA from Team EDEA (Austria).
Pictures: The teTra, Japan’s winning entry for the Phase III ‘Disruptor Award’. Seen being serviced (left) by Team teTra, on the lift-off pad (below) and in the air in a concept render (right). Though currently lacking stability on take-off, its sleek design and lifting power both seem to point the way to future personal flight. https://www.tetra-aviation.com/ projecttetra For more, and to hear lectures on the key technologies involved, visit the Go Fly YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/c/ GoFlyPrize/videos
Below: Japan’s team captain Tasuku Nakai.
Picture: “Davies Tesla Concept Model V”. Recently admired by Elon Musk, this sleek design is by Tom Abbot Davies of the UK. It was not part of Go Fly (see previous pages), but its elegance points the way to the likely electric ‘eVTOL’ craft of the 2050s. Designed while a student at Loughborough University, it was part of Tom's application for internship at Elon Musk’s Telsa company. Tom’s design portfolio can be found in flipbook at Issuu and at his website.
We’re pleased to talk with Carter Sheppard, a young New Zealand product designer with an eye for vehicles and growing experience in making props for TV and movies.
DAL: Carter, welcome to Digital Art Live.
CS: Thank you for interviewing me, I’m looking forward to it. DAL: How did you first discover your talent for creative engineering, and was there someone who helped you find your path in life, early on? CS: I became easily bored at high school, so I was drawing in the back of my school books to entertain myself without getting in trouble. This grew into me reading a lot of science-fiction, and doing sketches of how I imagined the vehicles which appeared in the books.
DAL: Great. What were your early creative influences, from science-fiction? CS: My parents had a collection of the British TV series Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet on VHS videotapes. There was something really cool about these massive machines doing good deeds in an optimistic future. DAL: Indeed. And then you trained at Massey University in New Zealand, in Industrial and Product Design. How creative were you able to be on that? I imagine some degree courses set their students to work on mundane things like 62sink-plungers, at least to start them off.
Picture: some of Carter’s many “Athos sketches” of possible future-vehicles.
To teach then that ‘simple can be hard, and is best kept simple’. Was there anything like that experience for you? And were you then ‘let off the leash’ later on? CS: Ha ha, yes there were plenty of mundane design briefs. Things like coffee pots and reading lights. In the course’s later years the briefs had a broader scope, you could research whatever you liked so long as your design solution involves a product, system or service. I think the lesson was that tight design constraints can lead to more focused and better considered design solutions. While having no constraints can lead to so many possibilities that it’s easy to be overwhelmed. DAL: Yes. What has been the most lasting legacy of that training, for you? 63
CARTER SHEPPARD NEW ZEALAND
RHINO | KEYSHOT PHOTOSHOP | PROPS FOR TV AND FILM
CS: There’s a strange sense of disillusionment I feel towards the consumer goods market, which I picked up from the course. The training was mostly focused on product design and how to get products onto the market. It’s expensive and risky to create a new product that adequately provides for the needs of a consumer. It’s often much easier for some companies to create a need within consumers, through aggressive marketing. We’re not paying for the utility of their product anymore, we’re paying for the fantasy associated with a product, we’re paying for a ‘brand’. It’s a practice which pollutes the world and consumes its resources. So I decided to draw trucks, spaceships and robots instead, it’s more fun and less harmful than designing cell phones or plastic packaging. DAL: Yes, and might attract the attention of those valuable companies who don’t take the easy route to market. I guess companies appreciate it when you distinguish between different types of company management, and don’t lump them all into the same basket. But you then worked for DesignBrand in New Zealand for several years. What sort of projects have you been involved with there, so far? CS: I worked at DesignBrand for about three years. Then I moved back into doing props for film and TV in 2019, while studying for a Masters degree in concept design. The projects I worked on at DesignBrand were mostly products for the public transportation systems in Auckland and Wellington. A lot of bus shelters, train stations, bike racks and park benches. Everything was designed in house and manufactured locally. I enjoyed designing these quality, bespoke products that served a public need. I still like to walk around the city with my mates, and when I see one of our bus shelters I’ll make a joke out of hyping up our shelters and trash talking the competition.
CS: I’m based out of the capital Auckland at the moment, but yes… you can trust what the Wairarapa tourist board is telling you, but you can’t trust my LinkedIn. Wairarapa is great for wine tours and hiking, they’ve even got a replica Stonehenge made of plywood! Auckland is also a paradise, but it’s also great for sunburn and traffic jams. DAL: I see. What sort of vehicles do you have to enjoy that New Zealand landscape with — cars, bicycles, boats etc — and what do you most enjoy or value about them? CS: If you want some good entertainment in Wairarapa, you can take a bicycle tour around the wineries. You keep stopping in at wine tastings until all that wine makes riding a bicycle difficult and unsafe. It’s low-tech and it involves alcohol, just like many other fun things in New Zealand. But I’d recommend travelling to any part of New Zealand by train or ferry, they’ve usually dining carriages or cafes attached. Just get a coffee and a mince pie and enjoy the changing scenery. DAL: Fascinating, thanks. Now, turning to your own personal work… you obviously deeply consider all the various options, before deciding on a final design to pursue. Have you noted any personal ‘rules’ occurring regularly that help you iterate, or to choose the final design? CS: I’m constantly considering the form language, materials and assembly when designing a vehicle and I’ll stick to them to constrain the design options. These aspects can often be used to suggest things about the context that this vehicle exists in; who are the people that built this vehicle, what type of world does the vehicle operate in, and so on. This also leaves a level of detail which I can dive deeper into later if I want, drawing things like cutaways, technical illustrations, environments, or paint schemes for different factions.
DAL: And you were based in Wairarapa, I DAL: Good advice. There are also sorts of believe? The local tourist board makes it sound fabulous… “Wairarapa is a region of spectacular wonderful mobile machines being developed now, from automatic pothole repair machines coastlines, wide valleys and small towns. It's from JCB, to new ideas in the agri-tech sector known for its vineyards, gourmet food, walking as that starts to automate and computerize. and cycling trails — and a vibrant arts scene.” And there are many more coming along. Is it really paradise? 64
Pictures: “Athos landship sketch”; test drilling with an “Antarctic research buggy”.
“I work mostly in the Rhino software, which I picked up when doing product design. It’s a good tool because you can be as precise or as messy as you like.”
Classification: ‘Frogbox’ class, long range
Thermal Discharge Assembly.
Offensive Systems: 2 x Dual 86mm Coil
Generator: Rotogen RX2 Orbital Class
Guns, 1 x Multi-Role Tactical Launcher
Fusion Reactor with military graded
Defensive Systems: 2 x Dual Band Laser
‘Alpha-Nay’ Guidance and Containment
Close-In-Weapons-System, 1 x Passive Arc
Souls Aboard: 17 Crew and Officers.
Operational Machine Intelligence: 67
There will be many new vehicle and craft types in the emerging ‘blue’ ocean-tech sector, and of course in the skies with drones and possibly manned VTOL craft, as out readers will see elsewhere in this issue. Do you get a sense that ‘this is the moment’ to be a vehicle designer, and which sector do you most favour and why?
CS: Yes, Syd Mead for sure. I’m also a big fan of the concept artists George Hull and Doug Chiang. I’m also a sucker for the beautiful cutaway illustrations done by Stephen Biesty and Hans Jenssen. Pictures: “Tanker truck” and Frogbox cut-away.
CS: Yes, I feel there’s a growing excitement about the possibilities of new tech in transportation. Technology is making vehicles smaller, safer, faster and more efficient. What I’m hoping for is all these innovations might combine to create new transportation ideas which are completely different from what we’re familiar with. DAL: Do you ever look back the past for vehicle design inspiration, or are you entirely shapebased and future-focussed? Back to the steam age for instance? CS: I like to focus on the future but recently I’ve been thinking about rigid airships. I think the major technical failings that airships once had could be resolved with modern polymers and composite materials. Even with all these technological improvements, I don’t think modern airships could compete with jet airlines. Travellers want the speed of a jet, which is a shame. I think there’d be something relaxing and romantic about being in an airship, hanging about in the sky and not caring how quickly you arrived at your destination. DAL: Yes, I think there’s going to a ‘slow tourism’ use for them in the high luxury market that will emerge — as the world gets seriously richer, which all the forecasts suggest we will. They won’t be shipping package-holiday makers from Bristol to the beaches of Malaga en masse, true. But once they can carry and ‘live anywhere, communicate anywhere’ modular nomadic homes, three weeks of food and personal solar-powered ground transportation, a market will open up which values isolation and privacy above all and ‘getting away from the crowd’. But which modern vehicle artists currently inspire you? I think it’s safe to guess ‘Syd Mead’ as one, but who else would you say?
DAL: Great. Which part of vehicle design do you find the most difficult, and why do you think that is? CS: Anything mechanical, like suspension systems and hydraulics. They need to look like they work, so a viewer can easily imagine the function of the parts they’re looking at. Mechanical parts often involve lots of circles, which are difficult to draw in perspective. DAL: Yes, believability is key. And what’s your favourite part of the process? I noted the washing-line you add to some of your vehicles, and I’d imagine adding that as the finishing ‘human’ touch is quite fun. But what it your ‘favourite bit’ in terms of the metal and rubber and glass bits of a vehicle? CS: I love doing the finishing touches like decals, rust spots and panel separations. All the little things which really make it pop are the most fun. I also enjoy doing a written list of details about the vehicle, or ‘general characteristics’. It’s a quick way to include some world building along with the vehicle. DAL: What’s your own personal favourite image from your portfolio and why?
CS: My personal favourite has got to be the Frogbox Landship. I like that it’s just big enough to be a fun bit of sci-fi, but still small enough to include all the more intimate details. I also had a lot of fun describing aspects of the world the vehicle exists in with the written descriptions. DAL: Super. Yes, congratulations on that, it’s a very engaging vehicle and the human touches had brought it to life with both scale and people. Now, to turn to the more technical aspects of making — what’s is the main 3D tool that you use these days? CS: I work mostly in the Rhino software, which I picked up when doing product design. It’s a good tool because you can be as precise or as messy as you like. It’s not really set up for doing mesh or quad modelling for media, but it’s great for digital fabrication. I’ll render out parts of the model and layer them up in Photoshop. I want to use the computer to do all
the heavy lifting, so I’m not spending hours editing things to make the perspective match. All the colours, surface textures and lineart I’ll re-draw over the renders. The washed out colours are me trying to achieve the same look as cutaway illustrators like Hans Jenssen, which makes the lighting less dynamic but makes all the smaller details easier to see. DAL: I see. Do you need a fairly powerful rendering set-up? CS: I’ve actually got a pretty underpowered PC, the majority of rendering I do is in Keyshot, which I use for still images. I’d love to get into animating and rigging models for games. That’s probably the next frontier for me, getting the pictures to move, or even doing something interactive in a game engine. DAL: I see. What other software do you use at the moment? CS: I’ve become an Autodesk Sketchbook fan.
Classification: ‘Hierophant’ class, colony
Continuous Compressor Assembly.
support cruiser (converted).
Offensive Systems: 4x 62mm Coil Guns
Generator: Duma Engineering, RB42
Dual Core Fusion Drive with modified
Defensive Systems: 3x Dual Band Laser 70
Max Range: 4,300km.
Operational Machine Intelligence:
Speed: 36kph cruising, 43kph max.
Modified ‘Overseer’ Industrial Control
Nominal Hull Thickness: 82mm.
Souls Aboard: 64 crew & 14 children. 71
Autodesk Sketchbook has a lot of quick and easy features for fleshing out line drawings or quick sketches. It’s missing a lot of the tools you’d be looking for in Photoshop, but I think that limitation of tools is creatively useful. It means being less overwhelmed by options when starting a drawing, which helped me in developing a cleaner workflow. DAL: Yes, it’s very capable. Now, if someone came along offering megabucks, what sort of commercial vehicle project would you most like to work on, and why? CS: I’d like to work on something in space, like a Lunar Spaceport, or mass transit on Mars. I’d want to design something which involved infrastructure, a transport system instead of just a vehicle. The impression I get from current space colony concepts is that they’re very engineering-focused, I’d like to see some spatial design and urban planning applied to a space colony, and I think designing a system like this would be a great avenue to explore some of these possibilities. DAL: Yes, that sounds great. Someone should probably do a contest along those lines. Ok, to finish… What are you working on at the moment? CS: I’m currently working as a construction designer in film and TV, designing props and sets for fabrication. In my spare time I’m designing some mech suits for model making. I want to get away from the computer for a little while and start making some resin cast model kits. DAL: That sounds great. Carter, many thanks for this in-depth interview. We wish you all the best in the future with your career. CS: Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to put my work out there.
Carter Sheppard is online at: https://www.artstation.com/ chsheppard and https:// www.deviantart.com/ universalgibbon/gallery
“I’d like to work on something in space, like a Lunar Spaceport, or mass transit on Mars. I’d want to design something which involved infrastructure, a transport system instead of just a vehicle. The impression I get from current space colony concepts is that they’re very engineering-focused, I’d like to see some spatial design and urban planning applied...”
Here we present a small selection of the futuristic vehicle designs that caught our eye this month, from elegant retro to trucks to racing flyers. Future transportation will not necessarily look ‘futuristic’ in design, as we understand the word ‘futuristic’ today. It’s quite possible that by 2121 technology will become so bafflingly advanced and complex that most of humanity will prefer to conceal it behind an elegant ‘retro’ exterior. An exterior that appears to be, and perhaps is, artisinally hand tooled and crafted, as seen here. Nor is future transport all about slow travel in congested and tightly regulated cities. New ‘pop up living’ and water-harvesting technology will give racers the ability to camp anywhere for a month, with the relatively heavy vehicles being carried in by long-distance airships.
Pictures: Dirk Muller of Germany, from his Airlords of Airia project.
Electric-solar vehicles will mean there will be no need to also bring heavy and dangerous fuels, and the vehicles will offer little noise. Vast uninhabited open spaces will then become more available to vehicle racers, on new robotbuilt routes. Think then of African plateaus, the deserts of the Arabian peninsula, the wilds of Russia and inner Mongolia, the Pampas of South America, the Australian interior, or the rapidly greening Sahara. At first the races in such places may be a little DIY and only for robust electric vehicles and tough drivers, but once the idea is proven, it could be big. Literally, big… imagine a racing route that lets you speed through 800 miles at 110mph.
He’s packed and ready for the wilds! Here we imagine that a future genetic engineering has produced gas-filled ‘living airship’ organisms, that can be ‘saddled’ with a metal casing and light baggage.
Pictures: Tech-organic vehicle design for Symbiosis, by Steven Sanders of the USA; “Futuristic airship” by Matgyro (Pongpat Pongsakorntorn) of Thailand. Opposite, “2086” by Prokhoda of Russia. 76
Pictures: vehicle design sketches, all by Mooncube.
Opposite: top, “Firebreather truck”, concept by Fred Gambino; bottom, “Monoracer 19” by Joachim F. Sverd. This page: Joachim F. Sverd’s amazingly detailed “Radial Space Fighter” model is available free on 3D Warehouse SketchUp .SKP format. “The idea was to make a spacecraft that was ideally suited for space combat with engines all around for 81
excellent maneuverability and high speed. The fighter is laid out concentric and radially like a wheel with the cockpit in the center, surrounded by the reactor, and engines spaced around the leading edges of the outer ‘ring’”. Render in SketchUp by Mutinate. https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/
Pictures: “Dieselpunk hover-car” by Tomasla of Mexico (our choice of livery colour); “Hovercar” by Tim Molloy of Australia; “Chaparral Racing 2X Vision” by rOEN911 of Greece.
Picture: “Heart throbber” by Purbosky of Indonesia. 84
Picture: “Telyonadrome Relay” by Julian Faylona of the Philippines, and Smiling Demon of Sweden.
VIDEOGAME: Cloudpunk (PC) You know those games where, as a newbie, you have to ‘deliver 10 things’? Ion Lands made a game of that, a casual delivery sim. But set in a fab cyber-seedy sci-fi city with flying cars, endless neon and rain. You play a young hick, newly arrived to try their luck in the big city and flying a ‘no questions asked’ delivery service for some free flying and easy money. It’s Fifth Element meets Blade Runner, via Kiki’s Delivery Service. You can fly wherever you want, accompanied by an outstanding synthwave soundtrack and... a dog-bot AI that controls your flying car. There’s a story here, many talkative characters with dodgy accents, exploding parcels and a thoughtful mystery to solve. But no overly complex game mechanics or fiddly spreadsheet management. It’s a relatively casual game, about flying your car and picking up stories and tips. Originally released on the PC in April 2020, it’s since been bug-fixed and as such we feel it’s now safe to suggest. PC players get better fog and FX and other goodies like firstperson view, but the game is also available for consoles.
IMAGIN Our pick of the most inspirational art and products. Make your imagination LIVE!
Picture: With thanks to Ion Lands.
Movie: Drive (2011)
Tour guide: Virtual Cities - An Atlas
This ‘arthouse car/crime thriller’ rolls sleekly through the Los Angeles night accompanied by a superbly-realised synthwave style and soundtrack. It isn’t science-fiction and there are no gadgets, but Drive will surely be appreciated by those seeking a touch of ‘future-noir’. There are several wheelspinning action scenes, and copious amounts of crashes and blood — especially in the second half. But mostly these scenes come amid slow tension-building relationship scenes and arty cityscapes. Our gritty and largely silent hero moves through the city, forced to aggressively defend from evil the innocents he loves — in this way Drive reminds one of the famous The Searchers via Leon. The other characters are all superbly cast and acted. Finally, beware the BBC’s bizzare 2014 ‘re-score’ with chartband songs for TV screening. Make sure you are watching ‘the original score’ synthwave version as scored by Cliff Martinez.
These days the most accessible and safe destinations are virtual ones, especially when enjoyed with a VR headset. Virtual Cities: An Atlas & Exploration of Video Game Cities (Nov 2020) serves as a ‘destination guide’ for 45 classic videogame cities. Such as City 17 (HalfLife 2), Kamurocho (Yakuza 0), Whiterun (Skyrim), Yarnham (Bloodbourn), and Europolis (Dreamfall Chapters). The book takes the form of a traditional travel guide with deep dives into the history and lore of these cities, and — rather than use muddy or low-res screenshots — the chosen cities are hand-illustated with over 100 sketches, watercolours and 46 maps. Artist Maria Kallikaki’s style is faux-naif, sometimes a little twee but quite bearable. The oversize book runs to 256 pages and as a tour-guide it serves its intended audience well, offering readers something of the ‘feel’ of a virtual place for those considering actually ‘visiting’ via actually playing the videogame. Available as a hardback and there’s a $15 Kindle ebook version. 90
Book: Futuristic Cars
Documentary: We Are As Gods
Futuristic Cars and Space Bicycles (2020) is
One of the most interesting, influential, and inspiring men on the planet now has a feature length documentary about his life. The movie takes a long, critical look at his life and work. Sadly it has been stuck in ‘film festival hell’ for the last 18 months, but we hope to see it on DVD and streaming very soon. Stewart Brand has rightly been termed “the intellectual Johnny Appleseed” of the alternative 1970s, via his Editorship of the very influential Whole Earth Catalog. He later shaped the open sensibilities of early techno-culture and cyberspace, with the WELL. More recently he has again reshaped our way of thinking with The Long Now, which seeks to greatly expand the time-frames we use to think about the past and the future — to 10,000 years either way. As an author he has strongly championed technology as a positive liberating force. His latest long-term project is Revive & Restore, working to ‘de-extinct’ plants and animals such as the American Chestnut, the Passenger Pigeon, and the Woolly Mammoth.
the first survey of road travel in American science-fiction. While there are libraries full of books on the real ‘transport revolution’ which followed the demise of the horse, historians have paid almost no attention to road transport in science-fiction — beyond a few car-design artbooks. Jeremy Withers corrects this oversight, while keeping a tight focus on the road automobile and the bicycle in America. The book opens with the pulps of the 1920s and 30s, examines Bradbury and Heinlein, and runs through the media sci-fi of the 2000s, with the concerns of each era being put in wider historical context. Withers writes clearly and without much jargon, and the usual academic genuflections are easy to skip. He concludes that science fiction has largely scorned and ridiculed the deadly and de-humanising automobile, and has more often championed anarchic technologies such as the bicycle and its futuristic equivalents. 91
1st Gerry Anderson Day
Ray Harryhausen: titan of cinema
14th April 2021 / Online, UK
Opens April 2021 / Scotland, UK
The first Gerry Anderson Day will celebrate the British TV science-fiction pioneer who brought us such memorable series as Captain Scarlet, UFO, Space:1999, Joe 90, Thunderbirds and many more. The organisers appear to be planning a ‘big splash’ for the first year.
Long-awaitied and delayed, Scotland’s huge blockbuster exhibition on Ray Harryhausen finally arrives in April. ‘Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema’ traces his career as a special effects man for big movies such as Jason and the Argonauts, a master craftsman whose only limits were in the time needed to painstakingly realise his imagination. The exhibition shows his full creative processes: from prep sketches and creature design, through to model making and bringing characters to life for his gasping audiences. For those unable to reach Scotland in the lockdown, there is also a bookable ‘Virtual Exhibition’, with... “a series of films, neverseen-before interviews, exhibition footage, film clips and specially created animation sequences” showing his special Dynamation process. The show runs at the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art, Edinburgh, from 26th April 2021 to 20th February 2022 — though may well be locked down again from Autumn/Fall 2021 as the virus returns.
Pictures, from left, across double-page: Detail from the promo poster for the first Gerry Anderson Day, 2021. Ray Harryhausen poses for a press photo with one of his stop-motion dinosaurs — he made so many there is now a book about them, The
Dinosaur Films of Ray Harryhausen! Detail from the cover of Boys’ Life magazine, March 1964, the first publication of Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Sunjammer”, aka “The Wind from the Sun” — the famous story that launched the concept of the ‘solar sail’. NASA later named their first big sail Sunjammer, in Clarke’s honour. Pedals detail from a Bowden Spacelander, once Britain's ‘Bicycle of the Future’.
Arthur C. Clarke
Bike to the Future
Online exhibition / Liverpool, UK
Opens Spring 2021 / Atlanta, USA
‘Arthur C. Clarke: Architect of Tomorrow’ is an online exhibition from the science fiction collection specialists at the University of Liverpool in the UK. This exhibition is nicely structured, has high-res images, and is not too long. It focusses on the science fiction works, rather than his many other works or his private life. The show surveys: First contact: 1938-1946; Wireless World, 1945; Endings and beginnings, 1953-1957 (the early classics); Space Odysseys, 1968-1997 (his work on 2001 with Kubrick) and Rama and beyond, 1973-1993 — the ‘beyond’ bit meaning that it includes the fold-out timechart from Profiles of the Future (1962). The University of Liverpool Library's Special Collections houses the largest collection of science fiction in Europe, and it acquired Clarke’s personal library in December 2019. This includes notebooks, photographs, films, objects and other ephemera related to Clarke’s life and career. The material is not fully catalogued, and the Library welcomes donations from generous benefactors.
With their large show ‘Bike to the Future’ The Museum of Design, Atlanta, will showcase the best in advanced and prototype bicycle design that has occurred since the year 2000. Stylish bicycle designs from famous names will be on show, well as prototypes and experiments made with unusual materials to serve a variety of functions.
Innovation and new design styling is not only ongoing in lightweight racing/sports bikes, and new types of electric commuter bicycles are beginning to have a profound impact on the development of towns and cities, provoking new urban spaces and infrastructures that range from novel forms of bike-locking and electric charging, bike-specific bridges and tunnels, and new types of anti-motobike bicycle gates. Innovations in bicycle accessories will also be featured, such as the magnetic bicycle light ‘iFlash One’ designed by the Danish studio Kibisi, the ‘Hammerhead’ navigation system, rain sensors for bicycles, and new types of carriers for shopping and small children. https://www.museumofdesign.org/
Are you interested in being interviewed in a future issue of the magazine? Or presenting a webinar for our series? Please send the Web address of your gallery or store, and we’ll visit!
Picture: Detail from “Locked up” by Fantasyart0102 of South Korea.