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Works in Progress

A few things I’m working on. Can you tell that I like painting faces? farmer_blog musicians_blog

Journal

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On an unrelated note, the last article had my first ever pro-Masonic spam post. Good job keeping it fresh, bots.

Nu-Ur from afar

You’ve seen this one before. Photoshop, textures, and Perfect Effects again.

Saint-Ship

Photoshop, photo textures, and Perfect Effects.

“Ascendant” is the name commonly used to refer to the saint-ships who maintain the form and structure of the world. While Ascendants are viewed as vessels to reconcile them with the preconceptions of primitive minds, they are better described as a collection of egos, or souls, held together in substrate by sheer force of belief. Three classes (or, more accurately, stages) are recognized:

V-Class Ascendant – The beginning stage of each Ascendant is the cooperation, partial merger, and independent existence of two or more souls. Theologians postulate that the maintenance of a V-Class is impossible due to its nature as an ideal.

A-Class Ascendant – The most common result of a V-Class, the A-Class creates itself when one pilot ego overtakes the others through the refutation of their individual existences and the absorption of the remaining metamaterial. Although structurally stable, the A-Class is unpredictable and prone to both violent and messianic tendencies.

S-Class Ascendant – The Selfless Sacrifice. A rare result of both the V- and A-Classes, the S-Class is an Ascendant that can no longer distinguish itself from the surrounding chaos. Its pilot egos refute themselves, and the Ascendant, into inexistence. The S-Class is highly unstable, and has been shown to cause all capable sentients within a considerable radius to uncreate themselves.

Though Ascendants, lacking in substance, have no defined shape, they almost always manifest as an enormous, formless, matte shape reminiscent of ink dripped in water. Because Ascendants are their own universes circumscribed within our own, physical contact is not possible for the majority of the population – should they step into the ship, they simply finish their stride on the other side, without the influence of space or time. Those with more stable egos, or more complete understandings of the theology behind Ascendants, are able to touch them, but cease to exist upon doing so. Only the select few, those with both an inborn ability to maintain their soul at levels near the stable 1-gradient and years of training in doing so, are able to come in contact with an Ascendant and argue successfully against its nulling effects. Their physical body is unmade by virtue of having come in contact with a different existence, but their soul remains as part of the pilot egos of the Ascendant.

Should one so desire, an Ascendant is capable of metamorphosing their substrate into a humanoid form to venture into the now. These humaforms are really the same ‘substance’ as the saint-ship, a pocket of an infinite, voided universe enveloped in our own, but their familiar shape allows the mind to cope and negates most space-soul errors caused by an Ascendant. While it is possible to interact with a humaform without serious repercussions, the pilot (or pilots, as multiple egos can inhabit the same body) itself does not experience the world with the senses of a mortal being. Increasing preference for humaforms is considered to be a warning sign of going A-class.

Nin & Aka

Still chuggin’ along.
akawip8

ninwip9

Nu-Ur

Nu-Ur is a city-isle built from, on, and by the remnant-ruins of the A-Class Ascendant Aleia. It maintains a habitable zone with a radius of 13.14 kilocubits from its widest point and 7.7 kilocubits tall above its highest point. Despite being the product of nutheogesics, Nu-Ur is considered the last remnant of pre-ekpyriotic civilization. Also known as the City, for it is the last of such.

Nu-Ur can most accurately be described amalgam of surviving cultures, new technologies, and artifacts whose purpose has either been forgotten or has not yet been found.

These will be completely redone, but I’m putting them up for the sake of completeness.

nin_wip1

Nin, the main character. Proper but questioning saint-in-training.

aka_wip1 aka_wip2

Aka, the wandering monk with heretical ideas.

So, what went wrong? Outside of being incomplete and my comitment to not drawing hands until necesary, I don’t think there’s anything really wrong with the drawings. If I went and finished them, they’d probably be a pretty good representation of what I can do. But they don’t fit my vision for the world. There’s too much bulk and inelegance, too much clutter. Too much fantasy for the sake of it, rather than for the illusion of culture and history. Typically I’m a bit looser with the vision (for lack of a better word), following it as closely as I can but not stressing too much as long as the idea gets across and people like it. But this is my project, not an assignement or a group thing, and I want to do it right.

 

Ascendant – Introduction

Senior(!) year at MICA is largely dominated by our thesis, a large, year or semester long project which we ourselves pick. Ascendant is mine.

I aim to create a new IP suitable for games or movies, set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy universe. People stop believing in gods, but, since gods keep the world in tact, reality starts to fall apart. Belief and ego play a big role in keeping everything relatively stable. Spaceships that are really disembodied souls play a part. Should be fun. My plan is to create concept art, make models, write, and, if I have time, make an Unreal level within the universe.

This first week was a lot of reference gathering and solidifying ideas. Here are some silhouettes and sketches from that.

di_sil
Silhouettes for Nin, the main female character. She’s a teacher-scholar, Ascendant in training. Smart, caring, but alone. These thumbnails are, all in all, pretty successful at capturing her.

lor_sil

Silhouettes for Aka, a traveling warrior-monk, a rebel from organized society. Nin and he used to be romantically involved, and she still respects him deeply as an intellectual. These need work. His original concept was a bit different, and new thumbs will need to reflect his renegade nature better.

Nin_final_sketch
Semi-final thumbs, prior to critique. They’ll change in the execution, but they’re getting there.

nuur 1nuur5

A couple sketches of Nu-ur, the main (and only) city. Wanted a fantasy skyscraper look, with buildings on top of buildings and no clear culture. Not quite there yet.