Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ship Design - The Infinite Salamander

I thought this might be interesting. Here's a look behind the curtain at the nuts-and-bolts of Jim's process designing the ship for "Into the Void". 

Q: So, Jim. In your original webcomic, the design of the ship was a bit different. Take us back to the original design. What was your inspiration for the ship?

A: I always thought of the ship as a bulk/hull ship or a freighter...I think it is still a huge lunky ship, but I modified it to be a cross between a Drag Racer a Tank and a Mac Truck..though I still hear the song 'Convoy' when I was creating it.

Q: The name has changed, too. Originally, the ship was the "Angry Beaver", but you wanted a name more like the "Millennium Falcon". How do you like the vessel's name now?

A: I think I originally saw the crew as hard working, blue collar garbage men in space, now they're a bit more refined and more explorers and the ship reflects that

Q: After we finished the first script, you made some pretty major modifications to the ship's design. Can you describe the big changes you made and why?

A: I still wanted the freighter aspect, but from a design perspective, since it is the Infinite Salmander I wanted a look that would be more recognizable, you look at it and go, "Oh cool...that's The Infinite Salamander."

Q: Down to brass tacks here... You explained to me the tools you used to build out the ship for the comic. Being a writer with no talent for the visual arts, it was like you were talking a foreign language. For illustrators, can you describe the tools you used?

A: I used 3 graphic programs Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and Google Sketchup. I built the ship in the 3D program Sketchup, then from there took it into illustrator and "auto traced" the different views, from there, I brought it into Photoshop for some image prep and shading work

Q: What advantages did you find using that method provided?

A: All the ships for this series will be built in Google Sketchup which is a lightweight 3D program, which is great for getting the different angles with essentially a virtual camera.
Q: What's the downright coolest thing about the Infinite Salamander? 

A: It's either the fact that it's a giant drag racer or the fact that it's haunted!

So there you have it. The Infinite Salamander is locked, loaded, and ready to voyage... into the VOID!

- Joe

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