Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Jumping Flash

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Robbit2Growing up, I was not allowed to have any game consoles, until the PlayStation came out. My brother convinced our dad that it was technically advanced enough to merit buying.

One of the first games we played was a demo for Jumping Flash! that came on the sample games CD with the PlayStation. Soon thereafter we purchased it, and I played it ad-naseum for years to come. It’s a very whimsical platform type game that is very light-hearted. The protagonist, Robbit (A robotic rabbit) is sent to save “jet pods” that are located on various pieces of planets that have been stolen by the evil Baron Aloha. One particular level, world 3-2, was the favorite. It had flying whales, catchy music, and fun rainbow roller coasters that you could ride.

This digital painting, like my other ones, was done in Adobe Photoshop with a Bamboo Graphic Pen in my spare time. I still play this game from time to time using an emulator. It’s great fun, and something I’ve wanted to illustrate for quite a while.

Darth Vader

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

VaderSmallI decided to try my hand at digitally illustrating Darth Vader. This was done in Photoshop with a graphic tablet in my free time over a couple of days. I am pleased with the result. As I have mentioned before, I don’t think that this type of art is one of my strong-points, however it gives great satisfaction to make an attempt and see the results.

One thing I have noticed when working on these types of things is that imperfections can make it look better. To contrast, when I work in vector art forms or cad drawings I want things as precise and perfect as possible. With this type of art, if I work really hard trying to make things perfect, I am never happy with the result. However, if I worry less about the details, the overall piece becomes much more satisfying to me.

Since we are on the theme of Darth Vader, I decided to put together a little musing I’ve been thinking about recently.

When Did Vader Learn About Luke?

There is some controversy (or at least question) over when Darth Vader discovers that Luke is the son of Anakin in Episode V. To add to the debate, there have been two different versions of the conversation with the Emperor that cloud the situation even further. After Episode 1 came out, George Lucas redid the scene with the correct actor portraying the Emperor as well as adding some new dialog. See the original dialog below.

Original

Vader: What is thy bidding, my master?
Emperor: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Vader: I have felt it.
Emperor: We have a new enemy — Luke Skywalker.
Vader: Yes, my master.
Emperor: He could destroy us.
Vader: He’s just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him.
Emperor: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
Vader: If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.
Emperor: Yes. Yes. He would be a great asset. Can it be done?
Vader: He will join us or die, my master.

I think that this dialog worked just fine for continuity’s sake. It was implied that both the Emperor and Vader acknowledged (already knew) that Luke was the son of Anakin Skywalker. They just decided to have a chat about it to decide whether he should die, or be turned.

Special Edition

Vader: What is thy bidding, my master?
Emperor: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Vader: I have felt it.
Emperor: We have a new enemy. The young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.
Vader: How is that possible?
Emperor: Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true. He could destroy us.
Vader: He’s just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him.
Emperor: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
Vader: If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.
Emperor: Yes… He would be a great asset. Can it be done?
Vader: He will join us or die, master.

This new dialogue makes the situation a bit more confusing. Did Vader know of Luke’s existence? Clearly he did, as evidenced by the text from the opening crawl, “The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space….”, and this conversation with Admiral Ozzle and General Veers, “That is the system! And I am sure Skywalker is with them.”

So, we know that Darth Vader is obsessed with finding Luke, whom he at least knows by name. The revised dialogue with the Emperor implies that Vader did not know that Luke was the son of Anakin when he says, “How is that possible?”

I don’t believe that this is the case. I’m sure he knew of Luke’s lineage. Although some people see this dialogue as contradictory and bizarre, I feel that it was quite intentional, and hints at a much deeper theme of the Vader/Emperor relationship.

In Episode 3, the Emperor informs Vader that, “I’m afraid she died. … it seems in your anger, you killed her,” speaking of course of Padme. Vader then copes with the deaths of both Padme and her unborn child. I believe that those deaths became the foundation of Vader’s later actions; that he couldn’t live with himself, and truly became the evil Vader we met in, “A New Hope.”

Vader is not taken aback by the fact that Luke is the son of Anakin, but rather that the Emperor is also aware of this fact. At this point in the conversation, the Emperor basically admits to Vader of his original deceit. I believe that with this new knowledge that the path Vader has followed with the Emperor has been founded upon lies regarding the person Vader loved most, we see the beginning the redemption process that is ultimately completed in, “Return of the Jedi.”

Now that I have thought about it, I have come to like the new dialogue and the added levels of intrigue it brings to the relationship of Darth Vader and the Emperor.

The Reluctant Dragon

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The Reluctant Dragon is one of my favorite Disney shorts. The basic premise is that there is a dragon discovered by the villagers of a town. Fearful of the dragon they bring in a dragon slayer. The Dragon however is not ferocious, and prefers to write poetry. At any rate, it’s a delightful short cartoon with very whimsical characters. I’ve always cared for the dragon’s care-free spirit, so I decided to immortalize one of his many signature poses.

Dragon_small

This was mostly done in Photoshop. The basic outlines were done in Illustrator, then brought into Photoshop where I tried to shade it all. It’s not perfect, but the likeness is certainly there.