I wanted to share a side project that I've been working on for the past 6 months, heavily inspired by all of the amazing Star Wars concept art that's been so easy to find as of late. I feel like Hollywood is acting as a giant benefactor for countless creatives in so many fields right now. So much good work to see!
Anyway, this idea started on January 1 (start the new year with sketching!) with a quick thumbnail inspired by a T-47 Airspeeder. This ship would be a little bit bigger, and could be used to transport cargo beyond just a pilot.
I tend to photograph interesting textures when I see them, which gives me lots of reference images on my phone. Here are a few that I used when starting to build up the 3D model; the exhaust nozzles are from an SR-71 taken on the USS Intrepid in NYC :)
I started by creating a few quick ortho sketches, then threw these into SketchUp since it's great for fast and lightweight modeling. It really makes a difference having some overall proportions defined before starting work in 3D. Blocking out the forms was really quick!
One exercise that ended up being a lot of fun was to render out a quick image, then use it as a starting point while sketching on top. This let me iterate on details in 2D such as the panels, parting lines, and color schemes. The sketch below was created in Procreate & Sketchbook on an iPad Pro.
Of course, once the 3D is anywhere close to being done I get antsy and have to throw the model into KeyShot :) I loved the idea of naming this ship after the horned owl, which has stout but somehow aerodynamic proportions and beautiful patterns. In my mind this ship would look best flying low over snow covered hills.
This is where the despair started to set in on this project, since I'd been slowly chipping away at it for weeks/months, and wasn't anywhere close to being done. While working in SketchUp I realized that a fully detailed interior would take me easily twice as long as modeling the exterior, and that the whole model needed to be *just* a little bit bigger to accommodate a true cargo bay. The fold-out stairs ended up being the entire floor, which somewhat took away from the transport ship aspect.
Realizing that the 3D needed a lot more attention, and the 2D graphics hadn't even started, I just decided to try to make a cool image and wrap this one up. I got a nice hangar 3D model from the French monkey, set the ship in context, and rendered it out using KeyShot 7. From there it was adding details in Procreate/Sketchbook/Affinity, and I'll call this project done.
Had a lot of fun :)