Greetings Dieselfunkateers!  World-Building Matty’s Rocket is an awesomely fun task.  It’s so fascinating the process of creating fictional scenarios that audiences can buy into.  In our present society, there are tons of artists out there who do exceptional concept design work. This has only grown with the advancements in digital technology. Having taught concept design for many years, I had to learn how to take old school research coupled with modern-day know how.  I developed a philosophy that worked for me. As Matty’s Rocket is an alternative past storyline, I wanted to take existing facts as a jumping off point.  So much easier with Google of course.  This starts with collecting as much information about a subject as necessary.  The effort to ground an idea in reality yet break the rules is all about blending previously uncommon elements.  After collecting reference, I create drawings to solidify the direction.  

Once i’ve done research, I then apply detail to sell the idea.  However, there are many times where I utilize what I call “Implied Detail”.  This technique is oftentimes visual noise that “implies” a deeper meaning to a concept or idea.  Think of it as a sort of digital variant of “kit bashing” for old spaceship models.  VFX technicians would build out of wood the basic shape of a design, but then add tons of detail from old toy model kits.  I essentially do the same thing with the written and visual narrative. So my reference can contain decals or even photos.In the past I would exclusively do my illustration in 2d.  However, over the last few years I create custom 3d models to refine and prototype.  Modeling is a skill I picked up during my brief, yet miserable, stint in the gaming industry.  This works great for tweaking a design to hold drama.  

Finally I combine all of my elements to create my Illustration of the US Space Force: Bubble Fighter.

Check out Matty’s Rocket:  Book One at www.dieselfunkstore.com

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