Tag Archives: the envisionist

Graphic novel concept art unveiled

Phase 1 of my graphic novel project is now online. The book will be titled: LIGHTSTREAM The Graphic Novel: Moment of Truth.

Here is the synopsis.

The year is 2159. One major, global government — New Asia — has engulfed most of Europe and North America. The government maintains tight control of the Lightstream — the evolved Internet — as well as rights and freedoms. Science has made it possible to manufacture life-like bionic persons. Known as synthetics, these bionics are found in all walks of life and can be virtually indistinguishable from humans.

In the former America, the largest city is New Hong Kong (also known as HK2). Here, the celebrity-son of a high-ranking government official is brutally attacked and left for dead. Police investigator Keiji-T, the latest in synthetic technology is assigned to the case. Under pressure from above, Keiji is given 24 hours to find the truth or to pin the crime on “the usual suspects”.  Though confident that his highly advanced programming has prepared him for the task, Keiji suddenly encounters conflicting instructions from a mysterious data implant.

In the next 24 hours Keiji, together with his human and synthetic counterparts, must unravel what is true and false in a world where it is difficult to tell what is real.

There you have it. Concept art is being showcased in several places. 1. DeviantArt, 2. The CGSociety, 3. scottdenison.com Ultra hi-res images are on DeviantArt which is set up for big files.

A few notes on design which you probably have gathered from my previous blog posts. I have another year of work on roughly 100 pages of CG but this is the look and feel that I will be working toward on every page. Since the entire graphic novel will be built in CG, that makes the scope of the project enormous. I have had to resort to starting with base stock models primarily for figures, clothing and and some background architecture. This is something I’ve wrestled with this for a long time but if I have to create everything myself the project will never be finished and most of these have been greatly customized and 90% of the environments, vehicles and props are all custom using Maya and Modo. The rendering is in Bryce. There is only minor retouching in Photoshop and the framing and typography are using Illustrator.

Comments welcome.

I’m taking Labor Day off. Hope you enjoy.

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Predicting the design future.

Are futurists really breathing rarified air? Let me explain. I believe it’s possible to be so in tune with the forces of society and technology that you can be “near-future” accurate but, let’s face it, it’s still guessing. I’m not a futurist and I’m not looking to disparage anyone who is. As a profession I’m certain that legitimate futurists are a bit like designers. We immerse ourselves in the landscape of the problem. If we’re designing a better mousetrap we are learning everything we can about every mousetrap ever built, everything we can learn about mice and the technologies and processes that may affect that objective. That’s the design problem, our challenge. In my eye, if you’re a really good designer, you’re also going to ask, “What if?” and that would include the question, “Why do you have mice?” and “What if you didn’t have to trap mice to begin with?” When you start down this road, you’re bypassing the deterministic mindset of most business, government, etc. that assumes a specific future and a limited vision of what could be. So I’m sure that good futurists, are thinking the same way. “What if?”

Looking at a recent blog from author and futurist Jack Uldrich quoting from a new book by Dan Gardner, Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, And You Can Do Better , Gardner says, “the experts who were more accurate than others tended to be much less confident that they were right.” I haven’t read the book yet but, I’m guessing that the best futurists are going to have a healthy appreciation for the unexpected, the ambush that changes everything and that means that they are never going to be “sure.”

This is sound logic for why one of the designer’s many hats needs to be that of futurist. It also supports the notion of design fiction as fertile ground for exploration, either as curriculum or practice. As with designers, the best futurists and other consultants are probably those who leave you with more than a new design, prediction, or plan; they leave you with a better way to think as you move forward. That’s a lasting contribution.

Next post: The style dilemma.

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