Friday, February 25, 2011

Inner geek ramblings

A few weeks ago my inner geek totally freaked out when Florian showed me this new Battlestar Galactica paraphernalia: QMx' official map of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol! This is soooo awesome, but if you've never heard of BSG or Kobol, or Cylons, raptors and vipers, here's the how and why on this particular piece of awesomeness:

At the start of the reimagined TV-series, humanity populates a collection of worlds named the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. Then the Cylons – robots created by humanity who later rebelled and fled – return and nuke every planet, forcing the remaining survivors to take to the stars, searching for a new home (the fabled planet Earth), guided by the warship Galactica.

Now, we didn't get to see much of the Twelve worlds themselves, so naturally – as sci-fi geeks do naturally – there was some debate on how a solarsystem with twelve habitable worlds could be even remotely possible. The short-lived spin-off series Caprica didn't deliver us many answers either, only showing the titular world orbiting so close to Gemenon, you could see both worlds at the same time from orbit.

For comparison: Venus, our closest neighbouring planet, only appears as a small dot in the sky. So what the frak were the creators of the series trying to tell us? This is a question that keeps geeks awake at night, I kid you not.

With the above mentioned map QMx delivers us from our doubts, but raised a new question in my once-again-restless inner geek. Caprica and Gemenon apparently orbit each other, but whats going on with Aerilon, Hestia and Canceron? Three planets sharing the same orbit? Sure, this is sci-fi, but really?

The designers made us of a scientific phenomenon known as Lagrange points. A little explanation from the NewScientist website:

"When one body (such as a planet) orbits a much more massive body (a star), there are two Lagrange points along the planet's orbit where a third body can orbit stably. These lie 60 degrees ahead of and 60 degrees behind the smaller object."

Our own solarsystem has an example of this in the shape of the Trojans asteroid groups, which lie at Jupiter's Langrange points.

And a few days ago news broke that the planet-hunting Kepler telescope has observed a rather interesting system, dubbed KOI(short for Kepler Object of Interest)-730. Out of the four planets observed, two seem to be sharing the same orbit, cirling their parent star "every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other". In other words, one of the planets is fixed at the other's Lagrange point! How nifty is that?

So, with science catching up with sci-fi once again (compare the Star Trek communicators with modern day cellphones for example), any chance we could have our first alien encounters any time soon?

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Eureka moment

Quick note to self:

getting up earlier in the morning = enjoying longer periods of daylight = better matching colors in work = happy face!

(Two more sketches after the jump)

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dead Island

Wow, this one made me stop for a sec. The trailer for the upcoming game Dead Island just came out and it's... beautiful. Which is unexpected considering the game is about zombies taking over a holiday retreat and you get to be a lone survivor amidst a horde of bloodthirsty corpses.

One would expect raging guitars to blast out of the speakers and copious amounts of digital blood to squirt across your screen (though, that last bit does happen), but instead we get treated to a much more emotional non-linear approach, akin to a certain Coldplay music video.

If this doesn't do anything for you, you're probably a zombie already.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First new steps

Once every while you have these talks that just get your head unstuck, rebooted and back in the game. Yesterday I had one of those conversations with fellow pencil-lover Sabine ten Lohuis, who has lately been very busy – and successful – in getting her blog up and running. We talked about the advantages of the internet and what it can mean to one's exposure – God knows us creative freelancers need some of that.

However, in order to get noticed, gain followers and – more importantly – keep them coming back to your blog, you'd better have some interesting stuff to show. And that's where I get a bit hesitant.

Though I have piles and piles of doodles, sketches and unfinished drawings lying around (you should know I take my sketchbook in bed with me), I have a hard time deciding which ones to share on the web. In my opinion, most are just to fugly to show anyone without hurting my public image. And since I don't go out much, that image is pretty much all that stands between me and a lonely corner of the dance floor.

Then again, as Sabine reminded me, sketches are works in progress. Snapshots of a search for the right shapes, compositions, materials. So it's okay for them to look lousy, uncontrolled, failed. Personally I love scouting the web for concept art from films and sketches from artists – especially the ones that look so different from the end result. Those give the final pieces so much more context and history.

So... Practice what you preach, I guess?

I hereby pledge to update my blog on a regular basis and include in these posts not just the finished works, but also a myriad of doodles, sketches, ideas, unfinished drawings and failed experiments. There, I said it.

Oh, and by the way – as you may have noticed – I'm going to be posting in English from this point forward. I know there's a handful of non-Dutchies out there who are interested in my ramblings. You know who you are!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Mensen en alles

(klik voor een groter beeld)

Net zoals een aantal andere striptekenaars begin ik het kader eerder een beperking dan een hulpmiddel te vinden. Weg ermee dus!

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