Illustrating Redemption of the Daleks
For a few years now, I have been interested, on an amateur basis, in digital imaging and computer animation, and in specific, doing these with DALEKS! The interweb gave me a sort-of output for these images, steadily building up an online collection, which is still going strong at http://daleks.adambullock.com/ In 2005, I came to Aberystwyth to study art, and in my spare time have continued to work on-and -off on various 3-d modelling and rendering projects. It was in the spring of 2006 that Alan MacKenzie contacted me having visited my website, telling me about this story and wondering if I would be interested in doing some illustrations to accompany it. Initially I envisaged providing an illustration per chapter, but there were so many great visual ideas in the end we've got 2 or 3 per chapter!
Each illustration starts life with a quick thumbnail sketch on a piece of paper, my artistic training thinking about composition et cetera. From this I can make a mental note of how to source each element, which generally is in one of 3 ways, a computer generated model (e.g. the Daleks and their city) a TV series publicity photo (e.g. Sylvester McCoy's face) or a stock photo from my personal collection (e.g. any landscapes).
In this example...
Every element starts life as a separate wireframe object. These are then added together in a scene and rendered.
The basic scene is rendered from a 3-d model
The Prioca is already rendered from a previous illustration, so I'll paste that back in in Photoshop to save time - rendering (I.e. the computer calculating the position of shadows and textures) takes a long time! Especially on a worn out old machine like mine...
Some motion blur hides some slightly naff textures, and a bit of photographic detail enhances the horizon, the Prioca is added and the laser effect is painted on in Photoshop. The whole image has some re-grading and levels adjustment to improve the look of it.
Several of the 3-D models recur throughout the story, such as the modified Daleks and their hardware. As you might guess, I went back to my Imperial Dalek model and ,made alterations to a copy of that. The Daleks' fliers and spaceships re-use the panelling decoration from the Remembrance shuttle craft. Their general aesthetic is a combination of the 1960s comic strip designs and the chunkier designs of Remembrance, to help visually tie together continuity between the different eras of Dalek history.
Hopefully, you will find I have done Alan's story justice. Interpreting his ideas was always challenging but always fun, and whilst a learning experience for me as an artist hopefully others will find the illustrations bring a new dimension to the presentation of the story.