View Full Version : nucron - The Circus
26-06-2012, 11:58 PM
for all intents and purposes, I'm kind of new here, although not completely. I used to come to the 3dtotal forums way back in the day and often participated in the old Speed Painting Challenges which apparently no longer exist.
it's really weird that I randomly decided to come back now to see what these Concept Art Challenges are all about as one of the very last speed paints I posted to the forums was for challenge #95, and the topic was "The Circus"! oh, and not only that--I also posted that speed paint exactly three years ago to the day. you can see the original post here:
with such a strange coincidence and with me needing something to get back into digital painting, I have decided to try joining in on this challenge. looking at some of the previous challenges it seems like there is a lot of creativity and talent here and it'll be great to be a part of that.
I'll be thinking about what form my new circus concept art will take in the coming days, but for now I'll just leave a copy of my speed paint from three years ago:
16-07-2012, 04:12 AM
hello all, sorry I haven't been so active in this challenge as of yet. I had been thinking about ideas for a while so I decided it is time to start sketching.
in my old speed paint posted above I chose to go with an iconic, old-fashioned "big top" circus tent in a rural area. this is more or less the image that jumps to mind for me when I hear the word "circus." so for this challenge, I think I'm going to go in a totally different direction. right now the concept I've hit upon is a sort of near-future alternate reality type of circus, but I'm still working out exactly what that means.
to get ideas I've been thinking about circuses in a general way and one thing I started to reflect on is the role of the actual performers in the circus and their relationship with the audience. unlike the performers in other types of live shows people might encounter, most of the time people do not know who particular circus performers are. there are exceptions, of course, with some performers becoming famous enough to be known by name, but the vast majority of them are essentially anonymous and interchangeable in the eyes of the audience. even if names or stage names are given, they are scarcely remembered for very long after the show. whether they are clowns, acrobats, jugglers, or animal trainers, all of them follow the same routine: they come out into the spotlight, do their thing in front of the crowd, everybody claps, and then they leave. that is usually the extent of the interaction between audience and performer. and really that is all most people ever seem to expect.
I wanted to play with this idea of the "anonymous circus performer" and I was reminded of a sketch I did a while ago (it is the small figure in the top left of the image below) of a person wearing a costume with a round, faceless helmet-mask of some sort. this made me start thinking along the lines of circus performers not just being figuratively "faceless," but literally, as well. in this future circus I'm imagining the performers have their faces obscured and wear special costumes so as to symbolically forego their humanity to become "entertainment objects" that deliver spectacle to an audience that does not acknowledge them as individuals but rather as part of a larger tableau that is designed to amuse them. in some sense this is basically what many types of circus performers are already like, but I wanted to push this notion in a more stylized direction.
whew, sorry if that rambling didn't make any sense, but I'm just thinking out loud, here. I'm trying to take this challenge as an opportunity to really make something that feels like it is grounded in something. not sure if I'm going about it the right way, but I'm still learning.
anyway, below are some sketches I did based on the above ideas. I'm not sure if these really capture the concept, but I'll continue to work on it.
20-07-2012, 05:37 PM
21-07-2012, 06:32 AM
hey, thanks, bladnman!
I've been thinking more about the concept I'm going for and did a speed paint to get some ideas. I think somewhere along the way while making this painting I sort of lost the general idea of what I was trying to do and it didn't really end up going anywhere. however, it does show some ideas I had such as having the circus be in an outdoor space. at the moment, though, the setup depicted here is maybe a little mundane, so in future sketches I'll be working on a different way of staging this circus.
23-07-2012, 11:09 AM
I prefer the last one, lively mood with the dancers/acobats.
You could rapidly integrate the marquee from first painting on top left of it, and the sky, because there's nice colors already there.
Keep it up!
28-07-2012, 11:55 AM
thanks, washka. I agree with you about adding more of a lively mood with some more of the acrobatic stuff and nicer colors and so on.
right now the problem I'm dealing with is that I'm sketching little bits and pieces of a larger set of ideas I have. I want to make something that feels really grand in scale and has a full environment and circus performers with costumes and so forth, but I'm still working on how to capture it all in a single concept piece.
anyway, here's another set of speed paints I did. it's an attempt to incorporate a bit more "verticality" and an urban feel to the circus.
I realize I'm running really close to the deadline, here. hopefully this weekend I'll find the time needed to crank something out.
29-07-2012, 11:14 PM
hey, thought I'd show one last update before my final entry. here is my "construction layout" design and a WIP shot of my final piece. I'm still putting my finishing touches on the final piece, but I thought I needed at least one WIP, here, even though I'm trying to do it very quickly.
the idea here is sort of an architectural concept for a circus that "floats" in mid-air in the midst of a sort of multi-story shopping arcade or something. basically people will be passively walking around the space as the circus continuously goes on in the background. the metal cage structure allows for elaborate wire systems and rotating platforms to keep the performers high up in the air for all to see. anyway, the deadline is coming soon, so I have to get back to work!
31-07-2012, 02:54 PM
for the sake of continuity, I'm putting my final work as I submitted it in this thread. I made it smaller here than I did in the final entry thread (http://forums.3dtotal.com/showthread.php?t=110589) to make it a bit easier to see in the browser.
I was definitely rushing to finish it before the deadline, so it is obviously not completely polished. however, I think it more or less gets the concept across.
anyway, it was interesting taking part in this challenge and evolving a concept from the initial seed of an idea to a (sort of) finished conceptual illustration. thank you to everyone that provided feedback and support. cheers.
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