Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Building a Better Ship's Engineer

I hate drawing people, but I'm working on a new illustration and needed a good ship's engineer. I'll usually just do a Google Image search and trace the best thing I find, but in this case I was getting mostly pictures of Montgomery Scott, Geordi LaForge, and Kaylee Frye. Nothing against any of these iconic ship's engineers, but I really wanted something a bit more unique and with more of a Traveller feel.

It's the long way around, but here's my process: I try to start with an image of an actual person in a pose something close to what I'm looking for. In this case I found a carpenter in a nice, natural pose. I then modify the image in Photoshop with whatever accessories help tell a better story. Boots, patches, and vests are a lazy, but effective, trope for quick sci fi costuming, so I went with that. I import the Photoshopped image into AutoCAD for easier vector tracing (SketchUp is terrible for complex 2D drawing). The AutoCAD drawing is imported into SketchUp for coloring.

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