LIFTOFF - Production Diary 03

Today we have Ian Stead talking a little about his passion for Traveller art and working for Traveller Liftoff. Enjoy!


Bit of Background,

Been a long time fan of Traveller, I first remember playing it around 1984. Last couple of years I have done some work for the Mongoose Version of Traveller and other companies who use the Traveller licence. And now I publish my own Traveller material.


I have been tasked with illustrating all the equipment, ships and vehicles in Liftoff. Something I have dreamed of is creating an image for lots of gear for an RPG. I loved how in the original 2300AD RPG by GDW all the guns and most of the gear had images, it's from this I take inspiration for how I will create the images for Liftoff. There's lots of source material and real world examples to work from, so lots of great sources to work from. I think it's good that the guns for example, take some ideas from real world examples.


My work flow is pretty straight forward, I kind of use Sketchup to 'doodle' a few ideas then export the flat 2D drawings to illustrator as vector images, which I then tweak and edit. Ultimately I can pull 3D images from the 2D images in SU (which I have done in the past)


I have a list of about 60 odd pieces of gear and vehicles. So to make it easy I started with the first one and worked from there, using the beta 1.2 rules as guidelines too. (some of the descriptions contain a wealth of useful info for me). So a fun project for me.


First group is the 4 vehicles, no problems there. I have a copy of the original DGP 101 Vehicles, from that I borrowed a few idea and skimming the net for some other ideas. I have created some of the vehicles before such as the ATV and Air/Raft, but I created new ones, that still have a few things from the classic designs. One of the ground vehicles I think I borrowed some of its style from my own Renault Meganne Scenic MPV sat outside my house.


Next up melee weapons, once again lots of source material to work from and I have handled a few melee weapons from my re-enactment days. Only one that confused me was the boarding axe, easy find on the net, a common weapon found aboard naval and pirate sailing vessels. I've kept the design pretty straight forward, I found them quite easy to do, though the curve on the cutlass was a tricky. I can be a stickler for accuracy.


Next up guns!