Hey guys! My name is Marnix Rekkers and I’m a 3D/concept Artist at Impeller studios. I have been working on this project for just 10 weeks now, and recently I’ve been working on:
1. Gongheguo Si Chi Ying-class Space Superiority Fighter
2. Strider-class Mining Ship (Armed)
Today I’d like to discuss the Si Chi Ying (Four-Winged Eagle). It’s a very unique design created by Zach El-Hajj, who does the engineering design of all our ships. As with all game assets, a lot of time is spent concepting in close consultation with Zach and David Wessman, our Lead Designer, and Charlie McPharis, our Lead Artist.
The starting point is always with a technical sketch by Zach.
This was transformed by me into this:
Component Schematic & Exploded View
Zach also produces a detailed schematic showing the layout and structure of the internal components so the artists have a better understanding of how the ship is engineered.
3D Sketches & Block Out
I usually start my concept development by blocking out the base idea I have on how the ship is going to look, starting off with the size and design/style behind it. I experiment with various ideas and we discuss what will work best.
After the blockout and some back and forth between me, Charlie, Zach and David, I start working on the main hull of the ship.
Cascade Vane Thruster
For propulsion Zach designed the ship with cascade vane thrusters. These are really interesting in that they can produce thrust in almost any direction. This is due to the closeable shutters at the end of the GCNR engines. These act like the thrust reversers on modern jet engines, but can direct it to a much greater extent.
I don’t have access to the right simulation software, but I was able to use an aerodynamic flow tool to simulate the stresses that would affect the space frame when under thrust.
Once the final concept has been reviewed and approved by the leads, it can be sent on to the next step: building a game-ready asset!
Here are two views of the ship to show how the engines deploy for maximum maneuverability. On the right is what it looks like when the engines are tucked in against the hull, and on the left is what it looks like when the engines are deployed.
Work in Progress
My current assignment is to create a new concept for the Strider-class Mining Ship. In the backstory of the Starfighter Inc universe, it wasn’t designed as a warship, but it has really powerful lasers for asteroid mining, and the independent miners of the belt have learned the need for extra protection and deterrence, so their ships are actually quite formidable!
About Marnix Rekkers, 3D Artist
I have always been a big fan of science fiction and space travel. What started as drawing turned into designing my own starships and vehicles. From completely insane to incredible realistic designs I started to focus on not just drawing them and started experimenting with 3D graphic tools. When I finally learned how to use those tools and Photoshop my career as a science fiction concept artist took off (with a rocky start of course).
Trying to improve my works and portfolio I applied at the NHTV School for visual development for video games, and I finished a few realistic designs of space stations which got the attention of David Wessman, the lead designer at Impeller Studios and lecturer in game design and development at NHTV. He saw my work on Facebook and asked me if I would be interested in working with Impeller Studios on a realistic space combat game. Of course I said yes and I was brought on to the project!