A Year's Work
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A Year's Work

Eelyn Tan
by xanaxandcheese on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hi! I'm Eelyn, a recent graduate of 3dsense Media School. Here's a selection of works I've done in the past year!

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Sky & Sand Chronicles takes place in a vast desert world where water is a precious resource fought over by everyone.

This started off as a character design assignment where we were to design two characters, both set in the same world, but belonging to different factions.

I thought it would be interesting to differentiate the two factions not just by color schemes and silhouette shapes, but also by their respective technological advancement levels, ie. an advanced "steampunky" faction vs a poorer nomadic (but magical!) faction.

The trope of "water wars" is pretty well-trodden in fiction, and is becoming increasingly topical nowadays to boot. It was thus fun (and cathartic) to explore my own take on this theme in my Zbrush and environment design assignments.

The concept: Giant desert beetles as mounts for another tribe of people moving through the desert in search of water.

Above: Thumbnail explorations & props designs. Below: 3d blockout test renders.

Inevitably, conflict occurs: "They came for the water".

Loosely set in medieval Japan, both characters in this project draw inspiration from mythical creatures in Japanese mythology, namely the kirin and phoenix. 

Below: Prop designs for the child priestess.

Looking back, I could have pushed these designs a lot more; as it stands, they look an awful lot like facsimiles of real world objects. Perhaps secret compartments, personal effects, or more exaggerated design elements would have helped to sell the story of a "kirin child priestess" better?

Illustration: A day in the life of a Kirin child priestess.

This project began as a reimagining of Glinda's palace from the Wizard of Oz. As Glinda is said to ride on a flying chariot pulled by cranes in the original books, I came up with a palace that would have facilitated such a mode of transport, being suspended in the air!

Glinda's design is heavily inspired by that of her palace: I tried to mimic the top heavy silhouette of the palace, and incorporated the radiating cloth motif into her hair and headdress.

Illustration: Glinda and her handmaidens meets Dorothy and Toto.

Eternal Skies is made up of work I completed for our concept design and functionality module. Instead of designing from the outside-in, like I did for the previous assignments (e.g. with silhouette sketches), we were implored to design with functionality as the prime consideration, with aesthetics being secondary.

For this assignment, we were tasked with designing a steampunk-era airship. To make things a little more interesting, I decided to situate my design in the Mongolian steppes.

The concept: A low altitude airship that coasts over the flat steppes from town to town, selling camels and their byproducts at each stop. It lands during the day to allow the camels to graze. As the engines are fueled by camel dung, and water collected passively from rainwater and dew, the airship functions as a self-sustaining ecosystem.

I found it pretty hard to visualize the scale of the airship, and the relationship of the airship to its crew and the world it was set in. How was it used by its crew, when it was essentially a large floating building? I decided to explore this in an illustration depicting a typical day at a town market, where the ship becomes a part of the townscape.

Creature Design : Fleshy Lumpkin

Our only prompt for this assignment was to make our creature look as fascinating as possible, yet still believable. I took the opportunity to explore as many variations of silhouettes and external designs as I could, all whilst watching nature documentaries.

Death & the Maiden : Character Illustration

I struggled a lot with getting a satisfactory pose for this illustration, mostly because I failed to take into account gesture and storytelling in my planning stages. Instead, I jumped too early to setting a pose in 3D, and ended up having to redraw everything later anyway!

The end result is still rather unconvincing as an action scene, unfortunately.

Thank you for taking the time to look through my works! Hopefully the next year will prove as fruitful as the past year has been :)


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