Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Superman "Flyby" - The ROUSER.

The highlight of the project was Superman's cousin Kata-Zor's giant battle mech. The film climaxed with an epic battle between Superman and this Kryptonian battle pod. Despite the numerous logic bombs in the conception of the sequence, it still would have been a cool scene to watch!

These were some early concepts that were rightfully rejected as too "chicken-like," but I enjoyed envisioning some alternative weapon configurations. 

This was the final design. The Rouser needed to start out as a flying battle pod before the legs folded down for walking mode.

Two versions of the interior. Production designer Owen Patterson wanted to represent Kryptonian technology as a backlit glowing green energy. The Mech would be controlled by a motion control scanner that would translate the pilots motions into movement.

When it was considered that the vfx and wirework required for the zero-G gyroscope would be too expensive for every shot, I had to come up with an alternative design that could be achieved practically. 

I've posted this before, but here is the climactic battle. Once again, I wish I could have used a more dramatic angle, but the production designer wanted a clear sense of scale between Superman and the Rouser.

The battle ends when Superman flies circumnavigates the globe before the Rouser can turn around, building up enough momentum to fly through the battle pod. 

Boy did I get a lot of mileage out of that one sketch, huh? Anyway, an interesting project that never saw the light of day.

Superman "Flyby" - Kata-Zor Pod

In J.J. Abrams' script, Superman's Uncle Ty-Zor sent his soldiers to Earth from Krypton to hunt him down. This would have been one of the pods his soldiers arrived in. 

Early Concepts:

Final design:

Cockpit interior: 

Next up, the ROUSER... 

Superman "Flyby" - Kal El Pod

By request, I'm pulling out some oldies but goodies. Just realizing looking at the dates on this work that I'm in the middle of the 10th anniversary of this project! Holy crap time flies. 
This is work I did for Brett Ratner & J.J. Abrams' version of Superman. I was brought on when Owen Patterson brought in a new art department after the previous production led by Arthur Max went down. So ultimately I was tasked with designing the vehicles, taking over where my friend Harald Belker left off. 

The first job was to design the pod that baby Kal-El crash lands at the Kent Farm with (and flies back to Krypton in at the end... you'd have to read the script.) 

We are, of course, time-traveling back to the days of pencil sketches and marker renderings, so bear with me :). 

This one was my favorite version. I like the engine concept. Going to have to use that on something else. 
This was the design that Owen Patterson finally approved. He was looking for something as simple as possible, with no visible external signs of technology. Like a chrome teardrop. Of course, "Flight of the Navigator" was never mentioned. Ever.

The challenge with this one of course was to come up with an interior concept that would accommodate both a baby and fully grown Kryptonian. So I came up with a baby seat. Krypton style. 

 This is how the script envisioned the crash site. Ma and Pa Kent would have been pretty startled in the middle of their breakfast!
Next up, Superman's evil cousin gets a pod too... Dum dum DUUUUM!!!