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Concept Design and Art Direction
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2 min read

Welcome to the 6th official Megastructure Book Project Update, a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures!

So first off, the rough layout of the book is complete. More work still needs to be done, the text of the book is getting edited right now, and so some adjustment will need to be made once we have the final text. An image or two will need some finessing to fit the format. Some extra background graphics need to be added. But overall, all the bones of the layout are complete.

On a technical note, most books are laid out in Adobe InDesign, but since Adobe software is now rental only, and I don't use rental only software, I got a copy of Affinity Publisher for a one time purchase price of $50, and found it just as powerful as InDesign ever was. Thanks Affinity for charging a fair one time price!

Second big news is book proposals for the project have now been sent off to all the publishers I wanted to contact. Will spend the next several months in talks with various publishers to see if any of them are the right home for the project. If we find a good match, awesome. If not, the next step will be the Kickstarter to preorder, followed swiftly by printing and shipping. Will let you know how it goes.

That's it for now, hope to provide more updates soon. I am super stoked to get the project finished and into your waiting hands. Megastructures started in 2014, and so in the context of the whole project, we're in the home stretch now!

And thanks again for continuing to follow along!

- Neil

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2 min read

Welcome to the 5th official Megastructure Book Project Update, a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures!

I just received the final 2 images for the Megastructrure project from one of our guest artists. So that's it. All images for the book have been finished! That's a total of 46 paintings, 43 diagrams, and 7 bonus images! A big thanks to the guest artists for adding their own unique vision to the other artwork in the book. It's possible an image or two may be added or lost in the final layout process, but I'm declaring this 100% image complete, we have all we need to make this book happen!

So the next step is completing the rough layout, which is likely to be finished in the next few weeks, and the completion of the book proposal which is being sent to a number of major publishers.

Will post another update when the book is laid out, and then keep you updated on how the publisher search is going. If no suitable publisher is found, we'll kickstart the printing just like we did with the last book, it worked last time, so it'll work again. But I'm hopeful we'll find a good publisher who believes in the project and will allow us to reach a wider audience. Will let you know how it goes. And thanks again for continuing to follow along!

- Neil

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3 min read

What a mess of a year! I'm sure I don't have to tell you what a crazy year this has been, we've all experienced it ourselves, and did our best to weather its uncertainty, it's troubles, and even a few of you likely had to battle the virus in person. But it's time for the yearly round up of soulburn art, and 2020 isn't gonna stop me from doing it, so here goes.

In a week I will have been working at Monolith for 2 years as a staff concept artist. We were the lucky ones, the videogame industry is still going strong since so many customers had to stay indoors, many friends in the live action portion of the film industry had a much more difficult year (not to mention all of the front line workers, essential workers, etc), looking forward to everyone moving in the right direction again in 2021. As for our new game, I'm currently on concept piece #633, still awhile before we can show what we've been working on, but leave it to say I have a lot of new artwork to choose from when it comes time to share. Really proud of the entire Monolith team, this game is gonna be crazy cool!

The main focus this year for me in my side hussle was the Megastructures book. We're about a week away from all the artwork for the book being completed (will do a separate post on that when it is). While a lot of work, really really happy with how the book is going so far, and I think you will be too. And thanks to the awesome guest artists who helped out!

Then 2020 saw the release of V1 Interactive's "Disintegration" videogame, and the release of a bunch of concept art I made for the game. Did my 4th Inktober. Posted a whole bunch of new video tutorials to my youtube channel. No comicons this year for obvious reasons, hope to see that change next year.

So for 2021, I'll be continuing to work on the Monolith game (and may even return to the office mid year after 1.5 years working from home), and the main work on the Megastructures book will be done, and we can focus on publishing, either with a major publisher or kickstarting a self published book.

To everyone who has been following my work this year, thanks you so much for being a part of this journey. May the coming of the vaccine allow us all to focus again on connecting with each other in person. We are social creatures, and this year has made that very hard. So may next year be a renaissance of parties, concerts, and human connection. And may everyone who has been affected by 2020 (whether its sickness, losing a loved one, losing their job) get back on track in 2021!

2020 Top9
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1 min read

Welcome to the 4th official Megastructure Book Project Update, a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures!

I just passed a major personal milestone on the project, and completed my very last painting for the book! My 32nd painting is done, the Standford Torus, which I had left for last since it was going to be one of the most difficult.

So all the art is done then? Not quite, but we're close. As I mentioned earlier, I have a team of guest artists who are contributing a number of pieces of artwork to the book. All of them are working hard to get those last images done. So we currently stand at 91% art complete, and we're still on track to get all the artwork done by Christmas. Over the next 2 months I will polish the text in the book while I wait for those final images, and then the second rough layout starts in January.

So more progress is being made! Thanks again for following along, next update should be to announce all the artwork is done.

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2 min read

Welcome to the third official Megastructure Book Project Update! For those new to the project, Megastructures will be a visual encyclopedia of scifi megastructures, everything from orbiting space habitats to solar system spanning stellar engineering projects. Dyson Spheres, Ringworlds, O'Neill Cylinders, etc. Each structure will include a scientific explanation, followed by paintings and diagrams that bring the concept to life.

Since our last update 6 months ago, we have completed another 20% of the artwork, for a total of 81% artwork complete. I think we're still on task to finish all the artwork by end of 2020, with 2021 focused on layout and publishing.

Some of the latest images we've finished include the Birch Planet, Launch Loop, Worldhouse Roof, Undersea Habitat, Movable City, Seastead, Cloud City, and Dyson Sphere. I have 2 more paintings to complete myself, and our roster of guest artists have 7 paintings to complete, and then the artwork is done.

One of the steps of making a book is the "Rough Layout", where we put together a rough copy of the book to make sure we have all the art we need. The final book will be laid out by a professional, and will be fancier, may have a slightly different aspect ratio (currently slated to be a vertical format with a 2 page spread minimum for each structure), have background, etc. But I decided to include a 2 page spread from the layout rough just to give you some idea on the general format: Painting (or in some cases, 2 or 3), Diagram, and text for all 40 Megastructures. Expect it to really sing once the real layout and graphic design pass happens!

Thanks again for following along, will continue to provide updates as we go!

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Megastructures Update #2 Feb 2020 by ArtOfSoulburn, journal

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