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Retropolis
652 165 28K (1 Today)
By BWS   |   Watch
Published: December 31, 2004
© 2004 - 2019 BWS
"Retropolis" is the name I've given to my Future That Never Was, and now it's also the name of this wild, movie poster-style montage of the places and people that fill that world. It pulls together a lot of elements I've been working with over the past year - in fact, I think I started the city itself about three and a half years ago - into one big joyful conglomeration of retro-futuristic enthusiasm. I'm pretty crazy about it, as maybe you can tell.

This is a city so big it has weather. Like in weather patterns. Don't mistake the fog and clouds for pollution, since that's not a problem here; the City Of The Future used to always be about transportation of a sleek, modern and desirable kind. This is no exception, with its thundering monorail and its high-flying, lighter-than-air airships - but it's not all public transportation either, since we were promised flying cars. Here we finally have them in the form of open cockpit roadster rockets that burst right out of the heart of the picture.

Arranged around the central image of the city are several of the folks you might meet there. For no reason I can explain, I've named the male characters after British band leaders of the 20's and 30's. We've got Nat Gonella, Henry Hall, and Lew Stone, and in her own vein there's their friend Aelectro Monica, along with Rusty, the original Faithful Robot Companion.

For those of us on my side of the water there's a nod to the Gershwins, too.

As always in these images I've combined elements of 3D rendering with 2D painted work, done afterwards in Photoshop. I sort of pulled out all the stops on this one - due to the demands of my Day Job I don't get nearly enough time during the year to do these, and I think I had a lot of something or other bottled up that just plain had to get out. It looks to me like most of it managed to.
Image size
567x850px 424.39 KB
Comments165
anonymous's avatar
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Zaxwede's avatar
Maybe it should be : "The Future That Never Became".
LXXT's avatar
LXXTProfessional Photographer
great!!!
portisHeart's avatar
portisHeartHobbyist Digital Artist
magnificient! excellent! i hope W Gibson follows your work and has had the pleasure of enjoying this city and its stories! i think between you & him, you sure spent some time in the same continuum.. :)
Laharl234's avatar
Laharl234Hobbyist Writer
Not sure if this classes as atompunk or dieselpunk.
BWS's avatar
BWSProfessional Digital Artist
And I'm pretty sure that those labels don't matter.
Laharl234's avatar
Laharl234Hobbyist Writer
They do to me.
picturistic's avatar
i have watched your work from a distance for years now, and i have to say your work is beyond excellent and this is the one image that has always captured my heart, low key, gorgeous, glossy, just all around perfect work
Medallion2012's avatar
Medallion2012Hobbyist Digital Artist
I totally want to live there!!! Amazing!!
Pyrox626's avatar
Reminds me of bioshock...FUCKING EPIC!!! :D
DouglasHumphries's avatar
..great idea and execution !
j0sh-3000's avatar
j0sh-3000Professional Digital Artist
positively stellar work.
1in0's avatar
Suggestion: Change:

Retropolis: The Future that WAS!

PLEASE!! PLEASE!! PLEASE!! :)
docmagnus's avatar
docmagnusHobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay; I'll start up the time-machine. 1923 sound about right to you?
SheTheTDE's avatar
SheTheTDEHobbyist General Artist
Interested in actualy getting someone to animate a movie about this?
ryttu3k's avatar
ryttu3kHobbyist General Artist
That's amazing! I adore retro future stuff, and this is just gorgeous. Favourited!
whynotstanley's avatar
whynotstanleyProfessional Artist
OK... this is a killer illustration... I have a monster collection of old sci-fi... and the future just ain't gonna happen like anyone saw it... but your image embodies the best of all the optimistic visions... I find it a little sad when compared to the future that seems more likely.

Still... your image is wonderful!
mchenry's avatar
Great work of art.

I like the "Future of the Past"-Style.
Lithium-Polygon's avatar
Lithium-PolygonStudent Digital Artist
OMG THATS AMAZING! did you make EVERY model!?
Figgs's avatar
Awesome... I do the same type of thing... just more cartoony...
mouchefska's avatar
mouchefskaStudent Interface Designer
this is absolutely spectacular. reminds me of the futuristic movies from the fifties.
ChazKemp's avatar
ChazKempProfessional Digital Artist
Completely fantastic & very inspirational. your world ROCKS!! This is going into my favs right now & I may have to buy a print - like right flippin' NOW!! lol. Thanks SO much for sharing.
the-dumb-waiter's avatar
the-dumb-waiterProfessional Digital Artist
thats cool
dreamingwolf-designs's avatar
dreamingwolf-designsHobbyist General Artist
Your style is beautiful, so refined and delicate and full of detail. I've fallen in love with your gallery (both the Retropolis and celtic work equally). Keep up the amazing work. :) :+fav: :+devwatch:
MindTuber's avatar
MindTuberProfessional Digital Artist
amazing
anonymous's avatar
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