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Access Granted

By VulnePro
114 Favourites
This is the first time I've ever posted this character in any capacity on the web so here's his debut in this image art scene.

This character is one of the first sendai designs ever created for what eventually became Theos Ke Polemos and Theos Ke Basilea. I designed this little fella, along with a great deal of design ideas by my friend and early co-creator Steve Loveland, way back in 1990 (I kid not). The original design was somewhat different but hasn't changed much since.

The character is named Gumbinnen "Gumbee" Sems. He's a Phoenix Myrmidon telepathic defense system or taedus for short. Taedai are essentially combat effective sendai used in military, law enforcement, and private investigations. Gumbee is of the later, a P.I. He's the partner of Heath Wuthering [link] and they are both members of the Inter-Bloc Private Investigations Organization (I.P.I.O.), based on Indus. They live in the political bloc of Genuaä.

Taedi are a necessity when dealing with potentially violent sendai in law enforcement work. The taedus unit has a use bond contract with it's human user (partner) and is an extension of the human user in gathering intel, data, etc. What it sees the human sees, depending on the degree of use flow between the two. Ultimately the taedus unit is what keeps their human partners alive when confronting other deadly sendai.

Both Heath and Gumbinnen have achieved a near legendary status as one of the most efficient and skilled taedus use partnerships working on Indus currently. Their both highly respected by their peers and quite feared by the criminal element. Living in Genuaä, a rather progressive political bloc with sendai rights, Heath and Gumbee are more like old friends than a formal partnership. Heath values Gumbee's wisdom and comradeship.

In the scene here Gumbee is disabling (frying out) a keypad lock on a financial institution on Indus. Once the door is opened he'll likely send a backpack drone to investigate first (often done when there are places he can't get to himself, small passages, narrow doors, etc).

I've been pretty busy working on new stuffs so expect more to come ;)

Pencil BG illustration painted in Photoshop CS3 and Painter X. Gumbee is digitally inked and colored in CS3. The illustration is an updated re-draw of a scene from an old uncompleted comic featuring some of these characters.
Image size
900x655px 432.67 KB
© 2009 - 2021 VulnePro
anonymous's avatar
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l33tn3rdz's avatar
Here is actually something I created that was inspired by this and the discussion we had. I created this as sort of a solution to this type of infiltration. [link]
l33tn3rdz's avatar
Frying the system will only jam the door locks in the current position. So now the door is permanently sealed!

Should have used a keypad decryptor.
VulnePro's avatar
While this is a good point and observation who said the keypad lock controls the entire door or how it functions? The notion is it's simply a clamp lock that can be opened by frying it out the clamp and then the door can still be opened (this is not cyberpunk land, not all of the tech is mad sophisticated). Granted this doesn't mean it's a good lock but that's the fun of it being a more visual gag here. He actually would, more often than not, directly pick the lock/key code without the zappy arc but I wanted to do something more visual (being a single frame here) and that's what I did with the notion the door has a crap lock on it.

Still good observation none the less. Thanks for dropping by :)
l33tn3rdz's avatar
Well considering the fact that the building design suggested that this was a cyberpunk setting, I figured that this was a fully electronic security door with the polymorphic mutating crypto lock that is almost impossible to crack.

But still I know what you are trying to do here, however one disadvantage to frying the door lock regardless of the technology is that there is now a blatantly obvious security breach (fried door lock impossible to miss).

So if this was a covert op then this is a FAIL because the moment someone comes down to look; BUSTED!

But like you said in the description he has other things to hopefully tackle any other security systems behind it.

Personally my places due to the technology and security I use, this thing and its partner would be down for the count before even getting very far into the building.

I can list some of the many systems I use.
VulnePro's avatar
Though I dig cyberpunk myself, nope this isn't a cyberpunk setting or kind of story. Sure it has some tenuous elements but overall it's a different animal.

I wouldn't say there's really any kind of building type that suggests cyberpunk but atmosphere and lighting can to a degree so I can understand how you might think this is such a project. No net cowboy action here. The setting is more a mix of retro futurism and maybe a bit closer to steampunk though it's not really that either. If anything this is very much classic film noir in spirit.

It's not a covert op, he's more or less something like a P.I. (that is often contracted by police) that's simply getting through a low security door the fast and brutish way in order to cut off and flank some suspects he was chasing, there's nothing crazy behind the door but sending in a drone is standard to scope it out. The setting is an architectural maze so it's a situation of cutting a straight line to the objective.

This was taken from an old abandoned comic project so that's the basic idea. Just an image art illo for pitch materials now.

Wervolvhead's avatar
Good work!This little details and things are good chosen..looks like a work place for someone beacause of this posters on the left.
Usagisama's avatar
Heh, he makes his own access! :D Awesome image btw :+favlove:
VulnePro's avatar
Aye, that he does :D My thanks and glad you dig it! I have some interesting stuff planned so there will be more to be posted :D
BiagioDAlessandro's avatar
absolutly impressive! i love your line e color!
VulnePro's avatar
Thank you :) You have some pretty cool city scenes and paintings yourself. Thanks for dropping by!
BiagioDAlessandro's avatar
no problem my friend:)
paranthropus's avatar
Cool lighting and colors as always. The character pose is a bit hard to read. Maybe if the weapon were pointed down, 180 degrees? This would help to focus on your center of interest, which is the action around the keypad.
VulnePro's avatar
My thanks Tom.

This is actually a pimped out redraw of a frame from a comic I did in 1993 as I always liked the basic shot. I had considered more alterations of the pose but in the end kept it pretty close to the original as it looked good with the little character here because he is an unorthodox shape and design.

I can only assume you're referring to the rifle, regarding the weapon, and not the sensor arm zapping the door? It made more sense to me, and still does, to have the weapon pointed up as A. it keeps the character, and weapon, fully in frame and B. it's a typical police position to keep your weapon pointed up until you're ready to actually fire or are in danger of fire. Also the weapon and the left arm are in opposing directions creating an L shape to the machine, and the weapon is aligned with the wings on the body and the railing on the stairs which I did intentionally to make the crouch more interesting and keep much of the body visible rather than obscured.

If you meant the sensor arm that has to be pointing at the door for obvious reasons and actually it was originally plugged into the keypad picking the lock. I changed it when I shrunk the character because he was too big so it no longer lined up. Simple solution, just zap the damn door. A less subtle way of opening the lock but effective. So that worked to convey the same action :)

All said, there certainly could have been other ways to do it (always is) but it seems pretty obvious he is crouching while zapping a keypad on a door and has the weapon in a safe position. I was happy with how it turned out overall but I'm always working to improve things as I go so I take all of this into account ;) Again thanks for dropping in.
paranthropus's avatar
My initial impression - and initial impressions count for a LOT in visual art - was that this character was very hard to read. Because it is basically the shape sea urchin with spines poking off in all directions, it is a particular challenge to find the gesture. Clearly you have a gesture in mind: it is sneaking, it is trying to "pick a lock". There is more than enough to inspire a clear character pose.

I had meant to say that the rifle presents a challenge here. You are right, having the weapon raised makes logical sense. If you give priority to logic (I do not - in visual art if it LOOKS right it IS right), you would still have to find an arm position which reinforces the gesture rather than competes with it. Since we are able to use depth as an element, thanks to the strong perspective cues which you have established, I suggest angling the arm in such a way that the rifle is foreshortened, elbow stuck out back, hand angled outward and barrel out front above the head.

Another question: where is the left knee?
VulnePro's avatar
Again you raise solid points and in return I want to be clear my response wasn't intended to imply I feel it's perfect, just effective enough to convey the information (and sure the weapon position was more based on procedural logic). Overall it comes off as intended and it seems everyone is getting that on first glance with little problem (again not to imply it's beyond criticism). Actually, the real error (least for me) is one one now see on the left leg, it's a cheat and is pushed up more so than it should be. The knee armor should poke out more than it does.

I always intended to do some re-design tweaks on this little character so what's here really IS the old illo from 93 with only some minor alterations. I felt it came off enough, even with the imperfections, to try to do a new version of the shot so I kept it pretty much as it appeared in the old comic illo (I suppose that actually was some nostalgia working in me not to change it). Ultimately it was a don't sweat the small stuff call in my eyes as I want to simply be producing and moving along. What's great, again, with digital is he's all on his own layers so I might just plunk the new version in there when I have it ready and being I don't draw as I did back then, yes, it would be done quite differently. I always keep an un-flattened PSD so I can revisit for improvements if need be.

For now, I consider this version done but the version of the character is not how he will end up when I do my final pass on that design. As you note there's always a challenge in doing something more unusual as this is. My focus on redesigning the character is to retain much of what I feel is unique about the old design and inject a stronger more workable visual silhouette with the new one.

Though not always I'm often aware of things I want to fix and improve. I never was, nor will be, afraid of trying something risky or unorthodox with these things and I always think it through. I'm not looking to simply be weird for the sake of it but the unusual is often exciting to explore. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail though. In the end it's a process of trial and error so I always try to keep all the comments in mind as I tackle the next piece.

Thanks as always Tom :)
cirqueducloud's avatar
Gah! You put so much thought and effort into your work that its almost painful just to see your posts. XD haha
VulnePro's avatar
My thanks :) It's just a lot of love and a lot of fun. I feel the efforts are worth it if you guys are entertained and inspired.
sevenofeleven's avatar
Great job with this.
VulnePro's avatar
Nidaram's avatar
About time! :D

It looks great, Mike. The electrical arc really completes it.
VulnePro's avatar
Aye, delayed it longer than planned @_@

Thanks Nick, glad you dig it :D It did turn out as I wanted it to. As I said before more stuff is baking and soon to come so we'll have more scenes to potentially work on in the future.
X-A-N-A's avatar
It's so Fallout 3!
VulnePro's avatar
Interesting :)

I don't own that game and have only seen a little of it so I can say it had zero influence on this piece, especially considering it's essentially a pimped out new version of a shot from a comic I did in 1993 :) That said, as I understand, Fallout 3 has a lot of art deco in the game and a very retro vibe so I suppose I can understand how this would have a similar vibe. Bioshock has this feel too, and I have played that. Deco is a very distinct look but there's so much room to experiment and explore in it :) Thanks!
X-A-N-A's avatar
Well, that's what I like about some games is art style. Bioshock and Fallout 3 are good examples. But I think, perhaps, the best idea of a game with great art direction is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. That game has a very wonderful art direction, a combination of photorealism and anime. They look almost like real people living in a real world from a long time ago. It's a very well made game series.
anonymous's avatar
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