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August 10, 2013
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From the jaws of death by Illogical-Lynx From the jaws of death by Illogical-Lynx
"I would just like to think that, it's not why it happened to me. But why was I saved? What else can I do now?" -Higher than Hope by Nightwish


Early on in the story of my Halo Elite fancharacter Antak, he is ambushed by a group of human marines and mown down in a hail of bullets. In the aftermath of the battle, a covenant medical team transporting his shredded body to the morgue notices to their astonishment that the fallen warrior is actually still alive and he is diverted to an emergency triage. Arriving on the operating table, Antak has lost 65% of his blood and most of his vital organs are severely damaged and failing. Using advanced Covenant medical techniques, almost a kilogram of metal, in the form of bullets and shrapnel is removed from his tissue and most of his essential bodily functions are transferred to external machinery while surgeons prepare him for multiple organ transplants. Remarkably, Antak's central nervous system has escaped major damage and after riding the knife edge between life and death for days, his condition slowly begins to stabilise.

When Antak finally regains consciousness, he falls into a deep depression, certain that he will never recover the strength to see a frontline again. It is the ultimate dishonour for a warrior to fail his duty in battle but be spared from death's release and he becomes very angry at the surgeons for denying him a warrior's death. However, eventually the surgeons manage to explain to him the impossible situation he has managed to recover from and convince him that the only way he could have survived is if the Gods themselves had wanted him to live. Deeply religious as a Covenant warrior, Antak is both humbled and exhilarated by this idea. If the Gods had spared him, then what great plan did they have for doing so? He begs the surgeons to restore him to combat readiness so that he might fulfil the destiny entrusted to him, whatever that might be.

----

This picture more or less broke my run of getting pictures done quickly, taking me about two months all up. Still, I think I was exposed to having to create a bunch of different effects and objects which I hadn't previously attempted. I wanted to get it done because I think it is the most important influencing event on Antak's character. I haven't drawn an elite without armour in any detail before and I had to start over at one point when I realised I'd given him a completely human upper body structure by using photos of human bodybuilders as reference. The sangheilli physique, I think has a much greater shoulders:hips ratio than a human, which looks totally wrong from a human perspective when you're drawing it.

Creating an effect of a smooth glass tank was kinda difficult too. To be quite honest, I just put more reflection effects on until I was happy with it. :slow:

I do somewhat regret having to put so many layers over Antak- I'm very pleased with his muscles and injuries and it's a bit of a shame to have to cover them up.

Some new resources I picked up for this were:
Bubble Brushes
Circuit Board Brushes

Anyhow, thanks for looking. If you have any questions or criticisms, fire away. I take criticism very well as I'm always looking to improve on my work.
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:iconsierra-116:
SIERRA-116 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014
That Sangheili is likely going to be very pissed when he gets out of that tank. He has bled. He has seen doctors. Many Sangheili would rather die.
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohhh yeah, he's not exactly the mild mannered type at the best of times, let alone after being shot to pieces by the infidel humans and humiliated by the medics refusing to let him die. As a result, he spends most of his recovery flipping between crushing depression and seething rage. Eventually, he determines that the Gods would not have let this happen to him if it weren't for a reason. By that logic, his only path is to double-down on his faith and fight with even greater fervour to reclaim his honour and to do whatever it was the Gods kept him alive to do.
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:iconsierra-116:
SIERRA-116 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
The Great Journey must come to fruition. The infidel humans must be purged. That is the Forerunners' reason for keeping him alive... or so another deluded Sangheili believes. I wonder what side he took after the Great Schism... if he lived that long. Of course he'd be against the Prophets. But would he follow the Arbiter? And fight alongside humans? I am not so sure...
Reply
:iconyoung-jacob:
Young-Jacob Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome job.  I agree with the other commenters who like the purple.  You have used the color scheme very effectively here.  I can't offer much in the way of Halo expertise, but the anatomy doesn't look wrong to me.

A few suggestions:  I agree with a previous comment that some added shadows and highlights would give the 'glass' container more depth.  Right now, it looks a little flat.  Another thing that I notice is that the light behind the container (such as the teal 4-sided shape with rounded corners) is not being refracted by the glass or the liquid in the container.  Just as a drinking straw in a glass of water will appear 'broken', the shape seen through the glass should not line up with the shape in the back.  This also applies to the section of Antak's body on the 'angled' part of the glass.

The bubbles in the tank are a great addition.  They really add a lot to making it appear as a liquid.  Also, I like the faint hexagonal texture on the machine and floor.  It makes it look more technological without really distracting from the picture as a whole.  Great work.
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:iconsteinwill:
SteinWill Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ah about time I wrote a epic comment on this equally epicly detailed drawing =D

first of all what strikes me first is the alien feel to the hole colour balance and tecnology. Any Halo fan should recognice these Elite designs instantly. I love how the holografic diagrams and boards glows and how you added a soft hexagon texturepattern on the hole purple tank giving it that proper impression of alien metals. :thumbsup: which leads me to the BUBBLES! the addition of the bubbles in the tank made WORLD of difference which is surprising for such small details, but indeed they did. one doesn't get the false impression that he is floating in nothing anylonger but in a liquid substance. 

Antak him self look like a shot to pieces wreck, which is awesome to behold =D I inperticular like deep scar along his remaining hand and along the legs and the fact that you just maimed the off hand of your character kills and stomps down any mary sue tendencies that might have started to take root :lol:
I must say this might be your most needlessly detailed drawing yes! :#1: great job!
Reply
:icontrexrider:
Trexrider Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013

The artwork is decently amazing, nough said on that point.

 

Love the fact that you remembered the whole "Sangheilli honor code" thing ;P but I still question why he was saved-as does Antak himself apparently.

Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! :D

Well, Doctors and Surgeons are pretty much considered scum by the Sangheilli and it was a team of grunts which dragged him back to the medical bay. It follows that those who take the difficult path of being a medic in a society where they would be hated for it are already ones who have a different perspective on what is important. Antak is much more of the traditional soldier and he's furious and incredulous when he finds out what has happened to him, promising to kill the doctors and himself if they dare let him live. Fortunately perhaps for all involved, Antak also has an enormous ego and he's very weak to persuasion by flattery. By convincing him through the course of his recovery that the Gods willed that he were to survive, the surgical team were able to use his religious faith to redeem his honour. He remains deeply ashamed of his failure, but believes he must be destined for some great challenge where he will have a chance to atone.
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:icontrexrider:
Trexrider Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013

Grunts-it all makes sense now! \o/

Reply
:iconmuddytiger:
MuddyTiger Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think you did a fantastic job considering that you haven't drawn an Elite bare skinned before. :giggle: idrawthemnakedallthetime I draw them without armor sometimes, so if you need some references, please feel free to take a look at what I have.;p muddytiger.deviantart.com/gall…
I also think that you did a wonderful job on the whole tank effect! It looks quite convincing, and don't stress out about the poster of the Elite. He's being suspended in water and covered in machines, so it's okay if it's not exactly what the Elites back/shoulder structure 'should' look like. I think it all looks brilliant!:nod: Well, done!:clap:
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :D
The Elites' armour with its sharp lines and angles really contributes so much to their figure that it can certainly be hard to disentangle it from their actual form. Wow, you do have quite a lot there! Thanks very much for the link. If you don't mind, I'm about to carpet bomb you with submission requests for #TheHaloArray. We have a tutorials/reference section to the gallery but at the moment it's fairly empty and I'd like to expand it with useful information. I think we'd have a lot more good fanartists about if more people made such references for them to learn from. If you see any more tutorials, anyone can submit to the gallery there.

Heh, I haven't actually done transparent glass before in photoshop I don't think. It was a bit hit and miss, but the reaction has been fairly positive. Tubing is a huge pain to shade, but most of it was fairly dark on this, so it wasn't too much work. =P

Thank you for a wonderful comment, very much appreciated! :D
Reply
:iconmuddytiger:
MuddyTiger Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, I got ALL of those messages from you. :faint: ugh
but I'm very glade to be of help to your group and to it's fans.:dummy:
I guess this will give me an excuse to draw them naked more often!:giggle:
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:mwahaha:
Are you in #TheHaloArray? I didn't start it, it's been around for a long time, I only recently became admin there. We're the second largest dA Halo fanclub I think and unlike a lot of others, we're quite strict with people submitting screenshots or garbage they just pulled off google images. The original founder left, as seems to happen in so many clubs and things were a right mess, but I think it has a lot of potential.

Haha, yes! :D
I dunno when I'll next draw one without armour. I needa do some reference sheets and it would probably be worth at least a mugshot or two to differentiate characters who wear the same coloured armour, but I'm super duper slow at drawing anything so a full reference sheet takes a veeeerry long time.
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:iconmuddytiger:
MuddyTiger Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Student Digital Artist

I think I know what you mean, because I'm in the "Elites-R-us" and the "Sangheili Zone" groups and I'm seeing a lot of change of members and amends and things. :/ Not so sure what's going on there, but there's nothing much I can do to support the group from closing down.

I've been thinking about reference sheets, and blank bio bases for others to use, but then again, I like having the advantage of being an artist. I get commissions and requests and sometimes I get paid for it! :XD: So to a certain extent, I hold back on what I want to post verses what they want me to post. You know? and it does take a long time for me to draw something, too. I'm still working on commissions that I started about a year ago...:faint:

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:iconhidro240:
hidro240 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
he is beat up!
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe, yeap, he's had a pretty rough career has Antak =P
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:iconkingficus:
KingFicus Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Poor fellow. Nice job.
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! :D
Reply
:iconxxxgravemindxxx:
xxxGravemindxxx Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013
Epic work! I love it as well as the short desciption of Antaks background. :)
And btw, to chose this part of Higher than hope is really cool. Yeah NightwishHeadbang!
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :bow:
Cheers, I always quite liked it, I tend to select music based on suitability for drawing to and that particular verse fit very well with Antak's experiences. Nightwish are an excellent group, it's really nice to hear operatic female vocals against badass heavy guitars as well as orchestra.
Reply
:iconxxxgravemindxxx:
xxxGravemindxxx Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
You're welcome! That's the reason I love it too. :)
Reply
:iconvisr:
Visr Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow this is so creative and detailed! :D
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! :thanks:
Reply
:iconvisr:
Visr Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Student General Artist
No problem!
Reply
:iconancientechidna:
AncientEchidna Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing work! =D
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :w00t:
Reply
:iconancientechidna:
AncientEchidna Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! =D
Reply
:iconasexualalien:
AsexualAlien Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Wow! Fantastic job!! :D
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cheers! :D
Reply
:icona-iccara:
a-iccara Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
VERY NICE.

I love the colors (and wow, have I missed that glorious Covie purple.) The atmospheric wash you have going on inside the tank and over Antak's body is fabulous. The machinery is well designed -- looks very covenant, very alien, and I love how it fits together and winds through him, complete with the glowing sections that bring everything together. The holographic touches, symbols, and textures are all well incorporated. You have fab Sangheili proportions. The little details (wounds, etc) tell quite the story. The entire piece does - even though it, in direction, is presented passively (we as an observer are not called to interact with it in any way,) it is still rich with history and background, which you elucidate on in your description. (Also very nice. Always love hearing more about Antak!)

If you're looking for crit, I can throw out a few lines, take 'em or leave 'em. Proportionally speaking, the helmet at the forefront might need to be a tad bigger (love the blur effect there, by the way.) Some of your rendering still looks a bit flat - I think you could stand to do more wit reflected light, especially where the machinery is concerned - a few stronger, sharp highlights in the shadows will help give the forms more volume. Likewise, a few stronger accents of shadow in some of the shadowed areas (specifically, the rivets/lines in the metal) might help it pop more as well. I'm not sure how Covenant tank glass would react under light (it is probably not very reflective/shiny,) but some stronger highlights around the edges might give it more of a glass feel. You could also play with some darker/violet overlays in shadows against portions of the glass, specifically where it meets the metal, since the nearness of color tends to bleed over onto that kind of material. 

Love the texture you have going over the equipment - the tell-tale hexagonal markings. Because I am a texture fiend, I might even recommend making it more obvious, or overlaying some lighter violets into the pattern so it's not all the same (especially where the metal is lighter.) It can be subtle.

These are all very nitpicky suggestions though - this is easily some of your strongest work to date. Very well done.
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thanks for another truly awesome comment. Really sorry for the late reply, I've read through it plenty of times, I just haven't managed to get around to writing a suitably complete reply until now. ^^;

Heh, it really isn't the manliest of colours, but I couldn't deny that I really like the colour purple. It's fun to work with too as you can light it with just about any colour without ruining it. Water/fluid was something new for me to try- I'd spent a lot of time shading the muscles and details and it felt like a bit of a shame to just wash it out but alas, it had to be done. I have this theory that the reason that to make something truly realistic, there have to be details that you can't see. When you look at a scene in real life, you can't see all the minute details, but you can see that they're there... if that makes sense. Proportions took a few reworks, but I'm happy with how it ended up. My first draft had distinctly human proportions but this one has much larger shoulders/hips ratio.

Always keen for critique! Thanks for taking the time for me! :w00t:
I seem to remember that I adjusted the size of that helmet midway through the drawing, I think it was actually even smaller when I first drew it. Foreshortening is still something I need to work on, but this shouldn't be too hard of a tweak to make.
Sharp highlights are fairly new to my artistic arsenal in general- I think because when you're using a pen or pencil, you can only add shadows and to create highlights, you simply leave those areas bare or remove graphite. I could certainly stand to be a bit more bold with my highlights and shadows though. When you're doing a digital painting, let's say, with this sorta level of lighting, what opacity/tools would you generally use? With shadows, I tend to use multiply brushes on about 10% opacity a few shades darker than the colour I'm shading on, but highlights I barely go much more than 3-4% opacity with Hard/Soft/Vivid Light because otherwise the contrast between the lit area and the surrounds seems to harsh. Am I being too cautious?

The glass was a pretty huge stab in the dark for me- I've never coloured anything remotely like a curved, transparent, semi-reflective surface before. I can totally see why it's so popular to get people to sketch coke bottles in art classes! I like the idea about putting in violet overlays, that makes a lot of sense and it hadn't even occurred to me. Good point about putting some change in colour into the texture, also makes a lot of sense. I suppose what I'll do in future when I have a texture layer is just lock the pixels and run over it with another brush. Shading mah shading, brilliant, it's like shading-ception! :lol:

Thanks again for the comment, it really made my day when I saw it in my inbox! :hug:
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:iconcharizardag:
charizardag Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
and the art is great too
Reply
:iconcharizardag:
charizardag Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
ooh....that sounds awesome
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! I'm quite pleased with Antak's backstory, I think the most cool and unique thing about the covenant is that they're essentially a space-cult and Antak is that taken to the furtherest extreme- one who can twist anything to be more evidence for his world view and gain strength from it. :)
Reply
:icongingerdove:
gingerdove Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
Amazing job, this is epic!
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks very much! :thanks:
Reply
:icongingerdove:
gingerdove Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
No problem!
Reply
:iconminorelite:
MinorElite Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome work! O==O luv it!
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :w00t:
Reply
:iconminorelite:
MinorElite Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Np ^==^
Reply
:iconxemos:
Xemos Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
Gaaaaah it's so GOOD

Your coloring man, OH that coloring....
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:bow:
Thanks very much! :w00t:
Reply
:iconkodyyoung:
KodyYoung Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great job here.
Reply
:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:icondracontar:
Dracontar Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
A very interesting backstory for this character. ^^
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:iconillogical-lynx:
Illogical-Lynx Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:icondracontar:
Dracontar Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
You're welcome! ^^
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