"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.
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 BrushesCircuit 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.