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#1 Deimos

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 08:26 PM

I guess its overdue that we should be looking at getting concepts out for all the models in the game. Given that we already have a few, I think we should get concepts out for the rest of the aliens and other game items.

With that here's a concept of the etheral. Yes it does look similar to the original but it does have some new elements in there too as discussed elsewhere, the eyes are 100% sectoid. The first pic is the full battlescape uniform and the second is autopsy time :)

I know its going to come up as a query so I'll address it now. The large lump on the top of the head is like a ceremonial headdress or it could contain psi amplifiers or both who knows. I just knew that I wanted a "Wizard of Oz" feel to them in that they look more imposing when dressed than when on an autopsy table.

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#2 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 08:32 PM

I don't remember the CT documents, are the Etherials genetically related to the sectiods in it? If they are then the eyes are a good idea and it definatly looks the muscles have degraded over time, which was in the original. Not sure I like the Dallas sholder pads but it definatly got that dark Jedi look about it which is what I always thought of in the original for some reason.

#3 Micah

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 08:44 PM

Looking good, Deimos. I wouldn't say the shoulders look like Dallas should pads, since I don't think they where spiky looking ones in football games. I agree that it does look more sinister with something under the hat. :) The more I look at the cloaked figure, the more scary he looks... like he's trying to get in your mind or something... good job.

#4 Deimos

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Posted 20 September 2003 - 08:44 PM

The eyes were discussed in another thread, that's why they were included. They're not related to sectiods. You really should pay more attention at the back ;)

#5 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 06:38 AM

Good drawing! That being said, my only qualm is with his arms, they look too muscular. I always imagined etherials to be so weak that they couldn't even lift a doughnut. IIRC in the original the heavy plasmas floated infront of them, no? :D
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#6 Extralucas

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 06:51 AM

They did! And I thought that's only my hallucination...
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#7 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 12:45 PM

I like the colouring. I kind of agree with skinnier arms thing, maybe more of a distinction between the ribs and the abdomen. longer fingers too. dammit I must be thinking of the original.

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#8 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 12:57 PM

The eyes were discussed in another thread, that's why they were included. They're not related to sectiods. You really should pay more attention at the back ;)

I do remember that thread, I think it was Drewid who suggested that all the aliens that had been modified to include Sectoid genes would all share something in comman, like the eyes? That's why I asked.

BTW, I was referring to Dallas the TV show rather than the American Footie team. Surely I'm not the only one who remembers that, right :whatwhat:

There could probably be a good reason made up the CT document as to what is under the cloak to give that projected sholder pads look, like some Psi equipment or something

#9 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 02:25 PM

Or maby the shoulder pads could be a sort of status symbol amongst the aliens? Like saying "Im an etherial soldier, you sectoid commander must bow to me!"

I don't really like the idea of aliens needing psionic equipment, humans need it because our psi talents are only in their infancy.
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#10 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 04:26 PM

What, like the Mimbauri with their hair? Could work, maybe that could be one of the rank identifiers that were talked about a while ago. I think it would be fitting to have a bloated belly since these creatures do actually resemble humans who have been starved for many generations, and would help fit the bill of "How the **** is that thing still alive?" look about it if u know what I mean.

Edited by Jim69, 21 September 2003 - 04:26 PM.


#11 Deimos

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 04:42 PM

Sorry guys I must remember to stop basing my concepts on my perfectly formed body ^_^
Seriously though, altering the musclature and even making the bones more visible isn't a big job. The stomach/guts area is sunken not because they've been starved its because they've not been used and atrophied away. The bloated look could be mistaken for overfed and is really only seen in third world contries where disease is more of a factor than proper starvation. If anything looking at pictures of victims of the holocaust and concentration camps will give a more fitting look to them.

The shoulder pads as rank could get quite fun, "I'm a commander and so my shoulder pads should be larger and wider that my subordinates" Imagine 5ft wide pads :D

If we make is so that this guy has the largest pads and make them smaller that'd work, also what do you guys think about different colouration for each of the ranks. I'm not talking about the burgundy outer layer, that should stay the same so they can be identified as etherals (or whatever we're calling them). The inner layer though could be used to signify the different ranks. In this case if this one is a commander the Khaki mid layer and midnight blue inner garment could change depending on rank. What do you guys think? Obviously it'd be daft to break away from the muted 'burnt' look of the colours to have a bright green or something as that'd break with the dark foboding feel.

Cpl F. Don't worry about the psi amps as that was just a flight of my imagination and not canon in any way. I wanted to give the clothed one a feel that they are imposing and in contrast on the autopsy table, I wanted to give the player the impression that "this puny creature is the one that's responsible for all that trouble?" :)

#12 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 04:56 PM

Or maybe a thin line of material on the outside edges of the cloak? Different colours signifying rank could works as well.

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 06:55 PM

One thing: How tall are you planning to have the Eths? I think they should be lanky and very skinny, if only to seperate them from the Sectoids a little.

#14 fux0r666

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 07:01 PM

I think that the original stated that its eyes and other sensory organs were non functional.. Although the AWD has precidence over the CTD I think that hinting at that fact on the model is important. I think that the essence of the etheral lay in the idea that they have very little need for their physical senses or bodies.

From a design standpoint, the perportions would be much more creepy and otherworldly if its arms were too long for its body rather than too short and too thin rather than bulbously muscular. This would make the arms look impossible to move... and yet somehow they do.

I think that rather than making them seem like healthy individuals they should have more the appearance of unwrapped, semi-moist mummies. This would accentuate the fact that the species is moving towards an existence of pure mental energy and, evolutionarily, they are becoming less and less reliant on the constraints of the corporeal mortal coil.

I'm working on an etheral myself and have been playing with ideas for a couple of weeks. I'll put it up when it gets up. For now, I'm painting this stupid snakeman and its so painstaking that I want to vomit. I don't have a huge amount of time that I am home and idle so I'm painting in like 45 min incriments or I'm up long after I am supposed to be asleep, spreading pixels around in a half conscious stupor.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#15 Deimos

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 07:02 PM

At least as tall if not taller than the humans so I'd say around 6ft including the head gear (they'd still have to fit through the doorways).

Without probably 5'6" to 5'8" depending on how they look when modelled up.

The sectoids should be around the 4' to 4'6" to really show the difference in heights. I'll be posting a concept that follows a similar line to what was said about the eyes soon so watch this space :)

Fux you need to take a closer look at the etheral. He has all those qualities you've described and as I said beofre (and I hate repeating myself :)) changing the muscle balance and bone structure isn't a problem but I'm not going to endlessly tweak when it seems that most people are generally happy with the overall design.

Edited by Deimos, 21 September 2003 - 07:06 PM.


#16 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 07:29 PM

Whew. Ok, I was just saying that I don't think aliens need psi equipment of any kind.

I also like fux0r's idea of arms that are too long for its body. It kind of makes it seem like it shouldn't be alive, and yet it is. :)

I was also saying that the shoulder pads would be specific to etherials, I didn't think to make them differ between ranks. That is a good idea though. :)
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#17 fux0r666

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 07:46 PM

Deimos, I said that I would post a concept that would be in competition with yours thought I would give you a heads up. I also provided insight into the etheral as I see and detailed how I thought that your concept could be likened to the original CT. It is fine if you do not agree with me. My take on this particular creature will be illustrated in short order (or in somekind of order, anyways). Do not take my critique personally.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#18 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 11:18 PM

We may well find elements from both designs we can use - that's the way it goes often.

#19 red knight

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 09:16 AM

We may well find elements from both designs we can use - that's the way it goes often.

You are more than right Drewid, it happens all the time in the code front and it is what I want to encourage for the graphics department too.

For all members, always remember, follow the loose guidelines setted so you dont waste time working in something that wont work at all..

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#20 Breunor

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 09:57 AM

How about a big mohawk hairdo? That would make the cloak stick up high like that! :D I agree with the skinny arms comments, perhaps it has the large eyes but they're glazed over, similar to the look of cataracts? That would convey that they're no longer used, but still has that alien/Grey look. Perhaps a sagital crest over the skull could explain the hood sticking up as well? This pic is only to show the bony ridge/saggital crest, not meant as a sample for the entire head. It would stand to reckon that these guys have the best psi talents, so why not a bigger/deformed skull? Not just a big round head like the Greys, but one with some kind of growth or crest like this? Just a thought to make it alien looking.

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#21 Aosar

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 11:13 AM

IIRC it's not the size of the brain, but the neural connection whitin that define intelligence... And psi in this case, no?

Edited by Aosar, 23 September 2003 - 11:14 AM.

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#22 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:09 PM

What, is that like : "Size doesn't matter, its how you use it that matters" ? :)

In all seriousness, I feel that you are correct. It is how specialized, well connected, and how efficient it is that matters, not direct size. For instance, a T-Rex had a brain larger than a human's (I think) but it wasn't too bright.
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#23 Extralucas

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:30 PM

Human isn't using brain with 100% efficency tho...
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#24 Micah

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:40 PM

And 'they' say we only use 10% of its capacity...

#25 j'ordos

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:57 PM

Why would Ethereals or Sectoids need bigger brains than ours then? They just learned how to fully utilize it's power ^_^

Edited by j'ordos, 23 September 2003 - 12:57 PM.

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#26 Extralucas

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:59 PM

Sectoid should remain in 'big head mode' 'cos it's classic ;) but Ethereals head should remain small, like human size, 'cos that's how does it look in original UFOpaedia ;).
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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:12 PM

or less in my case :hammer:

#28 fux0r666

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:26 PM

They say that we only use 10 percent of our brain capacity but they are totally wrong, whoever they are. Depending on what we are doing at any given point in time, we can come close to using all the areas in our brain at once. Electroencephalograms show a lot of activity even if we're just sitting around watching TV.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#29 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 02:33 PM

Lets see, some of the brain is storage for memories, some is higher level thinking, some is lowerlevel thinking (breathing,etc)
and the rest is empty space.
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#30 fux0r666

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 03:00 PM

The facts tend to disagree with you, Facehugger. I just covered this in a neurology component overview of psychology class that will be expanded upon later in the course. One of the articles highlighted in the overview was the pseudoscientific misconception that we only use a small part of our brains.

A lot of space is used to motor skills and sensory perception and interpretation, emotion, fight/flight response, interfaces with the immune system, autonomous nervous system, etc etc. It's all used at one point or another.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#31 Micah

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 03:49 PM

Because fux is obviously the reknowned authority on electroencephalograms, neurology, and pseudoscientific misconceptions, let's drop it and get back the topic at hand.

I think the taller head it better.

#32 Rhyos Beoulve

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 04:05 PM

Then again, it's quite possible that a lot of those have been suppressed in the Ethereals. Either that, or they've made those sorts of instincts much more efficient when it comes to storage. Hence the smaller head. The Ethereals do very little physically.

#33 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 05:31 PM

This is just an idea, but I assume that the Etherials have recieved enhansements as well? Basically their bodies are useless, they make their bodies do things with their minds like pumping blood etc. correct? Well then, the brain is even more valuble then most other creatures so I think Breunor's head idea could work because it looks well protected as well as having a space for a large brain.

#34 Micah

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:02 PM

That's a really good way to put it, Jim.

#35 Crix Dorius

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:39 PM

A little simple sketch...

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#36 j'ordos

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:25 PM

Isn't the face a bit too much like a gorilla?
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#37 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:37 PM

Arg! The Coneheads are invading!

Only j/king, if the jaw was a little thinner and the skull a little less elongated then it could work.

#38 Micah

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:33 PM

Arg! The Coneheads are invading!

Only j/king, if the jaw was a little thinner and the skull a little less elongated then it could work.

Jim: Which part of the skull? The top/back?

jordos: Maybe gorillas look too much like ethereals :P


I think it's moving in the right direction.

#39 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:55 PM

I meant the top. I think it could be a little less stretched, I've edited the sketch a little to show what I mean:

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#40 j'ordos

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 04:28 AM

jordos: Maybe gorillas look too much like ethereals :P


I think it's moving in the right direction.

I just think the face looks too primitive for a race so eveolved it's about to lose it's body, with the large, protruding jaw and heavy bony ridges around the eye sockets. One could also argue it's teeth should be totally gone, or maybe just a few small stumps left, as it has absolutely no use for them anymore (look at humans's teeth compared to primates or our ancestors (homo erectus and habilis and such, not your grandparents :wink: ), for example.

Otherwise I like it, with the large cranial capacity, I just think it's facial features look too primitive.
"You can't trust your eyes if your imagination's out of focus" - Mark Twain
"The mind is like an umbrella, it functions best when open" - Walter Gropius
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#41 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:06 AM

I've just read a book where one of the aliens has a head like a horses skull

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#42 Breunor

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:58 AM

I like that pic Crix! I agree with the idea of less pronounced teeth, perhaps they're gone altogether. The large orbital ridge makes sense when you consider the large eyes being protected there. I also like the long/tall skull, and the sagital crest along the front/top could be explained as a bony reinforcement for the skull. It's so big that a blow to the skull can break it without the ridge for support.

I disagree with j'ordos on it looking too primitive, since they've taken a different evolutionary course. If they were primates then yes, but the available space for brain matter is very large compared to primates and humans. I think the brain would be larger, remember that it's the brain's size relative to total body mass that is used as an indicator of intelligence. The T-Rex brain was tiny compared to its body, same with all other animals except dolphins, we're #2 to them. So the ethereals' bodies are much smaller and require less brain power, while the brain is larger, due to specializing in the psi powers.

Finally here's another example why artists don't use MS paint (or at least why I shouldn't): ^_^

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#43 Micah

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 02:58 PM

Deimos, I said that I would post a concept that would be in competition with yours thought I would give you a heads up.  I also provided insight into the etheral as I see and detailed how I thought that your concept could be likened to the original CT.  It is fine if you do not agree with me.  My take on this particular creature will be illustrated in short order (or in somekind of order, anyways).  Do not take my critique personally.

Where's the concept?

#44 fux0r666

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 04:01 PM

I'll paint it up when I'm done with the snakeman.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#45 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 06:28 PM

? Etherials DO exist, I have the proof :LOL:
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#46 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 06:30 PM

And this:

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#47 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:17 PM

Hey I saw a documentary on that! It creeped me out. The ancient south americans actually reshaped a baby's head! Of course, there was the other skull that looked rather like a sectoid, and that really creeped me out.
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#48 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:33 PM

This one? I thought I might as well post them because we might be able to use the skulls for a basis.

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#49 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 07:57 PM

Yes! KILL IT!!!

:whimpers and hides in a corner:

I am an intense xenophobe, probably due to playing too many chryssalid night terrorsites...

Ok I have gotten control of myself again, I feel that etherial's should look humanoid reasonably, I mean, they evolved on earth according to bruenor right? Hmm, maby they should look more aquatic? Like a squid's face? I don't know it might look 50s b-grade movie cheesyish
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#50 fux0r666

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 12:36 AM

It would take some pretty rigorous research to prove that it was of terrestrial origin. It's not like if they decided to do a DNA profile that the doctors could look at the pattern and say, "My my, that looks like it comes from earth!"

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


Posted Image