Denis Loubet Recalls Fond Origin Memories
Senior WC1/2 artist Denis Loubet has been busy lately connecting with Wing Commander fans. Wingnuts have been peppering Mr. Loubet with dozens of questions about his time crafting gorgeous art for the first few games. The discussion has spurred the recollection of many fun facts and interesting info from behind the scenes. All of the modern crowdfunding success that others have enjoyed has also led Denis to create a way for fans to engage with him directly for cool new art. You can commission an authentic WC artist to create your own pieces via his Patreon or Draw My Character pages. And if all you'd like to do is say hello or ask about the good old days at Origin, drop by the CIC Forums and join in!
I'm Denis Loubet, and I did most of the art for the original Wing Commander. Glen Johnson did the character faces, and I did the cockpits, backgrounds, and scramble animations. Also the explosions and debris. Plus I assembled and touched up the cover, which as everyone guessed, was not a simple screenshot.
Currently I'm trying to work directly for my fans through Patreon and Drawmycharacter. Right now my audience consists mostly of Ultima fans, but I'm curious as to how much the Wing Commander community likes my work on the early games as opposed to the Hollywood productions of WCIII and IV. Most of my drawings are fantasy based, because most of my fans are Ultima fans. But if I get some Wing Commander patrons, I can do more science fiction based art!
I'm here to answer any questions you might have about the early days of Wing Commander from the artists perspective, and would love to hear your critiques both positive and negative of the work I did for it.
Awesome! Lots to catch up on here! I didn't expect things to be so lively! :D
Let's see... Danr, The cockpits were fun to do. They were done in DeluxePaint with a lot of dithered gradients. Everything on the screen had to exist within 256 colors. I can't remember if I did them on a PC or an Apple IIgs. I suspect it was a PC. I did not know my name was used as a gunnery officer! I have learned something new today! :) Since all the readable text in the cockpits was actually functional, I think that you're right. I actually thought you could record your mission, is that not so? Maybe it only works in the PC version? :confused: And yes, the asteroids were hand drawn.
Quaker2k8, This is great news! All I have to do is wait until 2615 and my Patreon should be ROCKIN'! I'll be Rich! ;) I'll settle for those thousand oldschool fans!
Capi3101, actually the ship designs were done by someone else. I'm not actually sure who! The Images of the ships just sort of appeared from the 3rd party that Chris had hired to do the rendering. Knowing Chris, I'm sure he had a heavy hand in the design. And I can certainly do covers and character illustrations, so break out that Kickstarter, man! ;)
LeHah, strangely I don't remember that much direction coming down from on high, which is unusual for Mr. Roberts. ;) I think the art team just clicked from the start, and was putting out what he liked. I remember making sure the cockpits of the fighters were tight, and the cockpits of the bigger ships more roomy. Chris must have told me what he wanted the Kilrathi to look like, but I don't remember that talk. I know he insisted on tumbling debris, and wanted that Battlestar Galactica style fighter launch sequence. We also had to pack a lot of stuff in the rec room, and I know we had discussions about the doors and layout of the locker room.
To answer a previous question: Looking at the characters in WC 1 and 2, I think we were going mostly for familiar stereotypes found in WWII movies, rather than specific actors. But looking at some of the portraits in WC2, the girl with the black hair has to be consciously modeled after Bettie Page! And I think paladin is Sean Connery. I'm sure Clint Eastwood was in there too. :rolleyes:
I didn't do any of the human portraits, but I did do the Kilrathi cutscenes, hence my avatar pic. They were fun to do.
Sorry my memory isn't better on all these issues, but I did SO much at Origin over the 10 years I worked there, and it was so long ago! :eek: But I'll do my best! :D
And thanks again all for making me blush!