What’s the se­cret to paint­ing the ‘used uni­verse’ look from Star Wars?

Jess Cord­ingly, England

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Your Questions Answered... -

An­swer

Mark replies

The eas­i­est way to achieve the used uni­verse look is to avoid depict­ing shiny sur­faces and ma­te­ri­als. The key is to use the same mod­ern and fu­tur­is­tic shape lan­guage, while paint­ing weath­ered and aged ma­te­ri­als. You also have to cre­ate a lit­tle per­sonal story for th­ese ob­jects.

I would rec­om­mend study­ing how var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als look in real life, to un­der­stand how to paint them. Usu­ally you can find more scratches and dents around the edges of the ob­jects for ex­am­ple, be­cause that’s where they come into con­tact with other ob­jects. Study the ap­pear­ance of rust stains, how paint be­comes aged on top of a me­tal sur­face – and why. If you’re re­ally se­ri­ous, vis­it­ing a scrap yard and study­ing all the dif­fer­ent worn ma­te­ri­als that have been dis­posed of by their pre­vi­ous own­ers – plas­tics, met­als and woods – can be an in­valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

The key to cre­ate a be­liev­able space­ship is to show that it’s in reg­u­lar use and seen a lot of ac­tion. You can achieve this by giv­ing it a worn look.

Adding ageing and signs of ero­sion to your ma­te­ri­als gives

an idea of its age. Us­ing scratch marks, peel­ing paint

and dents around cer­tain el­e­ments adds ex­tra de­tails.

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