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View Full Version : The real imagery inspiration for the Tau?



Baltar
16-01-2008, 19:41
I'd be suprised if no one has mentioned this, but a huge inspiration for the imagery of the Tau seems to be the Trade Federation from The Phantom Menace.

Tau = Neimodians
http://blogs.starwars.com/static/img/image-selector/full/prequel-trilogy/episode-i/13.jpg

Tau tanks bare more than a passing resemblance to Trade Federation tanks both in color and shape
http://us.games-workshop.com/games/40k/tau/extras/wallpaper/_new/wp-ba-07-1024.jpg

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/d/dc/AAT.jpg

I also think that the Tau battle armor makes them resemble the Battle Droids quite a bit

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/3/3d/B1-2_negtd.jpg

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 20:05
Been mentioned, been beaten like a dead horse, been disproved. The inspiration for Tau was anime battlesuit and high-tech equipment, they even went straight out and said it when the first codex came out. The fact that Lucas has and always will draw Star Wars imagery from Asian films and shows is just a coincidence.

Star Wars was originally just a Samurai in space flick.

silence
16-01-2008, 20:06
Good points, I'd never really thought about it.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 20:08
been disproved.

How could it be disproved? TPM was one of the biggest films ever, and it was released two years before the Codex came out. I would think it is a no-brained that it was part of the influence.

This and ALSO battlesuit anime influence, but that is just a tiny fraction of the Tau art.

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 20:11
How could it be disproved? TPM was one of the biggest films ever, and it was released two years before the Codex came out. I would think it is a no-brained that it was part of the influence.

This and ALSO battlesuit anime influence, but that is just a tiny fraction of the Tau art.

Look at the various threads on Writing Codexies and Development Time. It takes at least two years to get an updated Codex written for an already existing Army. It takes even longer when you're fleshing out a race that hasn't been touched on in the past.

MysticTitan
16-01-2008, 20:13
...

The tau tanks and those star wars ones only have the long barreled turret on the top and skimmer status to put them together, also I don't see the resemblances between tau infantry and those droids...

dr.oetk3r
16-01-2008, 20:13
Sure, the do look similar.

But you'll never be able to prove it without asking the designers.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 20:15
Look at the various threads on Writing Codexies and Development Time. It takes at least two years to get an updated Codex written for an already existing Army. It takes even longer when you're fleshing out a race that hasn't been touched on in the past.

GW often lifts wholesale from different sources. I am still not buying your denials. TPM's imagery was blasted everywhere constantly for months. Then the Tau come out two years later with huge similarities in design, and they're COMPLETELY unrelated? Seems like denial to me.

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 20:22
GW often lifts wholesale from different sources. I am still not buying your denials. TPM's imagery was blasted everywhere constantly for months. Then the Tau come out two years later with huge similarities in design, and they're COMPLETELY unrelated? Seems like denial to me.

You're right, it came out two years after the movie, but was being designed about a year to half a year before the movie even came out. I'm not saying they're completely unrelated, I never said that, they both draw off of the same basic imagery of Anime, Japanese/Korean sci-fi, and Samurai flicks.

If the Tau Codex had come out a year or two before the movie, would you assume that the movie stole off of the Codex? No! Because the movie was already in production and planned before that! The reverse is true for the codex.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 20:25
If the Tau Codex had come out a year or two before the movie, would you assume that the movie stole off of the Codex? No! Because the movie was already in production and planned before that! The reverse is true for the codex.

Yes, but just saying that the codex was already being designed doesn't mean the art was soldified or that the imagery was unchangeable, or even that the imagery was well developed at all. I could easily see GW taking some inspiration from the art direction of TPM to get a "current feel"

Just cause the Codex was already in development doesn't exclude the possibility of adaption and change.

dr.oetk3r
16-01-2008, 20:28
If the Tau Codex had come out a year or two before the movie, would you assume that the movie stole off of the Codex? No! Because the movie was already in production and planned before that! The reverse is true for the codex.

Uhh no it didn't. Episode 1 came out in 1999. The Tau were realesed in 2001-2002. So plenty of time to nick ideas.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 20:35
I think it would be a little bit more of an argument if we didn't KNOW that GW has a nasty habit of ripping off imagery and then making it JUST different enough to not get sued.

Bloodknight
16-01-2008, 20:36
The figures are the first thing to be designed. The actual rulebook design starts much later.

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 20:36
The only similarity between the two aliens is that they have no nose and a blue-ish tinge to their skin.

The only similarity to the tanks is that they are rounded, have a gun, and skim.

The only similarity between the droids and the Tau wargear is that they're a tan color.

The Tau armor more closely resembles a suit of Samurai armor (especially the battlesuits). Their culture is ripped from Daoism. The rounded designs of their architecture, ships, and tanks are closer to other general "High Sci-fi" genres like Star Trek than they are to star wars. Their entire look is an anime-ish, no nose, high cheekbone, look.

Really, as it came out first, was more popular, and actually has some of the same feel to the Tau, I'd say it was pulled more off of StarCraft and Protoss.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 20:39
The only similarity between the two aliens is that they have no nose and a blue-ish tinge to their skin.

The only similarity to the tanks is that they are rounded, have a gun, and skim.

The only similarity between the droids and the Tau wargear is that they're a tan color.

Yes but, obviously GW can't copy off it entirely. One could go through and do a similiar list to DISPROVE that GW took imagery for the Nids from Starship Troopers, or DISPROVE that half of the original imagery for 40k comes from Dune.

Its obviously not a blatant full on ripoff, but you can see influence there.



Really, as it came out first, was more popular, and actually has some of the same feel to the Tau, I'd say it was pulled more off of StarCraft and Protoss.

Starcraft was ripped off of 40k, just as Warcraft was ripped off of WHFB.

Burnthem
16-01-2008, 20:45
Hehehe, this is my Warhammer, it costs 40K! :D

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 20:55
Yes but, obviously GW can't copy off it entirely. One could go through and do a similiar list to DISPROVE that GW took imagery for the Nids from Starship Troopers, or DISPROVE that half of the original imagery for 40k comes from Dune.

Its obviously not a blatant full on ripoff, but you can see influence there.

There's only similarities between the two which are easily traced back to other sources that GW said they pulled from when designing the culture. Again, anime, asian culture, and "High Sci-fi" top the lists.



Starcraft was ripped off of 40k, just as Warcraft was ripped off of WHFB.

True, but that's a straight out example that the two companies have ripped ideas from one another, and have a history of it. That and the noseless, "goat-legged", blue skinned, four fingered, high cheek boned protoss share more with the Tau.

Gaebriel
16-01-2008, 20:57
I guess a lot of things are inspired by Anime, so no wonder those look similar to each other. There are only so many ways of making a rounded hightech look...

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 21:04
I guess a lot of things are inspired by Anime, so no wonder those look similar to each other. There are only so many ways of making a rounded hightech look...

To be fair, Star Trek was doing the rounded high-tech look back in the 70s, and Lucas didn't catch onto it, or the more sci-fi aspects of his movies, until he started making episodes 1-3. Before that it was all right angles and space samurai.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 21:05
There's only similarities between the two which are easily traced back to other sources that GW said they pulled from when designing the culture. Again, anime, asian culture, and "High Sci-fi" top the lists.


I don't think it is terribly convincing that George Lucas copied anime style art, and then coincidentally two years later GW came out with a race that looked JUST like it, and it did it unawares and completely without foreknowledge.

That would only really be convincing if you WANTED it to be the case.


To be fair, Star Trek was doing the rounded high-tech look back in the 70s, and Lucas didn't catch onto it, or the more sci-fi aspects of his movies, until he started making episodes 1-3. Before that it was all right angles and space samurai.

Actually, George Lucas used as a mission statement the idea that his universe would look "lived in" and normal, rather than the outlandishly clean and bright imagery of Star Trek. It was an intentional choice, just as the cleaner and rounder look was a choice for the more civilized and peaceful Old Republic. They were both choices, not that Lucas didn't "catch on."
\

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 21:18
I don't think it is terribly convincing that George Lucas copied anime style art, and then coincidentally two years later GW came out with a race that looked JUST like it, and it did it unawares and completely without foreknowledge.

That would only really be convincing if you WANTED it to be the case.

Not really. Again, Lucas is well known for taking from asian culture and sub-culture, and those working on the Codex stated anime as one of their sources for inspiration on the Tau. The general look of that alien race from Star Wars was one of the the biggest clues (clothing, ect.) as to where their inspiration was drawn from (not to mention the stereotypical voices and speech patterns).

They also don't look just like eachother. The only similarities are the blue skin and no nose, which the protoss pulled long before and who share more similarities with the Tau than the race from Star Wars.



Actually, George Lucas used as a mission statement the idea that his universe would look "lived in" and normal, rather than the outlandishly clean and bright imagery of Star Trek. It was an intentional choice, just as the cleaner and rounder look was a choice for the more civilized and peaceful Old Republic. They were both choices, not that Lucas didn't "catch on."
\
*note to self: when you know someone out there could possibly read it an entirely different way than what you meant, reword it*

I was saying that it was a look and style that Lucas didn't use until only recently. Not that it was something that he should have automatically used, but that it was something that he didn't use by choice. To give him the entire credit for this often used high-tech look is giving him too much. Which is essentially what's happening. Just because the movie came out around the time that the codex was in development, the general, and often used, high-tech look is attributed to the movie.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 21:24
Not really. Again, Lucas is well known for taking from asian culture and sub-culture,

There is a difference between taking the shape of the samurai helmet and putting it on Darth Vader to taking subtleties from Anime. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and have never once heard him mention anime as an inspiration. You'd first have to prove that George Lucas utilized Anime imagery - pointing to some shallow stylistic choices taken from the Original Trilogy doesn't draw some straight line right to him taking designs off of Gundam Wing.


and those working on the Codex stated anime as one of their sources for inspiration on the Tau.

Which AFAIK, Lucas did not.


The general look of that alien race from Star Wars was one of the the biggest clues (clothing, ect.) as to where their inspiration was drawn from (not to mention the stereotypical voices and speech patterns).

Which was more or less directly copied for the Tau on Dawn of War.


They also don't look just like eachother. The only similarities are the blue skin and no nose, which the protoss pulled long before and who share more similarities with the Tau than the race from Star Wars.

The Tau and Protoss are nothing alike. The Protoss are psychic, the Tau are not. The Protoss like close combat, the Tau hate it. See...I can play that game too.

There is an image in the current Tau codex showing Tau etherials in a space craft that looks like a still shot from TPM. You're argument just doesn't make sense to me.

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 21:38
There is a difference between taking the shape of the samurai helmet and putting it on Darth Vader to taking subtleties from Anime. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and have never once heard him mention anime as an inspiration. You'd first have to prove that George Lucas utilized Anime imagery - pointing to some shallow stylistic choices taken from the Original Trilogy doesn't draw some straight line right to him taking designs off of Gundam Wing.
Look at my earlier posts

Which was more or less directly copied for the Tau on Dawn of War.

Actually the first Tau codex had the Ethereals wearing the same dress, as well as the Tau Ethereal models. Which is taken from Medieval Japanese style of clothing (rather directly I might add) rather than Star Wars.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/MitoKomonSatomiKotaro.jpg

Look familiar?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7b/Tau_arms_and_Armor_Etherial.jpg/410px-Tau_arms_and_Armor_Etherial.jpg


The Tau and Protoss are nothing alike. The Protoss are psychic, the Tau are not. The Protoss like close combat, the Tau hate it. See...I can play that game too.

We were discussing looks, not outlook on warfare or psychic ability. Which in the looks department, aside from not having a mouth and possessing a crest, the Protoss and Tau look quite similar.

Baltar
16-01-2008, 21:42
Look at my earlier posts

I see no proof that GL took anything from anime.


Actually the first Tau codex had the Ethereals wearing the same dress, as well as the Tau Ethereal models. Which is taken from Medieval Japanese style of clothing (rather directly I might add) rather than Star Wars.

snip

Look familiar?

I am talking about the speech pattern and tone.



We were discussing looks, not outlook on warfare or psychic ability. Which in the looks department, aside from not having a mouth and possessing a crest, the Protoss and Tau look quite similar.

The Protoss have a goatlike gait, with legs hinged backwards. The Neimodians do not. Neither do the Tau.

Kyrios
16-01-2008, 21:50
Well, the Covenant skimmer-tank thingy looks kinda like the Hammerhead (or Droid Tank) and I also find the hovering throne - Prophet of Regret with his Honor Guard shares a couple of similarities (to say the least) to the hovering throne - Aun'va Bork'an and his honor guard. (Both from the Halo series) (Great Journey uniting alien spieces, greater good uiniting alien spieces.Worlds apart but then again.)
Did GW rip off Lucas? Did Bungie rip off GW?
I would rather say that sci-fi fashion/design, like fashion/design IRL, goes in trends and gets developed (spelling?) by the community as a whole although some designers are more influential than others.

As a side note the Tau-Neimodian parallell was a nice one, never thought of it. Its always nice to get new sources of inspiration.

Brother Siccarius
16-01-2008, 21:53
I am talking about the speech pattern and tone.
Again, a stereotypical speech pattern taken from the same source, asian culture.



The Protoss have a goatlike gait, with legs hinged backwards. The Neimodians do not. Neither do the Tau.
Tau do as well, it's just not as pronounced as in the Protoss.

Protoss (http://www.starcraft2.com/art.xml?s=16)
Tau (http://us.games-workshop.com/games/40k/tau/extras/gallery/coverart.jpg)

Tau don't walk "normally", their "heel" with the third toe is raised above the end of the foot and the first and second toe, which are placed on the ground. The Protoss just have a much lengthened version of it.

RadiO
16-01-2008, 23:18
I remember seeing a large-scale figure of a Japanese infantryman from the middle ages, He was wearing boxy wooden body armour over cloth shirt and trousers, and was armed with a early long barrelled rifle.
He basically was a Tau Fire Warrior, except human, and real.

jfrazell
17-01-2008, 00:01
Exactly, with the firewarriors as midieval Japanese soldiers, and of course badly done manga tanks.

The Orange
17-01-2008, 01:43
Their are some similarities, but nothing IMO to state that GW took from SW artistically.

I look at a Neimodian and what do I see? A heavily cloaked figure with only his head and hands exposed. They indeed have a very similar looking face to the Tau in that both are very flat (with no nose). However the Neimodian has a slightly enlarged cranium and large metallic eyes. The only thing really similar is the mouth structure. Take a look at these other picture and you'll see that their facial structure as well as skin color vary quite a bit. I.e. greener skin, pronounced bone ridges around the eyes in the first, and a a cleft chin on the third.

http://www.starwars.ch/Images/Character/NuteGunray.jpg
http://www.jedi-master-lucia.nl/ep3-33/neimodian.jpg
http://www.jedi-master-lucia.nl/ep3-33/nute.jpg

Furthermore, we know that Tau have a nasal slit in their foreheads, 4 digits (Neimodians seem to have 5), and hoofed feet (Neimodians seem to have human like feet). So the only real similarity I see is a similar mouth, and thats it.

Now the Tank. Both are smooth, maybe sort of wedge shaped with a narrow front? Other then that I see differences. The Droid tank is front heavy, the front being very flat, and flat underneath. Where as the Tau tank is rear heavy with its transport section and engines, it's also not as flat as it has a sensor's blub at the fornt tip, and it curves out to a flat front section, instead of having something similar to a plate, slapped to the bottom.

The main turrent on the droid tank is a relatively small looking cylinder that is centered where as the Tau have a bulky off center, rectangular rail gun. Both tanks have smaller side guns, but where the Droid tank has them on their own pylons up high, the Tau has them to the front down low, with a horizontal 360 axis

The battledroid/firewarrior comparison is by far the furthest. The only thing similar is an overall smooth futuristic look.

FWs have a distinctive segmented armor pattern (somewhat like samurai) with smooth edges, where as the Droids have smooth angular plates, with maybe an interlocking pattern? Just look at the BD's legs. Their very rectangular and blocky, which is not really what you see with FWs. Even the FW's huge shoulder pad (another distinctive element of the Tau) has some curve to it.

The BD's heads are no where near as bulbous as a FWs, but are rather very sharp and narrow, and FWs have a distinctive singular eyepiece. Their guns are nothing alike as well. The BD gun has a very basic rough utilitarian look, where as the FW gun is plated for an overall smooth simple rectangular look.

So I don't really agree that the Tau took much from the SW universe, or vise versa. They are similarities, but that could be for many reasons. One of which is drawing from a similar source (Asian culture/anime/other fantasy universes/etc.) But both are quite distinct from each other IMO.

Brother Siccarius
17-01-2008, 01:58
^
|
What he said. :D

Baltar
17-01-2008, 02:16
1. I never said they were completely and utterly identical. Obviously they are not, or else it would be plagiarism and ripping off. Pointing out minor design differences doesn't make it any less likely that TPM is where they got the inspiration from.

2. If one goes from the perspective of "How do I go about trying to disprove it?" then they could create a reasonable doubt about anything. If you pull out any straw of possible evidence that you can, just because you want it to be untrue, then you could try and make a case. I don't get why it is such a big controversial deal?

You can't prove or disprove anything unless you get a statement from GW.

Xomborg
17-01-2008, 02:45
Reading this conversation hurt my head.

Anyways, I am sure that both SW and the Tau took inspiration from Asian cultures.

Unfortunetly, I am far from convinced that GW used material from TPM to influence their own Tau design philosophy. I simply can't imagine them watching the move and going 'Hey, there is an idea...'

IG_hopeful
17-01-2008, 03:01
Tau do as well, it's just not as pronounced as in the Protoss.

Protoss (http://www.starcraft2.com/art.xml?s=16)
Tau (http://us.games-workshop.com/games/40k/tau/extras/gallery/coverart.jpg)

Tau don't walk "normally", their "heel" with the third toe is raised above the end of the foot and the first and second toe, which are placed on the ground. The Protoss just have a much lengthened version of it.

Curious.. That Protoss race, look like they maybe the the idea behind the Vespid warriors.

Gensuke626
17-01-2008, 03:17
1. I never said they were completely and utterly identical. Obviously they are not, or else it would be plagiarism and ripping off. Pointing out minor design differences doesn't make it any less likely that TPM is where they got the inspiration from.

2. If one goes from the perspective of "How do I go about trying to disprove it?" then they could create a reasonable doubt about anything. If you pull out any straw of possible evidence that you can, just because you want it to be untrue, then you could try and make a case. I don't get why it is such a big controversial deal?

You can't prove or disprove anything unless you get a statement from GW.

The reason that it seems so controversial to you is because of the way you present your arguement. In a nutshell it's been running like this.

Baltar - GW used Neomidians as an inspiration for the Tau.
Sicarrius - Well, GW said that they used Anime as an inspiration.
Baltar - But they look so alike! GW Must have used them.
Sicarrius - Well, Lucas often uses asian imagery for his movies, so they're similar because Lucas and GW are taking inspiration from very close sources.
Baltar - BUT THEY LOOK SO ALIKE! GW MUST HAVE USED THEM!!


I mean, let's look at an older post of yours.

There is a difference between taking the shape of the samurai helmet and putting it on Darth Vader to taking subtleties from Anime. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and have never once heard him mention anime as an inspiration. You'd first have to prove that George Lucas utilized Anime imagery - pointing to some shallow stylistic choices taken from the Original Trilogy doesn't draw some straight line right to him taking designs off of Gundam Wing.
Saying you're a huge Star Wars fan is basically challengeing Sicarrius to a pissing contest, you're trying to validate your expertise on the matter. It's not a bad thing, but doing so in such a way as you have above is often an aggressive move in any debate.

And by your same rationale "pointing to some shallow stylistic choices taken from the Original Trilogy doesn't draw some straight line right to him taking designs off of Gundam Wing" can easily be said as "pointing to some shallow stylistic choices taken from the Hammerhead Gunship doesn't draw some straight line right to GW taking designs off of The Phantom Menace"

As far as I can see, everyone here can agree. There are some shallow similarities between the Trade Fed in TPM and the Tau. But saying that TPM IS a source of inspiration for Tau...I think you summed that up nicely yourself.

You can't prove or disprove anything unless you get a statement from GW.

Really, if you look into it, the Tau Battlesuits are definately an Anime Inspiration. Go look up Appleseed and Bubble Gum Crisis. And as for the generic Asian influence? I spot Chinese asthetics as a factor in the Hammerhead. In Pre-People's Republic China, the general feeling was "Round, Flowing, and Graceful are beautiful." Let's look at the Tau Tank.
Rounded Hull - Round
Skimmer - Flowing
Only as fast as a Russ, but Handles like a Falcon - Graceful

Chaplain of Chaos
17-01-2008, 03:17
First of, the only similarity I see is very very basic. Neimodians? Look nothing like Tau at all.

Battle Tanks? I guess, both lack sharp corners.

I think it far more likely they drew heavily off Anime and Japanese Mecha designs. That is just plain more likely than star wars.

Baltar
17-01-2008, 03:20
:rolleyes: Worst. Thread. Ever. And I started it.