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Lord Dante
07-08-2010, 15:06
Hi everyone, some you might know im a designer, and 3D artist.
I am currently working on a depiction the Emperor in all his glory etc...

Im looking for peoples opinion on what the Emperor looks like (before he ended up on the Golden throne!) around the time of the great crusade.

As a long time 40K fan I been playing since RT days, and have every single codex printed/.PDF from RT onwards, and every BL novel that contains any reference to the Emperor, Information is still scarce...

Pooling all this information together still doesnt build a brillant picture, and Im left with a handfull of images to reference:

http://gamingtp.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/fullview_emperor-horus.jpg

The above Image is my current major reference picture.

http://gamingtp.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/horus_vs_emperor3.jpg

An earlier rendition.

http://1d4chan.org/images/7/78/Emperor.jpg

Nice face shot, reminds me of an American Indian for some reason

http://fc03.deviantart.com/fs24/f/2007/336/d/5/The_Emperor_of_mankind_by_Noldofinve.jpg

J.B getting in on the action


There are not to many images out there, and the only things that seem almost set in stone is that hes: 1. middle-aged and 2. Has Dark / almost black hair.

Part me thinks I can just go off and do as I please, hell its my artwork, but another part of me is interested to know what other fans think, Id rather create somthing that fans are happy with!

Question:
Apart from the images above, when you read about the emperor, what image does he conjour in your mind, is there a famous person perhaps that you think of / associate him?

For example: You say Evil Horus, and I think Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. (An example, Tho I do see a bit of Brando in him! :) )

Any help is much appreciated!!!

Iuris
07-08-2010, 15:44
Well, I kinda started with two images of the guy right from the start, so the GW depiction got kind of well rooted. Long black hair, aquiline nose. And that's already 95% of the recognizable features, really.

If anything, maybe a bit like Conan from the images (not Arnie version).

Although I always prefer to see him as showing age - man in his fifties.

Kage2020
07-08-2010, 15:51
Strangely I prefer the last one, but then again I've always preferred the more "human" representation of the Emperor, and that one does a pretty good job. Then again, I'm overly influenced by the version of the Emperor that I saw in Lost and the Damned on p173.

Kage

Romanus
07-08-2010, 15:53
When I think of the Emperor I see an average human face, it's the eyes that show the endless time that he has wandered the earth. The face is weathered but unremarkable, middle aged as you have said. Strong nose line and chin. I think the story of the shamans pooling there forces togeather to create the Emperor in the beginning has brought about the idea that he is Mongolian and through its natural human migration Native American through the shamans that existed in these societies and by extension of this that he looks like he comes form these two cultures.

If that makes any sense what so ever then its been my plessure :D

Cheers,
Rom

DarthMcBob
07-08-2010, 19:28
The Emperor can look like basically whatever he wants to. In Dark Heresy, a high-level psyker can change his appearance with psychic powers. The idea of the most powerful psyker ever to exist uh... ever, looking however he wants is completely unsurprising.

Son of Sanguinius
07-08-2010, 19:48
The Emperor can look like basically whatever he wants to. In Dark Heresy, a high-level psyker can change his appearance with psychic powers. The idea of the most powerful psyker ever to exist uh... ever, looking however he wants is completely unsurprising.

Agreed. Ultimately, the Emperor looks like whatever you need him to look like to fit the image of an upstanding hero and born leader. As to his actual appearance, I think he looks suspiciously like Malcador. ;)

Idaan
07-08-2010, 20:48
Aaron Dembski-Bowden delivers once again. Here's a quote from "First Heretic" excerpt that appeared a few days ago. My favourite depiction of the Emperor so far:


Lorgar looked to the sixth figure, who was just a man. Despite the vigour of youth, age lines showed timeís tracks across features that were both stern and gentle, all at once. The manís appearance depended entirely on
which facet of his face one focused upon. He was a tired, ageing man, and a heroic statue immortalised in lifeís prime. He was a young, grimacing warlord with cold eyes, and a confused elder on the edge of weeping.

Mortarion74
07-08-2010, 22:01
For my own opinion I think of the god emperor as a mummyfied corpse covered with pumps, machines and generic aincfient machinery dating back to the dark age of tecknowlogy. All of this putrid mess is covered in robes that have long lost the colour of the imperial purple.

and this is the icon those pittyfull mortals worship.

Kage2020
07-08-2010, 22:16
The Emperor can look like basically whatever he wants to. In Dark Heresy, a high-level psyker can change his appearance with psychic powers. The idea of the most powerful psyker ever to exist uh... ever, looking however he wants is completely unsurprising.
One of the original justifications as to how the Emperor could be "8' tall and capable of shooting lightning bolts out of his ****." On the other hand, when it comes down to his original face, I stick with the image from the Lost and the Damned and the fourth one in the original post.

Of course, this is pre-Golden Throne, as per Mortarion74's observation. :D

Kage

BobtheInquisitor
07-08-2010, 22:34
Is there a copy of the Lost and the Damned image available online?

Kage2020
07-08-2010, 23:03
Temporarily there's one here (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/Kage2020/latd_173_adrian_smith.jpg).

Kage

madprophet
08-08-2010, 01:54
The Emperor looks like Rick Priestly :)

Seriously, the pics of the Emperor already posted are a little out-dated (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/e/e8/God-Emperor.jpg).

Kage2020
08-08-2010, 02:15
Yes, yes. The Corpse Ration Emperor of post-Ascension. I'm guessing that the original poster is thinking more about pre-Ascension. And when he said 3d art, I'm seriously hoping that he's talking about 3ds Max/Maya/Blender/whatever. That would be awesome. :D

On the other hand, a rendered image of the Throne Room would also be seriously awesome. :D

Kage

FabricatorGeneralMike
08-08-2010, 03:19
Temporarily there's one here (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/Kage2020/latd_173_adrian_smith.jpg).

Kage

I was looking for that pic forever to post in this thread. I believe it was also used in the origional article on the different types of power armour.

What a great pic.

Kage2020
08-08-2010, 03:26
Yeah, not sure how long I'll be able to host that without feeling guilty about copyright... :shifty:

Still, one of my favourite images. Still looking forward to seeing what Lord Dante has in mind... :D

Kage

Col. Tartleton
08-08-2010, 03:34
http://img139.imageshack.us/f/conanearlnoremjr1.jpg/

http://sites.google.com/site/pathfinderogc/config/app/images/EmperorsWisdom.jpg

http://whfb.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/d/d2/SigmarEmperor.jpg

The first one is Conan, the last one is Sigmar, but they're all the same person in different universes.

That's the official look anyhow. However prior to seeing them I always saw him as a more Zeus-God-Odin-Gandalf look. Wise, Regal, Spartan, Radiant, a long white beard and a furrowed brow from thinking too hard, but clear youthful skin, not overly wizened and wrinkled. His mind constantly elsewhere, you can see it when you talk to him, yet he's perfectly able to carry on conversation. Timeless is the word to sum up his age. He's certainly not a child, he's of the age that he's a father to grown men regardless of their own age, but he still reduces them to little boys in his presence like a venerable grandfather. That's why he seems tall. Its not related to how tall he is, but how tall you are. He's always taller so he can bounce you on his knee and tell you a story. He's the All-Father and a Son of Man.

He's Odin certainly. He's Santa Claus but he's also a God of War with vast goals and more then willing to see a billion of his sons die so that others may live. Describing him is like trying to describe the ocean in one word. Everyone does it differently. Every description is true because every one is a lie. Try illustrating God. Not Christ, that's been done. But God. You'll never find a face that will satisfy. That's ultimately why Muslims don't try.

In short; Morgan Freeman.

Merus
08-08-2010, 03:39
In short; Morgan Freeman.

I'm thinking more along the lines of Edward Norton.

Col. Tartleton
08-08-2010, 03:46
I'm thinking more along the lines of Edward Norton.

Perhaps the last person I'd ever think of, but I can see what you mean. He's Primarch worthy. Konrad Curze? For that fight club/American History X hard and craziness I love?

While we're picking people who can't quite fill the Emperor's boots, Dennis Leary as Leman Russ.

Kage2020
08-08-2010, 03:49
Self-evidently the Emperor is Keven Spacey (read: Keyser Soyze). Of course, that's not quite what the original poster might have been looking for.

Kage

Decius
08-08-2010, 04:01
What does the Emperor look like? (http://captionsearch.com/pix/i96v5pflr5.jpg)

Merus
08-08-2010, 04:44
Perhaps the last person I'd ever think of, but I can see what you mean. He's Primarch worthy. Konrad Curze? For that fight club/American History X hard and craziness I love?

While we're picking people who can't quite fill the Emperor's boots, Dennis Leary as Leman Russ.

I dunno man, I think he could do it. That's blatant bias though, as he is one of my favorite actors.

I can see Gary Oldman as an awesome Malcador as well. :D

Hellebore
08-08-2010, 05:21
After 38,000 years of life, the emperor probably looked like this (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_X23VeJW_AJM/RlT5jrJaUqI/AAAAAAAAAAM/FTqG-xHhpm0/s320/uglydog.jpg). Then the heresy happened and he got worse. :D

I'm much more in favour of his body being human and being sustained only by the power of his mind. He created the primarchs for the uber genetic soldier, his body is still human. Human with alpha+ in Biomancy, but still human. He was born into the world from normal parents, the only distinguishing feature being his soul.

For something that I think is a cool representation of him in 2010, see the rather awesome 'Man from Earth' film. Entirely set in one living room as a discussion amongst 8 people.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756683/

Unfortunately it didn't have the kind of money behind it that it really should have, but the story is great.

Hellebore

Idaan
08-08-2010, 10:00
I recall someone once using some sort of application for matching your face to some celebrity on the Emperor's portrait. The result was Matt Dillon. Make of that what you want. :D

MvS
08-08-2010, 10:39
For something that I think is a cool representation of him in 2010, see the rather awesome 'Man from Earth' film. Entirely set in one living room as a discussion amongst 8 people.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0756683/
Hm, that is how I would imagine the Emperor to be in our current era - albeit without the psychic powers.

I'll track that film down I think. Thanks for posting Hellebore!

Lord Dante
08-08-2010, 11:46
Thanks for the responses, its interesting to read other peoples opinion on a relative subject.

Kage/and to anyone who wants to know the technical stuff:

The model is being created in 3DS Max - Just the base surfaces.

Its then ported to ZBrush for detailing. A.Smiths grand redition of them Emp V's Horus is going to be the basis, and I will layer on another level of detail, ie. etching all the surfaces like classic armour:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2080/2501534523_dd428d220b_o.jpg

That, and loads of this scroll relife:

http://www.benelliworldclass.com/executive/images/lg_executive_detail_4.jpg

The texture maps are painted Mauri - Ive been lucky enough to be included on the Beta of this new software and hope to put it to good use. Its the same tool used/developed for painting the textures in Avatar (and Lord of the Rings), Im going to need some super large maps due to the level of detail I want.
I see the Emperors armour as a work of art, master artisan stuff, and ive spent a fair amount of time looking into armour patterns and use of Eagle/lightning imagery.

Its all then ported back to Max and rendered using Vray, multiple scene passes are rendered, diffuse, specular, reflection,depth maps etc...

The final image composition is the Emp, and a background from inside (*cough* a bit above) the palace. Its one part ill keep quiet on for now, but think Classical roman architecture - again, months of reaserch... Also, a few serifs and custodes...All of this is then Composited in Nuke - Photorealism is the target. I want an image that people look at and only questionable part is on the basis that most of us know this sort of thing doesnt exist. That issue can never be overcome but everything else should be beyond question...Its funny as this kind of work, at this level can be found for most other franchises yet 40K only has painted and heavily stylised works of art.
Now dont get me wrong, not for one moment do I not like this work, its all brillant, its my inspiration in life! Im just working on a new angle...

There are some other bits in between but thats pretty much the basic workflow.

And so back to the Emps face, the rest of the scene and armour is largely a product of what we already know but his face remains an enigma and yet very important to the final image.

I too agree that the Emp probably uses a psychic project to show you what he wants you to see, but for the sake of argument, I still need to show everyone else somthing!

Im quite attracted to this classic image of God:

http://www.corante.com/mooreslore/archives/images/God.jpg

Grey hair, beared, powerfull and wise. Yet hes also very stylised, I mean, whos head is really shaped like that?
Not sure the Emp has a beard... but ill take a look when im playing with the hair!

I quite like the references to Conan, for some reason I do see and feel a bit of Conan in the Emperor:

http://www.sliceofscifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/conan2.jpg

But I think he also needs that bit of god/zeus look in him. Great wisdom and incredible scary power...

http://www.redicecreations.com/ul_img/6074zeus.jpg

God only knows what that lot would look like in combination...

Anyhows, I was also wondering if he would have any other facial implants, for some reason im thinking of the video game:

http://360.kombo.com/images/content/news/blake_091508_TooHuman.jpg

Just a thought... Its a shame Too Human was a bit naff, I like the idea, well, its all a bit 40K... off topic I know!
Ive always thought that whilst the Emp wasnt like a space marine or Primarch, I expect hes augmented his body to some degree, using bionic implants and organs etc..., in combination with his Psychic powers he might not look like a traditional human frame anymore and might have taken on the proportions of a Primarch.
Or, you can agrue, hes as big as Primarch as thats how he projects himself... Suffice to say, Ive given him the body of an 8ft tall space marine.
Why? well two reasons, one it looks cool, but second, I needed a body to build the armour around. I think most people realise that A human form wouldnt fit into a suit of power armour, or terminator for that matter very easily. So im fitting the suit to a real body, albiet over-sized human body.

Anyhows, I can rattle on all day, loving the feedback people, thanks for your help. I will be working on the face over the next few days so ill be sure to post lots of images!

My day job is a designer for the worlds best known super yacht brand, im very fortunate to work for them but my passion lies in Warhammer 40k, it always has, always will. My everyday work requires me to create new designs, and works of art to a very high standard. Im turning all this experience back to what I love, 40K!

At least Horus will be easier...

Col. Tartleton
08-08-2010, 21:56
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L53gjP-TtGE

I think this might be useful. ;)

But I like your idea. What are you planning for Horus by the way?

I'd prefer an all too human thing. The ultra evil look seems over the top. I'd go for a Julius Caesar or Augustus look to him. Clean shaven head, but that sort of patrician features. His I'd imagine to be like black marble, gleaming, very very black with threads of silver streaking it, not bronze. I think the pallet of colors should be opposite. The Emperor in Gold with ivory accents, Horus in black marble with silver accents. Armor draped in wolf pelts almost in the style of a roman standard bearer. Human skulls carved with care out of polished jet with silver teeth gleaming in their mouths upon his terminator armor. He's evil, but in a way just as brilliant then the Emperor. Rather then just an ominous red glow that seems to be there just to make him look evil try to make it look like the suns corona in one of those tinted images. Something tzeentchian.

http://solar.physics.montana.edu/ypop/Spotlight/Tour/images/corona1.gif
http://folk.uio.no/gardini/sun_stereo.jpg

The Emperor has his sort of obvious good guy thing to him, gold and white armor, silken cape, halo, all that.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_NOVV_qpBVl4/SjndxYYhOsI/AAAAAAAAFFI/cdTpefhb6M8/s400/erperorcrew.jpg

But Horus shouldn't be spiky evil, he's majestically suave decadent evil. Rotten inside not out. Sexy evil. Slaanesh made him even more beautiful to look upon, tzeentch wreathed him in fire that does not burn, Nurgle put the grin on his face, Khorne lit a fire in his belly. Evil is sexy. The Emperor is the radiant god made flesh. Horus has to be worthy of Lucifer.

If you make some guys in the background around them, the Sons of Horus would look awesome in Green Marbled and Black Marbled colors with silver facings. The Justaerin Terminators wearing it in reverse (Black as the primary color. I feel like stone armor is ideal to make them look different. Its a bit more fantasy, and Power Armor is made of special super ceramics not metal.

Kage2020
08-08-2010, 22:51
Kage/and to anyone who wants to know the technical stuff:
Thanks for taking the time to explain. I'm just starting dabbling with the 3d art malarky, so getting to grips with 3ds Max | Maya | Mudbox and other alternatives. My uses are a tad on the simpler side (AEC stuff, landscapes) for potential augmented reality interpretations of historic... stuff. Archaeology, historical landscapes and structures. That sort of thing. So looking at this type of material is particularly inspiring, especially when you have the artistic ability of "a clutch of blind hedgehogs... in a paper bag." :D

(Okay, it's not that bad. ;))

So, yeah, just trying to wade through the sea of potentials: which software over another, which I can afford for what is essentially a grand experiment that might not go anywhere (or might go in a whole lot of different places), this rendered or that rendered, blah blah. You may be able to distantly remember the drill. :D

My brain hurts. :skull:


Its then ported to ZBrush for detailing. A.Smiths grand redition of them Emp V's Horus is going to be the basis, and I will layer on another level of detail, ie. etching all the surfaces like classic armour...
You're going for the terminator armour or the power armour? I presume the former but had to ask. I would like to see both, but for some reason my preference tends to go towards the power armour one.

Incidentally, are you even going to bother with dealing with the thorny issue of proportions? I looked at the Marines of the picture that I posed from Lost and the Damned by Adrian Smith are probably the most anatomically correct images out there. Only problem? The mighty Penguin Marine!

One thing that I will say, though, is less sometimes can be more when it comes to the armour. Quite power has a gravitas of its own. Obviously your choice, but throwing it out there for consideration.


Its one part ill keep quiet on for now, but think Classical roman architecture - again, months of reaserch...
LOL. You should have asked. (The joys of being an archaeologist... ;))

Cool, though. Roman architecture is, for me, the perfect basis to work with especially if one integrates some concepts from more modern architecture. Consider, for example, the architecture of the British Museum. I'm not suggesting that specific imagery, but it shows how we can intermesh different periods and styles of architecture for interesting effect. Indeed, depending on the goals and scope of the image, you can even get all Hanging Gardens on its ass (;) green architecture, vertical gardens, etc.).

Again, though, just throwing it out there. Sounds like you've got a clear concept to start with ("months of research...") so, yeah, there you have it.


And so back to the Emps face, the rest of the scene and armour is largely a product of what we already know but his face remains an enigma and yet very important to the final image.
One thing that you might want to consider is, as much as anything, the potential ethnicity of the Emperor as deriving from central Anatolia. Thus rather than grey beard, you might want to go with darker hair and grey flecking for a bit of austerity and dignity of the character.


Anyhows, I was also wondering if he would have any other facial implants, for some reason im thinking of the video game...
Why would he, though?


Ive always thought that whilst the Emp wasnt like a space marine or Primarch, I expect hes augmented his body to some degree, using bionic implants and organs etc..., in combination with his Psychic powers he might not look like a traditional human frame anymore and might have taken on the proportions of a Primarch.
Biomancy would be the obvious response with recourse to augmentation. It's just a shame that to keep up with some of the imagery that you've got to introduce so much power-creep into the imagery. It's the same ultimately problem as the armour--quiet force of power vs. grand ostentation.


Why? well two reasons, one it looks cool, but second, I needed a body to build the armour around. I think most people realise that A human form wouldnt fit into a suit of power armour, or terminator for that matter very easily. So im fitting the suit to a real body, albiet over-sized human body.
It can actually be done depending on which imagery of armour you're taking. Hence the question above, though you've just answered it anyway.

Kage