October has clearly captured your collective imaginations, resulting in a plethora of hand drawn images and Halloween-themed spookiness. We had so many calendar entries this month that I considered inventing a new month just to fit them all in! While Halloween is one of the better-known events in October, let us not forget the other key happenings from around the world. Many will discover the joys of reading during Children’s Book Week in England, Canada feasts on turkey during their Thanksgiving (8th), Turkmenistan celebrates its Independence Day on the 27th, and in its 17th year, Apple Day is rejoiced on the 21st!
Before we kick things off, I recently received an urgent email from James Young, who you may recall sent in an image for last month’s competition featuring the battle of Stirling Bridge. Anyway, it turns out he accidentally sent in the wrong version. So for his own piece of mind, here is the one he meant to send in:
Taking the term “Birdseye view” literally, Don Fellini from Australia has sent in this image of an eagle swooping majestically over a battlefield. Just in case the grandiosity of the image is ever called into question, here is Don to set the record straight:
“I’ve no doubt you have 1000′s of “epic” screenshots, but how many look as awesome and fulfilling as this? I call it “The Eagle watches the troops storm the city outskirts”
Alexander Boros (GreatkingOfall) from Canada sent in this colourful image of the Teutonic Order modelling their autumn range of armoury.
Phil Delves (known to most as Kaiser Invictus on the forums) sent in the following screenshot of a cavalry unit appreciating the unseasonably warm October weather!
“It’s called “El Nuevo Mundo”, or “The New World”. It’s simply an in-game image, with a bit of very basic image editing. Of course, its a Spanish Conquistador, as he lands in Mexico to start a Spanish Colony and ultimately begin the conquest of El Nuevo Mundo.”
Sarban from Turkey has submitted a wonderful pencil drawing entitled “soldier and horse” featuring a… well, you can probably guess that from the title.
“I drew it and then used PhotoFiltre to give it some yellow tone which gave it an older effect and High Quality Photo Resizer to fit the image to the Competition rules. The idea in that image is the second pitch battle of Kosovo which was between the Ottoman Empire and Hungry. The war is very important both for Turkish and European History. In the image a tired war horse drinks water and a Turkish soldier caresses the horse’s neck.”
Bill Bockos (aka VasileiosThe2nd) has also called in the cavalry for his latest effort:
“1071 AD. Mazikert. One of the most important and famous battles of Early Medieval history. The Byzantines, after using several clever “hit’n'run” tactics on the enemy, were finally defeated by the Turks, loosing almost complete control of Asia Minor for ever. In the pic I drew 2 Turkish horse archers of a squadron, harassing a Katafraktoi squadron, who are charging against them. I firstly drew the picture with a pencil and paper, and after scanning it, I used Adobe Photoshop to further edit it (colouring, etc).”
In a nifty bit of cross-promotion, Pawel Derejczyk (Pyrrus) of Poland has sent in a dramatic drawing of a Viking, clutching to his faithful weapons as he is seemingly struck in the neck by a powerful blast of lightning.
James Young’s entries keep getting better, and this month’s (his fourth) is no exception. For partygoers, it also offers a variety of great costume ideas for Halloween!
“October 1415, Agincourt. In the approaching dusk, the English king, Henry V, surveys the battlefield. This zealous, all-competent man had the appearance of a cleric, yet proved to be one of England’s most fearless generals. The image is a pencil drawing with layers of ink/bleach added and manipulated using Photoshop.”
In surely the funniest picture we have received this month, Joe Dodds from Australia is also the very first person to actually get dressed up for their competition entry.
“It’s probably the worst you’ve seen this month but it was very fun making it. This idea came around when I was watching the Britannia campaign video, and at the end I saw a group of mounted Scottish knights charging a group of English. The picture was of the charging Scots and in the foreground a pair of muddy hands holding a spear. Unfortunately we’re not allowed spears in Australia, so I took the perspective of the Scots.
Firstly using QuickTime I froze the movie and took a snapshot of it. I sent that to Photoshop and worked on blotting out the Medieval 2 total war sign in the bottom. I then went outside and my brother took photos of me in a bunch of mum’s tartan material, the bad thing was our neighbours were having a party and I had no top on so I had to be discreet. I then put the masked me on top of the English and adjusted the sizes and everything. Then, after unsuccessful attempts at putting grass over my feet, I shadowed myself to reflect where I think the position of the sun would have been in the picture. And hey presto, I had a picture.”
Making his debut in the competition, Muhammed Ibrahim Kavranoglu (better known as Sipahioftheporte on our forums) has got into the Halloween spirit with this ghoulishly glowing pumpkin picture!
Ian Douglas from Leicester sent in a wonderful illustration entitled “Return October”.
“This picture was quite different for me in that it’s more of a scene way after a battle when the units are returning after war in October. It represents the Knight’s love waiting forlornly for the man she thinks may be dead in some distant land, just as he arrives. The tree is slowly beginning to brown at the onset of Autumn as the leaves begin to fall…
It was done with pencil to draft, lightly inked, painted with luminous ink colours and inked over again, but much more carefully so as not to let the black overtake the picture too much.”
We typically only feature one entry from each artist, but as Ian also created this disturbing image just in time for Halloween, I couldn’t resist!
Making his second appearance in the competition, Maciej Sprada from Poland has hit the jackpot with this winning 3D rendered image. Proving that Halloween isn’t the only fear-enducing date on the calendar, here is Maciej to tell us about the October origins of Friday the 13th:
“This is my second encounter with this competition. My main inspiration to do this Templar grave is very important date of 13th October 1307. This Friday morning was unlucky for all Templars because they were captured, arrested and executed. From that time 13th Friday is considered as an unlucky day when anything can happen. Everyone believes that this day is unlucky but most of all they don’t know why. I wanted to show everyone the origins of why we consider this to be such an unlucky day!
(Alex Ed – I felt compelled to add here that I didn’t know this either so thanks Maciej!).
I created all models individually in 3d Studio max 8 (Textured objects I created in CorelDraw, some in Photoshop, the remaining I created in 3d max material editor). I rendered the scene and I adjusted some things in Photoshop (adjusting brightness for example).”
October 2007′s Create A Calendar wallpaper is available to download in two sizes here.
So concludes another productive calendar month of community creativity. November’s competition has now officially started, and there are plenty of events on the calendar to use as artistic inspiration, including Guy Fawkes Night (UK) and Thanksgiving (USA). You have until Friday 30th November to get your entries in, and this month’s prizes include a copy of Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms, plus signed Total War artwork, Rome and Medieval II soundtracks. For full entry details, please click here.