Superman: Flyby (2003) - Kal-El Pod concepts

Another Traditional Tuesday upload! My first assignment on the project was to design the Pod in which Kal El escapes the destruction of Krypton as a baby. This one had the additional complication of doubling as the spaceship Clark uses to return to Krypton at the end of the movie. (wait... didn't he just say "Destruction of Krypton...?") So part of the assignment was making something convertible, essentially fixed with a removable "baby seat." Production Designer Owen Patterson had a clear idea of a chrome teardrop for the ship, so I started with that as a loose direction on which to build so as not to evoke the design from "Flight of the Navigator." Ultimately Owen had me strip anything extraneous from the silhouette, leaving us with the pure uninterrupted shape of the final design.

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My initial page of sketches, Prismacolor pencil on velum, then scanned and toned using the "fake Canson paper" technique I used at the time. A lot of speed forms, but I really liked the one in the top left corner, which I pursued further.

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Another page of concepts, this time in marker on bond. Trying to use value to break up the surface, and the idea of the "S" lozenge being formed out of overlapping cut lines emerges here.

Phil saunders podthumnails2

Further refinement on the simple speed form with graphics.

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Rear three-quarter view of my favorite design for this project. I thought this was a pretty successful attempt at coming up with a completely alien propulsion system. The unfortunate angle fails to show the three vanes supporting the engine.

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Another angle. Owen ultimately decided he wanted no visible source of propulsion.

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The final concept.

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The final shape.

Phil saunders pd podbabykalelclosed concept saunders v1

Back to Photoshop. With baby seat an baby Kal El. He would have traveled in a form of inertial gel.

Phil saunders pd podbabyseat concept saunders v1

Baby seat minus baby.

Phil saunders pd podbabykalel concept saunders v1

Baby seat with rear panels open.

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Fully open. Owen Patterson again wanted an interior design devoid of obvious controls, with a clear shell backlit by green light chasers.

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My initial design for the interior, showing how Superman would fit.