Chances are, you've already marveled at Emmanuel Shiu's stunning concept art before. We've featured his stunning movie and game art before — he's worked on everything from Star Trek to Lost Planet 3. Above is a brand new piece of concept art, which he's premiering at io9. And below is Shiu's explanation of how to create visually compelling alien worlds.
We asked Shiu for the secret of creating beautiful alien worlds, and he told us:
The key to creating any environment is story. Story drives everything. From story, I derive the shapes and designs that best fit the scenario. Aside from getting my inspiration from the story, I also look to everyday things to inspire me. There are times when I'll look at an ordinary object, turn it upside down and all if a sudden you have a new kind of architecture that's unique.
I tend to sketch a lot to get the right shapes and silhouettes as well. From there, I usually take it to paint and further explore. One if the trickiest things I've found while designing fantastical worlds is the need for the designs to be based in some kind if reality. It has to make sense. If it doesn't, you run the risk of the viewer not believing it. Knowing that balance is the key.