100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 2


I had the idea for this image a while ago, not long after I finished my Puddle Jumper model. As I recall, I got the idea looking at the cover of The Terror, a historical novel by Dan Simmons describing the horrible fate of the Franklin Expedition as the crew succumbs to the harsh environment and also some sort of bear-monster. I think that part was a metaphor for how we’ll never know entirely what happened to those people.

Anyway, I more-or-less saw it in my minds eye as you see it above. Crashed Puddle Jumper buried in the snow, askew Stargate in the background, a set of lonely, filled tracks marching back. My premise for the image is that the ship tried flying through an older gate, unaware that it had fallen prey to the elements in the years since it was last used. The Jumper emerged at an odd angle, the left wing clipped the ground and sheared off as it was extending, and the rest of it plowed into the snow a short distance away.

So why didn’t I make the picture before now? I never finished the interior of the model, and piling up the snow seemed like it’d be difficult. Thinking about it yesterday, I realized it actually wouldn’t be so hard. I could paint displacement maps for the furrowed snow and footprints, and hide the interior with lighting. I would’ve liked to have some snow accumulating in the crevices of the ship, but “time pressure” is the name of the game for the next few months, so I’ll leave that for if I revisit the image. Same with the color difference between the foreground and background snow.

This is one of the rare images where I created virtually everything, aside from one or two stock textures and surfaces. The models of the Puddle Jumper and Stargate. The mountains in the distance were built using displacement maps as described here, and the snow in the foreground used similar principles. The snow’s texture was based on a preset I found online. The clouds in the background are from one of my photos.

Finally, while I was working on it, I though it might be a little depressing, so I also made one where the Stargate was active, so you can be sure the pilot was able to return home.


~ by David Gian-Cursio on August 9, 2016.