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Hypothetical set series – Astronomy

With the abundance of downtime that I typically see during the last two months of the year, I thought I’d sit down and turn some of the ideas that make their way into my physical paper sketchbook into 3D renderings, both to keep myself sharp on the modeling side but also to showcase my designs in a way that is more physically accurate than my poor perspective-drawing abilities can realize.

When I’m sitting doodling thinking about a particular theme, the design that emerges from that is largely use-agnostic. That is, it could be adapted for just about anything a client would like to use it for – a house of worship, a conference, a theatrical production, whatever. With that in mind, here’s my first set, based around an astronomy theme.

My design goal here was to combine a sort of Victorian aesthetic – lots of bronze and warm metals, flowing curves and pointy arches – with an abstract repeating window and wooden slat design along the back, in front of an antique constellation chart backdrop, while having some large “planets” floating overhead to provide a sense of vast scale and spaciousness.

The “balcony” suggests looking off into the night, and the astrolabe and metal globe provide interesting surfaces for light to play off of. This model was built in SketchUp and the lighting and rendering done in Kerkythea. I think that this is the last time I’ll use SketchUp to build sets like this – in its attempts to be user-friendly, it ends up being restricting. For instance, it doesn’t “do” spheres very well – it models them as a series of faces, and it can’t texture them very well, either, which is why the “planets” texture looks the way it does. (Or I’m not doing it right.) Either way, I’m about to make the move to Blender. More at Flickr.

[Edit: just spent three hours modeling a freaking coffee cup in Blender. Holy learning curve, Batman.]

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