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About Digital Art / Hobbyist NemeanFrance Recent Activity
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Wishing everyone a fantastic 2016! I hope you all have the health and strength to make your dreams come true.

Très bonne nouvelle année à tous. En vous souhaitant la réalisation de vos rêves et la santé.
Explorers Of The New Frontier by garryts
Explorers Of The New Frontier
So… Full retro scifi mode here! I’m attempting full-on 1970’s - 80’s book cover, so including every trope I can:

• Futuristic spaceship/vehicle, centre stage - check!
• Yellow, orange or red sky - check!
• Lots of planets, one of which is a gas giant - check!
• Wispy atmosphere - check!

The inspiration for this one is principally artist Peter Jones excellent cover for Heinlein’s ‘Orphans of the Sky’ (…), but mixed with a big dose of Peter Elson (variously… ,… , and… )

The basis of the ship mesh comes from (I’m fairly certain) an unfinished project available on Kenny Mitchell’s (now defunct) website. I really liked the cockpit on that, but stripped away the wings and engines rebuilt the bottom, top and sides. 70’s, scifi was definitely about ducts and vents!

I added new wings (gull-wings, which I’m so proud of I will find another excuse to show this ship) and engines (which are from the ship I built here… )

The alien language used in all the ship icons and logos is Marain, from Iain M Banks ‘Culture” books, care of the MarainScript font by Daniel Solis (details, download here…)

The ‘hexagon flower’ logo is a little tribute/nod to Peter Elson - he used it in this brilliant image…

Lighting was a Dosch HDR sky (I bought the pack over a decade ago and use them all the time, well worth the money). No 43 in the pack is a lovely golden cloud-filled sky, which provided a nicely tinted light for this image. I augmented the HDR with a fill light to create shadows at the angle I needed. The background I built in Photoshop, using a cloud stock image and planets I created years ago and have used many times in images you’ll see here in my gallery.

Texturing I kept very simple - the main texture is just a really pale grey in the colour channel with dirt in the diff layer. I did try a sort of Jonathan Ive look first - glossy and clean - but that did’t work.

My only niggle with this is image is the pilot(s) figure; my own astronauts aren’t ready - still rigging them - and so I dropped in a low-poly pilot figure by Christopher Schell. I really, really need to find time to sort the rigging on my figures!
Wreck Of The Shuttle Peredur by garryts
Wreck Of The Shuttle Peredur
This one has a long gestation; the original idea comes from one of the opening scenes in Crichton’s Sphere, which I read around the time of its original release. For me, one of the best parts in a mediocre book is the initial description of the ship sat on the seabed.

Fast forward to a month or so ago, discussing an underwater scene by Colourbrand and the difficulties involved. In that thread I mentioned that the obstacles (as I saw them) had stopped me working on scenes like an interpretation of the Sphere opener.

Realising how crazy that situation was, I began delving into underwater scenes; firstly, I found a scene provided with C4D itself - that demonstrates how to use the Environment Object to give the right feel (it also provided the sharks!).  An enforced stay in hospital meant I had time on my hands and I found some useful tutorials here: (thank god for the large data limit I get from SFR) One of the pieces of luck I had was all the work I have done on volumetric lights since creating this image…

Eremes2703 has also been very generous with advice on producing scenes with terrains, and that helped me a lot wit this particular scene.

I started out with the intention of reproducing the Sphere scene but quickly realised that it wasn’t going to work (for me, at least) because the ship in the book is immaculate; it does’t crash, but (spoiler alert) simply appears in the underwater location, so no damage, rust or marine life build-up.

By the time I had made that decision, I had sketched out the scene (using Axeman’s X33 model as a place-holder for the ship). So, I continued as an original scene, substituting pristine hull materials for increasingly distressed metals. To get the look of the ship right, I Googled underwater wrecks like crazy, downloading dozens of them as references for the lighting, amount of rust, plant build-up and so on.

Almost by default, Axeman’s X33 stayed; Yep, I cut the wings off and replaced them with more realistic wings - and ones that I could simulate damage on - but the main body stayed, which I regret really… The lip in the top of the hull is (in my opinion) ugly; I should have just started out with my own ship.

Those of you looking at the texturing will probably think I was really lazy, seeing obvious looking seams. In fact, I wanted that; looking at the reference pictures, it was clear on all of the wrecks that rust and marine life has attacked certain parts/panels of the wreck and not others. Modern avionic manufacturing and design techniques now calls for a wide variety of materials used interchangeably across the hull of a vehicle, depending on whether strength or (lack of) weight is required. I wanted to indicate those material changes in abrupt edges in the material. Eventually, I found a material that had rust, bubbled paint and so on, which gave the effect of built up silt, rust ad growing marine life that i wanted. I created Normal, Specular and Bump layers for it - cranking-up the Normal layer - and that’s what you see here.

What else…
Lighting the scene; there are loads of lights in this scene. All the lights are a pale blue-green; there is a main light with soft shadows, placed directly above the scene. There is a fill light behind the camera to light the foreground, but without shadows. The beams of light are from another light set above the scene, set to volumetric light and shining through a lattice of cylinders (as per the tutorial link above). This volumetric light is set to ‘no illumination’. The caustics pattern on the sea bed is  another light with a material applied to it - I simply Googled ‘caustics’ and chose a pattern, applying the texture to the transparency layer. An irritant with the caustic light effect is that it doesn’t seem to be on the ship - it’s actually applied to everything. However, the shape of the ship and the hull material mean that the caustic effect is distorted and actually appears to be streaks over the hull.

All of the fish have lights to give them a lift. Where necessary, the fish were posed using deformer objects (the fish coming out of the ship window, for instance)

The biggest problem I had was with the layout of the plants; I have the same problem with another scene and I’m not sure if it’s a problem with R13 on Yosemite or a memory problem (as in big scene and lack of RAM!). Firstly, the plants and (non-shark) fish all came from PlanIT 3d. To randomly disperse the plants across the terrain mesh, firstly I pinned the ‘master’ plants to the surface using a character Constraint (clamp). This is then dropped onto a Mograph Cloner (in Object mode) and with a Random effector to distribute the plants. In this scene (as well as another I have yet to finish) this simply does not work for me; the plants do not follow the terrain at all. I have checked my understanding of this several times by looking up tutorials, and I cannot see a flaw in my understanding and that it isn’t working is infuriating!

Rocks are via Rockgen; I re-textured them afterwards with a texture I thought more closely matched rocks in my reference pics. I do love Rockgen though!

BTW; the sand texture on the terrain is one of the textures that comes with C4D - and it’s really great!

There was a little bit of post production in Photoshop; C4D renders are too insipid without at least colour correction. I also used Flaming Pear’s free ‘Pixel Trash’ plugin to create some patchy noise in a layer. I blurred this, set the layer to ‘hard light’ then turned down the opacity. This was an attempt to get the feel for ‘stuff’ floating in the water.
Space Elevator, Kepler-22 by garryts
Space Elevator, Kepler-22
Finished off another abandoned project - this one I originally started (so the Finder tells me…) in July 2014.

As I have discussed elsewhere on dA, I grew up on the works of Arthur C Clarke, and so first encountered Space Elevators in The Fountains of Paradise (still have my copy!). Of course the concept was not even remotely new when ACC wrote about it; Konstantin Tsiolkovsky had beaten him to it by over 80 years. Space Elevators have become a common plot device - Iain M Banks ‘Feersum Endjinn’ is set in a crumbling, enormous State-sized city structure that includes a space elevator (referred to as the Tower or Fass(t) Tower). Ken Macleod’s ‘The Night Sessions’ has climactic scenes that take place on a space elevator (trying to avoid plot spoilers!).

At the end of Banks’ Feersum Edjinn there are descriptions of the top of space elevator - it features hotels, museums, sports facilities just like a modern airport… And that was the picture I had in my mind when I came design the space elevator. In particular how, like today’s airports, do you manage thousands of travellers? So, here are hotels, parks and so on. My design has an internal dock for small (inttra-system?) ships, but larger interstellar ships dock at one of the four arms at the top of the elevator.

My space elevator - like Bank’s - is a compression structure; that is, a structure built from the ground up (as opposed to the cables-plus-counterweight structure generally now proposed). Why did I put it on Kepler-22? Kepler-22 is larger than Earth and therefore a greater gravitational mass, requiring a greater escape velocity (and therefore fuel) to get in to space. Using space elevators therefore makes sense.

The mesh is a bit of a kit-bash; the central components are the base mesh I used  in Cities in The Sky… and Colony Station…. The “environmental supply & control systems” on some the arms were also used in Colony Station.

The living quarters - the discs around the central column - are a little in-joke… They started off looking a lot more like one of the famous 1950 UFO pictures that you find around the Internet… .

I borrowed quite a lot from other people for this too: the large circular frame is from  “Low Earth Depot S1” by Ignus Fast, available at Foundation3D. The girdered arms and also “power generators” (the rectangular boxes) are from a sort of spaceship building kit called “Truss Pack” which is (I think) by Kenny Mitchell.

…and, of course, everything is greebled to death!

Texturing is extremely simple, being basically the hull and the girder textures, which are both mine - the hull colour is available in my resources gallery here on dA. The textures used in the hanger entrance at the top of the space elevator are by Dosch. FYI, the texture under the dome at the top of the space elevator is actually the architects impression of the recently cancelled Japanese Olympic Stadium ☺

The planet - Kepler-22 - was created using Michael Welters Atmosphere plug-in for C4D. It uses my own “Water World” texture (I know, there is a big continent there - in fact the texture has 3 Australia sized continents and lots of island chains). I used this mask from my Resources here to crate it…

Modelled and rendered in Cinema 4d, post production in Photoshop.
The Gold Rush, circa 2050 by garryts
The Gold Rush, circa 2050
So.. Firstly, I promise this is the last image with the giant glarey sun-thing going in…

The image I wanted to make here had shadows fanning out from each of the objects in the scene. I tried every type of light object, CSTools Fog, you name it… No cool shadows; if anyone has any idea how I would do that in C4D, I would definitely like to know!

So… Asteroid Mining; regular watchers will know I have touched on this subject before (here:…). It’s a subject I’m interested in and it’s in the news - we’re burning through the Earth’s resources at an accelerating rate and based on known reserves, key elements such as phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper will be exhausted in 50–60 years.

The mining of asteroids for these elements has been suggested as our ‘Get Out Of Jail’ card. The idea is that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements are mined from asteroids and sent back to Earth. That’s despite that fact that we have yet to design a spacesuit glove that doesn’t tear astronauts finger nails out, have no method to protect against the effects of long terms weightlessness, nor exposure to solar radiation. Hacking back on NASA’s budget for the last 40 years might not have been such a good idea after all.

The ship in the image: the core of it - the containers and frame - I stole from someone else’s model… I’m fairly sure it was by avalon3d. I added detail to the frame (and I’m slightly annoyed with myself for putting the ship in shadow, having lovingly textured each of the containers… Oh well!). I stole the front-end of one of my own ships (this one…) and (imaginatively) gave it a long skinny fuselage, ending in a Discovery-like propulsion unit.

The (really lovely) main asteroid with the tiny astronauts on top is by Starbase1 and can be downloaded from the resources at I retextured it to give a slightly dustier look, based on photographs of asteroids on various sites.

I have made my scene as busy with asteroids as it usual for scifi visualisations of our solar systems asteroid belt; in reality, of course, the average distance between any two asteroids is around a million kilometres and given their generally small size, you simply wouldn’t be able to see another asteroid whilst you busy mining one! This is why we have been able to happily send our probes out to investigate the outer planets without fear of them being trashed during their passage through the asteroid belt.

The scene was modelled and rendered in Cinema 4D. I’m going to skip my usual run through of the textures used as you can’t really see them anyway!

Post production - actually not as much as you might think, mostly blume and sharpening - was done in Photoshop. Most of the colour in the image came form using light objects coloured to match the background.
Firstly, I hope that everyone here enjoyed the holiday period and to wish you Happy New Year!

I also want to apologise for not responding to emails, faves, watches, etc... I haven't been able to get to DeviantArt over the past few months and probably won't visit much in early 2015. I am currently very busy on a few web-related projects for clients. No 3D, no scifi - it's all tedious content development stuff, but it does pay!

I have tried to answer everything in the backlog - if I have missed you, I am sorry, it isn't personal!

Have a great 2015!

  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: St. Vincent
  • Reading: your lips
  • Watching: my back
  • Playing: games
  • Eating: Christmas left overs!
  • Drinking: resting my liver and kidneys


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Garrus22 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch...^.^ you shouldn't have..I added you cause I like your gallery :D
garryts Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually thought I had pressed "Watch" before I commented that you had a great gallery - it was only when I viewed your 'Watch' notification that I saw the icon for Watch on your profile was still unlit...
MilaySVK Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Merry christmas mate :)
garryts Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey, sorry for the slow response! Hope that you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!! :-)
bliivet Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the WATCH by TheGalleryOfEve  Llama Emoji-02 (Blush) [V1] 
garryts Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave! :-)
nobbe42 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
Thanks for the fav!
Eremes2703 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Professional General Artist
Well, inspired by you, I did it. my first space wreck. (Still a lot to learn)
riftroamer Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for faving my Frontier Transport (WIP, texture update). Very much appreciated. :)
jmelisio Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist
Thank you for the :+fav: on We Are Here :)
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