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  • Elena V Miller

Sargasso

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

"Between Mars and Jupiter is spread the broad belt of the asteroids. Of the thousands, known and unknown, most unique to the Freak Century was the Sargasso Asteroid, a tiny planet manufactured of natural rock and wreckage salvaged by its inhabitants in the course of two hundred years."

Sargasso

Sargasso version one (without bomb)

Sargasso project was my attempt to illustrate a chapter from the classic #scifi book "The Stars my Destination" by Alfred Bester. To be more precise it's about Chapter 2 in which the author describes how the main character (Gully Foyle) adrift in space, gets to this asteroid, a mini planet situated in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. When I first read the book I enjoyed so much the description of the asteroid that I felt an imperious need to create an image inspired by it. I started this post with a quote from the beginning of the chapter.


"BETWEEN MARS AND JUPITER is spread the broad belt of the

asteroids. Of the thousands, known and unknown, most unique to the

Freak Century was the Sargasso Asteroid, a tiny planet manufactured

of natural rock and wreckage salvaged by its inhabitants in the course

of two hundred years."


See below the description of the asteroid's greenhouse which I also thought it would be interesting to visualise:


"He awoke again. He had been taken out of his spacesuit. He was

in the greenhouse of the asteroid where plants were grown for fresh

oxygen. The hundred-yard hull of an old ore carrier formed the room,

and one wall had been entirely fitted with salvaged windows . . . round

ports, square ports, diamond, hexagonal . . . every shape and age of

port had been introduced until the vast wall was a crazy quilt of glass

and light."



The asteroid is also the place where the main character is unconsciously tattooed on his entire face with a Maori mask, so I thought it would be cool to show the mask like a mark on the actual asteroid. The book is also known under the name "Tiger!Tiger!" because of the Maori mask - an element I found interesting to point out being really important for the overall plot. 

“ . . . round ports, square ports, diamond, hexagonal . . . every shape and age of port had been introduced until the vast wall was a crazy quilt of glass and light”

The story is a lot more complex than that and only in this chapter are so many elements that can ignite the imagination and spawn the creativity. I totally recommend the book as it is a very fun and pleasant reading. Also for me was a trigger to practice my modelling and compositing skills and because of this project I was actually determined to use ZBrush for the first time.


Sargasso Making-of


I started working on the model in #zbrush. Just played with the shape feeling a bit more confident then I normally would in this software because it didn't have to be perfect, I could get away with mistakes - it was just an asteroid.

Modelling start in Zbrush

work in progress (WIP) - shuttle in zbrush

Next I modelled a few other objects and elements in 3ds max and then used the "edit in zbrush" button from max and continued to play in #zbrush with a few brushes mainly making small details and dents in the models to make them look weathered and warned out. I also created a few alpha brushes of my own to use them for the same purpose.


I've also modelled a very basic rocket (which I named "Soyuz" just for fun) and then destroyed it with the "bomb" modifier in max. I really enjoy using bomb as I used it for the first time on my "Illustration and Animation" master degree final project (2012) and I had a lot of fun animating a scene using bomb and particles.


the image after using the "bomb" modifier

I also modelled lots of asteroids (which I almost forgot to mention) and that was a lot of playing in zbrush and rendering in separate files and put them together in the post-production stage.

I intended to make them look realistic so I created many different ones, individually sculpted in zbrush to create some diversity.


Asteroids modelled in zbrush

This is the main breakdown for this scene. For a more in depth process or information please contact me via email. Here it is the final version with the exploded rocket:


Thank you so much for viewing my posts! Feedback and comments are welcome!



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