Making of Did you fill up the tank on mars? by Tommaso Sanguigni Web: www.tommasosanguigni.it
Concept: The theme chosen for the CGArena challenge (Accident) opens a wide range of illustration possibilities. That's why I decided to join into it and won the 3rd place. I didn't have a clean idea of what to illustrate from the beginning, but what I had in mind was doing an original and funny illustration, which deviates from the standard idea of 'accident', i.e. car crashes, plane crashes and so on.
Until the half of september I had no way to dedicate enough effort to this project, due to work commitments. But staying away from the pc monitor of my room gave me the possibility to do an intense brainstorming activity before modeling a single polygon.
Thinking about something funny and original, I catched the idea of the spaceship crashing on the earth. And why? For the most obvious reason why our cars stop: get without fuel. I thought that the aliens tried to reach the nearest fuel station before crashing. But they didn't reach this station in time before crashing. That's why they come out from the spaceship and refuel a petrol can in the petrol station.
Defined the idea, the next step was thinking about the camera and the position of the various elements. Here's a first very raw sketch:
I wanted that this scene has a slightly retrò style. The funny and threatening look the aliens must have let me think straight to the aliens of 'The Simpsons', which I chose as inspiration.
I added a truck near the spaceship, to help the viewer catch the proportions between the spaceship and the other elements.
About the illumination, I decided to set the scene in night time, because the night illumination would had given 'justice' to the fuel station lights and the spaceship lights, though the night illumination introduce a certain number of challenges. Here's a collection of reference images:
Production: As said before, a key aspect for this project was illumination. That's why my workflow has been driven from the need to start working on illumination as soon as possible, breaking the traditional workflow modeling-shading-illumination and working almost in parallel for each phase.
I started to make some illumination attempt as soon as I had enough object modeled for the scene.
For this reason, the making of that follows is not to intend as perfect history matching of the project.
Modeling: Every model used in the scene has been created from scratch in Cinema 4d, working in box modeling. In the beginning I modeled also some utility pole, though they become almost invisible in the final camera, so I decided to leave them.