Description
 
Gates to Elysium is a benchmark project I did in 2009. It helped me orientate on where to go with my techniques and influenced a lot of the work that followed the completion of this project. Inspiration came from all kinds of places. Movies, books and games. But ultimately it was probably my love for vast open landscapes with a scifi touch. The basic scene was created in Vue and heavily refined in Photoshop. But before I was able to layout the scene in Vue I had to modify a couple of scifi city models. Today you would call it 'Kitbashing'. Due to the not so efficient polygon count management that comes with throwing stuff together, the scene naturally started to become very polygon heavy in the process. The result was that I not only pushed my skill with this project, but also the, at the time, current hardware of my machine and its ability to handle the load in Vue. Luckily it all worked out and I had a scene that was featured on lots of websites, magazines and artbooks all over the world. So yes, I am definitely proud of this one. =)
TOP - A wirefame capture of the basic scene from inside of Vue.
BOTTOM - A wireframe capture of the bow/ring structure, that was actually added separately to the scene and rendered in a separate pass as well.
Here we have a testrender I did to check on the overall atmosphere and play a little with perspective. I wanted this scene to convey its scale as good as possible and testrenders like this can do a great job with telling you if you're on the right path.
A series of images that shows how the Photoshop stage changed and added detail to the final picture.
Detail Captures
 
Here we have a collection of detail captures to show the level of detail at 100% zoom. There is a lot of detail in this piece. And a certain level of detail comes with a price of course. So the rendering of all the elements took a little more than 40hrs and the refining in Photoshop surely added between 20 and 30hrs more. You could argue that the small clouds there don't look too good in the close up and I might agree. But I wanted them in there to give the scene even more scale. So, as a whole, it works and was worth all the attention and time.