Monday, 19 March 2018

Personal: Heart of an Empire

  I've wanted to get back into creating with Maya now that I am in a more confident place at home. It was a surprising lesson these past couple of months how your environment can influence your motivation. Bygones are bygones now, and I want to get back into my A-game. 

  I've been tweaking and polishing this planet today, making the city lights appear more convincing and giving substance to the ring around it (a discussion session online suggested to me their old distance might risk exposing visitors and occupants to highly lethal levels of radiation. I suppose high-tech science fiction shielding could protect them, and there was even a suggestion the ring-builders could have found a way to clear the radiation belts, but that distance was also impractical for ferrying freight and commerce, which benefits from a low-hanging belt. Shorter transit distances and all that.

  I thought about adding more than one ring because the engineers would not be limited to one orbital structure, and could hang more off the first (maybe even, fur, five, or ten!) And even this massive ring might have its limits for a civilisation connected to millions of other planets. So like any ground project, the infrastructure could have been expanded in times past to meet increasing demand.

 If I ever get this animated, it could be fun to surround the planet with dancing particles that represent hundreds to thousands of incoming and outgoing starships. Watching The Expanse lately I've been enamored with the introduction sequence, particularly the streaks of light that represent 100 years of interplanetary shipping and the timelapses showing urban growth and the great projects undergone in the series' backstory.

   I believe the Expanse has been one of my major influences regarding this project. Studying satellite photographs of the Earth at night helped a lot in building a convincing night-time illumination.A place can be as much a character as a person or an object, it's all about knowing how to convey that story without words.

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