Continuing on with the tasks at hand regarding the car project, I was appointed “official UFO modeler” by my peers (It’s ok, nobody forced me, I actually volunteered 😜). There was a time I was fascinated by aliens and UFOs. I still am, in a way; but back then I was more into the conspiracy theory kind of stuff; you know the gray and mysterious big-headed, black-eyed short guys (no lizards, though. I actually found about them much later in life). I even had this super mystical and mysterious book called Mis Ovnis Favoritos by a Spanish author called J.J. Benítez. In retrospective (now that I’m a firm nonbeliever) this was utter and complete whacky bananas conspiracy-theory nonsense. I am ashamed to admit that I kinda believed in that.
Back to work. Do you remember how the previous post was all about the importance of gathering reference? Granted, the publication itself didn’t have tons of reference, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a lot of behind-the-blogs references (We actually have folders). It’s just that it’s too much trouble to upload all this to this very fancily designed blog, and I feel this is more for me logging my thoughts rather than filling this with images that, even though are part of the process, they are not part of my process (in the sense that I didn’t make them). Anyway, back to UFOs and reference: Bradley did a great job collecting all sorts of UFOs from around the interwebs for our model. And from early on we discussed and decided that it would be best if the UFO was interesting but simple since the main focus should be on the car (kind of hard when you have a spinning saucer in the middle of nowhere pulling a vehicle from the ground, but still).
Our UFO Reference!
Based on this I started to model (very carefully, I am definitely not an expert when it comes to modeling) the basic shape based on its relationship to the car scale wise. I wanted it to be larger than the car, obviously, but it shouldn’t be too large that it would take over the whole scene. Also the origin of the tractor beam should be wide enough to project a ray wide enough to pull something large and heavy up. In the end I settled with a diameter of 14 meters, and continued the process always thinking of these two factors.
As I stated previously, it shouldn’t be too distracting, so it doesn’t have to much detail on the surface (also, I can’t help but think of aerodynamics and I literally feel the air resistance on a very complex object while rotating, and the turbulence it would create around it would be insane!!). I thought of giving it some cuts that would allow the viewer to see some of its internal parts. Think of it as sleek on the surface, somewhat industrial in the inside. A kind of neat way of creating contrast in the design of its surfaces. All these “machinery windows” would be lit from the inside adding up to the look as well as some additional light rings under it. Another detail that I kind of wanted to have on the bottom was a sort of element that would break the “revolved” look of the design, so I added three (more block-like) pieces that kind of add to the design and give it a little more detail and a mechanical look (these will rotate as well once its animated) that somehow make the overall design more rich. Finally, the cherry on top (or better, the cherry on the bottom), the tractor beam would glow and allow the viewer to see the underlying mechanism that generates the pulling light through a piece of alien glass.
I submitted the design to my teammates for review and they gave me some notes on the trio of pieces under the dish. I kind of went overboard with the blocky look and had to dial it down to the current design where I kind of added rounder cuts to make it less chunky and heavy and make the overall look more cohesive. You can see the difference in the last two images of the previous GIF.
Lastly, I wanted to convey what I had in mind for its general look(maybe its useful, maybe its not), so I added some temporal shaders to it, lit it, and gave this reference to my teammates who will be in charge of developing its overall look.