Crash Landing: Dimensional Illustration

Crash Landing

I’ve finally finished a dimensional illustration I had started several months ago. I find it is a lot easier to finish something when you have a deadline. This piece was a personal project, so it was easy to delay or get distracted by other ideas. Well it’s done. Hope you’ll enjoy seeing some of the process that brought it together.

I started with the basic idea of a spaceman climbing from the wreckage of his ship. I did some sketching on the idea and some designs for the ship and came up with this:

Original sketch for Crash Landing illustration

I then proceeded to create a 3D model of the ship with Sketchup. I would use this model as a plan while building the physical model. Here is a printout onto which I have written the dimensions. When I was a kid I hoped and expected never to use math in my career. Well I mostly don’t—except finding ratios, which I use all the time.

plans for spaceship model

I started building the fuselage from foam, which I coated with a clear acrylic to protect it from the hard resin that I added on top of that. Well five coats of acrylic wasn’t enough. The foam melted and shriveled—I started over with wood.

Process shots of building spaceship model for dimensional illustration. by Jameson Gardner Art

The original sketch had the spaceman right next to the ship, which is why I spend so much time on the detail of the ship. I later decided to move the pilot forward. I am not sure which I would have liked better, but once I built the pilot at a larger scale, there was no going back.

Here is a new comp that I worked up as a guide to painting the background,

spacship hero ref b

I always paint my backgrounds in oil. I usually end up with narrow enough depth of field that the background blurs a little, so I don’t worry too much about the little details when painting.

Painting the background and shooting the set

After shooting, it was on to digital cleanup and adding the smoke.

I hope you like it.

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