Creatively speaking, the Steampunk Door was a very logical next step from the Illustrated Building. Where the church project had blueprints and a physical location, this new project had dynamic rock walls and did not actually exist. I still wanted to hold onto the concept of ambiguity leading to clarity, but I also wanted to greatly contrast what I had already done. As one important aspect of this project in particular, I paid special attention to time management. I saw the Illustrated Building as a failure of time management, seeing as it took months to complete for one reason or another. I vowed, after that project, to try to enforce a two week maximum timeframe for my projects, and I can happily say that the Steampunk Door successfully adhered to the limitation. I began and completed the project in two weeks’ time.
From the very beginning I had a definitive idea of some of the elements that would make up my project: cave, lever, door, light from a hole above, and gears. How these various elements were implemented was a matter of research and pushing the project forward. My art teacher would always say that certain aspects of a project reveal themselves when you are ready to receive them—almost that the project has a mind of its own.
I never considered myself to be a stellar drawing artist, but I can happily say that the concept art I drew ended up being the framework for my project (as it should). While there were certain elements I had to forfeit, for the most part, I executed just what I had set out to do. Among my peers, there was a dispute as to whether or not the final composition was too dark. I would argue that the piece is supposed to be dark. It would not make any sense if the cave was too artificially bright, and it would take away from the cohesiveness of the piece as a whole. I admit that certain elements lack a distinct polished feel (the texture on the door, the incorporation of the fog and particles, and the initial transition between the cave and the door) but taking into consideration the time that went into it and my hitting the deadline, I am content with the work.
An early glimpse into how I wanted to handle the volumetric lighting beyond the door and how it contrasts with the darkness of the scene
A far along look at the gears and their placement from a low angle
The rendered version of the beginning of the gear scene, highlighting the moving pistons
The darkness in the scene was enough to highlight what I wanted to be shown and hide a lot of the cave’s detail
I think the effectiveness of the gear composition in this project was quite prominent; it was as busy as I need it to be, but still nicely flowing
An orthographic view of the scene after the main structure had been finished
A glimpse at how I handle the dynamic rock wall that made up the setting
Preliminary conceptual art and brainstorming for the project
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