Floating City – Initial Idea

So the Floating City project has come around, and looking at Jakub’s group’s Rome from last year we have a certain standard to meet. Some of the examples Alec has shown are interesting as some are a lot more abstract than I would have imagined.

We began with brainstorming which City we would choose, as we were a group that wanted to be outside the box so we didn’t want to stick with Belfast. And what’s far away from that box? We were stuck between two different ideas; ancient Mayan civilization (appropriately named) and Tokyo. I liked the idea of Mayans, with large stone idols and Macchu Pichu-esque designs. However after further discussion, the group decided Tokyo would be the best for flashy design as well as statistic gathering.

As soon as we decided this we started with some research. James discovered that the crest of Tokyo looks like this:

Image result for Tokyo Crest

(Kinda looks like a species of Unown [Pokemon] which is also Japanese….hype?)

Image result for Unown

James then had this idea that around the base of our city we could have energy generators laid out in this formation that would represent Tokyo as well as giving our city a power source and some funky looking designs. With this in mind, I decided to do a quick concept sketch:


In this sketch I wanted to capture the different sides of Japan. The Japanese are very in touch with their religion and spiritualism as well as being one of the most technologically advanced civilisations on the planet. I thought this was an interesting juxta-position and tried to replicate it within my drawing with the topside being a rural landscape and the flipside being busy and built-up. After further talks, we decided to just focus on the city area as this was a ‘Floating City’ project.

Shortly after this I decided to look at an environmental concept art walkthrough by Alex Ruiz which came with a specialized set of photoshop brushes. This is the promo image for the download:

Environment Design 3 poster


While skipping through the video to get a basic understanding of the process, I picked up a few tricks that allowed me to build the base concept art on which my scene would be built. I started by playing around with the brush kit and seeing what sorts of shapes I could make:


…which then developed in to this:


…and then finally resulting in something along the lines of this:



In the final image I experimented with some photo bashing for texture on the buildings. Normally I’m not comfortable with painting environments, especially non-organic architecture, however I am very pleased with how this turned out. You can see other concept work along the same lines on Dermott’s blog where he gained an obsession with photo bashing that we keep him going about: https://dermottburns.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/concept-work-for-tokyo/

With approval from the rest of the group it was time to begin modelling.




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