AMA Studios: NASA Asteroid Retrieval & Utilization Mission

Something I finally worked on at my job here with NASA got announced to the public, so I can finally talk about it.

For the past three months, I have been working with a team here that is putting together the manned space flight portion of a mission to capture and study an asteroid.  We have been instrumental in helping the team both visualize and communicate their ideas to the rest of the NASA centers.  It is interesting to see how different concepts come together and how different ideas start to form actual missions.

There are a number of inaccuracies with this video, partially due to time constraints, and partially due to us having to fill a hole we see in the animation.  (You should see the stuff we had to cut out!)  However, the idea is there about what NASA has been charged to do.  Now we get to see if Congress approves the budget suggestion given by the administration.

All in all, this has been a very rewarding project and a lot of fun.  When I have more time, I'll go into more depth on what I did specifically that helped speed along the process.  In short, any shot you see that has a crewman or spacesuit in it is one that I either animated or did some compositing work on.


A Weekend Sculpt: Alien Bust

I had a "free" weekend and decided to spend part of it doing some sculpting in ZBrush.  I have been fascinated with this particular alien head shape and decided to do a little bust sculpting.  The tools in the latest version of ZBrush have been particularly useful in helping the artist with getting the topology to work for them.  Dynamesh along with qRemesher were both helpful in making sure that the topology didn't get too squirrely.

Since I haven't been too impressed with ZBrush's rendering capabilities, I used the Decimation Master plugin to export a lower-res version of the bust out.  Shading, lighting, and rendering were all done in Cinema 4D with some post-processing done in Photoshop.  All in all, this was a fun little practice session.