Joonga: The Arrival – 3d composition

‘Joonga: The Arrival’: A 3d scene I created using the defunct and much missed Softimage-XSI software back in the mid-2000s (old school and last 2013 version). I recently updated the scene and experimented with some new Final gathering renderings (Nov. 2019). Final gathering is an image based lighting radiosity/global illumination type of rendering engine, which, in Softimage-XSI, is part of the Mental Ray rendering package. In other words, bitmap images are used in various environment and/or object projections in order to ‘light’ the 3d scene, instead of the usual scene lights (e.g. point, spot, area, etc.). For more techie information on Softimage image based lighting and rendering, try this link:

Softimage Final gathering example (uTube)

Joonga is basically a character concept inspired by Iain M. Banks’ Culture novel series, namely the character Genar Hofoen appearing in Banks’ novel Excession. Those familiar with the Culture novels will know that Banks sets his space opera universe in an hyper-techno super-civilization, spanning light years across the known universe. Ironically, though the Culture universe is hyper-technological and super-advanced in all areas, planet earth and its inhabitants evolve in the same time-space paradigm, but earth doesn’t figure in any prominent or influential way in the Culture. For instance, the Culture already operated in an hyper-techno paradigm for thousands of years already while humanity was still struggling during the European middle ages. That is the aspect of the Culture novels that attracted me. The Culture novels aren’t earth-centric. Quite refreshing. But, briefly back to Joonga. Joonga’s sophisticated and wild looking suit was largely inspired by Genar Hofoen’s gelfield suit imagined by Banks. The gelfield suit is fully integrated to its host and is a fully aware AI unit, capable of adapting to any environmental condition and situation. The gelfield suit is at once a lethal weapon, an enviro-habitat, a personalized computer and perhaps even a best friend of sorts. The plan back in the 2000s, was to develop and animate the character and the gelfield suit, but, 3d animation being what it is, involves mega-tons of time and effort, and I simply had to abandon the fantasy. Though, I still have the scene at my disposal which I can use to render out some concept images for my personal pleasure. Who knows, maybe you will find these images inspiring.

All the best.

Pierre

More sources:

Iain M. banks’ Culture novels & Gelfield suit concept

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