Building coherent and believable worlds

In my endeavor on Cary Farm, I considered several factors: Immersing myself in comprehensive research of agricultural practices and history, drawing inspiration from current real-world farming functions and designs, repurposing shapes and assets whenever feasible, all while adhering to a streamlined color system. And there you have it.

How does one begin?

The briefing was clear: we needed key art for agriculture in Star Atlas. Drawing inspiration from the environmental setting of Naboo in Star Wars, the initial sketch distinctly portrays this concept. The targeted timing was set in the year 2700.

As shown on the research sheet (just one among many), I began by delving into the agricultural practices of 700 years ago, comparing them to modern techniques, identifying commonalities, discerning differences, and thereby drawing conclusions for the future 700 years ahead.

Visual Brainstorming

Armed with the comprehensive groundwork of research, I felt prepared to mold the initial ideas in my mind into visual representations. This process gave birth to an array of grayscale thumbnail sketches, each brimming with what I believe are exceptionally strong concepts. As we progressed, we decided to explore two paths: one artwork set within a greenhouse, and another in an open-air environment featuring colossal vertical farming towers that simultaneously contribute to terraforming efforts.

Vehicle Design

Moving forward, I kitbashed vehicles. This endeavor resulted in retro designs, characterized by unmistakable functionality. It’s of utmost importance to me that as many elements as possible within the design serve a purpose. Form follows function.

Greenhouse direction

Vertical greenhouse hub direction

This glass roof appears far too delicate and fragile to withstand the harsh conditions of alien planets.

Some set dressing

The arrangement of the fields should facilitate the seamless passage of high-speed harvester machines, allowing them to glide over the terrain effortlessly.

I had the notion that within the greenhouse, expansive structures with vertical fields could traverse the space, introducing a fresh dimension to the fields beyond the typical horizontal layout.

This happy accident with the fog reminded me vividly of a rain shower, sparking the concept of incorporating rain cranes into the scene.

Design for the Vertical Terraform Farming Tower.

In this depiction, the revolver mechanism is clearly illustrated. Much like the industrial milking of cows, docking ports are situated for the ships that deliver the harvested produce.

Vertical farms. A lot.

With the placement of all elements and vehicles within the scene completed, attention shifted to refining the intricate details, fine-tuning lighting, and introducing decoration.