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ARES: OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE

In early 2015 Ash Thorp was contacted by 3AM to co-direct a very unique viral spot for the upcoming film The Martian. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the spot is an episode of StarTalk set in the future and highlights the upcoming Ares 3 mission to Mars. Ash brought me on to head the design and animation of all UI and hologram elements throughout the piece. It was a great experience and an amazing opportunity to design and execute the graphics in such an ambitious project.

 

ARES: OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE

3AM / ALT CREATIVE INC

Role: Lead Design, Animation

Film Promo / 3:50 / 2015

In early 2015 Ash Thorp was contacted by 3AM to co-direct a very unique viral spot for the upcoming film The Martian. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the spot is an episode of StarTalk set in the future and highlights the upcoming Ares 3 mission to Mars. Ash brought me on to head the design and animation of all UI and hologram elements throughout the piece. It was a great experience and an amazing opportunity to design and execute the graphics in such an ambitious project.

CREDITS

Directed by: Chris Eyerman and Ash Thorp
Story / Writing: Will Melton and Chris Eyerman
Lead Actor: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Producer: Ash Thorp
Producer: Josh Porter
Producer, ALT Creative: Monica Thorp
Producer, Juice: Natalia Lasota
Director of Photography: Tony Wolberg
Art Director, Juice: Michal Misinski
Music Director: Marcy Bulkeley
Score: Danny Cocke
Editor: Joe Bellino
Associate Producer: Tom Moran
President, 3AM: Alison Temple
President, RSA: Jules Daly
Social Strategy: David Sarkissian
Post Producer: Mike Goble
Smoke Producer, The Mill: Kiana Bicoy
Mars Opening VFX: MPC
Hermes VFX: Framestore and Juice
Nebula VFX:Juice
VFX/CG Supervisor, Juice: Jakub Knapik
Onsite VFX Supervisor: Anthony Scott Burns
Concept Designer: AshThorp
Concept Designer, Juice: Michal Misinski
Lead Designer/Animator: Michael Rigley
Compositing, Juice: Jakub Knapik, Arkadiusz Leszko, Seweryn Czarnecki, Michal Misinski, Tomasz Przydatek, Sylwester Lipinski
Lighting & Shading, Juice: Artur Szymczak, Seweryn Czarnecki, Tomasz Przydatek, Andrzej Przydatek, Jakub Wrzalik, Jakub Knapik, Tomasz Dyrdula
Matte Painting, Juice: Michal Misinski, Daniel Niszczota, Tomas Muller
FX, Juice: Piotr Suchodolski, Seweryn Czarnecki, Rigel Bowen
Modeling, Juice: Slawomir Ostrowski, Jakub Wrzalik, Andrzej Przydatek, Seweryn Czarnecki, Sebastian Oska, Michal Gosciniak
Layout & Animation, Juice: Jakub Wrzalik, Lukasz Dziedzinski, Tomasz Przydatek, Jakub Knapik, Tomasz Dyrdula
Colorist, The Mill: Adam Scott
IT, Juice: Tomasz Kruszona

 

STILLS

 
 

ORBIT GRAPHICS

The design process here helped us explore the color palette, line quality and establish a graphic system to be used in the remaining sequences.

Developing the orbit graphics was one of the first phases of the project for me. Designing this sequence was really a lot of fun and allowed for proper look dev that would inform the holographic style throughout the spot. 

 

SUIT HOLOGRAMS

The suit holograms were the largest design challenge of this project. They cycled through an array of various looks, eventually arriving at our final style – trying to balance the visual style of the holograms with legibility of the actors’ faces. Initially starting with dense mesh scans as the basis of the design, Ash wanted to move toward something more structured and graphic that would read cleaner in the spot.

 I generated a series of design studies based on cleaner poly models while Juice got to work re-modeling all of the characters with simplified quads so we could achieve the desired wireframe look. The final look for the suits is a combination of the low res quad models for the bodies and highly detailed scans for the faces.

 
 

HAB

The HAB sequence required a little graphic embellishment for transitional moments. For this we fell back on the style I created during the initial look development of the planets and solar system while also incorporating some of the wireframe assets from the suit holograms.