While the world does indeed look to artists for “direction, resolve and optimism”, I wanted to take a darker approach; a commentary on how we are so attached to everything through social media, on phones that are constantly in our faces, especially during lockdown. Even if we tried to isolate ourselves from it all, we are constantly flooded with tons of information. Taking an immeasurable toll on our mental health in times of uncertainty. In that regard, we are always in it ‘together, together’.
For the piece, I composed the astronaut and phone models with a semi-realistic 1-point lighting system, then wrapped everything in a volumetric fog, which I felt would be enough to imply a sense of void or space. I wanted to use a skull for the astronaut’s head to suggest the passing of time, and how some people might be eternally stuck in this draining loop. I made the eyes glow the same way as the phone to imply connectivity, and I decided to use the colour of the Twitter logo as the emission texture for the eyes and the phone as a reference to the social media platform. It also helped to have a cool tone for a space-themed setting. After rendering the scene, I took the piece into Procreate to do some digital paint-over work because of the freedom and efficiency of 2D, before bringing it back into Photoshop to clean everything up and apply some colour correction.
Words: Karolis Arbaciauskas, VFX, @xeometry