"Iced Land"

The Idea

It begun as a WIP for the IRTC in 2002 (Loneliness Round in Juli/August), but as the image progressed, I lost more and more track of loneliness and ended with this. Though we see a vast, snow-covered area, the little iglu, glowing softly and lit by the setting sun, doesn't appear to be that lonely after all.

The Objects

The clouds were made by modelling a hemispheric hull, which was filled with scattering media and nicely turbulated agate-density.

The sun is no actual object, instead, a cone, pointing with the tight end towards the sun, face the camera, also filled with scattering media.

To simulate haze, an emitting and slightly less absorbing media-sphere was used, which gave more options to modifiy the coloring and effect on the distant heightfield as well as horizon (which often ends very bright when using the simple ground fog).

The landscape is a simple bozo pattern used as basis for a heightfield. Heightfields have a problem with aliasing, cause they are made of triangles, and even using smooth-triangles doesn't help much when their normal vectors result in an undesired angle to the camera. Thus, another, hollow and again, scattering media filled heightfield was placed on top, slightly positioned above the actual landscape, to add a subtle specular-like effect to the soft hills.

In the background, several instances of the heightfield are placed to give more depth to the image.

The iglu is plain CSG, though I added a layer of scattering media on the outside of the spherical part, as well as positioned a spherical, emitting media which looks as if the specular highlight of the iglu's ice glows brilliantly.

The Lighting

Just a single point-light, someway far behind the cloud-hull and in direct line to the cone that creates the illusion of a bright sun.

Personal Note

I like the colors, the soft glows, mixed with the icy landscape. Definitely one of the better sides of loneliness... Thanks go forward to the numerous comments I've received from the POV-Community on the newsgoups. As a bonus, this image was used by IBM to demonstrate the processing power of their Bladeservers at the CeBIT 2004!