Sun and Moon

The sun and moon could be considered supporting characters in the Spider narrative. The sun in particular might be considered a would-be antagonist as it is shown by the camera to be an ever-present and oppressive force in the spider’s world. There are several drawn out shots of the sun moving slowly across the sky

Because of this, it’s really important to get the look of the sun and moon down.

I wanted to keep the Sun and Moon in the same low-poly style as the rest of the world, but in talking with Sebastian we developed an idea for an undulating sun with a constantly shifting surface pattern. The effect should be subtle enough to be noticed during long shots, but not so apparent that it’s the first thing you see in a shot. It should be something that audiences realize only after lingering on the sun for a few seconds.

Below is a test of the Sun’s moving texture:

The texture itself isn’t actually changing. I am awful at texturing and I’m not interested in developing an actual animated texture. Instead the effect is achieved with a very very slow blend shape animation along with some lighting and glow effects.

Here you can see a playblast of the animation sped up:

The larger orange ball surrounding the sun model is the glow shape without making the model itself too bright. The effect still needs some refinement (the specularity on the shifting angles is making the sun flicker more than I’d like).

The moon by contrast is cold and dead. Rather than a malevolent beast pulsing in the sky, the moon is static and ambivalent.

moonTest2moonTest

The moon has a lot less poly’s than the sun. I guess scientifically you could say that the moon is much closer and much smaller than the sun, but artistically it’s like that for contrast and because I’m the director and I get to do what I want shut up.

I’ll post updates on shots in the next few weeks!

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