Floating Island

This project started with a sketch my partner drew on a ferry trip. (click through for higher resolution on all the images)

concept sketch

I scanned and used the line art to practice with the colorize mask in Krita. David Revoy’s tutorial is great for this.

krita colorize

I enjoyed working in 2D and thought I’d build the basic rock and building outlines in Blender and go back to Krita for another paint over. But I must be more a 3D than a 2D artist, because I couldn’t stop and modelled everything in Blender. This included modelling a plausible back half to the island. Many times I thought I couldn’t match the 3D geometry to the 2D sketch, but the concept artist is also a mechanical engineer and I always found a solution that made sense within his world.

blender front

blender back


I put the video (and the stills) through a G’MIC LUT filter (PIXL.US Modern Film at 50% strength). This post here about how to extract the commands from GIMP (I did this in Krita instead) was very useful.

The commands for G’MIC 2.9.8 look different from the version used tutorial but I ended up with the following bash script to run over all the rendered stills from Blender

mkdir ./done
for i in *png
gmic $i -fx_color_presets 19,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,15,1,1,1,1,1,1,512,50,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,50,50,"0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0","0" -o ./done/$i


I haven’t worked much with music tracks for video, but I wanted a 25 second clip that would loop seamlessly if the fly-around was played continuously. I initially tried doing this with an mp3 track but I couldn’t get the bars and phrasing to match the length.

I then tried starting with a midi track. Within LMMS it was easy to identify an 8 bar phrase in my chosen track that would loop well. Cutting just that bit out of the rest of the midi in LMMS seemed harder than it should be. I ended up finding that the export as wav option could be set to only export the part between the loop markers. I then brought the wav into Audacity and used Effect-> Change Speed to make it exactly 25 seconds long.

Overall this was a fun project that took a lot longer than techmonkey took to make that original concept sketch.