Hi! We are Ruben, Technical Artist, and Erich, Environment Artist.
We studied in the same art school and since then we've been collaborating on many projects. Last year we were vastly impressed by Veselin Efremov's Neon, and when Unity unveiled the Neon Challenge we just couldn't say no.
So here goes our entry!
In ASCENSION we wanted to show a future where humanity is making its first steps into becoming a multiplanet species, with the main focus on one of the first colonies mankind is building in a distant and inhospitable planet. To survive its fierce storms and lack of a magnetic field the settlement is forced to go deep underground, where our green Earth is just a distant memory, diluted by neon lights and metal gangways.
Erich did a brainstorm of plain, simple concept art to help visualise what we had in mind. Of course, we knew some of the art would never make it into the short (mostly by time constraints) but nonetheless we wanted our project to be consistent.
With this piece of rough art, the idea of having Earth cults, or Tree cults, emerge. In such a neon, metal and the sci-fi environment, wood and plants would be rare at best, and we liked the contrast a tree would make in such a scenario. We needed to make sure though that no wood and paper materials would make it into the final scene to make this contrast work.
He also made some 3D sketches of the scene to help visualise the camera angles we were looking for.
Showing the logo of the Mars-Terra Colonial Effort would reinforce the idea that this is a colony, maybe on mars or maybe on a distant world.
We knew we wouldn't be able to model everything ourselves, there was simply too much to do and so little time since we had our jobs and our daily obligations. Nonetheless, Erich modeled a lot of stuff necessary to achieve what we had envisioned, mainly the structure of the settlement and its environment, but to keep up with the spirit of this challenge we didn't hesitate in including some assets from the asset store.
Building the World
Erich builds the environment, and once it was ready it was Ruben's turn to work hard. He optimized the scene and populated it, he also prepared the lighting of the scene dealt with the post processing (and some more optimizing).
Then, he prepared the camera sequences with cinemachine and rendered it.