by christian 'tigaer' hecker


a new hope will be a futuristic scenery with a city like environment. it will not have anything to do with the starwars episode IV! to have that cleared up. i picked the title because it fits perfectly to what i want to say with the picture. i don't want to tell too much about my plans but i can tell that it's, once again, some kind of picture i always wanted to create.

the basic idea came from playing with worldmachine 1.0 - a new version with a lot of nice features. generally the program is made for terragen. worldmachine, or short WM, creates a nice variety of landscapes. from erosion to terrace creation to even almost fractal looking terrains, WM is able to create whatever terrain you need to visualize your idea. i made a terrain with WM and worked out a neat atmosphere for it. the next day i rendered it and was pleased with the result. ideas were popping up in my mind and i started to seriously think about the picture and the potential to create something outstanding.

i really want to take myself some time with this piece. since i got myself a wacom intuos3 tablet i also want to use this chance to get used to the handling of a tablet. the last days i started to work out the first details of some buildings. once again i'm trying a lot to find out what looks best. beneath the tools i'm working with...

WACOM INTUOS 3 A5 tablet
as i previously mentioned i'm new to the handling of a tablet but after a few hours of work with it i can seriously say that it's fun to use it. not to mention the productivity it has once you got the whole movements and handlings right. i try not to work with mouse to really learn the fastest possible way to create my ideas and this tablet seems to be the perfect solution.
i work with PS a while now and it's, without question, the absolute most powerful gfx tool out there. with the right technique you can realize almost every idea you have in mind. i use this software to make my terragen renders unique. i add textures, buildings and structures of any kind. of course it's hard work but mostly the end result shows me that everything paid off.
terragen, so far, is still the very first thing i start with when having the idea to a picture. for those of you who don't know what terragen is... it's a landscape creator. when skilled and talented you can render almost photorealistic 3d scenery pictures with it. unfortunately the software is very limited in its possibilities. at least for the stuff i have in mind. that's why i work out lots of my terrains in photoshop before i render a final picture.

~aug. 28th~

i took a little break from the project. in that time i tried to get more familiar with the wacom i'm using. now i can say that i can handle it better. lots of new possibilities... and i want to use these in my current project. i took myself some time to think about the project too. about certain details. how i could work them out. i came to no useful conclusion. then yesterday i sat myself in front of that piece again and just started to try out a few things. luckily i catched some sort of flow and i was able to finish up some of the most important details. others were started and wait now for completion. some though were started and paused for the time being. sometimes you work out an idea, investing a lot of time into it, but then decide against the idea. or save them for a possible future project. the point is that you sometimes invest a whole load of time into a detail that, in the end, will not be in the final version. that's what takes a lot of my time when creating something. 'hope' is no difference to the previous projects. and by gawd i swear... the project after 'hope' will not be such a big busy thing!

beneath you see two previews. i don't have to say that it's nothing 'finished' yet. i still could rework some of these parts to get more depth into it. yet... the main ideas are solid stuff and the actual look won't change much in the future. but... you never know. i also must say that these previews are at 100% zoom (actual picture size) and stongly jpg compressed. so what you see doesnt reveal the full full full quality.

here we have something that, in the end, will be some sort of promenade. still something to do for that part. there are already people to see that walk around there.they won't be visible in the later wallpaper size but maybe in the print. actually the 'people' are not more than 2-3 pixel dots *lol* - yet it shows the dimensions of the area we're looking at. one word... HUUUUUGE!
here we have the side of one of the buildings we will see. the final pic will reveal a complete city like environment. it's BIG and consumes a lot of time. yet i'm excited about it because it's, once again, something i always wanted to create. this is my chance. this building was one of the first things i created and i have not touched it since then. maybe i rework some details - maybe not. i still have some plans with it but cannot tell if they will work the way i have i it mind.

~sept. 2nd~

i'm making serious progress at the moment and so i wanna write another report about it. for the moment i'm creating textures and elements for the background. the whole pic will undergo an atmosphere adjustment once all details are placed and finished. so i can't say yet what color the final pic will have. there won't probably change much but the level of visible detail to the background. i want to have a hazy, foggy environment. so the last thing i'll do to the pic will be some final contrast adjustments combined with haze add ins going to the horizon. will look nice if i get it done the way i have it in mind.

here we have a spot that actually shows some background elements. they're not superdetailed because they're only background elements and i don't know how far i go with the haze additions at the end of creation. when looking at it i still have some ideas that might change the look of the buildings a bit.

~sept. 8th~

and again i'm here to say that i'm making good progress on the details. still some ideas in mind that need to be tested though. so far all my ideas found a nice realization and that makes me happy. that's the reason for this new entry here today. i, somehow, found a nice way to combine painting strategies with manipulation techniques. i can create certain things much faster than with mouse alone. especially the details you see in my previews below. because of that very satisfying progress i predict i could have this baby done by the end of next week. depends on how much work i can put into it the next days. max. 2 weeks if things go not as expected. so much for this... let's check out the previews.

this is a part i'm very proud of. it's not yet finished but looks gorgeous already. that's what i meant with painting/manip technique. at the moment it looks like a 3d render... very clear with a reflection. the bottom landing bay is untouched, but will undergo a similar creation process as the plattform on top. i want to try to paint in some small fighters or freighters... but that's something i cannot clearly say.how it works out. details like spaceships are planned to implement at the end of creation.
here we have another background element. this element shows somehow the spaceport. i already implemented some traffic lines with small ships and freighters. everything pixel level... nothing detailed. it does the job so it kind of works nicely. i may rework that detail later too. i realized that i need some more dynamic in the pic and spaceships, fighters, freighters can bring in that stuff very well.


i guess this will be the final entry before the release. i managed to get lots of parts done since the last entry. i even worked out parts i actually did not want to work on. however... i made good progress. main focus the last days was the sky and background city elements... as well as ships. the sky part is now completely finished and such a wonderful addition to this piece! background buildings should be done now too. i might try out the one or another idea before the release but basically they're done. as i mentioned i tried to work out ships to make the pic more dynamic. i tried different stuff. from bigger capital ships to small fighters. i had no bigh success with the bigger ships, unfortunately. looks like i need more training- maybe i try it again before i go public with the piece but chances aren't too good hehe. the fighters were not a too big problem. since they're only a small component in this piece, they're easy to execute. they may not be the super designed pieces... but they're doing a good job. so all this brings me to a level now where i could release it any time i want. the actual pic is done. though... i want to look at the details once more the next days.

here we have a little cutout from the sky part. as you can see i worked with planets and moons. the sky, before that, was completely empty. no clouds or anything. i knew from the beginning i would need something there. so i started to seed stars over the sky. only a few... each one by hand. so the sky is not flooded with stars. the tablet pen was very useful there.
this is one of the fighters i spoke of. at the moment there are three of them in the pic. pretty close to the viewer. the one we see here is the smallest, farther away than the others. but he shows a bit the look of the fighters. pretty cool for a first try. not perfect... but surely enough. i want to try to create some more, different styled, objects... but cannot say yet if it works out. the next days will show...
what we see here is a part of a huge front wall. i want to add some more features on it. mostly small ones for the print. so that the wall doesn't look too flat anymore. i already added some stuff. it may need a bit more refinement. that's what i wanna take the next days for... to review the different parts. the pen is a very helful tool for the little extras i wanna throw on that wall. let's see how far i can go.

as mentioned in the pic this screenie was taken at 50% zoom. so a bit more from the outside. so i could show a bit more of a certain background part i worked on the last days. hell, i, once again, tried so many different things in that piece. technically i mean. as i said we here have a background detail. it'll look fantastic on a print since i kept the detail high enough. doesn't look too smooth here because of some jpg compression i added. but... this may be the size you'll see it in the upcoming wallpaper.


here i am to announce that a new hope is done. it took me 7 weeks to work out the pic to a level i've never worked out a pic before. i'm now completely done with it. all details are in and it's ready to go public. this pic combines all the various strenghts of photoshop from manipulation to painting. since this was the first piece i worked out with my wacom tablet i tried a lot of new things. what's one reason why the pic took that long to get done. i always try new things... it's a curse! well, since i worked with a tablet you can find some painting tries in it too. i hope they don't stand out too much and blend well with the usual technques i used. as well as 'the wall' and 'artificial' an idea for such a pic floated around in my head for ages. i never were able to realize my vision until now. you cannot believe how happy it makes me to look at this piece. i'm proud. so this entry will conclude this little diary of hope.

check here for the mother of all previews
(2,8mb large jpg file)

rendered with // terragen ver. 9.19

rendered resolution // 5000x3333

rendering time // 4 rendered pics - ca. 40 hours

render without post process // [link]

post process done in // photoshop cs

post process time // over a period of 7 weeks

total filesize // two *.psd files each with a res. of 5000x3333 (psd #1 166mb // psd#2 206mb)

total layers // each psd ca. 250 layers

project folder size // 1,34gb (61 files)

inspired by // my mind and imagination

thank you very much for your interest!

any errors in spelling, tact, or fact are transmission errors! (c) `bren

started: aug.14th 2005
updated: sept. 27th 2005