Wednesday 22 March 2023

Ultramassive Black Holes

Here's a new cover animation and illustration for BBC Science Focus on the Hunt for Ultramassive Black Holes. I'd worked on a black hole cover illustration for Focus a few years ago and was keen to differentiate this one in terms of look and scale. The brief mentioned the term 'galaxy-eater' - so not something you could lose down the back of the sofa then. I went about creating a Nolan-esque black hole in Cinema 4d to create the first visuals and have something ready for animating later in the process. Initial ideas included a space ship and an earthbound observatory as seen above but the final design would be all about the black hole. I added galaxy textures, meteors and collapsing planets for detail and made room for the central strap line. For the spread illustration I moved the 3d camera around to get a wider perspective shot and fill the space. 

Once the print version was complete I created a forward camera move in Cinema 4d for the Apple News edition and rendered out the black hole, meteor and planet passes for compositing in After Effects. The title was animated to complement the camera move and to create the loop I designed a brief black hole interior abstract light tunnel effect. Another enjoyable project for Science Focus, you can see further work here.

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