Floating City-Conceptual Development

As our floating city will be floating mid-air we had to think about how it’s surroundings would look. We thought of a few ideas which might fit our ideas of the city colour scheme, but in the end decided that to keep it quite dull and ‘foggy’ was the best route to go due to the weather here, low visibility at times and the ‘dirty’ atmosphere in general.

Whilst painting some variations of backdrops, we had thought that a dark background would bring out the lights of the city better. After learning that less lights would quicken the rendering time, we could no longer include the lights we had originally planned, so therefore our overall finished look had to be altered.

I painted some variations of backdrops but we decided to stick with the dull brownish hints.


Trying for more realistic


Darker Blue

Our final choice felt more natural with the floating city model we had in mind. You can see some Irish fields below the clouds with the sunny horizon in the middle. As a group we felt this would work best with the industrial feel of our city.


I have been making some rough sketches of possible floating city shapes in my sketchbook, images shown below.


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Some initial ideas we jotted down as a group for the overall structure of the city. (above)

Below are a few very quick colour concepts I did in photoshop.



The photo-mash above was a quick concept I did in photoshop to convey our idea of how the model might look.

Colour palettes

As a team we looked a bit into colour palettes for the main textures of Belfast’s building. There is an online site name CSS drive (link here) which generates colour palettes from an uploaded image or url. Although the colour we used were not directly taken from this palette it did give 1800s and 1960’s sections of our floating city something to go by.

citybelfastImage Courtesy – Belfast City

From the image aScreen Shot 2017-03-15 at 18.52.46bove the colour palette below was generated, thus giving Erinn and Michael the idea of keeping the 1800’s and 1960’s sections with neutral tones such as muted oranges, blues and creams.

For the base, Jack had decided to go for a steampunk vibe, mainly using golds and rustic colours.

The top section I am working on will have a little more variation in colour to show Belfast’s growth, excitement and change. I will have more vibrant blues, creams and browns. I haven’t taken colour from an image for this section.

I came across an amazing sculptor, Jeroen Van Kesteren, who creates cardboard airships which are packed full of detail and originality. I originally thought that this level of detail would be amazing to have at the top section of the city as we could have power cables linking the buildings together to show better communication, have plenty of buildings tall and small clustered together with motorways below this. But time and low poly styling were an issue so the more minimalistic approach was the way forward.

airship1airship2airship4airship3Image Courtesy – kesteren

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