Floating City – Visual Inspiration

This blog will show some inspiration I found whilst researching into floating cities, looking at how other productions have gone about creating these environments. A typical one to start off with is Cloud City from Star Wars. It is suspended high among the clouds of Bespin- “a floating metropolis of sophisticated beauty and political freedom” – starwars.com

The design was agreed to hover by being suspended by an anti-gravity pod.



bespinImage Courtesy – starwars.com

The above designs of Bespin were produced by Star Wars original concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. The colours work well with the warm greys against the vibrant sunset. Although you can see a large city at the very top of the platform, there is still a lot going on underneath the main area. Every part of the design has a function which I thought was interesting. It states on it’s description that “Cloud City exists not only as a mining colony, extracting valuable Tibanna gas from the depths of the giant planet, but also as a sanctuary for those trying to escape the turmoil gripping the galaxy.” – starters.com

T3Image Courtesy – studioghibli

Laputa, Castle in the Sky is a memorable movie by studio Ghibli and directed by my all time favourite, Hayao Miyazaki. A floating castle is depicted in this full length animation, having multiple tiers and some archways which resemble the arches which Erinn in my group is working on for the Victorian section of our floating Belfast.

 t2Image Courtesy – studioghibli

Above is another piece of concept art produced by the Studio Ghibli team. It depicts the castle with huge propellers at the bottom, again this is another idea which my group is currently working on. Jack is modelling cogs and propellers quite similar to the ones above. It is good to see that they have been used before to consider keeping a castle in this case, floating in mid-air. Below are some extra concept pieces a long with 3d works from the Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo which show the floating castle.

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Disney’s John Carter depicts a floating city named Helium, consisting of two parts, separated by 75 miles. I found an image or two which shows the modelling stages of the city. I thought it was interesting how they are kind of suspended between rock, rather than floating mid-air.

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Image Courtesy – creative cow

Below is a one of image I came across online by an amazing middle eastern artist Ярмарка Мастеров. The vines which are coming from the bottom of this floating city are connecting to another further off city, this is an idea we were playing with in relation to our model.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 10.51.35Image Courtesy – live master

Fallout 3

Fallout three’s ‘Rivot City’ is quite different and is a city which caught my attention. Instead of the city afloat of floating mid-air, this city is located inside a decaying aircraft carrier. It is depicted in the game as being “the largest, most developed and scientifically-advanced settlement in the Capital Wasteland” – fandomwiki


Group Members Blog Links

Erin Morrow – https://erinnmorrow.wordpress.com/

Jack Ellison – https://jackjellison.wordpress.com/

Michael Lilley – https://michaellilleyart.wordpress.com/


Ярмарка Мастеров. (2017). Магазин мастера Майя Шорохова (Air-brush): футболки, майки, люди, кофты и свитера, для мужчин, фантазийные сюжеты. [online] Available at: https://www.livemaster.ru/air-brush [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

Colossal. (2017). A Giant Illuminated ‘Castle in the Sky’ Ship Built for the Studio Ghibli Exhibition in Tokyo. [online] Available at: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/07/studio-ghibli-castle-in-the-sky-ship/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].

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