I present my final image.
I already talked about why I chose to use an aqueduct as my main focus earlier in the blog but I think it wouldn't hurt to expand upon that. To me the idea of the aqueduct has a lot of avenues story wise attached to it. Aqueducts, being made from arches takes knowledge in engineering, planning the path and the knowledge of how water works. I think that they are fascinating structures and hold a lot of mystery.
For the texture of the aqueduct I wanted something that had an ambiguous time scale to it. It's not crumbling, but its not pristine. There's no one around yet there was someone there once. For the ground, it's sandy with some grit, it comes across as dry and the fact that nothing could be growing in this area is obvious.
The shot that I chose was specific to enhance the mystery of the image. The aqueduct is obviously in a place void of water, so this makes the viewer ask where does it start, where does it end, who built it there and why. The shot being from a lower vantage point not only allows the viewer to wonder why they are in this place but in regards to the aqueduct, if there is even water in it and how would they get it. In the barren landscape, the water is close, but there is no clear way to access it. These are only a few questions a viewer might come up with when looking at this image in regards to the aqueduct and landscape.
Then there is the case with the symbols on the aqueduct. I made the choice to make the symbols look like they were painted on because I wanted another element of a human presence. The addition of the symbols adds on to the idea that the people who built the aqueduct have something to say about it, or believe in something important. It can be interpreted on several different levels. In choosing symbols I decided to look at alchemic symbols that I feel some how relate to water. As if the people who put up the symbols wanted the water to be influenced by the power of the symbols. I also added in a small symbol on one of the columns, its pretty well hidden but once its found it adds a little bit more mystery. Though the symbols do actually mean something I think that the viewer will still interpret it in there own way because the knowledge of alchemic symbols is not necessary to understand what I wanted the viewer to feel. Its the idea not the literal interpretation I was going for.
Now, I wont explain the Pteranodon, I think that this one is better left to the interpretation of the viewer but I will say that in the requirements to the project it was decided that there should be no unnecessary elements to the image. I feel that the Pteranodon is absolutely necessary to the composition and story of this piece, without it, the image feel like its missing something. Also being reassured that it had to be in there by several people helped, so thank you.
On a side note, one problem that I had was getting the ground to look how I wanted it to. When I rendered it in blender in the smaller format it would look great, but then when I rendered it out in the larger format the ground would get smoothed out. After several hours I figured out what was going on and how to solve it. All I had to do was pump up the Normals to the max and then when I rendered it out in the large format, blender toned everything down to the level I wanted. It took a couple of renders before I found the right level. I'm still not sure why that happened or if that is in fact what was going on but I think all the trial and error was worth it. I am quite pleased with the ground texture. There were other texture, modeling and composition questions that came up throughout the process, and for these I got feed back and help from everyone, all of which was helpful and appreciated. I don't think that my image would be like it is without the feed back that I got, so thank you everyone.
Here is another picture of the aqueduct form the top view, perhaps a Pteranodon perspective. As you can see, there is water in the aqueduct.