Digital 3d modeling the artifact and exhibits for the Oschin Air and Space Gallery renderings

The process of illustrating the galleries and exhibit spaces of the upcoming Samuel Orchin Air and Space Center in LA involved modeling hundreds of Air and Space Artifacts and interactive exhibit stations. If I had a clear idea of how the galleries actually worked visually I might have gone straight into sketches and tight pencils but the galleries are still in design and the illustrations as more aspirational than determinative so I opted to model things so that I could experiment with viewpoint and compositions more easily.

All exhibits and artifacts were modeled using MODO 3D modeling, texturing and rendering software. The models were based on a tentative list of artifacts with descriptions supplied by the California Science Center's Exhibit Design team and the exhibit workstation designs from Evidence Design. Since each of the final illustrations would be digital paintings of the major galleries the modeling was primarily to 1; define the architecture and 2; to work out the placement of the artifacts and exhibits. Once modeled I was able to visualize the galleries with preview renderings and screenshots and present them at face-to-face meetings with the decision makers at CSC.

The goal set by Jeffery Rudolph, the president of CSC, was for the illustration pieces to encapsulate the whole experience of each of the major galleries, AIR gallery, SPACEgallery, and SPACE SHUTTLE "ENDEAVOR" Hall. His primary objective was the visually capture each gallery as a branded "name-able" space. The "Ellen and Joseph Genoa Air Gallery" or the "Max And Maxine Factor Space Gallery" for instance. The trouble was each main gallery was split up across 3 or more levels or sub-areas that could not be viewed in one glance. I used a variety if cutaway views and other tricks to "fit" the exhibits in one consistent viewable space for each theme. Modeling the architecture, artifacts and the exhibits as separate objects enable me to experiment with placement and viewing angle selection of the artifacts and exhibits, to explore as many configurations as needed until I found a final layout that was agreeable to everyone.


CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER: Bird's eye view of Air and Space Galleries expansion with roof removed.


SPACE Gallery—Level One: MAN IN SPACE exhibits. Visitor's point-of-view test.


AIR Gallery: Levels One thru Three: Preliminary cutaway-view test.


AIR Gallery: Level Two TAKING WING. Preliminary placement of key aircraft and floor railing on the mezzanine.


AIR Gallery:  Level Two. Working out placement of exhibits.


AIR Gallery—Level Two: Pushing the Limits. Placement of ceiling mounted Jets above the third floor of the Air Galleries.


SPACE Gallery: Levels One thru Three: Cutaway View. Previewing exhibit placement


SHUTTLE Gallery—Ground floor: Interactive Exhibit station: Test render prior to placement


AIR Gallery—Level One: AT HOME IN THE SKY.  Modeling and texturing the "Spirit of 76" Douglas DC3 exhibit.


SHUTTLE Gallery—Level One: Permanent Presence in Space. Modeling and setup ground floor.


Flightsuit exhibits.


SPACE gallery—Level Three: LIFT-OFF. Modeling an exhibit area for F1 Rocket engine display.


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