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Maciej Rebisz p2

CG artist Maciej Rebisz talks about researching his pictures of space and space craft, and how he achieves his photography-like effects…

READERSVOICE.COM: Which programs did you learn, and how long did it take till you felt good at them?

MACIEJ REBISZ: My Dad is a photographer and he introduced me to Photoshop when I was eight and I have used it all the time ever since, so I’m pretty confident to say that now, after almost 20 years of using it, I feel pretty good at it. I’ve learned tons of other programs, but they’re mostly project specific. The one that I use now besides Photoshop is a 3D program called Modo and it took me a week or two to get comfortable at it, and a couple of months more to master it to a level that allows me to model most of the things that come to my imagination.

RV: What research did you do for the The Kronos 1 – Eva 1 picture with the hands in the foreground, and the other Kronos 1 pictures?

MR: The whole Kronos 1 project required a fair amount of research, so I haven’t really done any special research just for the Kronos Eva 1 picture alone; it’s all part of the Kronos project. I read some research papers on long duration mission design, various propulsion types and many others. I did tons of sketches and different variants of the Kronos spacecraft. My architectural skills really helped to put all the pieces into correct places, so it would all make sense functionally and ergonomically. EVA images (short for Extravehicular Activity) were inspired by point-of-view helmet camera videos from spacewalks conducted by astronauts on board ISS.

RV: How do you make pictures look like photographs, like in the WIP 3, and the Cygnus?

MR: I have studied and analyzed real photographs from space, mostly taken by ISS astronauts and cosmonauts; tried to capture all the important details like light, exposure, lens blur and sometimes even camera noise or imaging sensor glitches and “hot” pixels. People often don’t register such things, but notice them on the subconscious level and in the end it all adds up to make a picture believable.

RV: How did you start the Kronos at Mars II picture and what were some of the steps?

MR: Kronos at Mars II started as a test 3D render of Kronos spacecraft above Mars. I wanted to test the lighting setup with natural sunlight and red/orange lighting reflected from the planet below. I really liked the result and decided to spend a bit more time on it, which resulted in the final image.

RV: Which websites or twitter feeds do you watch to keep you up to date on what’s happening in space exploration?

MR: I usually follow official NASA and other agencies’ or space companies’ twitter feeds. They usually post mission updates in real time, so it helps me to stay up to date all the time. Sometimes I also visit websites like spaceflightnow.com where I can find mission summaries or launch schedules.
[An example of a story from Spaceflight Now: The Japanese space agency has delayed the planned Sept. 30 launch of an HTV space station cargo ship to repair a leak in the vehicle, clearing the way for Orbital ATK …]

RV: What would you like to see happen in space and space exploration?

MR: I would really love to see more public and political interest in space exploration, which would probably result in increased budgets and more ambitious missions, along with more close international cooperation. And I would really love to see a crewed spacecraft leaving Earth’s orbit, whether it would be to visit Mars or an asteroid.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.