You are witnessing a micro-story of a space shuttle that’s endlessly moving forward as it discovers and explores a new world.
There was no really concept for this animation to begin with, it just came about by accident after a 3D displacement mapping test I did in Cinema 4D when trying to create some planets and then it just became an animation with a space shuttle flying over the planets surface.
3D displacement mapping in Cinema 4D
Displacement mapping is where you create or generate an image or texture that acts as a map for displacing/increase/decreasing the height of a 3D surface. For example, the dark areas in an image will make the height of the surface less (black = 0% height) and light areas in the image will make the surface higher (white = 100% height). I used a similar image to this marble texture for this displacement map. And when applied to a 3D sphere we got this…
And when we look a little closer…
And then all that was left to do for this beautifully illustrated animation was draw a flat 2D space shuttle graphic, make some glowing flames move in it’s thrusters, make it move around in a loop at the same speed as the background, add some text and a bit of visual colouring and styling and voilà – there you have it.