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BUBBLE BEE: MOCK MAGAZINE COVER

A mock Scientific American magazine cover based on a research article by Xi Yang and Eijiro Miyako. The research focused on developing an effective soap-bubble pollination method based on the physicochemical and biological properties of a bubble. With global declining bee population and the labor-intensive task of manual pollination, soap-bubbles offer a promising alternative method. I created a visual metaphor using 3D rendering techniques to communicate the main idea in a visually interesting manner.

This project won the Award of Merit at the 75th annual AMI Meeting (2021): LINK

format

Print, magazine cover

tools

Autodesk Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator

client

Marc Dryer (Prof.), 2021

TOPIC DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT

I looked through recent articles in major science magazines including Nature, Scientific American, and National Geographic. I also looked at science news articles. I came upon this study about how researchers had developed a novel way of flower pollination by using soap bubbles to deliver grains of pollen in a midst of a declining bee population. I brainstormed possible cover ideas, building off of key aspects of the topic.

INSPIRATION AND MOODBOARD

I created moodboards and found inspirational images to help me visualize what I wanted my final image to look like. This also helped me ideate for my initial sketches.

INITIAL SKETCHES

COMPREHENSIVE SKETCHES

INSPIRATION AND MOODBOARD

This was my first time learning Maya so there was a large learning curve and lots of experimentation. I used various parameters in hypershade until I was satisfied with the iridescence and refraction of the bubble shader. I used a sunset HDRI for the main lighting. To make the flowers and leaves, I used photos and made an opacity map, a bump map, and a colour map.

FINAL RENDERING AND POST PROCESSING

I used Arnold Renderer for my rendering. I used a combination of area lights along with the HDRI skydome to achieve the specularity I wanted, and rendered all layers except the background. I used a slight atmosphere volume to achieve the subtle pink hue in the image. Post processing was done in Photoshop. I adjusted the tone curve and blurred the background elements. In Illustrator, I created the gradient background and the text elements in Illustrator.