Dashing Through the Snow in a OneHorse OpenSleigh 2000, Howard Gersh (3D)

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  03 March 2008
Dashing Through the Snow in a OneHorse OpenSleigh 2000, Howard Gersh (3D)

Title: Dashing Through the Snow in a OneHorse OpenSleigh 2000
Name: Howard Gersh
Country: USA
Software: Photoshop, Renderman, XSI

Originally created for my family's annual holiday card in December 2000, "Dashing..." has been one of my most popular.

This piece has been featured in Expose I: Finest Digital Art in the Known Universe as well as Spectrum 8: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. It has been seen in numerous galleries and has been exhibited in The Museum of American Illustration in New York City.

The vehicle was originally modeled in SoftImage (before XSI existed), rendered in RenderMan and composited using proprietary software. Photoshop was employed as the painting software of choice for texture maps, etc.

My wife and I and our first son were photographed in a nearby parking lot close to our house. We actually photographed ourselves using the remote control I'm holding. :-)

Background credits: Pat O'Hara/Getty Images
  03 March 2008
nice idea, but its not really working for me.
Some critics:
  • "dashing" would suggest speed? im missing motion blur, or at least any way of showing the vehicle moves
  • no snow sticking to the vehicle? the teeth on which it runs are totally clean... also, no snow in the air, spinning off the vehicles teeth due to its rotation.
  • The tracks in the snow, and the snow itself are not really convincing to me, there should be more diversity, in colour and geometry, imo. all the marks the vehicle made, are perfect... a bit weird.
  • maybe a bit of depth of field in the render would help too?
good work, just some contructive crits
  03 March 2008
Thanks for your feedback Caman0.

The whole image is based on a pun of the Christmas carol "Jingle Bells". The first line of the carol is "Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh", so in this case, my fictitious vehicle, the OneHorse OpenSleigh 2000 is making "dashes" in the snow.

This was initially constructed as a holiday card. The front of the card was a picture of dashes in snow and said "Dashing through the snow..." (see attachment), and the inside of the card was the image above with the text "...in a OneHorse OpenSleigh 2000".

Since dashing doesn't refer to speed in this case, the vehicle actually moves very slowly, like 5mph or so. Hence no motion blur, nor any snow coming off the vehicle.

Also, while there is snow surrounding each tooth where it meets the vehicle, I agree, it is fairly perfect. Same goes for the dashes in the snow.

Since I was matching to the background stock photo, I didn't render any depth of field and I kept the colors in my CG elements (the vehicle and the dashes themselves) fairly monochromatic. I actually found that if I deviated too far from the colors in the environment, it looked too jarring and it didn't look like the vehicle belonged in the scene.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg frontWithText.OriginalResized.jpg (45.8 KB, 55 views)
  03 March 2008
The visual humorous metaphor is one of my favorite types of art........sometimes it fails to cross the 'language barriers' as I have found when living in different countries.
A well done piece of art.
  03 March 2008
This is a very fun image. I didn't catch on to the verbal pun at first, but I did upon seeing the second image you posted.

I agree that it would be more realistic if the path had uneven snow "crumbles" and there was some snow sticking to the vehicle, but overall I like the look of the vehicle design and how you've composited it. The "One Horse (TM)" logo is a nice touch.

But you know what I really love?...your hat! (If you can tell from my avatar, that should come as no surprise.) It feels like a throw back to Charles Dickens, amidst this high tech transportation.
  03 March 2008

I like it ... its fun, and the composoting of it is great as well, and by comp i mean color comp not just the photo integration.
  03 March 2008
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