Jared Owen writes:
I've wanted to do an animation on the International Space Station (ISS) for a long time. I knew it was going to take a lot of time to do well. I had only spent an hour or two looking up reference images before decided to purchase a professional 3D model. It saved me a ton of time! I checked out every book the library had on the ISS, read many ISS websites and wiki pages, and watched several documentaries. I really wanted to get the details right but I also just really enjoy learning about this kind of stuff.
The radiator and solar panels were rigged using armatures and drivers so that I could animate the unfolding process. The Canadarm2 and Dextre probably should have been done with armatures but I just did a bunch of parenting to get it to look right.
I put in over 200 hours on this and then it took about 4 days for my computer to render. (I probably should have tried the 2.8 beta to speed things up). I plan on doing more ISS animations in the future. I hope you enjoy!
See also the article we published about Jared and his work last month: Meet the Artist: Jared Owen.