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Behind the Scenes: The Big Wheel



Hello, I’m Albin PREVOST aka Ganakel, a 40 years old French concept artist near Paris. I’m also a former French Air Force Aeronautical Technician in reconversion.

6 years ago, I didn’t know I could draw, but I learned a lot after discovering the Digital Painting School,  which is a French platform for learning Digital Painting and more. Furthermore, I admired a lot of artists and decided to learn how to create my own universe.

I tried to share our common passion for art by creating the website L’Ascension des Artistes, which gathers a lot of resources for artists. Feel free to pick some good resources on this free website.

3 years ago, I discovered virtual reality in IAMAG with Adobe Medium which is now my beloved VR app for modeling. I’m mainly an autodidact in 3D, watching a lot of tutorials, making surveys on every add-on or process; mixing software programs and techniques according to the targeted result.

My process is now mostly going from Adobe Medium (Adobe Modeler for a few times) to Blender for texturing, rendering, sometimes Photoshop for matte-painting.

I have to say I couldn’t be there creating these pictures without an artist community and friends, like Mao Mornity, Maxime Schilde, and so many more… and great websites like Blender Nation , IAMAG, and the beautiful people who share everywhere their knowledge with the world. I am proud to be a part of this artist community. Thank you all.


My inspiration comes from some amazing artists like Ryan Church (for the underrated movie “John Carter from Mars”), Leon Tukker, Paul Chadeisson, and many more. For years I have admired their work, huge structures, and moods.


The brief comes from a post-apocalyptic challenge organized by Digital Painting School,

“A remnant of the ancient world, the Great Wheel is a unique place in this desert. It is said that this huge circular structure was once used to generate energy from hurricanes and at the same time to filter CO2 from oxygen. Today, it is only a huge rusty disc, a gloomy silhouette eaten away by sandstorms.”


I imagined instantly a megastructure and started to model it in Adobe Medium with some ideas …… and “destroyed” the Big Wheel in the same way (Move tool is the key!).

Adobe Medium is very easy to use and makes iterations very fast, I really enjoyed this creation part.

To have a beautiful sci-fi texture, I used a free Spaceship Procedural Shader from Gumroad.


Far from the final idea, I used Blender GIS add-on (not available for Blender 3. X) to show Las Vegas destroyed by sandstorms but I finally discarded this option.

Here is a Google Earth Pro picture I used in order to imagine the composition.

Sometimes the first idea is not the best…


So, I tried to manage some camera views about the city. Playing with Focal Length to make the Big Wheel as huge as I imagined it.

I finally kept 3 pictures, all rendered in Blender Cycles, in order to have fun with these in Photoshop.


Render passes helped me a lot for this post process part.

Photo-bashing, matte-painting, adding details like people in the “Gran-Drou” city and storytelling behind the mood.....

“The Big Wheel is a huge system of air treatment by natural kinetic energy. The ancients thought they still had time to transform the CO2 in the air into O2 (Oxygen) to repair their past mistakes. Now in ruins, the survivors and their descendants use the megastructure to build shelters, recover the little Oxygen generated and build their lives by trading parts of the building to nomadic travelers. The latter arrived in "Chamole" to cross the desert and transport these metal parts. The nomads are still very resistant to the winds and the corrosion of the sand, which violently blows in this arid and hostile land. How much time is left for this city "Gran-Drou" before the environment devours what is left?

Unless it is the humans, who destroy once again what shelters life? Ouakakita, from the gardeners' faction; arrives in Chamole in the city "Gran-Drou"; changes his services, and proposes to the population to manage to recreate an ecosystem with plants. Will he manage to prosper and prevent the city from dying out, as well as its already exhausted inhabitants? We will follow with attention the journey of this character and will help him to bring back life in this part of the desert.”

Putting some Easter Eggs in my pictures is something I like too ;)

What are these guys talking about? Where are they going to?


YouTube video of “The Big Wheel”.

Hope you all like it, and if you want to see more images,  or have some questions about it, I will gladly answer and share some tips or resources.

Have a great day!

About the Artist

Albin PREVOST ‘Ganakel’, is a freelance concept artist and illustrator from Paris, France. He loves to share good resources and spread benevolence in artist community.



About the Author

Avatar image for Alina Khan
Alina Khan

A self taught 3d artist, who seeks to excel in the computer graphics field. Currently a freelancer and the editor for the 'Behind the Scenes' at Blender Nation.

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