A Second Splash: VFX Breakdown

If you want to see the final result go there ->

Background Information

Before we start it is important to read the original story. The background explanation can be found here (in German). I made a quick summary so we can see what are the requirements.

  • The city built 150 years ago a new aqueduct to bring fresh water from the Alps.
  • This improved the sanitary conditions and made life better
  • We want to remind the “Schwarzenbergplatz” (an other fountain in Vienna) by having a big central water jet.
  • It should have some drinking water supply so people can cool down and refresh themself in summer.
  • It should represent the city in general.
  • It has some “advanced” lighting at night (from what I have seen, probably a crappy RGB LED).

When I began designing the fountain, I must admit, I knew little about Vienna. So, I did some research to pinpoint key aspects for later inspiration:

  • The city is renowned for its classical music (Mozart resided there).
  • There’s another impressive fountain named Pallas-Athene-Brunnen that I’d like to draw inspiration from, particularly its central column.
  • In poetry, cities are frequently referred to with feminine pronouns. Incorporating a mermaid, given their association with water, might be poetic.

First Concepts

Due to the historical connection of Vienna with music I took the shape of the Grand staff to symbolize the city. It has nice rounded central shape that could be used for central part of the fountain.

After quickly modeling in 3D the shape I played around and wanted to use the central circle as the main part of the fountain.

After a few experiment with the central column to support the spiral slowly going down into the water in the central circle. While playing around I got the idea of using this shape to symbolize the pipeline carrying the water from the Alps into the city. Slowly but surely the shape started to take place.

I then transformed the middle shape into a proper pipeline and added a mermaid at the source. Later as you will see I will flip the position of the mermaid but for now it can stay like this. I also added a series of water jet to add more details in the image and even if they are not functional and not strictly necessary they help to add realism tho the image.

Adding More Details

The ironwork surrounding the pipeline is currently temporary, serving as a placeholder to envision the tube’s final shape. I saw this as a chance to pay tribute to the industrial efforts that fueled our cities’ prosperity. Many often overlook its significance, making it a fitting element to include in our monument.

To emphasize the industrial theme, I opted to incorporate an industrial centrifugal pump at the pipeline’s beginning. It was then that I chose to switch the statue’s position, placing it on the opposite side, and substituted it with rocks representing the Alps, the water’s source flowing into the city.

The monument is now close to its final design. To make it visually more interesting I quickly introduced some street furniture, such as benches and trash bins. I’ve also added two hand-powered pumps that allow people to access drinkable water. I specifically opted for hand-powered pumps to emphasize the original theme of valuing water as a precious resource.

There’s one last detail we forgot. The original design seemed to incorporate some light effects. However, they appear quite “boring” with just a basic RGB light, which didn’t quite win over our critical audience. So to make it more epic and memorable, in line with the contemporary design, we decided on a very futuristic lighting system.


Full credits can be found on the original post

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