Head in the Clouds
A poster that delivers the concept that big oil companies are covering up their actual impact on the environment.
The Problem
Currently, oil companies spend a fortune on building their image up, using phrases such as “natural gas” accompanied with green hills, windmills, and smiling people in their advertising. Unfortunately, this provides a false image to consumers, not showing the true face of what the company and its effects look like.
To design a Climate Change Advocacy poster to give viewers a chance to “see through” their advertising campaign to discover what lies underneath.
Screengrab from Exxon's "Carbon Capture" Commercial
Recent and ongoing studies have shown that oil companies spend millions of dollars every year giving misleading or false images about their effect on the environment. According to The Guardian, “Over roughly the last three decades, five major US oil companies have spent a total of at least $3.6bn on advertisements – not counting their investments in public relations programs like sponsored beach clean-ups, or their influence through trade associations, dark money groups and campaign donations.”
Source: The Guardian
The "Real Face" of Big Oil
Designed for UW Students, commuters, and oil consumers
To promote awareness through a harsh, apocalyptic poster to generate interest and inquiry about oil companies vs. Climate Change.
Creation Process
Blocking out the Scene
Whenever I’m working in 3D, I block out the scenes with basic shapes to get the camera angle and composition I want. Elements will be roughly substituted in position for the shapes, and a general two-point lighting will be used.
Element Addition
Next, I want to model out basic building elements that can be duplicated across the scene. Work smarter, not and harder!
Blocking Out the Scene without Textures
Simulated Oil Spill with Realflow
After the buildings are done, I added point lights for individual windows, and created the smooth textures for the buildings.
Volumetric Smoke and Liquid
For the effects, I used Houdini to make a 120 frame smoke simulation. From there, I duplicated the smoke and transformed the .vbd volume in order to create clouds and atmospheric effects. Although the water texture is a still frame, the oil spilling out on top was created with RealFlow.
Color Correction
Rendering out a 4400x6000 image(!) overnight, I went over to photoshop to give the image higher dynamic range and correct some spots that were too dark.
Finally, I added grime and dust to the image, as well as some other simulated effects such as sparks, atmospheric glow, and a final beauty color correction pass to achieve the image I wanted.
Final composited composition (volumetrics removed)
Final Deliverable
-A poster is a thousand words (but not actually 1000 words to read on the page). 👀
Sometimes, the fewer words on the page, the more the poster conveys a message. Posters are seen in the blink of an eye, so not everyone needs a 5 paragraph essay on why they should follow your message.

-Heirarchy is king in the world of posters. 👑
Poster Design's hierarchy generates interest and pulls viewers in. As the viewer gets closer, they will be able to unpack more and more details and obtain a greater interest and grasp on the message that is conveyed.

-Fix it in post. 🩹
In the world of 3D, render times happen over long periods of time. When on a tight deadline, often times it is better to fix small errors when the image is done rendering, rather than cancelling the render mid-way to delete an artifact in the image. Magic healing brush works wonders!

Additional Details
Project Context
Visual Communication Design, 3D Design

Annabelle Gould
DESIGN 376: Advanced Typography

3 weeks

Programs used
Cinema 4D, Octane Render, Photoshop, Illustrator, Houdini, Realflow
Cinema 4DOTOY Octane RenderPhotoshopIllustratorHoudiniRealflow
Thank you!

Other work:

Zig Zag AR
Augmented Reality
The Huntress
3D Intro Sequence