The idea for this scene came when I was going through a few web pages showing old, abandoned industrial photos, which is often one of my primary sources of inspiration. I came across an old steel plant and a shot of a huge blast furnace covered with bolts and pipes. I've always loved making scenes with loads of detail work, so I thought it would be cool to use the furnace as a large platform-like, hanging structure and place it into a fairly cramped city environment. This would blend both industrial and futuristic elements. Inspired by what some parts of the world would be like in terms of air quality, I decided to turn it into a sort of air filtering machine and add a number of vents to both the machine and its surroundings, as well as adding a few characters, mainly for scale purposes but also to add some life to the scene.
With any scene I work extensively from primitive objects and build all the models from smaller parts. I used the same technique here and started out with a torus object as a base, which I started covering with extra plating, vents, bolts etc., as well as pipes made of sweep nurbs (Fig.01 - 02).
Covering only the portion of the torus visible to the camera, I then started working on the upper platform. I made a set of railings surrounding the base and added a few ladders allowing access to the platform from the ground. I also added a few simple characters to show the scale. Next I built the body of the structure, which would support the base. I modeled a set of air tanks surrounding it and connected these with thicker pipes. The thought was to use the body as the control center of the structure, so I also modeled a smaller service platform halfway up.
The next step was to fill up the empty part beneath the base. Although the structure was supposed to hang freely, I still wanted it to be somewhat connected to the ground. I had already left a hole in the ground plane for this, and added a number of thick pipes to its center. I also placed wiring all around as if they would connect the structure to some sort of machinery beneath. Once that was done I modeled a few billboards and placed them around the structure (Fig.03 - 04).