Alexandre Ferra discusses his fictional sci-fi brand "Hexodeus,” what it means and the technological and mythological inspirations...
3dtotal: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
My name is Alexandre Ferra, I'm twenty-eight years old and currently live in Paris. I started my career in the advertisement industry in Paris on game trailers where I had the opportunity to work on several trailers for AAA games licenses in studios like Unit Image, Blur Studio and many others.
This five year experience allowed me to understand the needs of the VFX industry; meanwhile, in my spare time, I was working on personals projects dedicated to creating futuristic and innovative designs.
The Leviathan exploration suit
3dt: Who and what have been the biggest influences on you and your art?
I've always been fascinated by complex fictional universe (Space opera) and visionary people; from writers such as Asimov, Heinlein, Simmons or Hamilton; games and movies like Mass Effect
, Blade Runner
, Ghost in the Shell
and Cowboy Bebop
; to artists like Syd Mead, Ralph Mac Quarrie and Daniel Simon.
There are thousands of examples, they all have a very rich and strong art direction but the common thing between them is they create more than just what we see or read. We are only able to see a glimpse, a particular situation, in a much larger and complex world. For me, that is the best way to provide a sensation of immersion and that's exactly what I'm trying to do with my designs.
Some close up of the Leviathan exploration suit
3dt: Tell us about "Hexodeus,” what does it mean? Where did the idea come from?
With Hexodeus the idea was to create a large project synthesized of my influences, used as portfolio, not just doing what we are used to do in concept art.
I was always fascinated by immersive universes but also by marketing, and branding. I was interested how a brand is able to give an identity to a product, giving it life; and the best players at that game are luxury brands. So, why not tell a story with a luxury brand? Naturally, I chose to explore the theme of humanity's future and science, particularly around exploration and the technologies useful for it.
It was also a way to explore the paradox between transcending Human limits, in providing technologies helping to explore deadly environments, and the search for Human essence (the exploration and adaptation of our environment that has defined our early ancestors.)
This how I came to Hexodeus, "Hex,” meaning six (as the six axes of the project,) Hexo also refers to "exo,” meaning out of in ancient Greek. "Deus” is the Latin word for God, also meaning Zeus in ancient Greek, referring to the power of creation.
3dt: One of the key starting points of Hexodeus is mythology, how is that manifest in the project?
Mythology was used to name the designs, to add a symbolic dimension and provide a stronger identity to the products. The names were also useful to define the shapes and silhouettes of the designs, or add some details and obtain a coherent result. For example, I wanted to create a flying car inspired by European sedans of the 1930s, they had very large and round shapes, I was looking for a feminine inspiration for the name, and eventually settled on Valkyrie. Valkyries were legendary warriors in Germanic/Nordic mythology, able to fly and rule battle from the sky; with this association it was easiest to create a coherent design and story around it.
3dt: What part of the project do you enjoy most? What has been the most challenging part?
Building a coherent universe around Hexodeus was definitely the part I enjoyed the most and also the most challenging. All the designs had to be useful for the brand identity and the brand itself had to be relevant; it was the same for the presentation of the website, the color grading of the renders and the stories of each design.
All those challenge were really exciting and brought me a lot of knowledge on how to structure my ideas. I also read a lot of books on design, marketing, luxury, mythology and even cosmology, it was really fun to try to find links between all those subjects and construct from there.
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