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Altran: FCAS (Systems of Systems)

DPC Studio / Altran Group

Altran is leading the way in European military aviation and defense. FCAS is an ambitious program to provide real time data and communication synchronization among pilots, ground forces, satellites, ships, and everything else involved in today’s complex military operations that span land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace.

We had the opportunity to team up with DPC Studio again to produce a visually compelling cover for Altran’s latest whitepaper.

To reflect the futuristic nature of the paper’s subject, we decided to go with a futuristic, high tech style for this composition. That meant lots of glowing wireframe shaders.

The terrain background was generated using SideFX Lab’s MapBox node. This gave us a great heightfield on which to run some erosion, and the Open Street Map curves it extracted already contained some great looking color gradients in their color channel, which added to the aesthetic.

From there it was just a matter of adding all the jets, tanks, battleships and satellites that we wanted.

Using some Houdini SOPs magic, we created a procedural system for drawing lines between each model. This allowed us a very free and iterative approach to composition because wherever we moved something, the lines would update to match.

A few OpenVDB smoke volumes to create some moody clouds, and we had created quite the atmosphere.

It is true that in some ways leveraging a program as complex and powerful as Houdini to produce a single image for a whitepaper cover could be considered overkill… However, we believe that the extra time and care it requires is well worth it because it allows us to set the stage for future explorations that will require the added complexity.

Especially when you consider the complexity, depth, and importance of a system like FCAS… it deserves a cover that goes all out!

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