I’m a professional 3d animator/2d compositor, and I’ve always loved anything to do with science and space. I was blown away by the nighttime images taken of cities at night by the astronauts on the ISS (International Space Station) and wanted to print out a large poster of the London one for my office, but I found them too blurry and too small to look good good printed out large format, so I looked online for open map data and downloaded the London set, and, using my skills as a compositor, found a way of using this data and layering it with CGI tricks to mimic the glow of the streets and buildings. Then I used Photoshop to add all the layers together and play around with the colours, glows, and various other tricks to augment realism and ended up with what you have here.
Having finished London (the first city I did), I thought, “OK, I’ll just get the other major cities done now,” but very quickly found that every single city require different approaches to get right. I plan on adding over 50 cities very soon, including New York— a city that I have worked on over 6 times and have struggled to get right. I’m working on a way of getting them made more quickly, and I’d like to work on whole countries and US states as well, so stay tuned.
Images courtesy of Marc Khachfe