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the project

the details

This project's purpose was to create a molecular illustration that will spark readers' curiosity in reading the corresponding article of the cover. Considering that this is an editorial piece I chose to capture the virus in a dynamic molecular environment and strip off part of it to get a clear view of its anatomy. 

Client: Rex Twedt (UIC)

Audience: Scientific journal readers


Software: 3ds Max, VRay, Illustrator, After  Effects,

Format: Mock journal cover 


First step in the process was to put my ideas into paper and sketch out some quick thumbnails along with some color compositions.



Using cellPACK's recipe for HIV packaging I brought the virus into 3ds Max along with all of its molecular components. I sectioned the virus in a way that gives a thorough view of all its elements and created the materials for each different part.

Once I rendered out my objects, I brought them into After Effects and started compositing the final piece. I used the various different render passes to further enhance the image and added some effects to make the environment more immersive and dynamic.  

compositing breakdown video

Here you can see a short process video of the compositing work. 


secondary motion

Having the final piece ready, it was time to put this cover in a magazine to show how it would look like in real life!