Ad Astra Digital Composite
inspired by Ad Astra and Blood Machines
Composition by Carlos Charris AKA CarlosDoesPhoto
Assets by Chinmay Macwan and Envato Elements
The final version; 4k widescreen
The original asset by Toronto photographer and 3D artist Chinmay Macwan--desaturated and watermarked 
Version 1. I was actually quite happy with how it turned out at first. The next day I looked at it again and hated the colour scheme. It is kinda sci-fi-ish but something wasn't working. The flare on the top left suddenly bothered me, the "tunnel" was way too wide to account for the oval distortion in the helmet. I wanted to evoke a sensation of dread in space and the colour scheme was a little too happy. Everything was a little too bright.
The second version had a much more interesting colour grading and contrast; I also changed the perspective and aspect ratio of the background for a couple of reasons: to better match the scene, to give the astronaut breathing room (in the previous version everything seemed pretty claustrophobic), and so I could add stars, which was impossible before as they were too distracting. I added the inverted cross overlay, something I had always wanted to do
Version 3 saw the floating guy replaced by a figure known to any Final Fantasy fan--Diablos. I intended to use the figure of an angel with its wings spread but couldn't find a shape that I liked--Diablos was the next best thing. Still, he didn't quite look god-like enough; the final version added atmospheric effects and diffraction to the glass, along with some red shades on the astronaut to simulate the light of the cross falling on the main character.
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