• CSS HUNLEY to be printed by D4
  • Don at the raising of the Hunley

    The confederate submarine, the CSS Hunley sunk a few miles off the Charleston harbor 150 years ago. It was the first submarine to sink a ship after it detonated a charge under the union blockade ship the USS Housatonic. In 2000 National Geographic assigned Don to cover the story.

    Final illustration of the Hunley for National Geographic

    Don spent a week at the lift site and took photos and made sketches of the gear, all custom engineered, that sat on a platform about 6 miles off the coast. After the craft was raised, Don made regular visits to the lab where the mud that filled the Hunley was slowly removed. Each layer removed revealed a new discovery and subsequently altered the illustration.

    Fast forward 14 years.

    When a new 3D PRINTER arrived in the studio, one of the first test projects for Don to work on was his old friend, the CSS Hunley. It was perfect for the job, being a stand-alone object. It also would be a good demonstration of how he could re-create a historic object.

    Step one: Modeling the ship

    The original illustration was based off a 3D model Don had created in FormZ and rendered in Electric Image. In 2004 Don switch his production to Lightwave 3D. In 2013 a European publication called History Illustrated hired Don to create a new illustration.