Artist: First Strike at Pearl

Beliaev is a freelance artist based in Turku, Finland, and McCarter is a freelancer living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The two have never met in person. "First Strike at Pearl" was accomplished through email correspondence and a Web page created especially for the project.

The artists created the image using POV-Ray 3.1 for rendering, as well as 3Dem (for converting DEMs to bitmaps), Rhino (airplane models; ship hulls), ColorPicker (precision color selections), Photoshop (image maps; converting image to JPEG), Paint Shop Pro (image maps), and GeoCities (sharing files). The rendering took 59 hours.

After making concept sketches and some simple POV-Ray scenes to evaluate potential viewpoints and compositions, a detailed and accurate map of the Pearl Harbor area (including the ships) was used as a height field in a POV-Ray scene. This technique allowed the artists to use trial camera positions around the harbor before they began modeling.

All objects were created specifically for this scene. Terrain was adapted from USGS DEM (Digital Elevation Models) satellite and aerial imagery. Ships and aircraft were modeled from plans and photographs of the actual crafts involved in the attack. Ships' logs and eyewitness accounts were consulted to verify the sequence of events. Even the sunlight, wind, and aircraft directions are depicted as accurately as possible.

The artists hope that the end result is an accurate re-creation of the events that Sunday morning.

For more information on the artists and the background for the image, see