Third time's a charm! That is, this time would be the third approach that we had at Ummarin, and we finally got lucky. Also it did not hurt to call in a booking in advance, with Valentine's Day being a cause for general restaurant table shortage everywhere. We ordered from a very class vegan menu, of course.
I had a simple idea, and set out to do a quick render of a toroidal pseudo space station against the backdrop of a pseudo star field. The stars were going to be generated with an Icosphere that had some vertices removed, roughly Tab>Select>Random>X. I probably got 90 per cent of the concept done with 30 minutes, but then took far too many hours to fine tune the design.
The star field envelops the station slightly, in case I decided to pan the camera around the core of the station so that there would always be some stars in the background. Note2self: find a better way to make a pseudo galaxy.
Also I had a go at random select deformations earlier.
Three cloned meshes, two lights; the yellow mesh is rendered as Halo
Two cloned meshes; one rendered as a wireframe; the deformation movement was vertical and radial.
Two cloned meshes 180 rotation of each for symmetry, in BW or Grey.
To bend a mesh, you need to add a bezier curve (or any other line I suppose). The mesh then follows the curve. The non obvious trick was to move the mesh along the common axis of the curve, like following a rail, until they both align, else you get crazy bendy results.
It seems that I had already figured out how to produce this bendy effect months ago, but then forgot and had to go through the learning process again.