Microsoft has published a QnA session with Rolf Ebeling, the man responsible for the Windows 7 start up animation.
The latest QnA is the third in a series of seven that Microsoft is calling "Seven behind Windows 7". Included in the interview is a few sketches of the early startup animation concept. The start-up animation was first unveiled in December 2008, present in Windows 7 695x builds.
According to Ebeling he looked everywhere for inspiration, including street lights in the rain, light reflecting off water, and fireflies. Music also assisted the designer as he states his incurable addiction to indie rock helped him do his best work. The look at the concept sketch work is a rare glimpse into the design process of Windows that Microsoft rarely shares. In early November we got a glimpse at some concept artwork for the Windows 7 default wallpaper.