Tutorial: Importing Blender 3d content into Lightwave or Vue

One of the frustrations of working with CGI is that you sometimes find a brilliant free model, but it’s not for your software. And a specific example that has frustrated me is that there are some great models available in Blender format on the NASA 3d object library site:

NASA 3d library
NASA 3d library

Now, whilst I have heard of Blender, I’ve never tried to use it, and 3d packages can be very difficult to learn. But I decided to give it a go. Maybe I’d be lucky! Continue reading “Tutorial: Importing Blender 3d content into Lightwave or Vue”

NASA PRANDTL Flying Wing – finished renders

Some finished renders of the flying wing design. See previous posts for the work in progress, and sample reference images.

The sky was the most difficult part here. I was compositing onto panoramic photos, and had to make my own sky. I really liked the dark greyish green, but it’s not very realistic.

Continue reading “NASA PRANDTL Flying Wing – finished renders”

NASA – PRANDTL Flying Wing for Mars

This concept is a flying wing, or bodyless plane, currently being tested for a possible flight to prove the concept. It is intended to work well in the thin atmosphere of the planet Mars, and would be tested at very high altitude on Earth, where the pressure is similar.

You can find out more about the project here:

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/mars_airplane.html

Here’s the current state of my quickie project, I’m still very unsure on what to do on the bottom of the craft.

Mars flying wing WIP - Front on
Mars flying wing WIP – Front on

Continue reading “NASA – PRANDTL Flying Wing for Mars”

Lunar Escape Device

This is a design that was considered for the (much) later Long Stay Apollo missions, where the LEM would be on the Moon for a long time. And there were concerns about reliability.

So they came up with a light weight design that would be a few bits strapped together, to get the astronauts up into munar orbit, where the command module might be able to rendezvous with them.

But it would not have been needed for the cancelled missions, and the ones beyond that were not studied in any great detail, so the design was not taken any further.

There are some interesting variations described on Wikpedia here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Escape_Systems

Continue reading “Lunar Escape Device”

CGI Planet Mercury, done in Lightwave 3D

Here’s an old CGI model of the planet Mercury I did, based on some maps NASA released using information from the MESSENGER probe to the planet.

mercury-n-2

The model is in Lightwave 3d format, and available fr free to members of the Foundation 3D forums, in the file area.

Continue reading “CGI Planet Mercury, done in Lightwave 3D”

Magnetospheric MultiScale satellite

Quickie project, based on the file downloaded from the NASA 3d object library. This basically comes dow to resurfacing, and setting up a scene or two!

This NASA satellite studies the magnetic field of Earth in high orbit.

mms-holder_rgb000 Continue reading “Magnetospheric MultiScale satellite”

Mercury Redstone Rocket – Nearly done?

After some work on the base, (thanks to better references), cutting details into the lower hull, and adding a reflection gradient on the paint, I think this one may be done… The Mercury Redstone definitely fills a gap in my historic rockets line up.

It feels like I am on a bit of a roll with the rockets recently!

Now I just need to make some final renders to wrap things up.

Redstone Rocket
Redstone Rocket

Redstone Rocket

Redstone Rocket

Continue reading “Mercury Redstone Rocket – Nearly done?”

Pioneer 11

Pioneer 11 was the first probe to reach Jupiter and Saturn. It is not often remembered, I think because of Voyager 1 and 2 followed on relatively quickly, and these probes delivered much superior imagery.

But Pioneer 11 was important, not least because it established if it would be safe to send the voyagers very close to the giant planets – the amount  of radiation and debris near them was not clear before the encounters.

saturn-approach-compositex pioneer-polar-jupiter2x

Continue reading “Pioneer 11”