Exoplanet with rings and Juno based textures.

Like many, I have been stunned by the images coming back from the Juno mission to Jupiter. Take a look here if you’d like to see some of the best.

I particularly liked the polar views, not least because these are the first views. And I decided they would make a great basis for exoplanet textures for a gas giant orbiting another star.

And because ring systems always look cool, I added a complex ring system too, and a couple of knobbly little moons. Everything done in Lightwave 3d this time around.

Here are the results of this brief project.

Pseudo-Jupiter exoplanet with rings
Pseudo-Jupiter exoplanet with rings

Continue reading “Exoplanet with rings and Juno based textures.”

Vue scenes of Mars

I’m still experiementing with Vue, and I’m begining to feel like I am getting somewhere. And somewhere a bit more interesting than just a bunch of CGI sunsets!

Mind you, this one started as a sunset with an interesting terrain. It was when I figured the scene was rather Mars-like, that I got the idea for what else to include beyond the terrain and the sky.

So I dug out my old “Mars Habitat” and “Mars Explorer” from Daz, and loaded them in.Now the habitat had some odd rendering issues in Lightwave, but seems OK in Vue, at least once I had turned off glare.

It’s also become clear that Vue does a MUCH better job of preserving halfway decent surface settings when importing from OBJ format than from an LWO format. (For some reason Lightwave 3d surfaces only seem to respond to ambient light, the diffuse does nothing?!)

Explorer walking at dusk on a Mars like world.
Explorer walking at dusk on a Mars like world.

Continue reading “Vue scenes of Mars”

Making a dwarf planet – Tutorial

I wanted to make a dwarf planet, using elevation maps from the Moon, (and maybe Mars?) for realistic craters. I thought it may be helpful to save out the steps, so that others can follow along. Tutorial time!

You will need:

  • The 3D program of your choice, it should support displacement maps.
  • A high res source elevation map, these are available online.
  • An image editor that can edit 16 bit grey scale images.

Getting started

I started with a slice of elevation map from the rear of the moon, (less recognisable), in the proportions of 2:1

This will have seams at the left and right edges. To fix this we need to first use an offset filter, with wrap, to move the whole thing 50% to the right. Continue reading “Making a dwarf planet – Tutorial”

Rogue planet

One thing I often feel I have difficulty is depicting things out in interstellar space, or other scenarios were it is seriously dark. Not least because with a realistic view, it would be too dark to see anything.

Here’s my latest attempt, showing a rogue planet, cast loose from it’s parent star.

between-starsAstronomers seem to be growing towards this having happened early in the hostory of our own solar system, with a 5th gas giant being ejected early in it’s history.

Also note I am using the whole sky environments of our night sky, as mentioned a couple of posts ago.

 

Planet X

This was inspired by the announcement from Prof Mike Brown that he was on the trail of a new ice giant planet, way, way beyond Pluto.

This was revealled by some unusual allignments on the orbits of several Kuiper Belt objects.

For the art, the challenge was to show something clearly, while giving an impression of almost total darkness. Here’s what I came up with:

Planet X
Artists impressionof the possible giant planet in the far outer solar system.

The rich star background is there to imply a very long exposure.

I gave the planet a ring. While the material that far out is sparse, the planets gravity would be completely dominant, while the influence of the Sun would be tiny. For the same reason, I would expect it to have many small moon’s, (not shown).

Nick

The Frost Giant

A finished piece, with fairly heavy use of photoshop, to combine the different elements. Shadow for the figure was scribbled in manually.

Landscape and sky were rendered separately, everything in Lightwave 3d as usual. I’m not used to working sith such a restricted colour pallette, but I am very pleased with the results!

The planet object is available for full users of Foundation 3d, in Lightwave format.