Mars Exploration - Yet Another New Update on page 2

Hi all,

Here is the progress that I’ve made so far with my latest project. I really hope to finish this one. Basically this is a short preview of the first scene. Basically introducing Mars and a navigational satellite that will home in on the position of the Mars Explorer.

Using Blender’s internal star system was causing some unwanted issues, but with the help of RobertT, I was able to use a much better alternative. Thanks Robert :wink:

Crits welcome but be gentle… :wink:



That looks very nice. :smiley: THe glare and sun look cool.


Nice flare…

may i ask how you did the stars…?

im guessing particles…?


Thanks for the positive feedback.


Just read RobertT’s first post. There’s even a helpful example file to download :wink:

That looks great SoloCreator!

I especially like how everything is coming together here, from modeling to texturing to lighting.

Can’t wait to see the final animation :smiley:


Very nice, hope it goes well

Very nice so far!

I’m a big follower of the Mars missions. I really look forward to seeing more of this project! :slight_smile:

Looks very promising! I guess you’re going for an artistic look(as opposed to realistic), right? Keep us posted and please finish it!

Look very nice ! the planet is very realiste




DAMN that looks cool! been working with blender for 5 years now and never got that kinda render from it :o

maybe that my lack of using my head is the problem :slight_smile: but love the last pic

Thanks for all the positive feedback :wink:

I’m pretty much finished with thefirst scene. I haven’t rendered yet as I’ve already started modelling the Mars Explorer.

These are of couse quite primitive renders and it still needs a lot of work but fortunately I’ve got a lot of great ideas for this little drone.

You can expect a very-much improved version sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again


Wow, awesome renders. RobertT’s star method gives great results. One little problem I have with them, though, is that they seem brighter around the Sun. I should think the opposite is true since the Sun’s light would probably drown out the light from the stars. Other than that, though, it’s looking great. Nice lens flares. The Explorer is coming along well too. I really want to see updates on this.

Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve also noticed the stars getting lighter towards the sun. You’re right in that real life, the powerful light from the sun would pollute the weaker light from the distant stars making them impossible to see.

I’m sure there’s a solution and I’ll let you know if I find one.

Anyway, I’ve got a few new renders for everyone to feed there eyes on. Again it still needs a lot of work and more detail are yet to be added.


Excellent progress, Jon! The rover looks great, and the scene like a frame from NASA animated footage. Maybe some more nor on the ground, or try using the Noise button on the mesh in edit mode (or maybe PET) to generate very slight variations in the terrain, just enough to break up the plane geometry. Maybe add a few stray rocks too.

Concerning the stars behind the sun and how to fix them from appearing too close, this can be dealt with in several different ways. Here are some possible solutions:

For static (non-animated) shots from a fixed camera position, the star mesh behind the planet(s) or sun(s) can be easily edited while in the camera view (press zero on the NUMBER PAD - be sure num lock is on). Select the mesh, enter edit mode, press the B key twice and scale the select to approximately the size of the planet(s) or sun(s), then press LMB to select the vertices behind the planet(s) and delete the vertices.

Alternately, vertices can be tweaked through PET so stars do not intersect with or appear too near to the planet/sun.

If deleting/moving vertices isn’t an option for whatever reason, for animated shots (and static shots too): a simple black and Shadeless Bezier curve circle placed behind and parented to a planet (with a Track To constraint to the active Camera if necessary) can literally black-out the stars behind the planet/sun. If there’s a lot of camera movement passing by the planet/sun, bring the Bezier circle closer into (even INTO) the planet/sun sphere so it doesn’t shift too far away from the planet as the camera passes (less of a problem though if the camera pass is relatively fast). The only other thing to make sure is that things are positioned so that no vertices (stars) move in front of the black circle so as to reappear around the planet/sun.

Lots of different ways to do this :slight_smile:


set the sun lamp to layer, move stars to a different layer and create another layer specific lamp but set it to negative.

Its coming along very nicely!

Are you going to add lots of rocks on the landscape?

I was thinking about how you’d even go about such a thing. It’d be nice if there was a script for random rock generation.

Looks really cool, but to add a little more realism to the planet in the first three pics, it would help to have a glow around the edge of Mars to show a visible atmosphere.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I haven’t added any additional details to the landscape yet but I’ve made some changes to the rover that I thought were necessary. I still want to add detail to the camera and add some extra gadgits etc…

Tomorrow, I will work more on the landscape, modelling rocks and distant mountenous terrains.

But for now, here are the new renders to present my modifications to the rover and lighting of the scene:

More updates coming soon!

Wow, this is really coming along nicely. Suggestion for the terrain: the part with the voronoi crackle texture should be elevated slightly (PET). I don’t know why but when I saw it, I thought, “That should be higher up.” Dunno, maybe I’m crazy :-?. Maybe it just needs to be more bumpy (that is, increase Nor). I like the tire treads in the most recent pictures; they look more natural. Or maybe it’s that the entire scene looks better. Great work so far. Hope you don’t spend five hours working without a save and then Blender suddenly crashes :< :x