Render surface topology using NASAView


How would you reconstruct a surface flyby of Venus?

Here is what I thought:

Has anyone attempted such a task? Is there a better way to go about it?

I looked at using DEM data, then converting DEM to PPM/PNG, or converting DEM straight to OBJ, however that road looked riddled with problematic potholes.

Thank you!

Using NASA’s Map-a-Planet and Blender 2.4x, it is possible to create a mesh of a planet’s surface, which can be imported into Blender 2.5x.

Some questions:

  • How would you add more detail to the mesh?
  • Can the process be simplified to just use Blender 2.5x?
  • How would you scale the heightmap to be as accurate as possible?

The goal is to produce a fairly detailed, photo-realistic map of the surface of some planets and moons.

Any tips, tricks, suggestions, and blend files would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!