Terraforming Mars

I’ve been working on a terraforming Mars timelapse.

I used a high resolution color map of Mars from the USGS site. It also included a height map, which I used threshold on to generate the sea level rising. Here is a YouTube video:

I have since increased the number of frames of the animation and the sea level rise has gone from 40 frames to 900. I had to use ImageMagick and write a script to do threshold 900 times. It makes the sea level rise much smoother. I wanted to do the next animation at 8k resolution so I needed a higher resolution height map or you can see the different height levels on the mountains, it looks like stairs. I downloaded the 2GB 16 bit image form the USGS and that did the trick. It’s nice that Blender can handle 16 bit. I also did the green differently, before I just used a mix shader on the color map. This time I used color ramps and noise textures. Still not sure I like it, doesn’t look like Earth.

Here is an 8k render:


4k and 8k version. It’s twice as long.

There is one issue. For some reason frame 221 (about 9 seconds in) is wrong. Here is what it looks like:

I dont have any keyframes on frame 221.

Here is a screen of my nodes:

I think it might be because the image sequence is keyframed and its set to a value that is not perfectly divisible. For example, if I have 100 images in the sequence and keyframe frame 1 to image 1 and frame 83 to frame 100. Might be a bug.

Can’t help with the error, but I like it! Only the water material does not convince me. I guess the saturation is too high.

Yea I’ve tried lots of variations and I couldn’t get it to look right. I was looking up images of Earth from space to compare. With the reflections I just get a fuzzy white sphere, with real pictures of Earth, you can see the ripples of the waves, it’s more yellow and just looks better. Open to suggestions. You can see on my node screenshot, I’m just plugging a Fresnel into a Mix shader with a blue diffuse and glossy shader.

i have the cleaned up MOLA data at a size of 64536 x 32768 32 bit float

this is a zoom in on the 16384x8192 LOW-RES version in floatiing point in METERS values


and for a bit of inspiration ( NOT from blender )

[https://8-t.imgbox.com/bXTQnF37.jpg https://2-t.imgbox.com/jlU7L3pQ.jpg https://6-t.imgbox.com/AezPdljz.jpghere is the original nasa data

and the height data

but this is in the PDS image format

Thanks, I’ll check out the links. The ones I used were from the USGS site. My Mars height map was pretty clean but the Venus one looked bad. Apparently the probe didn’t get height data of the entire surface, so there are missing spots and someone went in and filled in the blank spots but not very well, there are visible lines where it was filled in. Terraformed Venus at 4k would look bad until I take the time to clean up the image.

i also have a reprocessed Venus height and texture map
both in 65536x32768 pixels and 32 bit float
( my reprocessed original data is the ONLY cleaned up magellan radar data )

screenshots of the height and texture maps ( cropped area )
https://6-t.imgbox.com/zk75YVGM.jpg https://8-t.imgbox.com/j8YnUqBu.jpg

right now the full res maps are not on the web but i can put reduces size maps on my g-drive

Yea if you could share those that would be awesome! Best Venus maps I have are 18000x9000 8-bit with missing areas.

Wow I like this

here are previews of the 16384x8192 px maps
the Mars and Venus DEM’s are 16 bit unsigned tiff with each tone = 0.5 meters in height
the venus texture is a 8 bit gray png ( radar -slope and roughness data )

https://8-t.imgbox.com/511tGSLo.jpg https://2-t.imgbox.com/nADWtYCy.jpg https://4-t.imgbox.com/wy9iepXN.jpg

they are -180 to + 180 east/west
and 90 n to 90 s

the venus zip

the Mars zip

Thanks for sharing, they are both an improvement over what I had, especially the Venus one. You personally cleaned up the Venus one right? How should I give credit?

all my astronomy images are cc-by-sa

the short version is fine for both


the long version is very long do to adding links to all the reference data and tools used

for venus i went back to the almost RAW radar data from the magellan mission data
and reprocessed it with current tools , and “inpainted” missing data