quick update on progress.
Because there have been several comments about people having tried this before but not finished the project, I thought it might be useful to leave a note about the process as I develop the model. It’s also turning out to be very educational so I thought I’d include some details of what I’m finding out about our solar system. Here’s where I’ve got to so far:
1. Size: there are 2 important size considerations.
a) The relative sizes of the planets and sun
b) The relative distances between the planets and the sun
It is very difficult / impossible to use the same scale for both size of planet and distance between planets. Therefore I have decided to use 2 different scales (For planet size I am using 1 Blender Unit = 100,000km)
Educational bit: the 4 planets closest to the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are of a similar size (5,000km - 13,000km diameter). The next 4 planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) are called “Gas Giants” and they range in size from 48,000 - 142,000km diameter). Pluto is an anomaly
2. Time: sorting out time is pretty complicated!! You have to begin with considering the number of frames per second and the length of the animation. There are 2 time-related animation issues:
a) The length of time that each planet takes to do a single rotation (Earth = 24 hours)
b) The length of time that each planet takes to orbit the sun (earth = 365 days)
As with distance, it is very difficult to make an (interesting / educational) animation using a single timescale. So far I have worked on the planets rotation about its own axis and have decided to do the following:
Frames per second = 20
1 earth day = 20 Blender frames = 1 second
All other planets IPO curves were set relative to this
IPO curve for “RotZ”: interpolation set to “linear”, extrapolation set to “cyclical”
Which planet has the longest day?..
…[Edit]Venus: which takes 243[/edit] earth days to do a full 360 degrees rotation about its axis. Venus’s day is longer than Venus’s year[/edit]
Which planet has the shortest day?
Jupiter takes just under 10 hours to complete a 360 degree rotation about its axis! **********!!! Has anyone noticed how big this planet is?
- Mapping an images to a sphere: I’ve found out a bit more about this. As far as I can make out, UV mapping is the solution.