Realistic Earth-like planets in Carrara!
Need a high resolution Earth model as a backdrop for your blockbuster disaster movie? How about a newly discovered “terranova” for your space opera? According to news just this week, one in five sunlike stars observed by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has an Earth-size planet in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water — and, potentially life — could exist….
Kepler can’t *see* those planets directly. It actually recorded dips in the brightness of their suns, indicating a planetary transit. Since no one has actually seen them, it’s anyone’s guess how they will look…. I predict a bull run on Terra artwork, and we’re going to need a lot more planets!
To celebrate I’ve put together 10 Tips to launch your planet scenes into orbit!
#1 – HIGH RESOLUTION EARTH MAPS
Carrara comes with a complete Solar System of planets organized under the Scenes Tab in the Browser. An Earth model is included with a separate cloud layer. It’s part of the Native Content download that is free with purchase. These planets are great except for one thing, they use low-res maps only 1000 x 500 pixels.
Serious players will spend $8 to download the fullsize 10k Earth maps from JHT’s Planetary Pixel Emporium, which are prepped to be used in 3D models with color, bump, and a specularity map for the ocean. While you are there, grab the free 4k maps of the Moon!
Perfectionists will find the high res maps from NASA’s Blue Marble Collection to be the definitive reference, courtesy the US Geological Service at Visible Earth. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer of our planet.
This remarkable collection includes different color maps for each month of the year so you can show annual vegetation and ice cycles, an extremely high res cloud map, and this stunning night-side map of city lights. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public.