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Model a Heavenly Body

Author: thedanman

Tools Needed

  • Bryce 5 or other 3D Program with parametric texturing abilities

Introduction

This tutorial refers to modeling planetary heavenly bodies, not human ones. Simple steps to creating your own solar system by modeling any number of planetary bodies with textures actually taken by NASA!

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Step 1 - Create Double Spheres

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Using your 3D program, insert two spheres into your scene - one in the inside of the other just ever so slightly. The inner one will contain the earth texture while the outer one will serve as a cloud layer.

Step 2 - Texturing the Earth

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Obtain a parametric texture of the earth (one that is flat and wraps around) such as those obtainable at NASA's website at http://maps.jpl.nasa.gov/ where planet maps and star maps are available free for download. Star maps can be used to set your background to your scene. Meanwhile, take your planetary texture and parametrically map it around your inner sphere are shown in the image.

Step 3 - Texturing the Cloud Layer

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Add a realistic looking cloud layer to your planet by texturing the second sphere with any water, cloud, or swirly looking texture as found in Bryce or created by yourself. Make sure to set its transparency to some value so you can see through to the inner sphere of the earth's texture.

Step 4 - Your Planet

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Add some rotation and animate your planet! There you have it, who needs 7 days to create your planet - you've finished it in 10 minutes!