3D Modeling, Environmental Level Design Artist

STR1-F (Strife)

STR1-F (Strife)

Apr 13, 2012

A couple months ago I set out to teach myself Terragen 2. Terragen 2 is a 3D software application for creating fully customizable 3D planets from procedural instructions. I’m a dork… If that isn’t apparent. The prospect of being able to create worlds, both orbital views and renders from right down on the surface, struck the Trek nerve in me and I was hooked. Terragen 2 uses a procedural. node-based, system for creating the different facets of a planet. Terrain, Water, clouds etc.



I had recently bought a Mac book Pro when starting this project and was going to need its raw CPU power to render the worlds I created in the same day I clicked the “render” button. I was impressed with the program, and the Mac Book’s, render fidelity.

I set out to create a “galactic” render…

Realizing I would need a nebula I went to painstaking work in 3D Studio Max on my PC. I thought teaching myself FumeFX, a plugin for creating gaseous and fiery effects, would yield the solution to the nebula problem… It did. I learned I couldn’t render a decent nebula because my PC is 5 years out of date Hawrdware wise.  -_-

I was able to generate a vaporous astroid belt with VideoPost, a built in Post Processing render element.

This wasn’t quite the effect I wanted however it did make it into the final Nebula composition which I completed in Photoshop using High Resolution Nasa Photographs.

I added the lights to the world using a City-Light texture map I found somewhere online ages ago. In fact I’m pretty sure it was one Lucas Arts used on orbital shots of the Coruscant  world from Star Wars Prequels.

I added various smoke, gas and lighting over the compiled image to achieve the final lighting and saturation amounts.

By the end of this endeavor my photoshop file was 599.6MB in size at an Epic 7467X4200 resolution. Zooming into a section you can see the amount of detail painted, generated and composited into the image:

(Note the astroid on the left and the shadows the clouds cast upon the ocean’s surface)

I designed it to be this big in the hopes I could print it out on a canvas and hang it up on a wall as one of my first pieces of work I’m proud enough to consider actual art… :P

You can download a version below:


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