View Full Version : A tour of the Solar System

07-24-2010, 09:55 PM
I recently worked on an ad for a fictitious space travel agency called Solar Expeditions. One shot called for an animated map of an upcoming cruise itinerary. Attached is the final frame of that map, and the full sequence can be viewed here: Interplanetary route map. (http://www.vimeo.com/13613194)

This sequence was created in Maya 2009. The planetary textures are all public domain images provided by NASA. The star field is a Maya particle system, and the sun is a combination of a fluid simulation and an animated fractal texture. I used some solar system calculator or another to determine what the planetary positions would be on… I think it was April 4th or something in 2060? Anyway, I then calculated four months worth of motion and animated accordingly.

I had intended to add some callouts for points of interest along the route, but we were running out of time to get our shots in, so they never made it in. Perhaps after I graduate I'll find time to bring the whole piece up the standards I wanted to see. In the meantime, it lacks somewhat the elements you'd expect to see in a finished map. And if anyone wants to complain about the lack of a scale bar, well… This map is not to scale; I tried to do it that way at first, but the distances involved are, naturally, astronomical, and they made everything somewhat impossible to see. Likewise, the dotted line isn't really timed to scale, either.

If you're interested in seeing the entire commercial, it can be viewed here: Solar Expeditions cruises. (http://www.vimeo.com/12809328) That dude at the reception desk with the cheesy smile is yours truly.

Steel General
07-25-2010, 08:46 AM
Neat stuff Midgard...

07-25-2010, 11:00 AM
That's very cool. I love the map coming up from behind the desk - very slick.

07-25-2010, 02:04 PM
Must have taken quite some time to do that, cool map.

07-26-2010, 11:29 AM
That is sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool!!!

The full ad is fantastic!

07-26-2010, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the kinds words. The ad took four people about three months, and we spent way more time on it than on any of our other classes. Completely synthetic environments are a lot of work, even if you're not trying to make them photorealistic. I definitely have a much higher regard for the folks that make Sanctuary (http://www.sanctuaryforall.com/).

Maybe I should make a real deck plan for that ship at some point. The one that appears in the ad is merely the result of a find edges filter to make it look "blueprinty."

07-26-2010, 05:13 PM
That full ad is fantastic. Well done, Mid!!