View Full Version : January Entry: Mission on Mars

01-11-2011, 01:39 AM
In the latter half of the twenty-first century, man established the first outpost on Mars: Mars Base Alpha, nicknamed the Magic Kingdom. This was followed soon after by a second settlement, Nuevo Los Angeles and finally by a mining outpost at New Pittsburgh. Then, a decade layer, Earth went dark. Word spread to the Magic Kingdom that the terraforming operations at New LA were working. Rumors, too, that microbes that hitched a ride on the first Viking lander had mutated into horrible monsters and that mining outpost had been overrun by something from underground.

It's going to be risky, but a small group is setting from the Magic Kingdom to find New LA. They'd have to go first to the mining outpost at Sirtis Major and hope that they'd find enough rations for the trip. Then to the Opportunity rover for solar panels parts. Then the Viking I lander to salvage the radio transmitter. Lastly the push on the Nuevo Los Angeles. They promised to send word to the others if they made it.

I wanted to do something other than a fantasy setting for this map. Most of my time so far has been putting together the map of Mars. Fortunately there is a wealth of NASA data on the web. The names on the map, as well as the landing sites for various NASA missions, are all accurate--even if the narrative for visiting them is pretty contrived.

I want to so the various hazards and sites on the Martian mission with photos and notes that have been taped to the map. The checklist for the mission (rations, part, solar panels) will be on a Post-It note at the start of the mission. Apparently, they thought to bring Post-Its and Scotch tape to Mars.

The photo sketches are all temp, none of the handwritten text has been added yet, the grid needs work, etc, but I wanted to get something up to motivate me to finish. The image uploaded is half of the working size.

Wish me luck, there are some pretty stand-out pieces to compete with already.

### Latest WIP ###

01-11-2011, 01:47 AM
Very cool looking so far :) Love the big purple worm

01-11-2011, 02:04 AM
Since you liked the worm, I thought I post a WIP of the Viking I Landing Site. I'm painting overtop of the original sketch. After painting, I'll need to add some details, like photo info in the border and maybe the registration marks you see in all the NASA photos from the moon. Once it's finished, it gets mapped onto a plane in 3DSMax and rendered with a little bend and a shadow before "taping" it to the map.

Steel General
01-11-2011, 06:50 AM
Coming along quite nicely, the font you chose is a great fit.

01-11-2011, 09:14 AM
This is great and very creative - nice work!

01-11-2011, 02:14 PM
The map itself is looking quite nice; I'm partial to Mars maps and this one looks great. The snapshots are very well done as well - very webcomic-esque, and they really look like they're tacked on top of it. Loving it so far :)

01-11-2011, 06:16 PM
I finished the worm picture and "taped" it onto the map.

01-11-2011, 08:36 PM
Man, even your scotch tape looks good :) I think the photos could probably use some very subtle shading and highlighting on the front though. The curled shape is there, but if you don't look at the corners it still looks flat.

Edit: Just noticed your post-it note has shading and highlighting on it, so I assume you just havn't gotten to that yet on the photos!

01-12-2011, 03:19 PM
Thanks for catching the hightlight on the photo, I forgot to add it.

Another photo done.


01-12-2011, 09:04 PM
Finished the last photo.

### Latest WIP ###

01-12-2011, 10:46 PM
I think you should adjust the levels, and make the colors in the photos a bit more contrasted. Then add a bit more of a red/orange tint, in my opinion its looking a bit too purple.

01-13-2011, 10:51 AM
Not to be contrary, but I gotta disagree with del, I don't think it looks too purple at all. Love the War of the Worlds homage you've got going in that one pic.

01-13-2011, 12:53 PM
Not to be contrary, but I gotta disagree with del, I don't think it looks too purple at all. Love the War of the Worlds homage you've got going in that one pic.

Haha im not here to argue. But if the sky was red, and the sun shown through red, then the ground would have to be really purple in the first place to have that tint. But haha thats just my opinion. Either way, It looks great, and your drawing are very good.

01-13-2011, 07:37 PM
The purple tint on the photos was an attempt at a cross-processed look. I was also hoping that it might give the photos a little extra pop from the map.

For now, I think I'll keep it.

I've finished up the map grid and the post-it note.

### Latest WIP ###

01-13-2011, 07:45 PM
Grid looks great, as does the post-it. I always have SO much trouble lifting paper, you've done a great job on that aspect.

01-13-2011, 08:27 PM
Hey on the post-it, it looks like ouR, not ouT... maybe thats intended but figured I'd let you know!

01-14-2011, 08:43 AM
Man this map is amazing. You must be a professional artist?

01-14-2011, 01:28 PM
Amazing job, but the sticky note is a bit blurry near the bottom. And Gidde, if you aren't fortunate enough to have 3dmax or another 3d program to help with your page lifting, you could try a variation of this tutorial:


Just add a warp to each corner like Pindercarls photos, then add a larger drop shadow to the whole paper.

01-14-2011, 10:17 PM
Thanks for all the kind words from everyone and especially for the critiques that are keeping me on my toes and not letting me get to lazy.

I fixed the text on the Post-it Note. Instead of using a script font, I went ahead and scanned some handwriting. I cleaned up the edges on the Post-it, as well.

I also added a scale in the lower left. I will admit to being lazy on that one and just showing the distance scale at the equator. I'm not sure I feel up to doing the calculations for distances at different latitudes.

To Rjbeals: I'm certainly not a professional cartographer, but I do make my living as an artist. I'm a technical artist in videogames, so I mostly write tools and shaders. I haven't worked as a production artist in almost a decade. It's been fun to get back into doing actual art.

Unless I get super inspired to add something else, I think I'll call this one done.

### Latest WIP ###

01-15-2011, 01:14 AM
I like how this is clean looking. I'm still wracking my brain as to how I'm going to lay mine out.

01-15-2011, 09:10 PM
Now this is great. Nice job molding this around peoples critique, thats a really good quality as an artist.

01-16-2011, 09:08 AM
yeah - love it. My favorite for this challenge so far.