Project 006 Research on Mars Environment

November 21, 2007

I researched on Mars Environment in order to make a story of my final animation. I found that Mars environment is quite different from that of Earth.

  • Mars’ rotational period and seasonal cycle are similar to those of Earth.
  • The gravity is 40% of that on Earth.
  • No magnetic field
  • Fe2O3 or hematite or rust makes Mars look reddish orange.
  • The surface material is basalt.
  • The surface pressure is less than 1% of Earth. Since the atmosphere is thin, heat transfer is little and insulation is poor.
  • The temperature is lower than that of Earth, ranging from -140 C to 20 C.
  • Water exists as either gas or ice and can’t exist as liquid. Large portion of surface ice is two polar caps.
  • The composition of the atmosphere is 95% of CO2, 3% of N2, and 3% of Ar. This is quite different from that of Earth; 78% of N2, 20.9% of O2, 0.9% of Ar, and 0.04% of CO2.
  • Little amount of methane has been detected.
  • The dust storm both over a small area or the whole planet

My animation is going to depict the situation several decades after the beginning of terraforming. People have built inhabitable environment somewhat, but it has just begun, and far from a matured city. The features of the martian environment I mentioned above have following influence on the martian human life.

  • The existance of iron is good for making steel, thus good for various industries including architecture and civil engineering.
  • 42-52% of the weight of basalt is SiO2. Large amount of glass and brick can be made out of basalt, as described in Red Mars.
  • In order to stand the dust storm, the buildings should be short and thier windows should be small, like a pillbox. Since the outside is under low air pressure and cold, the wall shoud be thick for the sake of insulation.
  • Since the air is really thin, wing and propeller of airplane don’t work. Because of the lack of O2, jet engine doesn’t work, too. Rocket engine is the only option available.
  • Fossil fuel is not available on Mars. Available energy sources are solar electricity, atomic power, and possibly methane gas.

Project 005 3d Max Animation

November 4, 2007

frame_0000 frame_0450 frame_0900

My animation is the takeoff of the airship. Inserting a transitional movement between 2 linear movements makes the animation look natural. I used a geosphere to represent the mountains and the sky. Rendering the frames took so long, and after finishing that, I noticed the sub engines rotating in a wierd way. I felt like screaming ‘Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!’ I hope that is not so conspicuous.

Project 004 Martian Flora

October 21, 2007


I think the Martian climate is similar to alpine or desert climate, and I refered to succulents when I was making the models. The plants mutate form the succulents into primitive shapes that resemble the plants on the Earth a long time ago. I first planned to scatter red spikes on the leaves of the weed, but even the computer in CADGIS froze when I did that, so I had to remove the spikes. But the file size itself was not so big, it was about 4 MB, so I guess there were some ways to make the load on RAM smaller.

Project 004 Sources of Inspiration

October 21, 2007

Agave americana alpine plant 4 alpine plant 1

The features of the environment of Mars is cold, a lack of water, strong sunlight, low gravity, and high wind. I think alpine climate is similar to Martian climate. I searched for some images of alpine plants. Succulents such as Agave americana are on alpine area, and they look martian somewhat. And their fiber can be used for making fabric and their sap can be a material for alcohol. So they can be useful for people terraforming Mars. I’m going to make models of Martian plants from these plants.

Project 004 Tutorial Tree

October 20, 2007

the image of tree tutorial

I did the tutorial for making a tree. The twigs scattered on main branches look a little wierd. And so do the twigs of the sample, too. I wonder if there is a way to specify the angle between twigs and main branches radiationally.