A reel of scenes depicting the imagined early exploration of planets in our solar system and distant exoplanets. Scenes of Pluto, and a few other exoplanets and their moons reveal what the surface of these worlds might look like. The surface map of Pluto and many of the background matte paintings were done by award-winning illustrator Ron Miller [ black-cat-studios.com ].
What looks like shimmering water in a couple of the scenes is actually meant to be liquid neon. This gas will become a liquid at temperatures between 415.2 and 410.7 degrees below zero (F). It has be theorized that liquid neon may be on Pluto, but this has never been confirmed. The cratered surface of Pluto was modeled in Lightwave 3D with gray scale displacement maps. I created custom textures in Photoshop based on preliminary data from the New Horizons satellite.
This image is a detail from the waterfall scene before the waterfall was added. All landforms are modeled in Lightwave 3D using displacement maps and a few textures. Keeping the rocks and ground realistic was important to me and required a lot of fiddling with the textures. The habitat building was put together using parts from a model of a space ship. In the video, the waterfall was added using After Effects. The two astronauts were not in the video and have been added here for scale.