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The Space Elevator to Mars - Descent At Dusk

"The Space Elevator to Mars - Descent At Dusk"

About 40 hours of work on this massive photomanipulation, made in super high definition. I first built a 3D model (in Blender) of the whole area thanks to NASA topographic data, set the correct light and then photo-manipulated it carefully in Gimp, adding layers of color map and high definition texture map, plus adding the many details. The cable of the space elevator is also a 3D model.

So, we are in a travel cabin, descending along the cable of the space elevator, descending to Pavonis Mons (the central volcano on the image). The time at the surface is dusk, and several large cities are appearing in the dark.
This image is entirely inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.

Made with Blender and Gimp on Linux-Ubuntu.
2014-02-11 - Credits : Ludovic Celle

I'd like to publicly thank Daniel Macháček for his fundamental help in the making of this image, as he taught me how to use the NASA data sets in the best way available. Whithout his help I doubt I would have been able to bring that realism in this picture. Please check out Daniel's astronomy photo-mosaics blog :
I want also to thank NASA and USGS for the wonderful and free data made available in such a cool way. I mostly used MapAPlanet


See more of my Mars art on my DaVinci Mars Design blog :…
And get all the news about author Kim Stanley Robinson's on KSR-info :

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DevouredByWolves's avatar
Awesome good job Ludo38 
Neetsfagging322297's avatar
Mars ain´t that red, I´m afraid.
Ludo38's avatar
I exagerated it a bit, considering that this is a scene at dusk, when the light changes the sky's color, like on Earth.
Neetsfagging322297's avatar
You are not the only one who does so.
Ludo38's avatar
Yes. But if you look at the rest of my Mars art, you'll see that most of the time I take care to stay in a pretty realistic color tone.
Attila-G's avatar
I hope, I will see something like that during my lifetime :o
Ludo38's avatar
:) Woaw, this will need some time, but I guess it will be done in less than a century !
Attila-G's avatar
Mmmh... maybe in next time the medical science is so advanced, that I will become 200 years old... :laughing:
Lance66's avatar
wickedly good artwork , excellent pic :)
Ludo38's avatar
Thanks a lot! It was a load of work, but I made it! You can't imagine how many more sick visions I plan to create ! :)
Lance66's avatar
Looking forward to seeing them :)
K-Haderach's avatar
Amazing! I'm a huge fan of the Mars Trilogy, and I've never seen such great art inspired by it.

Just one question: I could be wrong, but isn't the cable supposed to be straight and vertical? In this picture, it's curving a lot...
Ludo38's avatar
Thanks for your comment!
Have you looked at my gallery ? I've made a lot more Mars Trilogy art you could like.

I know the cable feels very curved, but I'd like the eyes to see this as a perspective illusion. I too think the cable is meant to be very straight, but I tied to give a feel of "fisheye" vision, which distorts the very straight cable.
Taena-Doman's avatar
I've always wondered how such a space elevator can be presented artistically due the long distances. You did it great.
Ludo38's avatar
Thank you very much !
Taena-Doman's avatar
You're most welcome.:)
loswodorotlenkos's avatar
idk what it is, but it is immpresing
dukeleto's avatar
nice... now do a picture of Cablefall ;-)
Ludo38's avatar
If you say that, that means you haven't checked the rest of my work !
dukeleto's avatar
true... doing so now!
DeviousSqurl's avatar
Very cool!!!!! I've done colonies on Mars but never a space elevator. :)
Ludo38's avatar
Eh eh, a space elevator is a pretty cool theme to explore! You should give a try !! :)
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