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William-Black's avatar

Terraforming Mars

Full Resolution Digital Print: $10.00
Orders can be placed at
See my profile page for details.

Image is part of a future historical setting, see my journal entry Orion’s Arm Future History, A Synopsis.

A Timeline Graph is to be found here: Timeline.

For a comprehensive essay on terraforming techniques in the context of my Orion's Arm Future History see my journal entry Terraforming Mars.

The textures were built in Photoshop, wrapped around a sphere and rendered in Bryce.

I started with NASA/JPL sourced high resolution full global images of both Mars and Earth, along with selected high resolution images taken from the vantage point of the ISS. Selecting from areas of Earth the transition points from desert to lush plant growth I used selected crops and gradually built up plant growth layers, sizing and applying these to the terrain contours, layering with transparency, along with air brush techniques and blur filters to construct haze and cloud layers. I layered these building them up in semi-transparent layers to create depth. Water surfaces are constructed of layers of deepening hue and translucency to indicate depth. I saved each set of layer files un-merged to use in post work, applying additional layers after rendering to enhance the effect of translucency.

The far left image is the un-retouched Mars surface – this is Mars as the Martian Settlers would have found it on arrival.

Increased density is evident in the second image from the left which shows the Mars as it would appear during the initial phases of terraforming, orbiting mirrors bathe the poles in sunlight, raising the temperature, causing frozen carbon dioxide and water vapor to sublimate into the atmosphere. Atmospheric diffusion plants pour greenhouse agents into the atmosphere increasing this effect.

The third image from the left shows the formation of shallow seas and the first blush of plant growth.

The fourth image is Mars terraforming near complete during the era of the System States war, about 750 years post settlement.

My own critique is that the second image from the left could benefit from additional work as I am unsatisfied with the cloud layers – so the work, in my mind, is considered to be still in process.
Image details
Image size
4000x1496px 1.9 MB
© 2013 - 2021 William-Black
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noparainnita's avatar
Ludo38's avatar
Congratulations, that looks credible !
AbaKon's avatar
I have always wanted to do an image like this! Wonderful! Thanks!
Davemanz's avatar
Brilliant idea! 

Theres obviously been a lot of thought and focus put into this.
William-Black's avatar

The future history, the tightly plotted historical framework my work is grounded in, has been under construction for over a decade now.
AbaKon's avatar
Suggestion: Toss a date next to each image to show how long the process takes.
William-Black's avatar
A previous version, posted on another site, incorporated the time-frame. I prefer this version.

The detailed information is available in the image caption links.

This keeps the image clean, and for those who are interested in a more comprehensive understanding of terraforming, the links are there for them to pursue. 
AbaKon's avatar
Understood. Well. Wonderful job.
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