Virtual Planets: I feel like Slartibartfast

For reasons I can’t fully explain, or might try to explain further on*, since the weekend I’ve been making CGI animations of planets, nebulae, stars, etc. I’ve been using Bryce since version 2 (usually the free version from magazine cover discs, usually 2 years out of date), and this is the first time I’ve done anything other than make weird pictures for my Windows desktop.

It’s good fun: I get to design a planet, then a moon, then decree the orbit of the moon, then make the camera swoop around them in an slow motion celestial ballet. You can make this more satisfying by rotating your planet, just like a real one. Eventually I will introduce asteroids, interstellar gas clouds and huge space stations. The more complicated the movie, the longer it takes to calculate. The 5 minute film I am rendering at the moment has taken 4½ hours so far, and it looks like it has about 5 hours left to run. Hopefully I can get that done before I go to bed.**

orbit 3 hq 1

My very own planet

* Ok, some of the music I make is floaty ambient space-music, and I thought it might be an idea to make a short movie for Youtube as a sort of promo. I don’t know how I’m going to get it uploaded, though, I can barely send emails at the moment.

** After 11(!) hours of rendering, the program crashed. I think I’ll try to do it in smaller lumps.

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