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Rendered images of the complete planet Mars

First high resolution renderings

After doing my first renderings, it was finally time for some higher resolution renderings of the complete planet. According to the resolution of the used topography data (1/64 degree), images of 4000x4000 pixels should well be possible. Furthermore, I got my hands on a more detailed (1/16 degree) visible color image from Mars. Unfortunately, this image has a shadow and needed some hand-tweaking in exact positioning to match it with the topography data.

The images below required feeding 550Mb data into POVRay-3.5 and were rendered on my AthlonXP Linux workstation as a "background job" absorbing all left-over CPU cycles... just as I always do.

What one can see

In the second image below, the camera was positioned at a distance of 160000km from Mars (i.e. 156600km above the surface); that is about 7 times the distance of Mars' outer "moon" Deimos (at 23500km distance). Hence, you can see the carbon dioxide ice on the poles of Mars.

Unfortunately, Mars seems to have only one "interesting" main view and that is the one presented immediately below: You can see Olympus Mons (said to be the highest volcano in the solar system: it is 24km high and measures 550km across) and the large canyon system called Vallis Marineris which extends over 4000km and is up to 7km deep.

Mars image [5kb]First Hi-Res

Rendering time: 763 min.

Available images:
[1000x1000 JPG, 129kb]
[2000x2000 JPG, 481kb]
This is the standard view of Mars (actually slightly rotated compared to the images above) applying the new 1/16 degree visible color image (with a little bit more red added). IMO, contrast could be improved, so better look at the next image.
The rendering was done at 4000x4000 with anti-aliasing (+A0.2), these versions are scaled-down.
The topography height is scaled by factor 4.

The image has an assumed gamma of 2.2; you may need to do your own gamma correction.
Mars image [5kb]Mars, Hi-Res

Rendering time: 992 min.

Available images:
[1200x1200 JPG, 207kb]
[2400x2400 JPG, 795kb]
A real nice image of Mars as I would say... It applies the 1/16 degree visible color image mentioned above (with only a tiny bit more red added). The light comes from left top to support the shadow which is already on this image map (unfortunately...).
Note that the white spot in the middle is not some light source reflection but simply a light patch in the color image map which happens to lie near the center.
The rendering was done at 4800x4800 with anti-aliasing (+A0.2), these versions are scaled-down.
The topography height is scaled by factor 4.

Gamma is 2.2, as always.

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