Atmo Wallpaper
September 14, 2009

 - Project Date:February 9, 2008

When the long abandoned Minimate inter-stellar exo-suit is caught in the massive gravity well of an uncharted planet...

...its dormant programming is activated.
What does all that mean? I haven't the foggiest idea. It sounds like the pitch for any number of pulp sci-fi novels. Heh, maybe I'm showing my influences.

Anyway, the subject of this post is another Minimate wallpaper. Whenever you see some space-craft, space-rock, or space-cheese colliding with a planet it always gets super-heated when it cuts through the atmosphere. Sure it happens with real spacecraft and rocky debris and it makes sense from a physics standpoint. But it's always played up for dramatic effect in the fiction, I'm surprised it doesn't have its own TV Tropes entry.

To play into that theme, I wanted to see with what a Minimate entering the atmosphere would look like. Since I don't have the funds to perform that experiment myself and neither NASA nor the Russian Space Agence were receptive to my requests, I had to rely on my imagination.

(1920x1200) (1600x1200)

It was actually more challenging to figure out how to create a convincing planet than the super-heated Minimate. I'm really pleased with how it turned out though. It's indistinct enough, but it feels like there is some real mass there. There's something about the windswept, glowing, heat bits that isn't quite how I imagined it. It almost seems too regular, too smooth. I don't know, maybe I'll change it, maybe I won't.

To paraphrase someone smarter and more talented than I, my projects are never finished, only abandoned.