Mars Attacks Flying Saucer

The other day, Steve Neill asked me to make a flying saucer for him. Not just any flying saucer, but the ones from the old Mars Attacks trading cards from the 1960s. (thankfully, not from the dreadful 1996 Tim Burton film of the same name) Anywho, the idea is that Steve wants to shoot a short film and he’s going to make a physical model of the ship, so he needed something in 3D he can print out to make the masters upon which he’ll make the molds. So, I agreed to help him out, since flying saucers are fairly easy and take very little time to make. In fact, I worked on this yesterday afternoon. Since the saucers on the card images are all drawn by hand, the details change from card to card, but I mostly piked out stuff that repeats from card to card. For stuff that doesn’t repeat, I just used my own judgment. I could have had renders up last night, but I spent time trying to make the glass dome on top look realistic. (for my own use) I found a couple tutorials, one that I really like. So, I followed that and made the dome look like realistic glass. So, at long last (if you call about 24 hours “long” πŸ˜› ) here’s the saucer:



As we all know, in space nobody can hear you scream. Unfortunately, there’s also nothing to reflect off of that glass dome that I spent so much time making look realistic. So, I rendered the following image. It’s cheesy, I just put the saucer inside a box textured with procedural textures and added some simple objects, but I got some nice reflections off of the dome. This took about two hours to render, so don’t ask for another one. πŸ˜›


So, that’s the saucer. Eventually, I may come back to this and add a more detailed interior. Also, if I ever get into creature modeling, which I’d like to do, I’ll probably do one of the cool “brain” aliens from the cards. Then I can do some more exciting images. πŸ™‚ However, for now, this is all Steve needed, so it’s all I’m doing.


7 thoughts on “Mars Attacks Flying Saucer

  1. Job well done Chris. More interior renders! LOL!

    Are you able to add an environment map to just the reflectivity of the dome? That should be faster to render.

    • Thanks Eric. Yes, I can put an environment map in there, but it caused the dome to no longer be fully transparent, for some reason. I couldn’t see my starfield background image through the dome. So, I added a cube with a starfield textured to it and then the environment map didn’t work. (I guess the cube “blocked” it) However, I could see through the dome then. I didn’t try the other image with an environment map, because I decided to just do real reflections.

      I did drop the top and two sides off of the cube for the space images, that way you can see the environment map on the metal material. I think it also made the dome a little more visible, but not much.

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