For many years, we easily access the clear images of the Moon. Recently, it moved to a different dimension after NASA shared the 3D map of the Moon. Now every detail on the Moon surface is easily accessible to everyone. The 3D Moon model will especially help CG artists improve their work.
Ernie Wright, an expert at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has been collecting data on the Moon surface for many years. Thinking that this data could be useful to 3D artists, Wright came up with this idea and 3D map of the Moon, called CGI MOON KIT was created.
The data collected from the Goddard Space Flight Center came from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been researching the Moon’s orbit for more than 10 years. LRO has been constantly photographing the Moon in orbit and taking measurements.
Taking pictures of every inch of the Moon’s journey in orbit, LRO was able to capture almost the entire surface even though it was shooting at a narrow angle. LRO altimeter continuously sent laser beams to the Moon and calculated the return times. As a result, 3D modeling has been developed by revealing heights and lowering of the Moon.
New Tool for CG Artists
The 3D map of the Moon can be used by 3D artists in their works. In another area, game developers can take advantage of NASA’s CGI MOON KIT if they want to develop a game map to play on the Moon surface. The best part is that this service is completely free to use. You can access CGI MOON KIT here. Use it either in your work of art or for a stroll on the moon surface.
The 3D modeling technology is not new. But it seems exciting to share the modeling of an extraterrestrial space object with public. In the near future space exploration may become accessible to everyone. Today, the Moon surface, which we look at with excitement, can be a touristic place.