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Convert NASA Mars Photographs to 3D with Blender


And there's more space-related news today! A new Blender add-on allows you to download stereographic data from NASA and convert it into 3D models.

Rob Haarsma [phaseIV] writes:

For autonomous driving on Mars every rover is equipped with a set of (Left and Right) Navigation camera's. From the photo's made with these camera's a depth map is computed which is used by the rover to avoid collisions with rocks or other obstacles. These depth maps, which are basically digitized Martian landscapes, get transmitted back to earth with all other obtained data and after a four month period they appear online in the Planetary Data System Imaging archive from NASA.

The Navcam-importer addon is able to locate and decode the depth maps and import them into Blender. The only thing required is the filename of a valid Left Navcam image to retrieve the corresponding data from the NASA/PDS archive.

This movie was made from 6 locations visited by the Curiosity Mars explorer:


  1. Roberto Locatelli on

    Amazing!! Very important to use this as a powerful marketing for Blender. So, let's spread it in facebook, twiter, instagram, linkedin etc etc etc.

    • Robert Eason on

      Figured it out. SOL dates were not in the right range. Cool addon!! Fun stuff, but save early, save often. Will crash blender with a quickness.

      • Sorry, this must be your setup. I tried it too with multiple meshes, so lots of verticws. Blender performs rock solid.

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