17 July 2011

Apollo 3D Project (Part 12)

I created a new scene again for the Apollo 3D project. This time it is the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building where they assembled the complete upright Saturn V rocket on top of the mobile launch pad including the launch tower. NASA still uses this building until today. When the rocket assembly was done the doors would open and they could roll it out on top of a special transporter called the 'crawler'. Most work for these scene went into the parking lot by the way. I hand places all the little cars one by one in their parking space. I just thought it made the scene way more alive than with an empty parking lot.

Here is a close-up of the crawler I just talked about. NASA actually has two of them that were custom build for the job. They are enormous and travel and a maximum speeds of 2 miles an hour. When the crawler drives up the five degrees ramp on the launch pad it uses a special laser guided system to keep the whole platform leveled horizontal to prevent the rocket from tipping over. Also this system is still used until today to transport the Space Shuttles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad. It takes 30 people to operate this vehicle by the way.

And here is another close-up I made of the launch tower itself. You can clearly see the arms that both hold fuel and electrical lines and the top one was used to get the astronauts in just before the launch. At launch time first of all the arms would sweep away from the rocket. The only thing I'm still figuring out is how NASA removes the crawler from user the launch pad eventually. I have seen pictures where the mobile platform stands on some kind of stands, but the whole procedure is not really clear to me yet. So if you know, please enlighten me ;)

And here is one final shot where I combined the moon surface scene I made with the LEM model that I made before. I think this one looks quite convincing now. This one looks ready to animate now, but maybe I should also throw in an astronaut and a flag and maybe some tool. Ah well... we'll see about that. Enough for now I guess. I hope you have enjoyed these series so far and don't forget that you can click the pictures to view a larger version of them. More coming soon!


WoofGM said...

What ever became of this project?

Synth.nl said...

I made two Apollo promo videos you can find them here: http://www.synth.nl/video/music

WoofGM said...

Thanks for the link, just seen one of them. Real cool, nice sounds and flows rather nicely !

Synth.nl said...

Thanks :)