Moon-like Terrain Process

For the making of the terrain I went through a few different stages and although it looks simple it took me a while to figure some things out, especially when it came to texturing in substance painter. The maya to substance painter workflow took plenty of tutorial watching to figure out some simple instructions.


The image above was taken during the Apollo 17 Moon Landing in December 1973. Johannes Hevelius had depicted this type of rough terrain in his map of the moon, made in 1647. (shown below)

WIKIMOONMAP                                                 Image Courtesy – wikicommons

‘There are two primary types of terrain on the Moon: the heavily cratered and very old highlands and the relatively smooth and younger maria. The maria (which comprise about 16% of the Moon’s surface) are huge impact craters that were later flooded by molten lava.” – wikipedia

moooooon                                                  Image Courtesy –

I started the base model with the idea that we could have mountainous areas and a flat area near the lander for the astronaut to jump on, to help make things easier for animating. I also thought it would help a little with showing the scale of the environment. The general idea is that the planet is quite small, smaller than our moon anyway.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 19.22.39

I had been advised to create a low poly mesh first and then to create a high poly over this. From here you would use the low poly for UV mapping and then once textured you would bring this back into Maya and place over the high res model. I had tried this multiple times and then decided to just take the high poly mesh into substance painter and texture from there. It might not have been the right way to do it, but I will hopefully get more time to spend learning these techniques soon.


Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 20.06.21.png

The first image above is the high poly mesh rendered with a sky dome light. The second image is a screenshot taken while working on the model.

Texturing in Substance Painter

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 18.36.32

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 19.18.25

Above show the results of terrain texturing in painter. I think it turned out well in substance painter but when its transferred into Maya  the settings vary therefore it doesn’t have the same look. More practise getting to know how the programmes work together is needed for a good transfer. Despite the terrain not rendering exactly how I had imagined I still really enjoyed trying out UV mapping and texturing in both Maya and Painter.

Michael found a great tutorial that goes through the texturing process of substance painter in simple steps.

Another 6 part video series Jack had found on youtube was very helpful in showing where to plug in maps that I had made in Substance Painter. It also went through how to change and add nodes to help the specular lights show up correctly on your model. Iv’e learnt a lot which is great. 😀

As aforementioned in the rendered images, no texture is really present when brought into Maya, which is a shame but at least I tried.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 21.37.59


References (2017). Wikipedia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017]

CityLab. (2017). This Old Map: Johannes Hevelius, Bright Side of the Moon, 1647. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2017].

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