Sojourner Rover in construction (By XelaG)

Thanks, Les.

I only made one animation, the Folding one. It took me quite a while to calculate the angle of rotation of the back wheels when they move as the Rover folds. A bit of trigonometry helped <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

I may want to remake a few objects, like the 5 sensors on the front frame, so as to be able to rotate them independently (they are now fixed and merged into one object). andnbsp;In Viewpoint Scene Builder, I can make a scaling animation to emulate a laser beam suddenly popping out of these objects and hitting the ground. andnbsp;Also the Analizer at the back, which pivots on a motor axle, could be animated.

Have a look here for a vrml version of this model, which inspired me to make one in 3DC: [img:kdwas9wv]http&#58;//mars&#46;jpl&#46;nasa&#46;gov/MPF/vrml/vrml&#46;html[/img:kdwas9wv]
<!– m –><a class="postlink" href=""></a>&lt;!– m –>
. The Rover (118k) is the actual model I used to measure and build the parts. andnbsp;A few animations of the real Sojourner Rover on Mars can be seen at [img:kdwas9wv]http&#58;//mars&#46;jpl&#46;nasa&#46;gov/MPF/rovercom/pix&#46;html[/img:kdwas9wv]
<!– m –><a class="postlink" href=""></a>&lt;!– m –>


That is nice. A great first final version.

That’s really cool Alex. Looks just like the one in the pictures I’ve seen. Can’t wait to see it finished.

Originally, I was planning to use a ready made one (the wrl one on nasa pages). In the end, I decided to rebuild from scratch. The only exception is the object painted red, I simplified it a lot using point, line and face deletion. The green and blue arms were totally remade by extruding 2 or 3 faces from a hollowed cylynder. The brown arm has two stretches of the original, the rest is new. The wheels I made from scratch, by extruding a cylinder. The original object has about 15 thousand faces and 8 thousand points, and that was a bit too much. I changed it from WRL to RWX with Accutrans 3D, then with my own program changed it to DirectX and imported it in 3DC. It will end up in RWX format for use in ActiveWorlds and in Viewpoint MTX/MTS format for use in Adobe Atmosphere


Arms and wheels are now textured. The holes are fake transparency maps. The wheels had to be saved to DirectX, made round by hand (sin and cos stuff, notepad work) and reloaded. I have not yet found a way in 3DC to make round wheels, resizing seems to upset this, even when I resize in 2 directions at once (Y and Z, blocking X).

A note on importing DirectX textures:
1. they must be BMP, and be in the MediaTextures folder.
2. Before importing the object, add the textures to the Texture Palette, other wise they import and then vanish!!!

Still lots of work to do on this Sojourner, I need to add details and finish making the textures. The wheels will never look like the original, I can’t possibly add 280 little spikes to the tires



Looks cool. Nice to see translucency mapping being used. It is amazingly useful.

Have you tried the Ctrl-Drag scale?

As I mentioned in another post, I think I have the DirectX import issue resolved for the next version of 3DC.

Amabilis Software

The first final version of my Mars Sojourner Rover!

Front view:

Thats a really nice model!


Rear view:

Sojourner weighs 11.0 kg (24.3 lbs.) on earth (about 9 lbs. on Mars) and is about the size of a child’s small wagon: 2 ft. long.
Launched from Earth: December 4, 1996
Landed on Mars: July 4, 1997
It’s mission lasted for about a month.

Faces: 3500
Points: 3200

I’m still working on the geometry, and I started making the textures in PSP. Many details have been left out, some will be added later on. If anyone knows of a good texture for aluminium (the wheels and arms are made of it), please let me know where I can get it or send to <!– e –><a href=""></a><!– e –>


Sorry Alex,

I couldn’t fit your whole name. It’s fixed now.

Let me know if there is anything else.

No problem, Richard, I love to reclaim ownership <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>



Thanks, Richard, Simon and Les, for your comments!


Here’s the Sojourner Rover in Viewpoint Scene Builder after I exported it to DirectX and converted it to a Viewpoint compatible format. I haven’t converted the textures to progressive jpgs, so they do not load yet:


Some bleeding through of surfaces appears on the wheels, maybe this will go when the textures are loaded.


I textured it and added ‘lightmaps’ for the sheen on the wheel-caps.. it animates great in Viewpoint Scene Builder. Objects and animations were made in 3DC and converted to Viewpoint format <!– s:) –><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!– s:) –>

Front view

Rear-right view



Sojourner Rover logo and model specs: courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology and NASA.

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