Home is a detailed display of an astronaut’s room within a Martian habitat. It presents a fictional glimpse into how a person could live while occupying another planet and plays with an atmosphere of isolation and tranquility. Rendered in real-time using Unreal Engine, this digital 3D environment uses a photorealistic approach through 3D models, textures, lighting, dynamic shaders, and particle effects. Originally intended as a virtual reality exhibition, it is now shown as a cinematic fly through of the environment to characterize the serene atmosphere.
Photorealistic visuals can be achieved with today’s technology using a number of different computer graphics pipelines, and can create a highly immersive experience when coupled with a virtual reality headset. As virtual reality hardware becomes more accessible and commonly used on a consumer level, it has made more appearances in the gaming and film industries. However, beyond entertainment, realistic immersive experiences also have a wide range of real-world applications that can transform how we learn and use the tools around us. Virtual reality simulations have previously been used to effectively improve education, healthcare, scientific visualizations, military training, astronaut training, and much more.
As a former intern of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, I was able to use my skills as a 3D artist to develop photorealistic 3D models and textures for virtual reality environments and assets. These environments were used for training astronauts to prepare them for situations they would not be able to encounter while on Earth. Creating convincing visuals adds an extra layer of immersion to the simulation and gives users the most realistic training possible.
Home is a project that uses a creative, fictional room on Mars to showcase technical and artistic skills in the 3D pipeline that can be applied to hundreds of different types of experiences for real world applications.