Well, it has been something like four or five years since I've posted anything (artwork-related or otherwise) on BZPower. But I just created something very cool and I feel the need to share it with some people who will have an especial appreciation for it. As you probably know, a marvelous fellow called Christian Faber recently started a blog where he shared, among other things, the official grayscale height maps used for the creation of Mata Nui and Metru Nui. Creating a 3d model of Mata Nui is something that I've toyed with, off and on, for eight years...in fact, back in 2004, I made a post of my first attempt, the height-map for which was created using a highly-'shopped modification of the classic Mata Nui map.
Anyway, after messing around with the official height-map, and trying to think of ways to create a more photorealistic version of the Mata Nui map, I decided to take a screenshot of the modeled landscape and superimpose real, photographed imagery over it, to create a convincing picture of the island from at least one perspective. Not sure if anyone has attempted this before, but if so, well, here's my interpretation;
First, the original render. You are looking north from the tip of Le-Wahi, towards the Mangai Volcano and the Ko-Wahi mountains:
And the realistic version:
Just for good measure...
I added some atmospheric haze (derived from a depth map of the 3d model) to complete the illusion of enormity and distance. This makes some of the more distant mountains slightly tricky to see. Likewise, only if you look very closely can you see the smoke rising from the mouth of the Mangai. The aquamarine details in the ocean come from the Faber Files map.
I hope you enjoy