I've been working on this piece on and off for two or three weeks now (counting from the moment I had the idea). It's been one of those I had to start over again a couple of times, because I just wasn't happy.
The title also came to me pretty early, so in hindsight it has a poetic undertone I guess, because of what was happening while I was working on this image.
I'm dedicating this piece to NEIL ARMSTRONG who passed away Aug. 25, 2012.
May his example and those of other explorers like him, inspire our generation and future generations to come, to keep up the spirit of curiosity and exploration in the name of scientific discovery. May those endeavors and our dreams inspire us to greater heights.
COMPOSITION: Foreground terrain rendered in Bryce 7.1 Pro (took 1d 2h 45m; I'm not kidding!). Starfield, astronauts, rovers and asteroids rendered in Lightwave with appropriate lighting rig. Remaining elements, fx and composition done in PS.
MESHES:Landbarge/Rover by Kenny Mitchell (textures modified by me) & NASA Astronaut by Jason Webster.
You make a valid point about the atmosphere. I'll have a go at fixing it over the week-end. The space dust is actually part of the nebula. I quite like it, but maybe I can make it a little more subtle, let's see. Thanks for the pointers!
Firstly, I commend you for persevering with Bryce; It's instability and dreadful render times sent me running elsewhere years ago...
Now: very much like the colour scheme, with the cool blues leading down to the warm red of the gorge.
My principle criticism would be that it is too busy; in particular, where I think you want the viewers attention to be drawn down to the gorge and the exploration team, it is pulled up to the glowy asteroid-thing. On a minor note, I would say your asteroids are also too regular.
Thanks for your input. I hadn't used Bryce for a good few years prior, but I don't like reinventing the wheel and I knew Bryce could do exactly what I was looking for in this case. I think if I didn't have patience I would never get anything done.
I understand your notion that it might be too busy, but that was somewhat the underlying idea. Space isn't only peaceful and since the title is 'Expedition's End?' with a question mark I wanted to show that exploration of space can be dangerous and unexpected events can happen; such as a cataclysmic event on the planetary body/moon you're stanting on. But yeah, I see your point.
And the regularity of the asteroids; well... that i always on my list of improvements.