This week, we're launching Mission to Minerva, a community art challenge of intergalactic proportions. The challenge, which is live through December 2nd, 2022, includes an entirely new, free 3D asset Kit, amazing prizes from us and our sponsors, and judges from top movie and game studios (plus the organization who put man on the moon 🚀)! Submit your concept art or animation to be entered into the challenge with the tag #KB3Dchallenge on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Artstation.
To learn more about the development of the Kit, we talked with the KitBash3D team members behind it. Read on to hear about the process for creating the models, textures, and more from the creators that brought this vision to life.
What’s the story behind the Mission to Minerva Kit?
“With Mission to Minerva, we set out to create a free and educational Kit to serve as an easy entry point into 3D creation for anyone, while also supporting advanced artists experimenting with new techniques.
The space settlement theme is helpful for new artists because it requires minimal foliage, simple lighting setups, and offers a LEGO®-like approach to building. With that said, we also wanted this Kit to be intricate enough to allow for advanced users to get really creative. Every structure is designed in a very geometrical way to support many different colony layouts, whether their fractal layouts, grids, or abstract formations. The Kit also has many different types of assets like detailed furniture, fully built out interiors, intricate walkways and bridges, small habitat structures to large terraformers. In addition, we've added pieces just asking to be animated (or even piloted) like cranes, scissor lifts, satellite arrays, and vehicles.
What was your favorite part about working on the MTM Kit and why?
“My favorite part about working on Mission to Minerva was seeing how it evolved during production. This was a pretty special Kit and every week, the concept artist, the modeling team, and the texturing team came together to make sure it was hitting the mark in every aspect. From the modular designs that fit together like LEGO®, to the modeling details such as the engines and thrusters, to the paneling materials seen on every model. So many amazing ideas and suggestions were discussed and so much of the final product is a result of the team coming together to make sure it all fit together cohesively.” - Mike Reese, Head of Kits
“Normally I work on more standard vehicles, so branching out to do the beauties in this Kit (Rover & Drop Ship) was such a great experience and a welcome challenge. It was so much fun to take the concepts and push them even further, adding more detail and functionality to everything I could. I wanted to make sure everything felt like it would work, like you can depend on these beasts to get the job done.” - Brandon Acree, Vehicle Modeler
“My favorite part of Minerva was adopting the form follows function approach. I was inspired by how games like “Surviving Mars,” “Subnautica” and “Astroneer” play with the idea of how humans would start building a settlement on a foreign planet. Having some form of capsule or rocket that would begin as a home base. Then, over time, and with human ingenuity, a settlement would grow using local materials.” - Fabio Fernandes, Concept Artist
“I love having the ability to utilize the interiors for nearly every model. It's so impressive that the interior design of the space stations, connecting tunnels and community centers are nearly as awesome as the exteriors.” - Liosha Shyp, Product Shots
"I feel that this Kit has so much work from EVERYONE at KitBash3D that it is difficult to see it as just another Kit. It was great seeing everyone gradually get involved as the project kept shaping up into what we are finally sharing with the community." - Luis Tornel, Asset Supervisor
"When creating the materials for the Kit, it was important to research and study what I wanted to create. For example, when creating the solar panel material Kapton, I was inspired greatly from reading NASA documentation on the damage that space station solar panels endure." - Alexey HRDesign, Texture Artist
Is there anything about the MTM Kit you'd like to highlight or shout out?
“As far as the vehicles go, there are a ton of ways to pose these! Of course the wheels on the Rover but also things like the grabber arm on the side, the lift gates on the trailer, as well as the doors and thrusters on the Drop Ship. I really think artists are going to have fun playing with this kit, not unlike what we all did in the sandbox as kids 🙂” - Brandon Acree, Vehicle Modeler
“I'd like to give a big shout out to our Kits team. We all had to really put in the effort to ensure this one came together as we had imagined it, and I think the fruit of our labor speaks for itself. We're all super excited to see the awesome artworks that the community will create using this Kit!” - JD Havenga, 3D Modeler
“Definitely the amazing designs! This Kit was a real challenge to concept in order to make sure that our users felt compelled to build all sorts of different settlement designs and configurations. Fabio did a killer job designing each model so that they could be incorporated in some way with all the others. A huge feat!” - Mike Reese, Head of Kits
Do you have a favorite model from the Kit?
“I’d say working on the Rover was my favorite part, just by sheer density of cool stuff there was to do. I love all things mechanical so it was a lot of fun getting to work out how the wheels and suspension function as well making things modular between the Rover and its trailer to really emphasize that a mission like this needs to be efficient and make the most of what they bring with them.” - Brandon Acree, Vehicle Modeler
“I enjoyed all of them but I would go with the residential capsules that were inspired from clams. The idea that a hard surface shell would help preserve a precious life form was amazing.” - Fabio Fernandes, Concept Artist
“The impressive Cargo Ship. I just love the concept, and I think Brandon absolutely nailed it in 3D. We wanted to stray away from a militaristic look, and I think Fabio, our Concept Artist, did a phenomenal job on creating a concept that feels harmless, and yet imposing and weighty at the same time.” - JD Havenga, 3D Modeler
"I really like the Rover, it looks awesome from every angle. There is a lot of detail in it, and just by spinning it around you get tons of ideas for stories to tell. As far as structures, my favorite building is the greenhouse. It is a great example of how to use multiple modules to assemble a building unit. The vertical modules with the robotic arms are very cool!" - Luis Tornel, Asset Supervisor