3DS models are computer graphic entities that describe (in 3 dimensions) the shape and structure of any solid object. The 3DS model format is a common meta-format used by most 3D modeling programs such as Autodesk's 3D Studio, from which the name is derived. A 3DS model is typically stored in a file with a 3DS extension, as in Voyager.3ds.
Note: 3DS models can only be added to Starry Night Enthusiast, Pro, Pro Plus, Middle School and High School.
How are 3DS Models Used in Starry Night?
If you have a 3DS model of an object already in Starry Night, you can make Starry Night draw that object using your 3DS model instead of the usual way the object is drawn - ie. a 2D image. This is a great option for irregular shaped objects like man-made satellites, space probes and small moons and asteroids.
Note: Currently Starry Night does not support textures on 3DS models.
What models come with Starry Night 6?
The following models are shipped with Starry Night:
Pioneer 10 and 11
Mars Global Surveyor
Where can I download additonal 3DS Models?
3DS models can be downloaded from several websites. A good place to start is:
Follow the instructions at the above web site to download .3ds model files to your hard disk.
Interesting models to check out range from the tiny moons of Mars to sci-fi models from your favorite movies and TV series!
Adding a 3DS Model via the Orbit Editor
After you have downloaded your 3DS models, you can add them to Starry Night via the Orbit Editor feature. Right-click (windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac) on the object you want to add your 3DS model to and select either "Edit Surface Image/Model" or "Edit Orbital Elements" from its contextual menu.
In the dialog box that opens, click on the "Surface Image" tab and then on the "Open Model" button. Select the 3DS model from the location on your hard disk where you saved the file. Remember that 3DS files have a .3ds extension at the end of the file.
Submitting your 3DS models
If you have 3DS models you'd like to share with other Starry Night users, we'd love to hear from you. 3DS models can be emailed here.