a gallery of computer-generated images

Planetary Romance


One of my guilty pleasures is planetary romance (also known as 'sword and planet'), a genre of pulp fiction that involves mysterious alien worlds, burly warriors with swords, beautiful under-clad women, and hideous alien monsters. It's dumb stuff, but it has a certain preposterous aesthetic all of its own. The canonical example is probably Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels, but other writers such as Leigh Brackett and even Robert E. Howard got in on the action.

Naturally, the alien worlds are Earth-like but exotic, so a forest of purple trees is squarely in the planetary romance model. So too are mysterious temples lost in the jungle, and women who wander around wearing jewelry and not much else. For some reason, no one has ever written a planetary romance where everyone wears ski pants and parkas all the time.

This image is my attempt to produce a classic planetary romance scene. The forest is made using a surface replicator, while the ruined temples are by content creator Winnston1984. These are older models and the texturing is not as good as it could be. I should probably have done a better job of retexturing them, but in the end I decided that they were good enough for background elements.


Carrara 8.5 Pro
Photoshop CC 2016