Lately I’ve been tinkering a little with Blender, as I do from time to time. Some projects get a little grip, and I’m forced to follow through, to some degree anyway. Over the last few days I’ve been coming back to a mini project involving composite nodes and the planet Earth (pronounced “uuth” with a strained, throaty sound). Below is an animation of the latest result.
It’s far from perfect, but came out rather nice I think. One of my goals was to avoid flat looking clouds, which I basically pulled off. There are some minor visual flaws and other imperfections, which I may address at some point.
I used three render layers. One was for diffuse lighting simulating sun, one was for the Earth surface image (see NASA Visible Earth project) and one was for clouds. Each of these used a variation of a UV mapped sphere object. The noodle (collection of nodes) is fairly involved, but nothing unduly clever is going on, in my opinion. I also made use of a basic material node so I could combine a shadeless Earth surface image with a specular effected water.
The halo atmosphere effect (which could use some improvement) just makes use of a dilated, blurred, colorized alpha channel composited last over everything else. I did invoke some mild trickiness here, using an inverse normal map dot product as a mask so I could limit the blue haze over the darker areas of the globe.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010 at 4:12 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.