This was just a little exercise in space animation (astromation?) which is something I’d like to do a lot more of. I downloaded the excellent ISS model from NASA’s site for this test. The file can be found here: NASA ISS model
For the Earth and moon I used high res maps from NASA’s Blue Marble site.
The cloud map was composed of two separate 21K maps, which needed to be stitched and cleaned up. The cloud file was too large to save at 42K x 21K so I reduced it down a bit, while still retaining detail. Its the cloud maps that seem to break up the most when rendering closeup, orbit shots of the Earth, so the high res maps were important. For the atmospheric glow and shading on the Earth model, I used Michael Welter’s great free plugin shader Atmosphere (make sure you donate to his site if you use any of his plugins!).
Heres the very short animation test. Theres a bit of flicker on one of the solar panels–looks like I might have some overlapping geometry there. Good enough for a test.
I’m working on an animation project right now which is once again science oriented, but this time instead of focusing on a world usually seen only through a scanning eleectron microscope, I’m going the other direction in terms of scale:
BIG SPACE THINGS!
I hope to finish this thing SOON, but in the meantime here are some progress stills.
The planetary texture maps were wrangled from various places. NASA’s Blue Marble website had some nice maps, but I also found this great site: JHT’s Planetary Pixel Emporium which had some super high res Earth images which you could download for $8 USD. The free maps that are also there are very nice (include many planets and moons in the solar system) and could also be found elsewhere on the net if you google, but for me, the hi-res maps were worth the 8 dollars.
I did some extensive shader work in Cinema 4d to get the looks I was after, especially for the Earth maps.
The sun and star shaders were all procedural using the many noise shaders available in Cinema and mixing them in various ways.
I must say, doing these space oriented projects is a lot of fun!