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Lego Animator
12-Aug-08, 17:18
This project has taken me many hours to complete, but it was a lot of fun. I've attached three shots of the two different Earth models I've built. One of the models is designed to be photo-realistic, the other is designed after NASA's Blue Marble. Each model includes three sections: a day section, a night section, and a city lights section. The sections can be rendered independently of each other, or in any combination.

You can see some full-size renders (including some 2560x1920 ones) at this page (http://www.chamberlinproductions.org/earth.html). The Blue Marble model allows for some serious close-up rendering (after all, some of the maps I used are 21600x10800 pixels, and that's small compared to the biggest size available from NASA!).

I've put together a

.pdf tutorial (46.9 MB) (http://web.olp.net/wildernesslodge/Earth%20Tutorial.pdf)

so that others can benefit from the work I've done. This is not a "how-to-get-Earth-in-five-easy-steps" kind of tutorial; I go into details such as land-masked specular shading, ray-traced cloud shadows, and city lights. I provide links for finding and downloading the maps that I used (which come from the Visible Earth project and are all free), and also provide credit information. Three of the maps (the photo-realistic land map and the two night land maps) I actually modified and uploaded myself - I don't know of anywhere else where you can get free high-quality maps like these.

An animation of the photorealistic model may be found here (http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=136919).

Here are the .blend files:

Photorealistic Model (http://www.chamberlinproductions.org/Files/Blender/Planets/Earth/Earth%20(Photographic).blend)

Blue Marble Model (http://www.chamberlinproductions.org/Files/Blender/Planets/Earth/Earth%20(Blue%20Marble).blend)

Have fun!

seanser
13-Aug-08, 05:48
Best Earth that I have seen here, v nice of you to take the time out and write a tut also.

3pointEdit
13-Aug-08, 06:01
That's nice, in a similar animation in a thread of mine I have animated the appearance of the atmosphere over time too. using a time node input to the mix node. Nice hires renders there too. I think that the atmos is a bit to neon (over saturated) however.

kernond
13-Aug-08, 17:49
That's very nice! Thanks for sharing.

BTW, would you consider adding a link to the PDF tutorial on the "Mapped Blender Earth" webpage? That would eliminate having to provide two links for the same subject when recommending this resource. Thanks.

PapaSmurf
13-Aug-08, 18:00
woot! movie quality. great job!

madness_999
13-Aug-08, 20:01
Looks Great!!!
I'm going to take a look at that tutorial as soon as I can.

JiriH
14-Aug-08, 02:01
Thank you very much for sharing this. Nice tutorial.

Lego Animator
14-Aug-08, 05:49
BTW, would you consider adding a link to the PDF tutorial on the "Mapped Blender Earth" webpage? That would eliminate having to provide two links for the same subject when recommending this resource. Thanks.

Done. Note that there is also an official tutorial page (http://chamberlinproductions.110mb.com/blenderearth.html) which links both to the PDF and to the regular Earth page - but it looks very plain, though I'm hoping to fix that. I'm planning on re-formatting my site soon, to improve on the overall site design and interaction. I'm still a beginner when it comes to web design (I typed all the HTML and CSS from scratch), and my first try was a little bit less than inspiring! :) I won't change any of the actual web addresses, I'll just be improving the look of the already existing pages a bit.

thproducties
14-Aug-08, 09:25
Do i have premision to juse this files in my movie???

Lego Animator
14-Aug-08, 10:15
Yes, as with all the planets in that library, you may use the render examples and/or .blend files in your own productions. You'll just need to credit Chamberlin Productions and the authors of the various maps. If you're making a space project, though, I would recommend building Earth for yourself, since you'll learn more about Blender than you would by just using pre-made files.

thproducties
14-Aug-08, 11:17
Oké, Thanks! I will look at the tutorial aswell

StanDesign
18-Aug-08, 16:38
wow!! thanks a lot for your harmfull help =)

naturalpainter
22-Aug-08, 22:01
Cool! Thanks for sharing. :yes:

FallingJigSaw
23-Aug-08, 05:39
O sh! This one is good! It's like a frame from some movie! And thanx for tutorial!

Master Danix
23-Aug-08, 07:58
it's very nice,but at night,or the atmosphere has a yellowish color or it's completly black

Lego Animator
25-Aug-08, 09:38
I'm glad people are getting some good out of this project! I've added an appendix to the tutorial - it explains how to render a variation on the Blue Marble project. The variation follows NASA's render more closely.

XPS(Chaos)
10-Sep-08, 20:38
I have a question about this tutorial.
What is that Node that starts with "Sh" that is connected to the top most screen node?
I can't seem to find it.

nitros2
10-Sep-08, 20:49
O sh! This one is good! It's like a frame from some movie! And thanx for tutorial!

yeah thats what i was thinking...STARGATE!!!. okay..sorry:o. That looks like a satellite photo:eek: nice stuff!

-[Killer]-
10-Sep-08, 20:57
You didn't pack the textures.

Lego Animator
10-Sep-08, 22:18
I have a question about this tutorial.
What is that Node that starts with "Sh" that is connected to the top most screen node?
I can't seem to find it.

I'm sorry, that's a Sharpen node. The screenshot doesn't make that very clear, I'll fix that here soon.

Leonardo812
11-Sep-08, 19:55
-;1210815']You didn't pack the textures.

Due to copyrights, I don't think that he was allowed to.

-Leonardo

Meta-Androcto
11-Sep-08, 21:22
The textures are huge files.
I think he got them from the NASA site.
There is another Tute Here:
http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tutorial/-Earth-with-Clouds/35015
The textures are at the bottom of the page.
They are large files.
You can use these textures in the Earth tute from this thread also for best results.

B3D00
11-Sep-08, 21:23
Awesome, nice tutorial.

wiiario
12-Sep-08, 18:53
This is a great tutorial. Being lazy, I'm just taking the the Realistic Earth model and textures. I plan to use them in an animation.
I'm definitely going to credit you.

LancerDL
20-Oct-08, 12:34
Thank you for this excellent Tutorial. Without too much trouble I was able to get similar beautiful looking renders as I saw on your site.

I want to use the Earth in a scene composed of other objects. I've decided I can either put together a blender scene or just green-screen the rendered Earth and add the other elements via photoshop. However, I noticed that whether I compose a separate scene or try to green-screen, the Earth actually appears to be partially transparent. That is, the green-screen comes through the planet. Likewise if I try to stick it into a blender scene with other objects, all the objects become partially transparent/translucent.

Is this an artifact of the render nodes being used? Do you know a way around this?

Thanks,

Lancer

Lego Animator
20-Oct-08, 14:18
LancerDL,

Yes, the node setup with the fresnel sphere is what causes the transparency effect. In the tutorial, there's a note at the end of Part I stating that "if you ever render Earth on any background other than perfect black, youʼll want to use the Video Sequence Editor to alpha the Earth scene over the background scene. (Make sure that the Premul button is turned on instead of the Sky button, under the Render tab.) Otherwise, youʼll get some unwanted transparent effects when you render Earth over stars or anything else, because of the way the fresnel sphere is rendered."

Hope that helps. ;)

Photoguy
20-Oct-08, 14:41
Thanks, awesome, wow!

LancerDL
02-Nov-08, 19:34
LancerDL,

Yes, the node setup with the fresnel sphere is what causes the transparency effect. In the tutorial, there's a note at the end of Part I stating that "if you ever render Earth on any background other than perfect black, youʼll want to use the Video Sequence Editor to alpha the Earth scene over the background scene. (Make sure that the Premul button is turned on instead of the Sky button, under the Render tab.) Otherwise, youʼll get some unwanted transparent effects when you render Earth over stars or anything else, because of the way the fresnel sphere is rendered."

Hope that helps. ;)
Thanks for pointing me to that comment in your document.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to use the Video Sequence Editor to alpha the scene. Is it complictaed, or are there just a few simple steps?

Thanks again,

Lancer

LancerDL
03-Nov-08, 00:40
Actually, I think I got it. Nevermind. :p

LancerDL
10-Nov-08, 00:25
I noticed a bit of a problem when I render using the VSE to put a star-field image in the background. I seem to lose the atmosphere glow sphere. Have you managed to get the glow to come through successfully using the VSE, and if so, how did you set it up?

Thanks,

Lancer

Lego Animator
10-Nov-08, 11:08
I'm not quite sure what you're problem is. To double-check, I rendered a frame of Earth just now with a star background, and didn't encounter any problems. Here's how I'm using the VSE:

1. Add an image sequence or movie into channel 1 of the VSE.
2. Add the current scene into channel 2.
3. Select the movie, then shift-select the current scene, then add an Alpha Over sequence strip into channel 3.
4. Under Scene panel, turn on the Premul and Do Sequence buttons.

Render, and the Earth should look exactly the same, except for the background. If not, you could send me your .blend file, so I can see what's wrong. You might have an incorrect setup with the nodes or something.

LancerDL
21-Nov-08, 20:57
Thanks for your response Lego Animator, I apologize for the long delay. It seems I only get time to attack this project of mine every now and then.

I did much the same as you did, except I had the scene in channel 1 and the image in channel 2, and used the Alpha Under sequence strip. The good news is when I swapped them around, I got the right effect coming out. I guess Alpha Under and Over are different in ways other than their descriptions.

Thanks again!

Lancer

eva6206213
22-Nov-08, 00:09
Thank you very much for sharing this. Nice tutorial.

joejoe74236
12-Dec-08, 23:38
this is an awesome tutorial! but i can't get rid of these black polygons in the cloud layer render!

on the second layer i am supposed to put a cloud layer from a nasa cloud map. also, i am supposed to put three separate lamps into the five layers. lamp 1 goes to layer 1 and 5. lamp 2 to layers 2 and 4 and finally lamp 3 to layer 3. i turn on all of the lamp's layer buttons and enable ray shadowing as well. all the lamps have the same lighting strength, rotation, etc. the tutorial says that i am supposed to constrain two of the lamps to copy the rotation of the third lamp, what does this mean? does that mean parent them to lamp 3?

also, when i go to render the cloud layer i get the cloud layer filled with dozens of large black polygons. this is a problem that i don't know how to rectify. i think it has something to do with ray shadowing because when i turn it off the polygons disappear but the rendered image is not quite realistic enough. do you have any ideas on how to fix this problem? it's driving me crazy!

Lego Animator
13-Dec-08, 06:41
Okay, let's see here. I know how you feel - it's what happens when the tutorial shows a great-looking render, but for some reason you just can't get it for yourself.

Here's my guess as to what you're doing wrong: the camera's Clipping Start value should be .1 (the default). If you change it to a really small number (like .001), you'll get lots of polygons in the cloud layer. I'm not sure why, but that's just the way it works. I found this out while working on a new model. I was getting tons of polygons, and I couldn't figure out why. My new model was an almost exact copy of my old model (which worked fine), yet the render was a mess! Then I found out about my camera Clipping Start value.

Now if that's not the problem, let me know. It's probably something similar.

Let me give you a little tip - I'm in the midst of writing the fourth edition for this tutorial. None of the structure or look of the Earth models is really changed, but there are some very nice improvements. I'll be uploading it in a few days. In fact, I state specifically in the new edition to leave the camera Clipping Start value alone. :)

popski
13-Dec-08, 06:45
Oh man, that's great!!

joejoe74236
13-Dec-08, 12:11
well thank you very much! i've spent all day trying to figure this one out and it turns out that the cloud sphere was not set to smooth so it had a lot of faces and edges still. but ofcourse i couldn't see that. after fidgeting around with the controls i finally located the problem with the smoothness settings and sure enough the polygons disappeared when smoothed and were not rendered as a result. perhaps the camera clipping has something to do with it as well. but thank you for answering! i'm very much looking forward to your next tutorial. where will you be uploading it? i can't access your website from china for some reason.

Lego Animator
15-Dec-08, 07:22
I'll be uploading to the exact same link as the current tutorial, so you shouldn't have any trouble accessing it.

By the way, you asked about the lamp constraint I mentioned in the tutorial. The way to achieve that is by choosing Add Constraint>>Copy Rotation from the Constraints tab in the Object panel.

Lego Animator
02-Jan-09, 07:52
At last, I've finished the new tutorial, and updated the original post!

popski
02-Jan-09, 08:56
Hey, why I can't vote 5 stars twice?!

Conz3D
02-Jan-09, 13:30
If someone needs bigger maps:
Down to 250m pp for free!
http://www.unearthedoutdoors.net/global_data/true_marble/download

These are huge images!

joejoe74236
11-Jan-09, 12:03
here's something i created with lego animator's tutorial. it was really fun and easy to make. i used a couple of other tutorials as well to create the universal studio like spinning text but the bulk of the work is thanks to mr. lego. thanks man! excellent tutorial.

check it out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FLr1Y-1xWM&feature=channel_page

TheANIMAL
15-Jan-09, 18:09
Dang, i just tried putting together the ultra sized versions of all the maps. The colour map, which is the biggest, comes in 8 sections. In total its 86400 x 43200! It crashes my computer trying to open even one of the 21600 sqaure sections.

KevinW
17-Jan-09, 01:32
WOW! Very well done. And thank you very much for crediting me as well. It's great that all that information is now all in one, well done, package and in one place. You have done it all justice.

--
Kevin

SamL
17-Jan-09, 09:37
Its a shame the blend file doesnt come with the pictures... =(


DO AN ANIMATION!!!

nathankw
30-Mar-09, 12:05
Hope no one minds me resurrecting this thread. I've worked my way through this great tutorial with very good results and now I'm having a go building my own from scratch so that I understand it all better.

But in both cases I'm getting the ripple effect that's mentioned in the tutorial. It happens when I animate flying towards the Earth. It's subtle but it is annoying and rather kills the realism.

Does anyone have any idea why it occurs and whether there's any way to avoid it?
Presumably it's down to how blender handles the textures. Is there a different way of applying the texture that fixes it?

Lego Animator
04-Apr-09, 07:02
Something I've noticed is that the larger the render size of this project, the less the ripple effect shows. For example, rendering at 1920x1440 produces only very small ripple effects. I think I'll add a line about this in the tutorial.

Atom
04-Apr-09, 07:43
The BLEND files no longer work in 2.48a.

I wonder why?

Lego Animator
04-Apr-09, 08:40
The reason is that my web server is having serious troubles. The .blend files cannot be completely downloaded, and hence will not function properly (this was recently brought to my attention). I am preparing to transfer my entire site to a paid professional server, which will hopefully resolve these issues.

nathankw
05-Apr-09, 17:11
Something I've noticed is that the larger the render size of this project, the less the ripple effect shows. For example, rendering at 1920x1440 produces only very small ripple effects. I think I'll add a line about this in the tutorial.

Thanks, I'll try that. Though it'll increase my render times somewhat! :(

One thing I've noticed is that it seems to disappear when I turn off the normal mapping. Am I right that this is linked to the bump mapped texture?

This seems like something we should track down and get fixed. I'll run some more tests but it would be great to get other people's experiences too.

Lego Animator
05-Apr-09, 19:38
I am not sure which map(s) cause the rippling effect. If you discover that it is the normal map, please let me know! I have too many other projects going right now to delve into that myself. . .

Zedd
06-Apr-09, 16:46
Hi, i downloaded your tutorial about 2 months ago and made the most awesome earth i have ever seen, so thanks, i've learned a lot. The only bad thing about it is that it crashes my puny pc at anything higher than 1600x1200.

I'm actually trying to put together a large poster about the solar system, with every planet rendered, and your tutorial has helped me on that very much. Too bad i can't find any large textures for some planets, especialy mercury, for which i only have a stitched 8k tex and 1k tex/bump maps, and that looks terrible.

BilSki
06-Apr-09, 19:39
I'd love to know more about this tree generating blender script "gen.3" I'm pretty green, but I want to do a forest enviroment for a mountain lion I made, and that script sounds like it would be helpfull. Any hints?

popski
08-Apr-09, 04:00
... Any hints?

Wrong thread?!

BilSki
08-Apr-09, 07:33
I don't think so, I found this in lego animators wall paper project. http://chamberlinproductions.110mb.com/90degrees.html Just curious where to start.

Lego Animator
08-Apr-09, 22:36
Well, to ask a question that is not specifically related to my Earth project, it would be more appropriate to send me an email or PM. However, I'll go ahead and answer your question: first of all, I would only use the Gen3 script to render leafless trees like the ones in my wallpaper. For a real forest environment, I would use L-System (the one I've used with success can be found here (http://marief.soler.free.fr/Monsite/lsystem_en_css.htm)). It takes a little practice to learn, but it's worth it.

Lego Animator
17-Apr-09, 05:58
At last, I have my new website uploaded, and all the links in this thread now work properly!

Tumbledown
03-Nov-10, 16:22
Hi, sorry to be a pain,
but I was wondering if anybody had a copy of the 23-page PDF or a location where I can
download it from?

I lost a hard drive with all my files on, and the original link seems to be broken :(

Many thanks

samcan
28-Dec-10, 14:04
Does anyone know if Lego Animator still visits this forum? His last activity seems to have been in 2009, and his website (http://www.chamberlinproductions.org) is down. I too am trying to get a hold of the PDF tutorial.

Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck searching the Internet for an archived copy. Everyone seems to refer back to either chamberlinproductions.org, or chamberlinproductions.110mb.com, which is also gone.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.

ronnke
28-Dec-10, 18:40
I have it, but since I am not the author, I'm not sure if I should make it available to the blender community via a more permanent link.

Thoughts?

3pointEdit
28-Dec-10, 19:53
As it was a freely distributed PDF and not artwork or assets, I see no trouble in re-distributing it. Especially as the author has not retracted the document explicitly. Sometimes others will make a tut for the community then later sell it through another site. When they do that, they explain their position and redirect you to the new source, hoping to sell the info to you. This hasn't happened here.

ronnke
30-Dec-10, 00:48
Does anyone know a suitable place I can upload this file so it is forever available?

drewkeller
05-Jan-11, 14:05
I would be interested in the PDF as well, and .blend models if they are available.

It appears that Will Chamberlin's website was having issues so he started a second, but that one has also disappeared. The most recent activity I was able to find for him, related to either the earth project or legos, was early 2009.

The blender repository at e2-productions.com has three different Blender models submitted by LegoAnimator (apparently a pseudonym for Will Chamberlin). But the downloads were linked to his website which is not working.

mib2berlin
05-Jan-11, 17:03
1+
I am interested in PDF/.blends to.
Cheers, mib

WayStar
06-Jan-11, 16:06
I have a version of the PDF, and I just found the .blend files.

The PDF is 46.9MB and the .blend files are each 3.5MB. All are too large to attach, and I don't have any hosting set up anywhere. Let me know if anyone has ideas on how to share these...

radialronnie
06-Jan-11, 16:17
Try http://www.mediafire.com/
or http://www.filedropper.com/ (no account needed)

WayStar
07-Jan-11, 16:40
Hope they uploaded okay...

tutorial PDF (http://www.filedropper.com/earthtutorial) -the most recent one I have. Someone else may have a better one.

bluemarble .blend file (http://www.filedropper.com/earthbluemarble)
photorealistic .blend file (http://www.filedropper.com/earthphotographic)

drewkeller
08-Jan-11, 01:54
Awesome, thanks!
It looks like everything downloaded ok.

ZuluEcho14
27-Jan-11, 06:19
Could someone please re-upload the tutorial?

wilmaciii
27-Jan-11, 07:25
nice work, still looking for those tutorials.

Dundaglan
29-Jan-11, 19:13
Hey Way Star would you be able toput them in dropbox? I'm interested in the photoreal one for a short film I'm doing but can't get onto filedropper without forking out the dosh!

Smokey
30-Jan-11, 16:06
You have captured everything quite nicely in both renders- Beautiful- how much do you think you would charge for a tut, if it went to disk?

Smokey
31-Jan-11, 21:03
Wow, that much. About what it's worth Huh. Fuck it I'll make my own.

ZuluEcho14
02-Feb-11, 08:42
So, why no tutorial?

hlemuss
18-Feb-11, 13:29
Hi WayStar

Looks like the files are not there or I have to wait for a long time to let the service to load. Are the tutorial and blend files still uploaded?

Thanks

DaveRM
23-Feb-11, 18:30
Could someone please re-upload the tutorial and blend files.
TIA

Dave

Craig1441
03-Mar-11, 06:26
I'm looking for this tutorial too! Been through a thousand links. Pls let me know if it becomes available. Thanks!

hlemuss
06-Mar-11, 09:14
Hi everyone

I'm looking for this tutorial too with no success. I guess we have to wait for Lego Animator to update the link; if anyone have the tutorial and blend files, we are going to be very gratefull if you uploaded somewhere.

Greetings to all

EdgeLoop
06-Mar-11, 10:35
I must reiterate what is now a broken record. I too wish to try the tutorial, have looked everywhere for it, if anyone out there still has it lying on their hard drive it would be much appreciated by many if you would post it. Thank you for your time and effort, it is very much appreciated.

WayStar
06-Mar-11, 12:46
Hopefully these links will last longer...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22742801/EarthTutorial/Earth%20%28Blue%20Marble%29.blend
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22742801/EarthTutorial/Earth%20%28Photographic%29.blend
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22742801/EarthTutorial/Earth%20Tutorial.pdf

EdgeLoop
06-Mar-11, 13:20
Awesome, thank you very much! I'll keep on my hard drive in case those go down too.

DaveRM
06-Mar-11, 16:20
WayStar,
Thanks. much appreciated. :)
Dave

Clavigula
06-Mar-11, 16:32
Thank You very much WayStar.
Clavigula

myeakey
07-Mar-11, 06:48
Thanks, WayStar. I read the tutorial and am working through it. Great concepts here. I am glad you were able to re-post for everyone.

Mike

Chakra Blender
07-Mar-11, 20:28
Great job! It's extremely good, one of the best Blender renders I've ever seen. It's very nice of your to write a tutorial for this. That's quite generous. Good work.

Unfortunately the link for the tutorial doesn't work anymore, so I can't see it.

DaveRM
08-Mar-11, 08:14
Chakra Blender,

WayStar has uploaded the files again.
Check post 80 in this thread.

Dave

RhetoricCamel
27-Mar-11, 15:10
My only wish is that this tutorial be updated to version 2.5x to show the workflow in the new blender layout. Completely new to blender and I get lost around page 8 of the tutorial.

Coobas
03-Jun-11, 09:10
cool render. keep it up

hash
07-Jun-11, 03:17
looks really good

Abracadabra
10-Jun-11, 23:07
Very realistic. It's great. Thanks for providing the tutorial PDF.

BProgrammer
12-Jun-11, 18:25
Oh
that's good !

Xelus
03-Jul-11, 14:53
Looks brilliant, would it be possible to use something like this in the game engine, textures all look really good! :D

medicz
12-Jul-11, 04:04
hi please can you upload the tutorial.pdf again because the link appears to be down. Thanks

radialronnie
12-Jul-11, 22:07
Medicz, you can view them in the web archive: http://replay.web.archive.org/20090617054240/http://www.chamberlinproductions.org/blenderearth.html (give it a few minutes)

dayvan_cowboy
14-Jul-11, 09:16
look what i found over at the luxrender forum: its basically the same tutorial, but for blender 2.5

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8938212/Earth%20Tutorial%202.6%20unfinished.pdf

Dahtse
19-Oct-14, 17:51
look what i found over at the luxrender forum: its basically the same tutorial, but for blender 2.5

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8938212/Earth%20Tutorial%202.6%20unfinished.pdf

Thanks! I am new to Blender, but have used the NASA images before. Great background details here.

Vahe4578
16-May-15, 16:13
Beautiful renders! i like them a lot!