I decided to sharpen my matte painting skills by trying out something interesting but difficult - painting an original planet.
What do you think - how do you think I could improve?
First, I rendered a sphere from Blender to use as my base.
Next, I extracted clouds, land masses and city lights from photos taken from the International space Station.
I arranged/blended all of these photo elements on top of my sphere using Photoshop.
The final result was then projected back onto my sphere inside of Blender (that way, I can animate a simple camera pan animation).