I have a collection of Hubble images that I’ve squirreled away in my textures library. I use images as planes to add them to the picture, placing them as far back as “makes sense” but not too far back.
For the bottom of the image I use another image as plane and here is where the tricky part comes in. If you aren’t careful you’ll see a hard line where the two intersect spoiling the effect.
Then I jump into compositing view and assign an emission to each of the planes, turn on rendered view and adjust the emission level so the stars, nebulas, whatever glow brilliantly but not to brilliantly.
I experimented a while back using a sphere encapsulating the whole model but gave up when I couldn’t get the image to appear on the inside surface of the sphere. I know now that all I have to do is flip the normals but that was my third or so model that I was trying to create with blender. (I just started with Blender in July 13)
There is something for you to keep in mind. I’m quoting a friend of mine who models science fiction themed art continuously within the context of an RPG called “Traveller.” He told me in an email “Lighting in space sucks. There are extremes of light/shadow you don’t get on earth.”
So if you try to hard to use a single light source emulating the local star it ain’t gonna come out pretty.
I have a model that I did a month ago as a proof of concept. I’m not happy with the detail in either the ship or the shuttle that is leaving the ship and I’ve never returned to it. Thankfully it hasn’t become another “crumpled sheet of paper on the floor” and I still have the model. I meant to render it out last night, hand you the blend file and let you play with it. It is an example of what I just explained above.