I am very happy that you all like these images. Compared to a lot of the other stuff on blender artists they’re quite simple, most of them are just sphere’s ya know.
The second one was probably my earliest creation out of this group. The first one is one of my favorites, I really like the halo around the planet. I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I would prefer a more realistic halo that only covers the lit side and the one I have. I think I like the one I have, not realistic, but I think it really draws attention to the beauty of Earth.
The third one was my first experience with the Blender compositor. Possibly my favorite, I like the contrast quite a bit. A modified version of that one is the backdrop on the main menu of a video game I am working on, currently untitled.
The fourth one I really enjoy the concept, the circle of life, but I continue going back and forth as to whether I’m happy with the artistic style or not. I used GIMP to go a bit more cartoony with it, probably over did it a bit with the glow on the planets, a bit too white.
The other two are still coming up with ‘Upload of file failed.’ Must be something funkied up with the files I don’t know.
Oh yeah, the Earth in the second image is actually inside of another slightly larger mostly transparent sphere to give it a bit of an atmosphere. It is the specular level on this sphere that I think really helps the effect.
The first image is similar only the transparent sphere is done with Fresnel.