I think the hands have some potential as a small series of thematically unified images. I need to work on the mesh some more though.
One thing about this scene – I couldn’t get the Blender’s stars (in the world window) to reflect on the sphere, even with them set to maximum size. It would be easy enough to fake using an additional texture, but I noticed during the envmapping phase the stars were projected from a small plane. This scene also makes use of the particle effect. Does anyone know if particles are picked up in envmapping?
Thanks, dante. They can be tricky to work with, especially in older versions of Blender. Once you get the hang of them then it’s only a matter of tweaking the envmap and material settings to get the desired reflections and resolution/clarity in the reflection. Higher resolution reflections (600 pixels and higher) help increase the accuracy of the reflection. They take understandably take a little longer to render, but they’re worth the wait.
Tracking an Empty can also help you get better/different reflections depending on your scene. Adding an Empty to the scene and then in the object’s envmap texture settings window specify Empty in ob: instead of the object’s name. The envmapping then uses that Empty as a point around which to gather visual information for the envmapping process.
If envmapping doesn’t work or look good the first time around you also have to remember to clear the envmapping data, since subsequent attempts to envmap rely on the last map in memory. You can force envmapping to be performed every time before the final render by specifying Anim instead of Static in the texture/envmapping window. Anim is for animation, where envmaps would vary due to moving objects (to be reflected), but it also works on single frame renders too.
When trying to do “recursive envmapping” in 2.28c, you have to set Depth to a value higher than the default (zero) – 1 or more. A value of 1 or higher causes envmapping to go through 1 or more additional cycles so that reflected objects can be reflected in other objects’ reflections – that is, you’ll then be able to see reflections in reflections, which can add to the realism (or surrealism) of a scene.
Just like the rest of Blender, somewhat challenging to learn but fun once you get the hang of it