Project Universe

Hello Blender Artists,
a few weeks ago i started to work on a project that my friend gave me to improve my blender skills and learn more about the universe.
I need to do two things to call this project successful: 1. make accurate image of our solar system (sun+8 planets+pluto)
2. Make an animation that will show every planet.
We thought that it would be good to show this project and get some constructive feedback from other people.
Also after the animation i was thinking to make a little application with the solar system that would get me more into blenders game engine.

With sun i was experimenting alot. The sun texture is actually transparent and inside is a point light and a half-reflecting object so you couldn’t see through sun. I have no idea what i was doing :). Also i couldn’t make light go trough transparent parts of sun’s texture (it just gets lighter) so i used glare effect.

Mercury is pretty straight forward. I added 3 maps (specular, normal and diffuse). I still feel like i’m missing something. Like the little glowing parts that most of the images online have, but i don’t know how to add them.

For this one i have 2 objects, Venus surface and Venus clouds. Also i’ve added 0.1 emit on both objects.

Apparently i can’t attach more images to this post so I will just leave links for other planets.
Earth is without a doubt the best looking one. it was created thanks to Andre Price. He’s one of the best blender artists that i’ve seen so i recommend to check him out if you don’t know who he is.
Moon is just a bit more of extra work (i will be also making 4 main moons for Jupiter).
Mars is the most hospitable planet so i tried to make it look like the earth does (with clouds and atmospere).
Other planets are work in progress.
If you have any constructive feedback,tips or tricks on how to improve my planets, set up effects for final animation or anything at all please let me know. :slight_smile:

Updates: Finished Planets- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus.

Nice work so far! I don’t really feel experienced enough to give you much feedback, but one thing that always strikes me with space scenes is that it can be difficult to show photorealism with the volumes of light involves. If you think about having an actual camera in space, so immersed in darkness but looking at something as bright as the sun - something able to dazzle from millions of miles away through an atmosphere - well there’s lots of effects you’d get. A light bloom from the sun or anything reflecting it. You also wouldn’t see stars in the background around the sun - they’re too comparatively dim.

Hope that one little thought is of some use.

Looks impressive :slight_smile:

Mars atmosphere is too weak and it doesn’t have clouds (yet). The amount of water is not enough to form clouds. Also, you made it bluish, and it should be reddish; remember that the color of the atmosphere depends on the color of the planet, it only reflects it. That’s why Earth’s atmosphere is blue, it is mostly blue.

Do a Google search on the words Martian Clouds and you’ll find lots of photos.

Steve S

Thank you al3d i will remember to put it in use while animating my scene. Don’t worry even if you’re not experienced at all, I’m not far from you :). I started learning about space just few weeks ago, when i started this project.

David Bogas, didn’t knew that, thanks, i’ll change the atmosphere color.
Steve S, yea you’re right there is clouds in the Mars atmosphere, still mine has much more opacity.

Finishing Jupiter…

You’re right i’ll keep the clouds. :slight_smile:

For Jupiter i’ve read that it has liquid surface so i made it a bit shiny-er with barely visible clouds. The ring is more of placeholder. The Jupiters ring is made of smoke and it’s almost invisible so i want to make it look like that, but i don’t want to waste my time on that right now. Also it was really hard for me to find good texture for ring so i made my own. Here’s the link for 4k Jupiter ring texture (free for download and use)

Saturn, except basic maps, also has 0.1 emit and subsurface scattering (And atmosphere). Saturn’s Rings are made the same way as Jupiter’s.

After finishing of all the planets i will polish/fix some problems that i’ve found on jupiter.

You can add a new texture in your material, simply black. Then go to texture paint mode, and paint the part on the planet white (or in a shade of grey depending how stron you want the parts to glow). Then activate in the texture settings of the image the influence of Shading: Emit. You can make them glow even more by usin some prostprocessing. Activate Emit in the Render Passes, then you have exactly the areas in the finished image which are emitting light by material, you can make them brighter, use them as value input for the glow effect or blurring by hand and so on.

Thank Scaramanga, that helped a lot. I explored a bit and added darkened, grayscale texture of Mercury to it, so it gets a bit of glow on it’s surface too. Still it doesn’t look as good as grayscale images of Mercury, but that’s probably because they’re real images.

It was made almost the same way as Saturn. The only big difference is that Uranus is Rotated 90 degrees.

The visible surface is all clouds, mainly hydrogen with some helium, methane, ammonia, and water. So it probably shouldn’t be too shiny. As you go deeper into the atmosphere, it gradually gets denser and denser until it eventually becomes a liquid. There is no distinct boundary between the gas and liquid like we have here on earth.

Steve S

Yea i’ve made a mistake and didn’t read everything about Jupiters Atmosphere and Surface.

Cool stuff. The planet Uranus has much smaller rings. You could try to animate it’s insanely fast winds and storms in it’s atmosphere … this can be done by animating particle simulation or smoke separately and then use the movie as an texture. And Uranus is more far from the sun, therefore the light should be reduced.

I was looking at the picture of Earth and I got the feeling that I was looking through it (on the left side), it took me a while to realize that it’s just because that part of the world is dark and the lights are on, anyway, it’s a great image and the others are also looking good!

Thanks Lux. :slight_smile: I thought about animating it, but i’ll start with that after finishing all the base models. Every planet that I made has it’s own lighting source. I Still haven’t put them all together. That will be after calculating every planets size, orbit, rotation,…

It’s Still WIP but i wanted some opinions on one problem with the rings. Texture that i use for the rings have some squares on it that are showing only in my final render.

if i may give you some chalange… you now added basicly bump maps textures and did light effects.
Now try to render how it would be if one where on those planets, with exception of earth.
Can you make scenes of mars, jupiter pluto etc ?.. that would be more chalanging then this, and require your imagination instead of textures and bumbs from nasa’s texture sources.

Try to do this in cycles, using nodes, there are scripts to do terains, but you might requires something creative to crete craters.
While thinking of this this would be nice for some kind of art chalange for many people around here.