Realistic Earth

Hello! I’m trying to create a realistic earth (as realistic as possible) in cycles. Until now the scene looks pretty lame and unrealistic (at least to me). I would strongly appreciate your opinions and constructive criticism. So feel free to post brutally honest feedback.

BTW, this scene is rendered with cycles.

It looked naked… and finally I saw it. You do not have any clouds in your picture. You’ll need some of those for sure.
The other thing I noticed, but this I don’t know since I have not been in space ;), is that your earth seems less blue compared to most pictures out there.

I think there are a lot of details that are not quite correct.

The terminator is not clear. I think this is because there is so much light on the dark side. Also the scale of the bump mapping looks huge.

The atmosphere appears to have even density. It should have a gradient brighter and thicker at the bottom, thinner at the top.

On the first photo the atmosphere is visible on the dark side of the earth. It should be obscured by the earth on the dark side from that angle.

The starfield has too many tiny dim stars and should have more variation with a few stars being brighter.

@DigitalOpus: Thank you for your advice! I completely agree with most of your critiques (especially with the fact that the bump map is huge). The only thing I disagreed with is when you said that the atmosphere should not be visible where there is no sunlight (correct me if i’m wrong), which logically seems true. But actually, there is a slightly yellow/green tint. This video might be a good example of what I mean:

I’m not really sure what causes it, but I think it has something to do with artificial lighting. I guess I made it a little too visible so i’ll tone it down a bit. Thank you for replying! :slight_smile:

@MagicGlow: Thank you for the constructive criticism! I’m already making changes to the scene.

I think you can only see this slight tint because of the long exposure time they used to also make the artificial lights visible but when both the dark and the bright side are visible you actually have to use a shorter exposure and so you wont be able to see this tint.