Space background resolution too low. (First thread YAY!)

Hello I am very new to blender and even newer to this forum so apologies if this is in the wrong place.

This is the a shot from the space scene I am working on and one that I believe best shows the problem.

My environment image appears pixelated in spots. Right now I am using a Milk way panoramic that is 8k by 4k in size as an environment texture. How can I make it appear better in the scene? (Obviously way too big to post)

Thinks I have thought about:

  1. Have I just been staring at this forty second animation for way too long and lost concept of what fits the quality of object in the foreground? (Final render will be 1080 x 1920)
    2.Do I need a better image or is it some setting stripping the quality of the image somewhere down the pipeline?

If the image is simply not high enough quality…
3. Should I make a very high resolution picture of a galaxy way model in blender if the image is simply not good enough? (crossing my fingers not this one for time’s sake even though it would probably have the best outcome)
4. If the image is not good enough does anyone know of a better version of A Milk-way Panoramic from space?

Really hopefully not this one…
5. Have I reached the limit of what environment textures can do and just need to move on?

Well… it’s quite difficult to answer this post…
You did everything great!..
But it’s a problem of the original texture itself. If you have a focal lenght in your camera of 35mm, your camera get’s only around 55º of the whole enviroment sphere. If we divide 8k by 360º we get 22.75px per degree, which makes 1250px wide for the background.
1250px is lower than 1920px, then you have pixelation… With focal lenghts bigger than that, you get even more pixelation.

the best approach, would be to use just a segment of the celestial sphere, with a better resolution than the whole map… or blur the whole map a bit, as if it was glare and mix it with some procedural starts for the sense of sharpness.

You would be better off creating your own stars.
Here is a thread where some of us posted blend files of various methods.!&highlight=cycles+stars

Okay so according to my calculations if I am correct.

1920px/55 degrees = a need of 34.91(.9090909090) pixels per degree to keep image resolution.
34.91x360 = 12564 pixels needed in width to keep the image resolution.

I know that camera’s have a different degree of visibility for their height and diagonal views, would applying an image that was (8000px/12564px) x 100 = 63.67% bigger than my the one I’m using now fix the stretch in all directions or does the strange world of optics make it more difficult than this.

Either way once I figure out the required dimensions I think I am going to go the making my own image route. I’ve tried resizing the image and fixing it but I cannot not seem to make a significant difference in the way the image looks with blur before making it look bad simply because of the blur/ other filters and processes I’ve tried. If anyone has some tips on that and think that this resizing should not really be that big of a problem let me know.

Do you have a link to the original image?

No but I can make one. Here you go.

No but I can make one. Here you go.

There’s no problem at all using the image you have… in real pictures, most of the stars would be out of focus, and dued to the brigthness of the planet, the majority would be imperceptible…
But still if you want so much detail, it’s possible to use some software to transcribe the Hipparcos catalog to a background image, with the resolution you need, or even and OSL script to do it automatically.
(check this out

Thanks Secrop,
I think his pic is getting there. He might want to set his cam to final 1920 and push back the field in -Z as it is a bit much upclose. Like looking at the stars in the city opposed to the country. With all the light from the Planet the stars are working too hard to be bright.

If you absolutely hate it, as the blur stands out make it in P.S… Here is that link from the link Rich posted.
Starfield tut P.S

I think Secrops math will get you there in ref to the lens matching the sensor. You could always play with your cam sensor to match the stars too.