OK, this is the still of the first part of the scene. This was rendered after viewing Andrew Price’s realistic Earth tutorial, though I changed some aspects of it. The textures are all 12000x6000 pixels so I can render images of the planet Earth up to 3000 pixels wide without problems. The maps used are not the NASA maps, but were of course based on them. I improved on them for artistic purposes in PhotoShop, by cleaning up some of the processing artefacts and by removing flaws in the cloud map.
Over the next few weeks I hope to develop this into a good three minute clip of a spacecraft approaching the Earth, flying around it and then leaving again.
All through I would like people to comment; if you have questions, constructive criticism or help to offer, please do so.