Spacescape #2: The Destination

This is my second shot at a spacescape. This time, I’m aiming for a bright, jolting effect. Here’s what I have so far:

EDIT: this render is the updated version.
The Destination

I’d like some advice on the composition of the shot, as well as the actual rendering. Obviously, the subject of the shot is the ringed planet (the “destination”), but does the moon work in the scene? Would a little more variety of color give a better effect? I’m thinking maybe changing the tones of the planet and moon would help.

Excellent effects but I would put textures on the planet and moon.

For your composition look up the rule of thirds. I would suggest the top third. Personally I think you should zoom in a little but that is your choice.

I like it a lot. I think the moon might work, but it should probably be a lot smaller or composed so it looks like the camera is much closer to the moon. Of course, I’m probably thinking of the scale of Saturn and the amazing shot I’ve seen that probably inspired this look.

Are you using FSA ? The aliasing where the rings go behind the planet is distracting and I also see it a bit around the edges of the planet at the areas of highest contrast.

Is the background cloud/nebula Blender particles or something else or is it 2D? Whatever it is, it looks great.

I’ve made some drastic changes - the updated version can be found at the original link.

Manti: For this scene, moving the planet too far up or down would negate that towering, ominous effect that I’m wanting for the planet. Notice, though, that the planet is somewhat higher than the exact center of the shot.

harveen: you’re definitely right about the moon. I scaled it down quite a bit, and now it gives more of the effect I was wanting. That edge glow problem has been fixed as well.

For the background nebula, I used a technique quite similar to that used in my star world tutorial. I simply inserted a couple of “sky dome” spheres, with cloud and marble textures mapped onto them, and used some blend textures for masking purposes. The technique is simple, but it takes some time to get a really good look.

I’m now wondering whether inserting a couple of bright foreground stars would help the shot?

Hey Lego;
Nice picture. If I were to change anything, myself, I would tilt the planet, maybe 20^ down left. I feel it would make the planet more interesting. That you can see the ring shadow on this side of the planet suggests a light source that would illuminate the planet… i.e. add texture. Is it a gas giant, like Saturn, or is it a rocky lump like our moon? Is there civilization (if so, speckle it with lights for cities)? Maybe I’m putting too much into it ;). Personally, it would throw off the viewer’s sense of depth to throw a star or two in the foreground… it just wouldn’t jive to anyone, I believe. Stars are REALLY big and it would detract from it’s realism, and quite possibly remove the center of focus away from the planet. At first, I thought the stars in the background was dust on the monitor. Maybe, put a small starburst or two in the background for more detail, maybe partially hidden by the nebula?
Great job so far!

prehaps some light creeping around the sides of the planet, illumiating some cloudy atmosphere which could be normal mapped on, aswell as a little UV, and yeah, like moonbro said, tilting the planet would be goood.

this is focused critique soo… the moon you have looks too large and dosent quite fit with just one in the scene, maybe a bunch of smaller moons all orbiting will look better , also, instead of moddeling the rings of the planet as one solid mesh, make the thing out of some (relitavely) large asteroids the a UV textured ring with asteroid dust to fill in the gaaps, it will look pretty sweet if u do it like i am imagining…but yeah, looks nice for a start, keep at it!!

Thanks for the the Star World tutorial link.

I think I liked the lighter background in the earlier version. In this one, the saturated color seems a bit overpowering. It works if your going for a very stylized look, but the original had more of a feeling of a real place somewhere out there.

I’m not sure that foreground stars would be a good idea, but I do like the one bright star on the left. Maybe you could sprinkle a few more of those brighter background stars around the scene.

I agree. If you take a golf ball and shine a light behind it, due to the dissipating nature of natural light, you would get a little bit of illumination wrap around. A spot of realism would be to use the same color as the nebula. Very faint would work. Maybe a disk vignette?

I like what I see!

Manti: For this scene, moving the planet too far up or down would negate that towering, ominous effect that I’m wanting for the planet. Notice, though, that the planet is somewhat higher than the exact center of the shot.

Does Saturn really take up enough of the composition for it to be towering and ominous? It seems to me like it’s a bit small and distant for that. Less spacey border and more Saturn might help. What might also help would be if you put something in the foreground to establish how ridiculously far way this great planet is, like a space rock or a ship or something to your liking. That might help with depth.

My only other thought was that Saturn’s tone needs a little work. It’s all sort of the same tone; if it had a slight gradient or were downright eclipsed it might be better.

Wow, thanks for all the tips. I’ve made some drastic changes, still at the original link.

I reverted back to a more pinkish look. I felt somehow I wasn’t getting the effect I was looking for, and I think I’ve finally found the problem - the planet looked like it was just pasted over the scene. This time, the planet is actually engulfed by the cloud. I also zoomed in on the planet quite a bit, added more moons and background stars, and added a glow (actually a fresnel sphere) around the planet. I’m really liking the look now.

I’m considering adding a more serious, venus-cloud-like texture to the planet. So far, I’m simply using the Saturn texture used in my standard Saturn model, but the texture doesn’t really show up that well.