Starfield with nebula

*** Update This Tutorial was created for Blender 2.4 a new version of the tutorial has been made for Blender 2.5***

You can see the Blender 2.5 Version here:

Well I just found out about the fact that Photobucket has removed these images, so I will make new ones and get them back up.

******* NOTE ******** This tutorial has been updated, you may see posts that refer to a script that went with the older version of the tutorial, the current version as posted here does not use a script anymore.

This tuturial will show you how to make a good quality starfield with nebulas and dust clouds with a better visual appearance then the stars you can make with the stars in the world settings in blender. This scene was made in just about 15 minutes… This tutorial is made for those who know their way around the blender interface.

Well be creating the starfield for the backround first.
First thing is open blender with a fresh blank scene, go to top view and place a default UVsphere into the scene.

Then make sure you are in edit mode.
Make sure you are in edge select mode
Press the delete key on your keyboard and select delete edges and faces, then switch to vertex mode.Now all you should have is the vertex’s from the sphere left like this (in vertex mode).
Now each of the vertexs will eventually be a star so we cant have them in the postions they were originally in when they made up the sphere, so basically we need to randomise them a bunch, here is how I do it:
First deselect all vertices, then go to select, random, when the popup comes up just push ok it will randomly select 50 percent of your vertices, now make sure you are still in top view press r and rotate the vertices either clockwise or counter clockwise so that they dont line up with the unselected vertices. Like this :
Step A
Now switch to side view and press r to rotate again
Step B
Now press s and scale the selected vertices slightly.
Step C
Basically you will need to repeat steps A, b, c, a few different times to get a good cloud of vertex’s going, you can also duplicate some of the vertices and rotate,scale them also dont go to crazy tho as later on you will need to make more of the “star spheres” to give different materials to. We just made a basic one the others you will make and scale up larger to make more distant stars. After your done randomising the vertices a bit, you should select all the vertices and scale them (press s) so that they are just outside the edge of the floor grid like this:
Now add a new material to the cloud, something like these settings :

Now Make sure your out of edit mode with the cloud selected press shift d to duplicate the cloud, then scale it up slightly, go to top view an press r to rotate it, try to make sure it doesnt line up with the other clouds vertices. Now slect object on the menu bar, then select make single user, then select material and tex. now go to the object materials and make the halo size slightly smaller. Now this star clod will look more distant then the other one. Now select both clouds and move them to another layer.
Now that was just the basics of how to make the stars, obviously you will need to use your artistic talent to tweak things a bit to make them look realistic, stars are sometimes colored slightly, so you might want to do that, you can make a number of differnt clouds and use the random funtion to delete some of the vertices, which helps when your making colored stars, as you dont want to have tons of colored stars in your scenes, basically the dominat color of stars shoule be white with a smattering of colored stars, I suggest you study some of the NASA images to get a feel for things. Here is just one of the many links to such images
Now well make some Nebula
Switch to top view, and add a plane to your scene , then enter edit mode, select all the vertices press alt m and select merge at center, then hit f7 and find the axis button and activate it, this will make it a lot easier to locate your nebula in your scene when your in edit mode, you should do this for every nebula cloud that you make since you will need to make more then one to get a realistic look in your space scenes, also you will be able to animate your nebula if you need to and it will make it easier to find them.
now leave edit mode (press tab) and add a new material to your nebula, select the first texture slot to add a texture ( f6 ) select clouds then make your settings like mine (make sure that you notice that I have the gradients set on “cardinal”
Now go back into edit mode, select the vertex, and duplicate it a few times (shift d ) keep a good amount of space though between each vertex as basically you have to keep in mind that each one is going to become a single nebula cloud. Here is what I have:

Here is what I have:

Now my aim was just to show you how to do the basic elements of the scene, there are a lot of different possibilities using this technique, hope you find this useful.
Same scene with a little tweaking :

Space scape made with techniques in tutorial :

This tutorial, images, and files included are copyrighted, use of this material anywhere else other then Blenderartists is prohibited, this includes derivative works. The material is provided to members of Blenderartists as a learning aid, nothing more. For any other purpose or use, the written permission of the author must be obtained prior to use.

Great tutorial.

But the pictures for the tutorial seem to be missing now…

Jason Lin

Thanks a lot for posting that excellent tutorial. cheers


Can someone please reup the pictures in this tutorial?


Can someone post the BLEND file I can’t get the download from the above link.

Heres the .blend
Starfield.blend (558 KB)

And the script you need (change the extension to .txt once you’ve downloaded it, I had to make it a .blend to upload to here as .txt isn’t supported)
randomcloudscript.blend (4.75 KB)

I couldnt get it all to work properly, dont have the time at the moment to work it out. Perhaps it works best in an older version of Blender?

Thanks, but has someone the pics for the tutorial, or another complete Version?

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Yeah, I would still like to see this work.

I pulled down the script and I get an error.

No module named whrandom

I get it that the import of the module failed, but what is whrandom and why did you use it in your script? Can you post the whrandom script as well?

I was just wondering how to get some space scene done!

Everything is fixed now

What do I do to make the picture change from the

“Here is what I have:” just dots

to the

“Here is what I have:” Nebula and stars???

Juhu! Thanks :slight_smile:

render it.

awesome tut man, original thinking!

I get the stars and stuff right but I don’t understand how do you get the clouds?


Please specify the question. The clouds are big halos with textures, explained step by step.

Ok well… as I understand this is how I need to do it…

  1. make a UVsphere
  2. delete the edges and faces
  3. randomise, rotate, scale
  4. scale it bigger than the grid
  5. change the sphere color/make it into a halo
  6. keep the sphere selected, add a new texture, choose cloud, do the color there.
  7. theres a picture under the picture described in 6. and I don’t understand why it’s there
  8. ‘Here’s what I have:’ picture 1 just has some dots there… that confuses me…
  9. ‘Here’s what I have:’ picture 2 is what it should look like when its done when rendered…
  10. when I render I just have a lot of dots on a dark blue background.

Where did I go wrong? Maybe you can make a video tutorial…
My Blender version is 2.49.2
I have Python 2.6 installed


For the nebula you create a new plane (a new mesh, do not add it to the sphere in editmode) . So you have four new vertices, when you change to edit mode. Then scale it down to 0, then press w -> remove doubles. Then you have a single vertex in this mesh object. Then go on and add the material and texture to the single vertex (ex plane) mesh.

I think, you added the texture to the sphere, that should be stars. These halos are so small, that there are only some blue dots. The halo of the single vertex mash should be much bigger, as you can see in the material screenshot.

Hope, this will help, otherwise ask :wink: !

Ok I got it now. First I tought that U need to do the colorband theng on the stars :stuck_out_tongue:
Thank You for the help.


no prob :wink:

It was a lot of work.

Thank you BlueSpider!