Very Photo-Realistic Earth and Atmosphere in Eevee

(upload://gzxM0xy14QfuOepoXJK50xgjAix.jpeg)

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It’s a good start but you got some ways to go. It’s definitely doable to achieve very realistic results using OpenGL rendering for planetary/outer space settings which benefit from the lack of GI and single light sources.

I would recommend that you watch this tutorial and see if you can adapt some of these techniques into EEVEE:

I see what you sent and it does look very cool, but “cool” is not what I’m going for. There’s a lot of glare and lens flare and saturation, but Earth simply isn’t all that in real life. I’m going for if you went out into space and took a photo right now. Also keep in mind EEVEE isn’t a very realistic rendering engine compared to others like Blender Cycles. This is all I’m going to get with these 1-second render times. I know I have ways to go, but as a 13-year old, this is as far as I’m going to get. Thanks for the feedback though!

Edit: Also, that video is kinda far from what Earth looks like in real life. It does look very nice though, just unrealistic.

Here’s my point – keep going and improving, but you’re not there yet.

I wish that when I was 13 I had access to this technology, it’s really amazing what a high school freshman can accomplish nowadays. You’re on a good starting path, but if you’re going to post your work on a public forum, be prepared (and grateful) to get your work critiqued.

On a practical (and realistic) level, you’re missing depth and shadows from your cloud layers, as well as depth from your landmass. You also need some lights in the dark hemisphere. There’s nothing ‘cool’ about those things, it’s just adding realism. Your edges a bit too clean for a camera lens to resolve, and even with the highest quality lens you’ll still get some chromatic aberration and glare.

BTW, all the things that I am talking about are 100% doable in EEVEE, and if you actually watch the video that I sent, you’d see that Andrew Kramer accomplished all of those things with a render engine that is both real-time and considerably more primitive than EEVEE.

Here are some NASA references that you should take a look at:

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/cloud-formation-in-the-south-indian-ocean

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/sunrise-shadows-over-the-philippine-sea

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/hurricane-florence-as-it-was-making-landfall-0

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/sunglint-and-thunderstorms-over-the-straits-of-florida

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/hello-from-above

Oh yeah, I know I’ll get criticism.

For cloud shadows I would have to fake it, for the EEVEE actually can’t do a shadow like that well, or at least I’ve never seen me or anyone do that. Cycles would tho’. So I’ll go and add a fake shadow.
For the lights on the dark hemisphere I simply wont do. I can add it for when you go up close, but many photos of Earth from afar show no sign of city lights.
And for the chromatic aberration is something I forgot to add, I can do it. Glare is easy, I can do it now

Edit: Fun fact: Some of those pictures aren’t in space. They are only 200 miles out of the 6,000 miles of atmosphere up.

FYI: I’m actually not in high school yet. I’m a late 13, I’m in 8th grade.
Also:

  • Cloud Shadows aren’t complete
  • Little bit of lens distortion to separate the colors
  • Little bit of blur
  • There is glare, but the sun isn’t in this shot, so the glare isn’t very apparent.
  • City lights have been added, when you go too far they are too dim so see.