Yet another Earth, but pushing Blender to its limits

So, I recently have begun trying to make my own Earth, as I have seen many people do before. I wanted to see what blender could handle though by making the highest resolution Earth possible.

So, being an Earth, it has multiple image layers:

Specularity Map - 15 MegaPixels

Is working great for water specularity

Cloud Map - 34 MegaPixels

Is of course made into an alpha. Put on a separate sphere for altitude change. Also has some contrast correction form original.

Bump Map - 223 MegaPixels

I’m having some problems with this one. If I use the super high resolution, the actual curves of the terrain look great, but because of the resolution, the depth of the color can’t be high enough, so it looks like a topographic map.
On the other hand, if I use a lower resolution image and let it interpolate the color depth the mountains and hills are smooth instead of topographic, but the curves of the terrain are jagged. Any help on bump/geometry mapping would be appreciated.

Terrain Map - 3732 MegaPixels

I managed to find a database of terrain images from NASA, and painstakingly stitched them together to a 3732 MegaPixel TIF image. (Saving the image took 2 hours) This is where blender failed. It would seem that blender cannot handle images over ~500 MegaPixels. It would crash instantly on importing the image and even thumbnail generation. So I lowered the resolution to 1/9th of the original (415 MegaPixels) and it works great now. (I submitted a bug report, but they solved it making blender just ignore images of that size)

Then I did a SSS atmosphere with some post compositing, and ended up with this. (I’m not done yet, this will be used in a later project of mine)

Non-Compressed Image HERE

All critique would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


It looks great, the only thing I can think of is the actual colors of the ground are too bright, as if there is no atmosphere interrupting their vibrance ;D. Maybe tone it down a little?

I mean like the browns against greens, how they seem to just explode into brown and green. Also you would get some brown patches in the green, and the edges would mostly be brown (due to beachs)

actually, as an afterthought, you have the colors in the right places, but the mountains wouldnt be brown, thats what was throwing me off, maybe add some snow caps to the mountain area in Southern America?

The lighting effect is pretty good! I think you just need do some improvement work on the continent in the west hemisphere!

That’s one beautful planet, hmmh?

i could be wrong, but i think the specular highlight should be more broad and much less shiny. i googled shots of earth from space and on a few of them i saw a specular highlight from the sun on the ocean, but it’s wider and washed out, and not shiny. maybe drop the hardness value?

otherwise, very impressive!

Very cool, +1 for breaking blender in the process and then scaling it back to where it would work. I loled a bit at it taking 2 hours just to save a picture. how long was the render time on the earth?

I think you should consider dropping the soft size of your sun lamp a little too. Your day/night line should be a little tighter I think. I found a couple of pics to reference.

This first one shows a nice shot of the atmosphere:

This one shows how tight the day/night line should be:

It’s looking great so far! Congratulations.

I see what you mean. The images are the originals that I downloaded from NASA’s database, but I’m not sure how the actually got the images. As you said, there isn’t any atmosphere, nor is there any snow. I may do some editing to the image.

What kind of improvement?

Glad you like it.

Thanks, you are right. I’ll try that. :slight_smile:

Yeah, at the time I compiled that image, I only had 6 GB or RAM, which wasn’t near enough to save an image of that size, so alot of the work was done in the slow SWAP. I then realized this project was going to take ALOT of RAM, so I bought another 6 GB. Now things are working much smoother. To render that image, it took 1 minute (but uses 8 GB RAM while doing so).

Thank you. I wanted to have the planet so that the backside can be seen somewhat, but the lighting is too soft. I’ll work on that.

this has nothing to do with pushing blender to its limits but more with pushing just everything to its limits. sorry for these words but it doesnt make the image any better but only the producing much more time consuming. a 34 megapixel image already is something u would never use in any professional, and if, then only if its a damn close closeup. its all about being efficient and sorry mate, this definitly is the opposite of it. dont mean to be rude just cant see the sense especially in a 3732 MegaPixels map !!!

I understand what you are saying, but this is only the beginning of my project. Of course it would be pointless to have such large images if the Earth is only going to be viewed from so far away, but I am planning on doing some extreme closeups. (Although one of the reasons for this project was just to see Blender’s capabilities). Now that I have the hardware to render this Earth, it can be done in relatively short time. It takes about 1 minute to render this Earth (at any zoom level), which further shows me that Blender is a very powerful tool, for 1 minute is a relatively short amount of time to render something with such enormous images. :slight_smile:

touché… :wink: