View Full Version : Near Earth

Steve Reeves
03-05-2006, 02:18 PM
Hi all,

Appreciate any comments on the attached image. The planetary image maps are courtesy of:


everything else is my own work though :)

Kind regards to all

03-05-2006, 03:06 PM
That's cool looking! I like your ship designs. :thumbsup:

03-06-2006, 02:08 AM
The earth has no atmosphere, the moon and asteroids are all too big and clase together, there are no nebulea or dust clouds like that near earth, and the starfield behind it looks like a uniform gaussian noise.
THe ships are nice though.

03-06-2006, 03:31 AM
I like the asteroid textures VERY much! I have had immense difficulty getting something that looks credible. The ship designs are also good, and I like the use of colour.

I agree that the Earth needs an atmosphere layer though, and the scene is too busy.

I think that the Milky Way background is too strong for such a brightly lit scene.

(Tell you what - I'll swap you my earth atmosophere layer for your asteroid surface!! :D :D :D )

My Earth and moon:

The Moon's terminator is a bit soft - if you go to the advanced tab on the surface, you can set it a bit stronger, 40% works well).

I'd suggest you could get major improvements for minimum effort by:

1. Fix moon, as described, and shrink it a bit.
2. Boost contrast and darken your background image, (this can be done non destructively inside the image editor in LW).
3. Spread the elements in the scene out more.

Incidentally, I'm sure you are not going for realism, but if you want to, it's reasonable to put clusters of space rocks at the moon's Langrange points, 60 degrees ahead and behind of it's position in orbit.


Steve Reeves
03-06-2006, 09:08 AM
Hi guys, thanks for all your comments.

Ref the atmosphere, you know what I tried and failed to do the atmosphere properly. There is a cloud layer and that looks OK but it is a little thin becuase I wasn't able to do a decent blue atmosphere that looked right. You can see the cloud 'atmosphere' where it intersects with the moon.

Good point on the contrast also, it is kind of intentional, the Milky Way (which is the wrong colour on purpose) - was vaguely trying to keep in with the browns and greys where I could with the idea of contrasting it with coloured bars.

Interesting points about too much clutter. I rather thought myself that there needed to be more asteroids with more depth to them. Maybe this would have worked better if there had been less large ones in the foreground - which is kind of what you guys are saying.

Oddity, the nebula is an off-colour Milky Way. Intersting point about gaussian noise. I hand painted this nebula a while back using many layers and no doubt some gaussian noise in there. The final render (and backdrop) is actually 4961 x 3508 pixels (A3 at 300dpi) and I wondered if the shrinking down process has made it look too uniform. Maybe, I guess I'll see when it gets printed!

I wasn't going for scientific accuracy - just asthetic effect - rendering for pleasure rather than profit and all that. If I was going for accuracy it'd be a pretty boring scene! Render a lot bloomin' faster though :)

Thank you for all your comments though - I really appreciate them.

Nick, I'm going to email you my asteroid surface! Glad you liked it.


03-06-2006, 09:58 AM
Well Steve, I rather enjoy the starfield and milkyway background except for the artifacting that does detract from it.

Yeah the Earth there needs some work but it's better than many other attempts I have seen.

I think my problems with it may have to do with accuracy, and as you said you aren't after that so I won't go into a long discussion about how the Earth and moon and the light and shadow don't seem to match the plane of the ecliptic... :)

The composition of the scene does seem cluttered and thrown together. The layout of the asteroids in particular. I just don't feel the 3D because they all seem like they are in a football huddle. You should have more of them partially off screen, and some further away, and some closer to the camera.

Honestly, toss out (or most of) the Asteroids, ships, and the Moon, fix the Earth and rez up the background, and that would be a striking image IMHO (but then I am a less-is-more kind of person... :) ).

03-06-2006, 01:43 PM

I'm on board with most of the comments made, but my extra pennies' worth is that the rocks look a bit smooth, like they've been worn smooth on a stream-bed. Presumably Something Happenned to create that swarm of rocks - wouldn't they be more jagged?

Also, Luna looks a smidge dark to my eye.

Nice, though - then again, I'm a space nut. I would like it :D

Steve Reeves
03-06-2006, 03:47 PM
Thanks for comments Jack and Bog.

Taking on board the feedback - the verdict seems clear enough! I will have to do some refining.

The artifacting in the background is definetely a function of the lossy compression. I have the pre-compressed tif here that is crystal clear - I guess I had my jpeg setting set a bit harsh.

The smooth asteroids are of course from a long dead molten core of a world - instantantly frozen when the world exploded - hence why they are smooth :)

I'm a space nut too and I love all this kind of stuff! My favourite TV shows are Farscape and Firefly for goodnes sake :)

Thanks again

03-06-2006, 05:14 PM

Gorram right it is ;) As for core material? Hadn't occoured to me. Colour me "Doofus".