View Full Version : Whats wrong with this picture - Newbie Alert

06-23-2006, 09:27 AM
This is my first atempt to try and rendering or anything like this. Thanks to the person who provided the Enterprise Mesh.


Can you all please discuss how I can put a realistic sun in the picture as well as well as how to enhance the earth. I used the earth tutorial located at http://personal.southern.edu/~dascott/tutorial01/nasa-earth.htm

I need help with the whole image including the stars and proper lighting. I appreciate any input you all can give to help me learn this stuff!

Lunar Unit
06-23-2006, 02:17 PM
Where would you like the sun to go and how big?

have you toyed with the premade surface samples? You know, when you push F8 while you're in the surface editor you may find some interesting surfaces in there for the sun perhaps.

06-23-2006, 02:32 PM
You may want to experiment with lens flares. That's how I got this.

06-23-2006, 10:06 PM
For the planet, you can add a small amount of glow to the surface for an atmosheric effect. To use glow, you need to activate it in Image Processing Options (hold Ctrl button and push F8 to open the IP Options). Click on "Enable Glow" check box. The options next to it will become active. Also, in Surface Editor, you need to select the surface that needs to glow. Click on the Advanced tab and you will find a Glow Intensity setting. The default is 0%. Turn it up to give the surface some glow in the render.

As for adding a sun, a spotlight with volumetrics and lens flare would do the trick.

06-24-2006, 11:29 AM
Here is what I got

http://www.zone91.com/Images/render 3.jpg

Looks horrible. I cant figure out what I am doing wrong.

06-25-2006, 12:01 AM
something is wrong with the atmosphere..it should be visible at this angle.
but.. you have two sun reflections on the planet... it should be one.. and its always coming from the sun.. so make the sun light with lensflare.
the lansflare should be strong..yours is fading...
from space.. you eather see all the stars.. or see none...depands on your angle to the sun.and the light bouncing from the earth... in your case with dark side of the earth... the sun should be behind the earth ..or atleast just showing a bit. If its showing... use fade behind object on the lens flare and create a lot more stars..even galaxy if you wat.

06-25-2006, 01:30 AM
the other light that is reflecting is lighting my stars in some fashion. I have no clue why these dont show up without a light source. and actually this is the light side of the earth. For some reason everything is messed up since the program crashed a few hours before I got this render out. Is there a good light to put to light most of the scene and not mess with the earth or make it look unrealistic.

06-25-2006, 07:18 AM
Follow the tutorial more precisely. It looks like you didn't use the specular map, and it also looks like your cloud texture is inverted (the black areas should be white). The atmosphere gradient isn't there either. You can use the exclude light properties in the earth object to prevent the two reflections, as well as remember the Earth gives light off itself (well actually it reflects light from the sun), so put another point light inside the Earth and have it effect only your starship, so the shadows in it light up a little.

Remember, in most space photos you cannot see the stars because the object the camera was setting exposure for was too bright. But of course you can go along with how all movies pretty much don't follow this and have the stars as bright as day. I would also add more if you're going to do this, or use a texture on a really big sphere in the background.

I also suggest to not solely use a lens flare. Create an actual sphere and surface it appropriately, make it really bright, and then only use the lens flare options to add the streaks and reflections. Use the center glow sparingly, or use the glow effect on the actual surface instead as has already been said.

06-25-2006, 01:53 PM
Here is what I got

http://www.zone91.com/Images/render 3.jpg

Looks horrible. I cant figure out what I am doing wrong.

For one thing, your sun isn't bright enough. Turn it up some. Heck, I can even see through it!8/

Also the extra relfection couldn't be possibly coming from those stars. It is very bright and wide, apparently coming from a light source close by. Check your scene for any lights that you don't really need.

Also, I don't see any glow on the planet. Did you enable it in both IP and Surface Editor?

If you like, I can make up a sample planet for you to look at. I can even make it have a 3D effect with the land, water and could cover. It is easy to make, too.

06-25-2006, 02:47 PM
when i took away the light from the earth, it got too dark. i need a way to see the earth (cause this is the side that is supposed to be lit), and have a happy medium between in all.

06-25-2006, 03:28 PM
stars are actual suns..so they are emitting light (just not as much to light the earth)...you dont have to light them... just increase the luminosity for their surface. there is an object called actual stars in the content. and looks like you have turned off... affect diffuse..for the lights.

06-25-2006, 03:46 PM
Part of the problem is that when the Earth is lit at a shallow angle, you only get a very faint light along the edge, hence the 99% dark planet.

(And incidentally, Kubrick cheated in 2001! The crescent is MUCH thicker than it should be!)

There are several things you can do to help.

1. On the advanced shading tab for your earth surface, move the diffuse sharpness up, this will keep the lit parts near the limb bright and clearly visible.

2. Use a wide angle camera - this will let you move the Sun away from the Earth, and still in shot.

3. If that's not enough, use a separate lens flare from the 'real' light, so you can position it independantly.


06-25-2006, 04:15 PM
I needed to change the angle to look at the whole scene. Below is what i got from that.

My sun needs MAJOR help. Is there a tutorial on making a good sun? What I have is reflecting off the surface and making everything weird.

Here is the plot of the scene. The ship is going to be in orbit for a second or 2, then it is going to fly off into a sunset. Maybe this will give you all an idea of what I am trying to do.

07-01-2006, 04:56 PM
Because star light outside of our own solar system is so faint, it does in reality affect near earth objects as well as anything else in the lights path, but you need not have CG suns (lights) affect your scene because the calculations are so minute and space is such a place where few humans have been, no one would notice.

My old school trick for space scenes uses multi-pass renders.

Id start with the Actual Stars obj. Add nebulae, super novae, pulsars or other space stuff. Then Id move the camera as directed by the story board. Save scene and render.

Then Id clear all objects while keeping the camera key frames to make a match move for the planets. This saves having to calculate how big the planet object needs to be in the vastness of the Actual Stars obj. Id use the first render pass as my composite background and render again.

Then Id clear the scene once more keeping the camera move key frames to make a match move for the foreground object(s). After loading the foreground object and making the keys for its move (keeping in mind the direction it is headed may require a heading input the opposite of the saved key frames for the camera. Simply put a + or - in the value). Load the second pass as the background image and render.

You may think this is more work than necessary, but for my work flow it has been very efficient especially since stars, planets, nebulae, and foreground objects can be individually controlled, lit and manipulated with image filters for your own look and feel.

The following image utilized such an approach.