Occasionally, I like to render out a new desktop wallpaper. This usually happens when I can't find anything over at Digital Blasphemy that I like.
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This one was interesting; The stars came from an unholy fusion of StarPro2's database, Chrusion's RealStars script, and a fair amount of file parsing via qb64 - Yes, a 64 bit version of QBASIC (It's not stupid if it works, right?) The textures for the moon came from Solarsystemscope.com This is all radiosity lit, and it rendered at final resolution for 7m12s. Not bad for an aging i7-960.

Some of the misadventures while creating this were hilarious. In an attempt to create the starfield for use as in image map, I made a high resolution EXR, 16K x 8k. It's a 4.3 GB file. Yes, an image file that won't fit on a DVD. I tried to use it once. Layout's memory usage went to the roof, and things started paging out to the pagefile, and then lightwave went "Nope! Seeya!" It turned out, once I tuned a few things on the point cloud file, to be cheaper, memory and computationally wise, to just use the point cloud with it's 2.5 million stars.

Trying to find a decent set of lunar textures wasn't easy - NASA has some good stuff there, but the texture maps for the Moon were missing the poles and didn't look right. Also, getting the Lighting right on the Moon itself, and then not having the texture wash out when the luminosity got cranked. Nodes for the win!

It is, by no stretch of the imagination, supposed to be a realistic image. It is, however, suitable for my desktop, and for sharing.