Earth Renders and the International Space Station

This was just a little exercise in space animation (astromation?) which is something I’d like to do a lot more of. I downloaded the excellent ISS model from NASA’s site for this test. The file can be found here: NASA ISS model

For the Earth and moon I used high res maps from NASA’s Blue Marble site.

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The cloud map was composed of two separate 21K maps, which needed to be stitched and cleaned up. The cloud file was too large to save at 42K x 21K so I reduced it down a bit, while still retaining detail. Its the cloud maps that seem to break up the most when rendering closeup, orbit shots of the Earth, so the high res maps were important. For the atmospheric glow and shading on the Earth model, I used Michael Welter’s great free plugin shader Atmosphere (make sure you donate to his site if you use any of his plugins!).

Michael Welter’s Awesome Atmosphere Shader

Heres the very short animation test. Theres a bit of flicker on one of the solar panels–looks like I might have some overlapping geometry there. Good enough for a test.