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Exo Planet Orbit by steve-burg Exo Planet Orbit by steve-burg
This is an earth-like planet in orbit around Zeta Tucanae. At present the star is not known to have planets, but I'm taking artistic license! :)

A wider view of this same planet can be seen here: [link]

All the textures were custom painted - from scratch - in Photoshop. No photos, nothing - that was the point of the exercise.

This view is about as close as one can get before the textures begin not to hold up that well...

Painting the clouds was a nightmarish process that required numerous test renders to see the effect when lit in 3D, then jumping back to Photoshop and tweak it some more. But I wanted to break away from using the cloud map that is very prevalent in a lot of 3D planet art.

Incidentally, the shadows cast by the clouds are actual raytraced shadows, and the red shift at the terminator is a result of some complex 3D shader work. No matter where the "Sun" is, the color shift into the shadow remains accurate.
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:iconkrictic:
Krictic Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What was the program you sued to do it?
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:iconkpectuk1:
kpectuk1 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
oh my god T_T
thats mad skills o_o
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! :)
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:icon2753productions:
2753Productions Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I have one word....

:jawdrop:

That's it lol. Gorgeous detail!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Hah! That's a good one! I love the icons... hard to resist! :iconhurrahplz:
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:icon2753productions:
2753Productions Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yup :XD: LOL!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
They're addictive... :happybounce:
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:icon2753productions:
2753Productions Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
LOL yep ;)
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:iconcrowbartk-hullo:
CrowbarTK-Hullo Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Damn, painting the clouds really paid off, they look fantastic! That was always the most difficult part of the process for me. Also, the shift to red at the terminator is a great touch. Awesome work. :D
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks - I'm glad you like the planet! Without a doubt, the clouds are the most difficult part... but that's really what makes planet artwork feel real, so worth the effort! :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
ZoW! Even this close it hold up remarkably well.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I made a closer section of just a part of the planet/atmosphere, since I need to be able to go closer still. It's pretty amazing how even gigantic textures have their limits.
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Well when you're talking about a whole, detailed world texture I'm sure you're bound to hit the wall at some point.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
The interesting thing is, I can kind of see the "wall" with 3D. It's out there, slowly coming into focus through the fog.

A lot has to do with the limits of numerical calculation. They have to call it quits after a certain number of digits, or every render would take an infinite amount of time.

I was watching 2001 not long ago, and the shot of the Discovery scraping past the camera, with every little nugget of detail casting bounce light and other subtle lighting artifacts made me realize that 3D is still not even close to simulating reality. Global illumination looks much better than just straight CG lighting, but there are limits on how far it can go. There are limits on memory, for that, rendering, and geometry.

Reality has 3D outclassed and outgunned! And it's a real-time render :D
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
That may be an accurate read on the digital art technology of themoment, but just look how far we've come in 25 years. I remember being awed by the "reality" of the graphics in The Last Starfighter, but when we look at it today it seems even a few steps behind current realtime video game rendering. I think the closer we get to the having 3D mimic reality, the more we're training out eyes to see the difference. It's like an inverse asymptotic relationship.

Of course folks like you and I "aren't like ordinary folks". Aside from the mundane facts that we can fly and see through walls, we look at digital graphics with a critical eye most every day and night. We've trained our eyes to spots "what's wrong" and where an image comes up short. But Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Moviegoer doesn't see the things we see. In fact I'd say the artists I work with, in translating their traditional media to a digital format, don't see those things either.

So you could throw more processing power at the job, but at some point - especially in commercial applications - you start passing the point of diminishing returns.

Can you imagine how we'd have reacted if we'd been able to see Avatar back when we were teenagers??? :D

Oh, BTW, as a Silent Running fan, had you run across this yet? [link]
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
:eyepopping: - A Valley Forge T-shirt!

CG continues to evolve, it's true. I wonder, in the long run, what it will eventually be capable of. But I'm aware now of a lot of the "seamless" artifacts of a lot of CG effects. I think our perception is continually being trained to spot fakery. I suspect that "Avatar" will hold up very well, but a lot of CG effects seem to have a shelf-life. Stuff that was impressive at one time often looks less so after a bit of time has passed.
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:iconderbz:
derbz Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
From scratch? seriously fella that's crazy brush work, very impressive.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! The planet surface was easy - it was the cloud texture that just about melted my brain! :D
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:iconkkolompar:
kkolompar Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
thats an amazing view of a planet. The lightning did alot I think. The textures are well done and the detail level is just about right. I like it alot.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks a lot! :)
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:iconkkolompar:
kkolompar Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
You are welcome. You deserve it.
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
That cloud map must have been a pain in the ass to make, nicely done
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! Yes, that cloud map was a major pain. It was very non-intuitive, since I was basically painting a transparency/bump map.
I don't know if I even finished it, really - I just got fried and decided "okay, enough of this!" :D
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Haha, yeah definitely. If you don't mind me asking, how big were your textures?
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Professional Filmographer
The textures are 4Kx8K
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thanks, you must have a lot of patience lol
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Patience? I always thought it was OCD! :D
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2011  Student Digital Artist
haha, very true
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:iconbroadshore:
Broadshore Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful piece Steve.,
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks man! :)
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:icontylercreatesworlds:
TylerCreatesWorlds Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Pretty solid render man. I would have lessened some of the cloud cover over the ocean near the bottom a little bit. It just seems like too much. Over all it's a really good piece. Im very impressed that you painted those textures self.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yeah - probably I will do more retouching for future use of the planet, as I agree about the clouds! I guess one solution would be to render two passes, with the clouds in a different position - then I could blend them out in favor of a clear spot.
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:icontylercreatesworlds:
TylerCreatesWorlds Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I do that with a lot of my renders. It always a solid technique. Its not about the process its about the end result so what ever works is the way to go.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
It's true - most 3D renders need at least some tweaking of contrast - and sometimes a lot more than that! :D
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:icontylercreatesworlds:
TylerCreatesWorlds Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I know all mine do. But I guess thats the fun in creating.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I think 3D is just like that - unless you pour a ton of time into getting the render just so. But even the high end visual effects get tweaked like crazy in compositing. I don't think they even do what you or I would consider a rendered image. It's all broken out into components and put together in the composite.
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:iconorosylfos:
orosylfos Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
Can there be three of you to make the world even more awesome, please? Not that one isn't enough, sheesh, you're so prolific for the quality of your work.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Ah, I'm not that prolific, I tend to go in "bursts". I look at things, think "I can't post that, it's rubbish!" and then a few months later I have a backlog of stuff and it somehow looks presentable. The mysteries of the human brain, I guess! :)
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:iconhoevelkamp:
hoevelkamp Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011   Digital Artist
I gotta say, this is stunning work. :+fav: for sure. btw we all (3d planet enthusiasts that is) wish for more high res cloud maps. For years now there is only this one map around and I really can't think of a reason why that is. So kudos for taking the hard way. :woohoo:
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Having gone through the process of painting that texture - I can appreciate why that one cloud map is so widely used! BTW if you want a really high res version of it, I think the Celestia Motherlode has one at 8K. It is a nice texture for sure, just easy to spot.
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:iconhoevelkamp:
hoevelkamp Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011   Digital Artist
Yeah, I got that one in 8k. Used it quite often too. I tend to modify it to my needs by cloning, adding parts from lower res cloud maps and so on.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I wonder who originally made that texture - it must have been a massive undertaking!
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:iconhoevelkamp:
hoevelkamp Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011   Digital Artist
I always assumed it was originally done by some NASA or ESA guy. Who knows? Thanks a lot for the :+devwatch: btw. I appreciate it. And now that I've browsed through your gallery (you're on my watchlist for some time now) I'm feeling quite a bit honored actually. :)
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:icondrofdemonology:
DrOfDemonology Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Writer
This is an awesome space-planet scene. All it needs is a ship in orbit ~ say, the first FTL Earth ship come to explore :)
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Ah, I have plans for this planet! :plotting:
Perhaps not the first ship... ;)
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:iconr3v4n:
R3V4N Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's really great work there mate!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! :)
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:icondragonpyper:
dragonpyper Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
Beautiful.
Looks like a world I'd like to visit.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks!
Actually, it's a fairly desolate place the closer you get - though from space it looks deceptively idyllic :)
This environment [link] is meant to be the conditions near the surface. Hmmm... I should make a link in the description, come to think of it.
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:icondragonpyper:
dragonpyper Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011
I could use a little magnificent desolation about now.
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