Planet Earth & Space in CGI

Space Shuttles and Hurricanes on Earth

3 min

July 15, 2023

Syntactic Labyrinths

For the production of our 3D animation sci-fi short film, Syntactic Labyrinths, we are constantly improving our CGI space scenes.

Each small component of a CGI space film becomes a technical challenge of its own.

Earlier, we tackled Stars. This has resulted in the development of our 32-bit NASA stars Star System.
This Resource is Free to Download on our Resource Page!

A hurricane over Planet Earth in a still from Syntactic Labyrinths. The still is a photorealistic 3D render of Earth made with Earth Digital rendered in Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona.
Still from Syntactic Labyrinths

Throughout our process we always refer back to the book Beauty by Roger Scruton.

Scruton argues that the importance of beauty and its transcendental nature can be found in anything that’s real.
For example, nature can be appreciated as beauty pure by itself.

For this set of renders I made use of a space-shuttle 3D-model.
However, the first obstacle was the model’s resolution. For this reason it was important to occlude the model when possible.

3 Simple ways to occlude your asset would be:

  • Distance from camera
  • Backlighting
  • Layering

For these renders I’ve made use of the first 2 techniques.

A photorealistic render of Planet Earth with the Moon that is lit by earthshine. This is a photorealistic 3D render made in Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona using Earth Digital by Blauw Films.

A 3D render of a space shuttle flying over the arctic of planet Earth. This render is made in Cinema 4D with Chaos Corona using Earth Digital.

A dramatic and dynamic 3D render of a space shuttle at night landing over the landing strip. Rendered in Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona by Blauw Films.

The first thing I did was utilise our Organic Starfields a bit more. I’ve been using the pack for a while but hadn’t considered adding really bright stars in the scene.

Considering natural beauty comes from reality, I replicated the position of the stars from NASA’s star plotting page.
You could also use Celestia if you’d like a native application.

Making planets is all in the details.

How tall are your clouds?
How thick is your atmosphere at which point?
You know the deal.

Earth Digital is a film production resource by Blauw Films to create photorealistic renders of Earth. It uses advanced texture maps and satellite data from NASA and can be used to render in Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona.
Earth Digital is available for Free on the Resource page

A collection of texture maps available in Earth Digital by Blauw Films. These are NASA satellite texture maps that together allow you to make photorealistic renders of Earth.

So here we are, Planet Earth 2.2!
New updated texture maps, 32-Bit Star plates included, 2 Hour process demo, many many updates to the shaders!

I’ve rendered the Earth layer without the clouds + the clouds separately.
This gives lots of freedom when playing with the cloud density and values in compositing.

A evening 3D render of Planet Earth rendered with Earth Digital. This 3D render is made in Cinema 4D with Chaos Corona.

An ocean 3D render of Planet Earth rendered with Earth Digital. This 3D render is made in Cinema 4D with Chaos Corona.

Finally, I’ve made use of our personal aperture maps to give a soft rounded bokeh like that of a human eye:

A color chart and focus chart in 3D for a bokeh test using the Blauw Films Bokeh Builder in Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona.

A blur disk that represents the bokeh seen by the human Eye. An asset that is part of the Bokeh Builder resource by Blauw Films for filmmakers and 3D artists.

The Bokeh Builder project file by Blauw Films to create photorealistic camera effects inside of your 3D render engine.
Bokeh Builder available as a Free Resource!

An Adobe After Effects screenshot of the Bokeh Builder setup by Blauw Films to create custom aperture maps for custom bokeh and blur disks.
Customise your own aperture maps for the exact camera properties you need.

The Turntable Backdrop setup for look dev artists and helping your create photorealistic 3D renders by Blauw Films for Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona.

If you look at the depth-of-field you’ll see there is a very balanced transition from one blur disk to the next.
The human-eye bokeh works really well to create a soft blur that doesn’t attract attention to itself.

The Look-Dev setup I’m using is also available on my store, including a Free Download UV Checkerboard texture!

Stay connected with Blauw Films! 
For the latest updates, breakdowns and exclusive content, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube

Reading List

References

0 Comments

Active Here: 0
Be the first to leave a comment.
No Name
Set
Moderator
4 years ago
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
(Edited)
Your comment will appear once approved by a moderator.
No Name
Set
Moderator
2 years ago
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
(Edited)
Your reply will appear once approved by a moderator.
Load More Replies

New Reply

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Load More Comments
Loading

Up next

That was the latest post.

Check back soon for more entries to the library.

Previous

That was the oldest post.

We are working on updating our archives.

Or try something Different

A blue arrow pointing right from the Blauw Films website.