How to make a sunrise effect on planet earth from space

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  03 March 2013
How to make a sunrise effect on planet earth from space

I would like to reproduce the sunrise on earth from the space pov, like on the attached image.
I tried different techniques without success, from gradient to falloff, etc.
I would like to animate the effect also, so the beginning has the blue to orange gradient tone, and, as the sun rises the light and atmosphere colors changes accordingly.
Help appreciated.
Thank you.
  03 March 2013
Hi boumay,

What you're trying to achieve isn't going to be that easy if you choose to animate it. I recommend you use a strip of high density fog on the horizon where you want the light source to rise and penetrate. You can create the fog in a long strip, and then put a bend on it to hug the curvature of the sphere. Another thing you can do is segment the sphere in a way that you can add a specifically highly reflective material, to the segment directly below the fog and then assign the segment a material channel ID, followed by assigning the segment a material (e.g chrome metal with high reflection). It also may help to turn up bounces, reflections and refractions come render time.

The light you choose for this project needs to be visible in render/viewport. You can adjust start/stop of the light source, which could give the "sun" an effect of being far away. When animating, you will need to start the scene with the fog density set very low but consistent. Once the sun pierces the horizon the light intensity should be cranked right up to a complete whitewash of a few frames (split seconds), and with the fog turned off, then reduce the light intensity very quickly (to simulate you eye focusing to light), while phasing the fog density back in.

Bare in mind your camera should be facing perpendicular to the sphere, the fog should only just be visible on the horizon, and the light should start with an orange/red tone - changing to a white/blue tone during the whitewash sequence - and them returning to an orange/red immediately after.

If you want to achieve something better, something like Adobe After Effects probably has a solution.

Last edited by Wifirex : 03 March 2013 at 09:10 AM.
  03 March 2013
Thank you very much for this very useful answer, I must say that I ignored the most of these techniques, and it is definitely a good reference for me.
  03 March 2013
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