I've done many renders of the Earth in the past, so I decided to continue the tradition with this series!
This project was fully created in Blender using Cycles render, and consists of three separate objects — the atmosphere, the clouds, and the planet surface.
To get the highest resolution possible for the surface material, I created a shader system that can combine high and low LOD tiles of Earth texture (sourced from NASA blue marble). This means that these renders are effectively using an 80k texture but without the performance issues which that would normally cause.
For this project I also revamped my cloud system, updating it to use a combination of volumes, subsurface scattering, and displacement to perfect the cloud look.