3D Render: Orrery

I love Orreries. Though to my shame I only today learned that “Orrery” is their actual name. In any case, I always wanted one for myself because I love the design. And I made one in 3D now. It’s not in any way a recreation of a functional Orrery that would actually track the movements and locations of the planets in our solar system, just purely a decorative piece. I specifically did some close-ups of the individual celestial bodies because from afar, there isn’t much detail to be seen and this is probably the most detailed model I ever made. And I wanted to show off the textures of the planets themselves because I actually took real-world textures provided by NASA and the ESA to texture the planets.

Obviously the scale isn’t anywhere near accurate, because that would make for an unwieldy and quite uninteresting piece. But all the terrestrial planets are proportionally correct among each other and all the gas giants also have to correct sizes in proportion to each other.

Though I’m somewhat displeased with certain outcomes. The render engine is probably getting to its limits. I’m running it at a 5% error threshold – the setting I dial in for basically all my final renders – and it had some problems with the very shallow depth of field, so I had to polish it up in Photoshop a bit, even though each render took between 20 and 30 minutes. For one image I cranked the settings to a 2% error threshold and it took 50 minutes for a result that didn’t look noticeably better. Oh well.

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