There have been a number of tutorials about using NASA pictures to create
a realistic Earth but the BlenderGuru one is the best, in my opinion:

As usual, I departed from the tutorial in a number of ways.

This is from June 2011. Best viewed at full resolution.

3 comments so far...

mprove October 16, 2014, 07:16 AM
May I use your image for yet another iteration of my conference?
mramshaw October 16, 2014, 10:12 PM
Absolutely, Stewart Brand was a huge inspiration to me.

Let me know if there's another angle that might work better.

mramshaw October 17, 2014, 05:00 PM
You maybe chose this because it features Europe, but thanks!

This was - by far - the toughest render of the bunch.

I had lots of trouble with the cloud layer, also it was quite
hard to get what I thought was a reasonable amount of
atmospheric diffusion (the blue 'glow' on the right).

The nice 'fade' from day to night was the hardest of all, I
was really pleased that my efforts panned out so nicely.

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