I would like to model a fantasy world that I made and I am wondering about the technical limits. The planet is about 3 times bigger than earth and has four continents, each the size of half the USA. I am not talking about making a sphere and texturing it, I mean like Google 3D where you can zoom all the way into a single house except more detailed. Would there be any technical problems? Would the program lag from having that many vertices? Should I just model each continent separately or even each region within the continent separately?

  • $\begingroup$ It higly depends from your hardware installed - especially RAM and graphics card. $\endgroup$ – PEAR Jul 5 '15 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest you implement some kind of level-of-detail system, so bits that are viewed at a distance are less detailed than closer ones. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jul 5 '15 at 7:15

Is this for an animation or game?

For an animation you can use compositing to transition between several different versions of your model, each with different scales of detail.

For a game you'll probably need to fetch higher resolution blocks of game data as needed, similarly to how Google Earth fetches higher res textures as you zoom in.

Either way it probably won't be easy, but the result could be impressive if executed well.

  • $\begingroup$ This is actually a world I helped create with some fantasy writers for the writers to use as the setting of their novels. I want to make a comic series though and thought 3D modeling would be easier because I don't have to draw every scene. After that I thought it would be cool to have the whole fantasy world as a model. $\endgroup$ – bioa10 Jul 5 '15 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ I see, so it sounds like many still renders from various angles is what you want to create, for now. You'll need to get clever about hiding any unneeded geometry from being rendered to keep render times reasonable. The Mask Modifier is one way to show just one Vertex Group of a given object. So you could have a continent and break it down into states/prefectures of countries (or grid blocks every 100 square kilometers) by Vertex Group, and use Mask Modifiers to reveal just one at a time when possible. Also consider how many zoom levels you will need to tell your story - reference some maps. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '15 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Another possibility is multires sculpting, but I think that would probably not be ideal for massive bodies of land that you may later want to make changes to in the topology of their lowest res mesh. On the other hand, hi-res displacement maps could work well with a SubSurf Modifier for giving you up to 6 levels of subdivision per modifier instance. Here's a helpful short tutorial for convincing displacement-based terrain:youtube.com/watch?v=cZxyN7esQkY $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '15 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ You'll need to do some planning of how to UV map those displacement textures. If your planet is a giant UV sphere you will get pinching at the north and south poles. An icosphere will give you regular faces, but triangles are not ideal. Instead, add a rhombic triacontahedron (using the Add Mesh: Extra Objects add-on) then drop a SubSurf Modifier on it set to "Simple", followed by a Cast Modifier of type "Sphere" with a Factor of 1. This will give you an all-quads globe with each section being the same size rhombi. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '15 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of what you said I don't understand because I've never actually used blender or any 3D modeling program :P but thanks, I'll look this all up when I get home to my computer. $\endgroup$ – bioa10 Jul 5 '15 at 13:29

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