Some months ago I watched this video of Blenderguru about "How to create a realistic earth in blender". In this video blender render is used and now that I understand texturing in cycles a little better I am trying to rebuild this "realistic earth" with cycles.

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At about 22:00 min Blenderguru starts explaining how to simulate the atmosphere using blender render. The idea is that near the edges the atmosphere gives a bluish tint to the earth. I tried to work this out with the setup as above (same idea as used for a transparent balloon) but blender guru is doing something with fresnel. I think that is a better solution ? How to simulate the atmosphere with fresnel ?


I think what you want to do is mix whatever shader you are using for the earth's surface with a bluish shader towards the edges.

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To do this just plug both shaders into a mix shader (like you already have), with the bluish atmosphere in the bottom socket. Then control the mix factor with a Fresnel node.

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks. In the complete setup I have three spheres ... one for the earth (smallest sphere), one for the clouds and one for the atmosphere (largest sphere). How to implement your node tree with this set up ? What is wrong in my set up ? I mean my node tree also creates that bluish shader towards the edges (like for a balloon). To be honest, I feel it should be something with fresnel, that is why I ask. But what is different in a fresnel setup vs my setup ? Btw, how to create those nice stars ;) $\endgroup$ – Old Man Jan 20 '16 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JanScherders For yours in particular, if you want to use a Fresnel node, just swap the translucent and transparent shaders and plug the Fresnel into the mix factor. There's nothing "wrong" with yours per-say, Fresnel is just a different way of doing it. Try both ways and see which you like the look of better. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 20 '16 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ it is just that the blender guru solution in blender render looked better ... $\endgroup$ – Old Man Jan 20 '16 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ after comparing the results of both the Dot Product and Fresnel method I think I prefer the Dot Product result better. I really had not expected that. Anyway, thanks for showing me how to use the Fresnel node here. $\endgroup$ – Old Man Jan 21 '16 at 11:02

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