I wanted to create a space scene. I began by working on a space station model. It was not terribly difficult, but it did turn out to be a little time consuming, as I was trying a few things that were new to me. I got the antenna dish from NASA's 3d models library. The star field was also from NASA, I think. I wasn't happy with the sails or the star field background. So I reworked the station a bit, then started in on the background as a seperate scene.
This was one of my first attempts at a galaxy. I had an ok shape to the arms of stars, but the gas clouds were shaped a bit too much like a tornado.
My second run at the galaxy and the shape was better, but the gas clouds were still way too diffuse.
So I went through a nice tutorial from Sardonicus Pax on creating a galaxy in blender. I still had to work in the gas clouds that I wanted, and I think I got them in there, though I may have gone a little too far in the opposite direction with them. They are almost invisible here. Still, I think this would be more recognizable to people as a galaxy than my prior attempts.
Next, I wanted a fairly realistic star to balance against the space station. Creating the basic star material was easy. For realism, though, I thought it needed flares and a corona. A simple bright sphere created an awfully sharp edge and looked cartoonish. I found that the same system for creating the gas clouds in the galaxy worked really well for making the flares and corona. Even though my result is still a bit off of the real thing, it adds enough that it bumps up the realism quite a bit. For me, anyway.
Here it is, all put together. Not a *great* image, certainly. But, after weeks working on the different components, I have to call it done for now. I have to get me head out of this, if I ever want to make it better. So, not a work in progress, but not exactly a completed project. Call it, a project in limbo.