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I made this scene for the cgboost world in a bottle challenge. This is the final entry, the one below was rejected because it was a jar not a bottle.
Done in blender 2.93 with the ship and plane from blendswap, and a little post process in fusion. (blur and color, and making the earth more blue.)
I originally had a very different idea for the contest. I first had the idea of the crane which looked good as an outdoor shot. But was trying to figure out what to put into the shot that had a world. Looking at the cgboost entries, very hard to get an inside the bottle shot to look good. I think the below looks like it's inside a bottle.
A scene from inside the jar, The crane looked like a toy, so I thought what other elements would you need? Maybe a child, I used a kids hand because I am not at the level of modeling a kid. Maybe some more toys, So I added a kids play blocks spelled out world, and he had a toy crane putting them in the jar. Sometimes You have to rethink your idea. Fortunately, It didn't take me to long to make that image. I first made a simpler version with simple cubes. Then uprezed the blocks. Then just decided this image wasn't good. It had elements to tell a story, like the kids' hand and the toy claw, and the toy blocks. But just not a good idea. I started to think of another idea.
I had an inspiration, something I heard a astronaut say: The earth looks like a big blue marble. So I made that.
I wanted elements that made you think of marble, and big blue marble.
I modeled the jar/bottle object with a double hull so the glass has some thickness.
First test of the jar with something in it. Best shader for glass is the realistic glass shader in blender kit. I wouldn't of been able to do a shader like that on my own. Very well made glass shader with caustics.
First iteration of the jar in a beach scene, because i was watching a tutorial on sand and I though the jar would look great at a beach.
Then I made the marbles using this tutorial.
I followed the tutorial, and then had to figure out how to tilt the jar and keep the balls in that shape. The solution was to make a keyframe after the marbles were placed, then copy that to the first frame. Then I deleted some of the balls to create a slope to simulate that the balls had fallen over. One thing that was difficult was I had to make a special object for the balls to fall into since blender didn't like a double hulled glass object. I had to delete the outside part of the jar and make that a separate object.
Then I made the swirl object, and duplicated that and rotated, and used the displace simple Modifier, twirl. Then I used a blender kit realistic glass texture on both the jar and marbles. I liked this texture better than the other glass textures. I had to hand place the swirl objects into the marbles. Then I parented the swirl to the marble, and then all the marbles and jar to an empty so I can move them all at once. (You could used select from collection)
Then I used this tutorial to make the ocean.
Then I used this tutorial to make the sand, and used a blender kit texture called wet sand.
Then I made the marble earth. I used a black and white imageI got on the web. And used a glossy shader and glass shader with the world outline image as the input.
I made the marbles orangish, so they contrast the blue of the world better. Originally, I had the traditional red, yellow green swirl and it didn't seem to lead the eye to the blue marble as well as the orange marbles. For some reason the waves were really mountain like so I had to Goto the ocean modifier and reduce the scale and crests of the wave by 3/4. The swirls texture is a color ramp, that I also attached to the emissions node.
Here I was playing around with fluids using the flip fluids thing, again blender didn't like the double hull. I had to make a proxy object that had only one poly thickness, and then put the original jar back into place. I didn't like the way this turned out at all so I started the crane idea.
Here are some images I did in stages: This one had an actual earth map, and tri color marbles. Just didn't look right, and the earth didn't read as a marble. I changed the hdri map and got better shadows.
Here the world is more marble like but the blue part wasn't so, In the final image I added a glossy and glass shaders to the blue part. Which was tricky because just pluging in the image map to the node didn't give me a world image. I had to use a node group that output the earth, that I found on the internet, forgot where. Fusion was used to remove a red component of the image making the sand more sand like in color. Then using a circular mask changed the levels of blue of the world marble so it was more blue. Added a fog and blur to the background.
Here is one with the hdri rotated, making a different lighting situation. And I turned off the emmisson on the swirls. This image might be little more realistic, but I liked the more daylight look of the final. I noticed the area on the left was a big area with nothing in it, so I put a ship there so your eye has something to focus on, then you see the marbles.
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