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I would like to create a 3D model of a planet with rings, complete with sun, so that I can better visualize what the rings would look like at various times and locations on the planet.

I have some experience with Blender, but there's a lot I still don't know. For that reason, I was considering asking how I should go about designing such a model. It is imperative that it be scientifically accurate, both with lighting and the reflection from the ring, but I am unsure how to properly simulate those things (particularly the light from the sun in relation to the distance from the planet).

Before I asked the above question, I wanted to know if it would be on topic here on Blender SE, or if it would be better suited for the more general atmosphere of Graphic Design SE. It's not specifically tied to Blender, after all. That's just the program I'm familiar with.

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  • $\begingroup$ I just want to say, I personally think your project sounds like a very interesting one (I have a bit of an interest in planet rendering), and I would be more than happy to help you get started. Please don't hesitate to ping me in chat if I could possibly be of help! $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 May 17 '18 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 I've decided to investigate the Universe Sandbox, as provided in a comment [here][1]. But if that doesn't pan out, I will certianly take you up on your offer. Thanks! [1]worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/112076/6620 $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron May 17 '18 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ ... Seriously... how on earth do I embed links? $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron May 17 '18 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ Comments only use the inline link syntax. [link](https://targetaddress.whatever) $\endgroup$ – David May 17 '18 at 23:52
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Thanks asking in meta :) The question "How to model a realistic planet with rings?" sounds a little too broad as stated, but you would be more than welcome to ask around in chat.

Once you get a start and encounter specific questions (e.g. something like "How to fit real-scale planet rings in a scene without z-fighting?" or "For planet rendering, should I use a sun lamp?"), then by all means ask those.

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