How to make a crescent moon in Blender

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I googled “crescent moon in Blender”, and there wasn’t a whole lot of help. There was one tutorial that purported to show how to make a full moon, with all the craters on the surface. I’m not sure if it actually does because I didn’t watch to the end of it. I didn’t want a full moon, just a beautiful crescent moon with a soft, otherworldly glow.

And another video showed how to make a crescent, all right, but it’s a very ancient version of Blender, and I don’t think those same controls exist.

So then I googled, how to make a crescent in blender (didn’t mention ‘moon’), and this explanation of how to use the “bend” tool showed up. I’m not exactly sure all the mechanics of it, but I pressed shift+w and then played around with where the red cursor and my mouse cursor were located. And low and behold, my flat sphere started doing very strange things, and then all of a sudden it looked like this:

moon 1

Which is a kind of ugly and doughy looking moon, but at least I had the shape.

Now, I wanted a beautiful pearly glow to my moon, but all the tutorials I found on this topic were in the “Cycles” mode of Blender. This is the more powerful mode that gives you more realistic images. I don’t usually use it, having less familiarity with it and usually getting by without it, anyways. But, my beautiful moon demanded it!

This meant I had to do some things over. I had to color things back in according to the Cycles dictates. I first looked up how to make my Earth have the proper texture, or image, plastered over it, that is to say, how would I unwrap a texture in Blender cycles mode.

Then I figured out how to add stars in the background, thus replacing the simple image of stars I’d been using before. It worked great, and the guy doing the tutorial is Norwegian, haha.


That picture’s a bit dark, so I took away all other lights from the background and from the images, and increased the strength of the sun.

moon 3

Now for the moon itself. Still prowling after an unearthly glow. I really like this tutorial-maker called Sardis Pax, so I went to his “Dark Tower” tutorial. About four minutes in, he shows how to making a glowing light atop his dark tower. However, even though he makes very interesting scenes, as ever his methods are very complicated and I got lost.

Searched for other tutorials, went through about five of them. Unfortunately, I got lost with all of them, and after about four hours I finally realized that the “glow” these tutorials are promising isn’t going to help me anyways. Their glow was something you edit into just a SINGLE image. It was not a glow you’d add into the many images needed for an animation. So that didn’t help. At least I used the ‘compositor’ for the first time ever and kind of know what its purpose is, now, although I didn’t really even want to know.

So I went back to the complicated ‘Dark Tower’ tutorial, got lost again, and now I’m super fed up, because all of a sudden, after all that work, I finally stumbled upon a quick and easy tutorial that does the glow without requiring Cycles. I didn’t even stumble across just one of these, I stumbled across a couple. So I went into the more complicated and taxing version of Blender for nothing. Except even this ‘easy-to-make’ glow isn’t going to work exactly right for me. All the tutorials show the glow happening from a ball against a wall, so the glow shows up and looks soft and cozy. My glow is just enervating out into the emptiness of space, so I don’t think it’s the same.

I had to re-do everything in the simple version, and figure out how to put stars back in, and I’m sorry, but the glow looks really dumb and silly. Oh, and not just that, but it makes the girl and the earth glow, too. So much for the beautiful effervescence I thought I’d attain.

moon in blender with glow

This is the most ridiculous moon ever made.

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