Need to produce stunning images of Venus but all you can find are old low-resolution textures on websites long forgotten by time, or a wild maze of links to scientific archives with horrific naming and obscure file extensions? Not to worry, I've done all of that for you and you can now just skip to the fun part of creating great visuals.
Creating planetary imagery is a strong passion of mine and to produce the best possible results you need the highest quality source material. I've poured countless hours into acquiring, processing and converting planetary maps into formats usable by artists, and that work has translated into what some may call ludicrous textures. I call it future proof.
This colour map is very roughly based on color data provided by old NASA Mariner probes which flew in the 1960's and 1970's. There's been very few missions to the planet closest to us, so much of it remains unexplored and the number and quality of available datasets is limited.
I took some of the blurry existing information and started very carefully and slowly painting in the missing details. It took me several weeks, but the effort paid off and I was able to produce a very high quality color map of the entire Venus. The maximum resolution is fairly high at 46080 by 23040, which means the detail level is amazing and stands up to close scrutiny. You can almost touch the swirling toxic clouds that cover up the whole planet.
Please note that due to the nature of the projection the accuracy of the map is lower the closer you get to the poles. The resolution should still be more than sufficient for high quality closeups.
The scene file included was created with Maya 2016 and V-Ray 3.2, both of which you need in order to produce renders.