I found this beautiful model somewhere on the NASA website. Unfortunately I forgot where exactly it was. The only model of the ISS in high res I can find now is the .lwo here:https://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/detail/iss-hi-res
Somewhere at NASA's I found the whole thing as a blender model with an extra folder containing lots of textures. However, it seems to be the same model.
When I first opened the model after I had converted it, I was blown away. It's incredibly detailed and I thought, man, this must have been a lot of work!
After I saw, that this model has more than 1300
(!) different shaders, I thought, man, this is going to be a lot of work!
Actually, this amount of textures is absolutely unnecessary. For example there are hundreds of similar plain grey shaders, sometimes one shader per bolt, so I tried to reduce the amount of shaders to be able to edit the whole thing.
It took me about two weeks to reduce the shaders to a total of 58
. I threw out even a lot of those that contained texture maps. Some of the maps only showed simple colors, so this was easy to do.
I had to recreate some of the structures, because some of the normals were completely messed up, and even PoseRay couldn't fix it. Then I created some bump maps out of the existing ones, and I made a completely new texture map for the large solar panels, because the original ones were too lo res.
I had a look at lots of reference images and tried to make it look as photoreal as possible. The earth has some very high resolution texture maps. The cloudmap for example is a 43K texture. Additionally I added a cloud fractal to the cloud layer's depth modulator.