View Full Version : Hi, I need some help with texture on planets.

06 June 2002, 11:01 PM
I have been useing the earth map i found on the net at Planet Portal (

but anyway here's my problem is that i end up needing to use so many texture map for the planet i currently has about 5 texture map, the terran, the bumpmap, the specularity map (for ocean shine) then i got the clouds, then i also got the city light at nighttime.

while it renders fairly fast 1-5 second average my problem here is that it just eats up too much memory to have 5 4k texture map and even then if i get up to close they end up geting fuzzy and pilixy (spell)

So i'm wondering if its possiable to create a planet out of producudal/fractional textures because i think that'll help droup the memory requirment plus i am planning on creating a binary system with two planets, and few others. so i would eighter have to create the texture myself but i'm not that great with texture personaly i'm working on that.

So i'm wondering if anyone can point me to a tutorial or give me some ideas or something along these lines to get me started on a planet that uses fractional/producudal textures (btw i use lightwave 7.0)

if anyone's interested here's the url to my earth render (rended with raytraces on. enchanced extreme AA)

Here's the image (

<edit: doh wrong one corrected now>

07 July 2002, 09:19 PM
I sort of have firgured out how you would product planets using fractional texture, first use the fractional texture to just hmm product the terran, then use grandulate to define the color but ive been driving myself nuts trying to figure out how to do the grandulate right to get the planet to look right.

or am i doing it wrong?

plus i have a few more question now i'm wondering how i could recreate the effects of the ocean, aka the hmm diffuse glow of the sun on the ocean water yet that does not tounch the land? how would i do it. take the current terran fractional and invert it and use it as a specularity map?

also i'm wondering about the hmm polar ice caps. i would like to recreate that and was thinking about useing some sort of grandulent to control where the fractional texture would be, useing slope and just use that to restrict the hmm snowy fractional textures to the north/south pole area?

07 July 2002, 07:57 AM
Firstly, if you wish to go the procedural route, you need to make sure that you use the most appropriate procedural for a planet. Most apps do have some kind of planet/terrain procedural, which, when used properly (as opposed to just putting it straight on and using all the default settings...uurrghh) can produce fairly decent results. Although, in Lightwave, I'd guess the best way to go would be a combination of a something like Ridged Multi Fractal and Dented, and be sure to use a fractal displacement on it, so that the coastlines aren't too perfect.

Also, for best control, I would recommend making the actual sphere you are using to a correct scale - i.e. mkaing it however many thousands of kilometers in diameter, and not just a little sphere that you made quickly. This way, you can enter the values of the procedural more precisely, which will allow you to get the job done faster :)

And yes, use a gradient which works with the bump/slope to get snow on polar caps ;)

Looking at your render, I would say though that you should stick to what you have and just work with that - I think it's looking really cool so far...
Oh another thing - instead of just using a bump map, for the mountains and stuff you should actually use a slight displacement as well - but only very slight.

07 July 2002, 08:59 PM
I like that image myself but the reason why i wanted to go the producudal texturing route is less textures loaded up.

that model uses no less than 5 texture, the terran, bumpmap, clouds, city light, and the specularity map for the ocean. each of them are ~4,000x2,000 in size and while my computer isn't a horriable one its not the best one eighter, only have 256 meg of ram so those textures eats up a bit of my avaiable ram that i could use on hmm ships mesh etc... and i i don't really like using virtual memory because it boggs down the render big time.

and also about the displacement map woulnd't that require a more dense mesh? because currently the planet has 2k worth of polygons per sphere and i got terran sphere, city light sphere, cloud sphere, and air sphere so 2k would total up to bout 10k worth of mesh just for a planet and i have several in the upcoming animation.

and btw thanks for your help on the textures, i'll do some more exermenting with the texture i'm also wondering how would u recreate the specularity map useing the producudal textures?

for the glow on the ocean plus i also got this grandulant on the earth planet right now that shifts the ocean color a bit whenever the sunray hits it in a different angle. same with few others like the city light got a sort of a alpha map based off the light incement angle but inverted so it works great :)

another reason why i wanted to sort to move to producal texture is because while you won't be that close to the planet in the animation you will be close enough to notice some blurness in the textures/pixyness and if i upper the texture map res to about 6k to 10k per map it eats up so much ram i have to use virtual memory and i would prefer not to.

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