New “Planet” procedural texture

Hi all 🙂

This weekend I had to create a procedural planet for a local work, so I went straigth to tinkering with buil- in procedural textures…

Soon we will have a very cool OceanSim texture or simulator but what about planets? sadly there were no simple combination of procedurals that provides me that (surface with the desired characteristics):

It should have iso – lines that remind same – high levels, like coastal lines or lines like rivers, erosion and features like that  (the closer built-in procedural that currently have similar features in Blender is stucci at high octaves and turbulence and the magic one, but it’s not enough and are quite self similar at every scale)

It should be fractal like but should not be very similar among scales because otherwise you get very similar and smooth detail at every scale (like with Cloud procedural)

It should provide detail enough at all scales in order to avoid increasing the number of noise octaves beyond what blender currently offers with built-in procedurals; and for planet surfaces extremely close shorts should be made
to the surface or build very big spheres wher from far away any
smoothness will be inmediately spotted.

The usual approach is to use lots of layers and composited procedurals
in order to achieve that, with the corresponding slow down, and trial and
error approach or use some of the excelent directly aviable satellite pictures of planets.

So I end up creating a new procedural: “Planet” texture, that has all the needed features and more, it provides enough detail at every scale and more important, is not very similar at different scales so zooming in will give you an entirely different view with new details and features in the terrain, it also have iso-lines and features that simulate erosion, rivers, platforms, and more , all using a single procedural!!!

It also has a very interesting feature: at small scales it has a curl-like behaviour, and adding more octaves will add more small curls,
unlike the current Magic texture that only add detail to the existent
loops, this will prove usefull for rocks, and texture driven flow for

As always a picture worth a thousand word, judge yourself, I think this
texture is worth integration 😉 .

Hope you like it


New “Planet” procedural texture

29 thoughts on “New “Planet” procedural texture

  1. Awesome! Something like that was probably long needed. Looks magnificent, good work! I think this would probably be something many artists could benefit from, so I’d say it’s well worth integrating.


  2. N.A. says:

    This is what i like about reading this blog. You just look on this site, and between all the great development on the big features that will advance Blender in many ways, you find yourself looking at a new post with this “WTF? – Great! – Fantasic!!!” in your mind, because something new has been developed, of which you never had an idea that something like this was possible…

    Thank You!

    (+1 for trunk)


  3. jim ww says:

    wow. as always, you have provided the unexpected. i smile whenever i see that you have posted, because i know you have created another fantastic development. 🙂

    and yes, +1 for getting this integrated. please.


  4. Moolah says:

    Wow! That’s really fantastic!!! I doubt – it will be useful in such many cases that we all even can’t imagine right now! 🙂 For example – it can be easily used for creation some guache or oil looking paintings in Blender! Not only the space theme 😉 The last colored picture here looks like a picture of trees.
    Raul – you are the miracle because your ideas are full of nice surprises and your speed in the developing is very high also! 🙂


  5. Wow.

    Looks just amazing – Much better than any attempt I did combining current textures.

    Is there any chance you can publish a paper with the math behind this? It would be very interesting to learn how you implemented this.


  6. Timothy Grindall says:

    Wow, pretty impressive. I would love to see this integrated into Blender. I would like the ability to choose what kind of detail you have at different levels (i.e. curly, streaked, other patterns), there’s actually a lot of different patterns that can be found on a planet at large and small levels. Then you could use masks to choose what kind of detail you want where.


  7. vic says:

    hahaha good question!!!!
    I have been asking myself all the time why blender doesn’t have a zillion more procedural textures, really awesome ones like this one. Ocean, skin, veins, ……………………etc. are they patented or what? Then it comes supercoder aka farsthary to the rescue… thank you Raul that’s the most amazing procedural texture blender have to date, hopefully they will soon integrate it into the trunk.
    I do not know if you have the same opinion, but for me, blender needs a lot of this “little” details before going for all those fancy stuff they are always pursuing.
    Thanks bro ur always awesome!


    1. Moolah says:

      I’m sure that Planet texture is the amazing thing as you do! But I’m not agree that “blender needs a lot of this “little” details before going for all those fancy stuff…”.
      Now I’m trying to create a quite realistic earthquake with deep cracks. I found a great tutorial and used it but I stucked in “physics”
      (teasing this thing by fourth day already)!
      I didn’t tryed BGE physics (I need something to create good falling edge stones) because my scene contains the deforming mesh which is controlled by the lattice and I don’t know how to do this in BGE.
      So… I think that one of the weakest places in Blender is physics in Blender Render mode. It’s not supposed that every user must work in BGE to create just an animation because mainly it’s aim is for games creation.
      I tryed soft bodies and it works quite strange and not handy… it’s very hard to create rigid bodies with Soft Body (they will explode on a neighbour contact conditions if you’ll set 0.999, 0.999 on Push and Pull) or even impossible – I don’t know.
      I’m not even telling about B-Mesh integration.. It’s very necessary but if to think subjectively – bug fixing must be first or we’ll get a lot more problems with previous unsolved bugs.
      Blender’s founders makes the “core” things and such creative enthusiasts like Raul make the most noticeable things like this Planet texture or his previous amazing works like Unlimited Clay, Volume materials, SPH fluids. Everybody’s work is important – that’s I’m talking about.
      It’s like Nature cycle 🙂


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