Planetary Preview...




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I think he needs something a littler higher res than that. I actually do have a high res light map for the Earth if you're interested, Howard.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Thanks, but no - Anything I make is going to need to be specialized for each planet. Earth lights just won't cut it.


Oh, the only other thing I've noticed thats missing are ice caps. A planet like that, with water, of which is green, most likely has polar ice caps.


Light like those are not really very visible from space. It's more of a dramatic representation to show heavy urban concentration and sprawl. Most the data from those lights come from the Thermal band of various multispectral satellites in orbit (probably Landsat 7, it's cheap and gets more coverage than all the others.)

Ah, well, I could get nitpicky, but its a good bit better than almost anything else I have seen. This Geographer's eyes lit up when a real attempt at a realistic planet was made =)

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Thanks, guys. There are icecaps - it's just that they seem to fade against the clouds - makes 'em hard to see.
Anyhow, I've got everything linked up - and I'm now able to randomize the planet's surface.
Here're some samples!


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Unknown Enemy
Hehehe. When I saw that first shot, I thought - hey, that cloud looks just like Florida, is he using the Earth as a cloudmap? Nah, I figured, that would be too cheap. But now I see that on one of your latest shots, you can clearly recognise the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, the coast of India... heck, you can even make out Australia down in the corner :D.


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The lights don't look too bad on the shaded parts of the planet, but they seem slightly out of place on the light sides. The planets themselves are looking more and more incredible every day.


Looks awesome Howie!

The city lights look kind of odd appearing on the light side though, I think overall they might be too sharp and too strong...


Mr. Standoff
On the second ice planet shot, the clouds on the upper half look somewhat blurrier than on the other planet, like the bump mapping is off from the opacity map...? Or maybe it's the clouds' shadows that are tricking me?

Plasteel Skull

Question concerning planets: will there be gas giant planets similar to Saturn or Jupiter? Will those planets have so common asteroid belt?