Planetary Forecast:

Closer orbit with a high chance of clouds.

SSI_091h2Added a few extra layers to the planet model.

Got some nice clouds by loading up another planet model I’d worked on in the past.  I was able to utilize its distinct cloud sphere layer, and exploit a couple of other spheres, each also residing in their own separate layers, to add some blurring and horizon glow features.

I’m not totally pleased with the rim glow along the horizon yet, but those things usually require some extra refinement. I resourced the exact same model I’d used for an Earth in a previous render, with an obviously different map for the planet’s surface; however, the cloud textures are the unchanged. The glowing horizon on the other hand is all about color and settings in the Edge Transparency shader. I won’t bother with the details, but on my previous Earth renders its color, though faint, was set to glow a more Earthly blue, while the edge’s threshold was significantly more narrow.  I decided to ramp up the edge threshold for this alien world and shift its color to something more akin to the pinkish skies seen in my inspiration art. Unfortunately the threshold still seems a little harsh, though it might just be the kooky new color throwing off any sense of realism.

As a background composite element, I rendered the planet separate from the station, though I did bother to include a secondary light to bathe the planet’s night side in a very dim purple glow similar to the station’s own secondary source.  Because the planet was the focus of a background render, it ended up much larger than the planet depictions in the previous experiments, so the station also appears to be a bit closer to its anchor world here.

I also created a specularity map based upon the planet’s surface map to help indicate some water filled lakes, channels and rivers spread across the planets surface. I like the idea of a mildly harsh yet fully tenable world serving as a viable frontier establishment.

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~ by starstation on April 1, 2015.

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