16K Planet Textures and 3D Ship Assets

For anyone interested in 16K planet textures and also some interesting 3D model development, I discovered this site through a friend this week and have been impressed by the quality so far:



  • That Decimus planet has some pretty strange artifacts showing right above where the 6 on a clock face would be.
  • Good eye! I hadn't noticed that yet.

    I've always been impressed by the quality of planets in SNIS. And Space Engine, for that matter. Do you have a library of image textures that you pull from to create planets in SNIS, or do you use a procedural generation method? I've scoured the Internet far and wide searching for a photorealistic procedural planet texture designer and have found some decent options, but not what I'm ultimately hoping for. I'm curious as to how the developers at unroutine.net are making theirs. The Luna one is particularly impressive in terms of photorealism, but I have no idea what their design pipeline is like from start to finish. Maybe that "Coming Soon" in their Tutorials section will provide some insight one day.
  • For SNIS, I have a couple custom programs I use, one for gas giants, called "gaseous-giganticus", and one for earthlike and rocky planets, called unimaginatevely, "earthlike". Both of them are part of the SNIS repository.

    One thing I do differently than a lot of people is use cubemaps for the planets rather than an equirectangular projection, which avoids the excessive distortion at the poles, though it does make for 6 square textures per planet at pretty high res (I use 1024x1024).

    There is a description of how to use earthlike to make earth-like and rocky planets as well: howto-generate-earthlike-planets.txt The difference between earthlike and rocky planets is just absence/presence of water and craters.

    Gaseous-giganticus is simpler to use, "./gaseous-giganticus --help"

    [... bunch of details omitted ...]

    ./gaseous-giganticus -V --sinusoidal --noise-scale 2.5 --velocity-factor 1300 \
    -i image.png -o p13 --bands 10
    As for how they work, I made a reddit post a long time ago about gaseous-giganticus, here: https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/2f6cl5/procedural_generation_of_gas_giant_planets/ There's also some info in here: https://github.com/smcameron/space-nerds-in-space/blob/master/howto-add-new-solarsystems

    For the input images for gaseous-giganticus, I generally just find a photograph with some colors I like and crop down to a small vertical strip, say 100 pixels wide and 1000-2000 pixels tall, run it through a gaussian blur and feed it into gaseous-giganticus.

    I described how earthlike works here: https://www.reddit.com/r/proceduralgeneration/comments/27x4el/procedurally_generating_earthlike_planets/ (title links to slideshow).

    For the terrain input heightmap that is sampled by earthlike, I got it from NASA, here: https://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=73934

    Hope that helps.
  • Wanted to follow up on this thread with some more procedural space asset generation that can be done using the projects on this site: http://wwwtyro.github.io/

    Also, the folks at Unroutine just posted some really interesting images of a spaceship designer of some kind: https://www.unroutine.net/news/shipyard-coming-soon

    I'm not too familiar with Element 3D. Can anyone provide insight on what it takes to get ahold of these ship models? Any chance that these models could be procedurally generated and exported for use in EE? I'd love to flesh out some new factions with matching general shape and texture themes in their fleets. Thanks in advance!
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