Procedural Planet Video

Procedural Planet Video

Here’s a video showing the space-to-surface transition, as well as the tank driving around a bit. I’m pretty happy with how it looks, but there are a lot of things that still need to be fixed:

  • Seams on neighboring nodes when they’re at a different level of detail.
  • Lighting on node edges is wrong since the normal map generation isn’t currently taking into account neighboring height values, resulting in very visible node edges.
  • Need to add some noise to the texture generation so the transitions are less obvious. This should also help minimize the repeating patterns.
  • Normals are too “strong” at high altitudes. I think I need to change the normal strength based on the quad tree level.
  • Need to add morphing between LOD changes to eliminate popping.

I think those changes will improve things quite a bit. But first I’m going to plug the atmospheric scattering shader back in. I’m currently using Sean O’Neil’s method, and that’s what I’m going to add back for now. But I’m not really happy with it and plan to give Precomputed Atmospheric Scattering a go.

So, here’s the video…


6 thoughts on “Procedural Planet Video

  1. You should have your sound developer check out Liquid Mind (an alias for Chuck Wild, Los Angeles-based composer/producer/instrumentalist).

  2. Hi Dave,

    first of all: Very nice work!

    I’m currently working on a planetary rendering system for a game I’m working on.
    Since I can not figure out how to generate a fractal texture for the heightmap and use it in my geoclipmap engine,
    I started searching the web and found your blog.

    I read your postings with pleasure and now I’m wondering, whether you could send me your source or at least some snippets of
    the generation of your fractal patches. If this is not possible, could you explain me how you create them and implement the
    “viewing frustum fractal patch” relation including the distance related increase of detail?

    I hope my kind of funky english makes some sence to you 😉

    Best regards – Sven

  3. You’ve done a brilliant job on the way you’ve got this looking and how smooth your tank runs on a mesh the size of this. Would it me possible to take a look at some of your code?


  4. Hi Dave,

    That looks really interesting, though you haven’t posted any updates for about a year, i was just interested if you are still working on this project.

    Greetings, Robert

  5. Very nice presentation.

    I too am curious if this is an active project for a commercial implementation, or just something you were doing for personal interests and if you might at some point share the code?

    It seems there are a number of varying implementations out there dealing with terrain, but many are not C# and / or XNA based.



  6. Thanks for your interest. I haven’t worked on this for awhile – been busy working on Windows Phone 7 projects and a new job. I’ll probably work on it some more at some point, but it’s not at the top of the project queue right now.

    It isn’t anything commercial either – mostly just a learning experience for me. As far as releasing the source code goes, I would want to spend a lot of time cleaning up code before doing that. It’d probably be better to do a series of blog posts on it rather than releasing it all as is. I’ll give it some thought.

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