This is an older version of my current Planet Generator algorithm published in 2012 on Google Code. With Planet Creator, you can create your own planets on the fly.

You can create wallpapers, fly around or create whole texture sets for your own 3D scene or other programs like Celestia. It is written in BlitzMax and uses the modules MiniB3D and MaxGUI. The original Release thread is here.


Planet Creator takes one or two RAW basemaps, blends them together with a pseudorandom noisemap, applies a custom gradient and does some finetuning work like Emboss filter, add Polar caps or create a night map. The final planet gets calculated in a few seconds only and can be previewed together with clouds, atmosphere and glow in a nice milkyway / sun environment. There is a complete GUI included and you can choose from 24 predefined presets for all different types of planets very easy.


The planets start looking similar when you create thousands of them. But the purpose of Planet Creator is more realtime, to get exiting results in a few seconds but not preprocess all of them and waste a lot of space. I call it "semirandom". How to use the TPlanet type in your own games or programs is explained in the small example "simpledemo.bmx". And I tried to comment the whole source.


To alter a preset or create your own planet feel free to edit the two files "palette.ini" and "presets.ini" in the config folder. In the presets.ini there is a [Default] Template with ALL changeable settings included. ALL planets use these settings until a setting is overwritten in a custom preset. You can even add your own raw maps (use Photoshop RAW format here) but Planet Creator is not fail safe and will only use predefined filenames until you alter the source code yourself. And the INI loader is not very intelligent at this time, there is a nasty bug – try to move the setting up/downwards in the section to fix it if you run into it.


Planet Creator has been compiled with MiniB3D 0.54. If you want to recompile it take a look at the "blitzmax" folder coming with Planet Creator, I altered three files for my own use so it is a good idea to compare them with your files first or even overwrite your files with these versions.


In the freeflight mode you can increase the speed with the right SHIFT key. Both in freeflight and normal view mode use the left Mousebutton to start the view / flight and use the Arrow keys to increase/decrease speed and rotate.


Together with the convertmaps tool I added two additional tools in the tools/ folder. "createbasemap" creates a new continental basemap I used as "plate" which is nice to separate details and make the planet more continental. The other tool "createpalette" is used to create your own palette sets but it is tricky to use. To create your own palette you should use a PNG image with a fixed palette (for example: 16 colors). The tool will extract these colors and output a text file you can use in the palette.ini to tweak the colors of a new planet. As example I included Io, a jupiter moon and the output of it.


Demo Video
Demo Controls
Input Description
Launch options none, it’s a Windows Application with a GUI
Esc Quit
Space Creates a new Planet from the current Template Preset
Backspace Resets the Scene
Return Saves a Screenshot (Standard: 1920x1200px) to the “output/” Folder
Tab Toggles Minimap Size (Small / Fullscreen)
Q Saves all Textures to the “output/” Folder
W Toggles Wireframe Mode
Q Toggles Minimap
L Toggles Minimap Position Tracer (inactive by now)
I Toggles Information Display about current Planet
V Activates Planet View Mode
F Activates Planet Freeflight Mode
C Toggles Clouds
S Toggles Cloudshadows
N Toggles Nightmap (Citylights or molten / glowing Nightside)
G Toggles Atmosphere Glow
A Toggles Atmosphere Effect
M Toggles Shadowmap
R Toggles Rings
D Toggles Detailmap
T Toggles Planet Rotation
123 Level of Detail: 2048 x 1024 / 1024 x 512 / 512 x 256
45 Save a 4:3 Screenshot with 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 Pixels
67 Save a wide Screenshot with 1280 x 800 or 1366 x 768 Pixels
89 Save a wide Screenshot with 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1200 Pixels
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