This is a techdemo of a spherized cube looking much like a Temperate Planet. All done in Blitzmax+miniB3D. No subdividing, no shaders – just a clever use of high resolution detail textures and vertex alpha.

It is a test how realistic a Planet could look and it really looks good in my humble opinion. The planet surface consists of only five base Textures: Water, Grassland, Desert, Hills and Mountains.

Each of these Textures is applied to a separate Mesh with Vertex Alpha information according to the Heightmap. At the surrounding seams they blend softly into each other.

The hardest part was the Texture Design – the Textures must match to each other, they must not be too colorful and the details should be random but not too fragmented.

The Desert mesh uses a different heightmap and covers other areas, and this is the key for the natural look. Again, a Cubemap applied to a spherized Cube is used as a Planet base.

The music is an old evergreen from Austria, Earth – a rearranged free Midi file.

Screenshots

Videos

In reality, it looks like this (well, I still would have a long way to go there but I’m happy with my result and so I won’t even try it...

Demo Controls
 
Input Description
Launch options demo.exe [width] [height] [fullscreen]
Left Mousebutton Surface view (straight down)
Right Mousebutton Stop Rolling
Esc Quit
Space Toggle Wireframe
Enter Calculate a new random Planet
WASDArrow Keys Thrust and Rotation, +SHIFT = 10x
F1F9 Toggle Planet Layers
14 Toggle Galaxy Background Layers
T Toggle Planet Rotation
B Toggle Bloom FX
V Toggle VSync
Download

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