I’ve been fooling around with a method using python IPO drivers to make a cheap planet atmosphere that can be used in animations.
Essentially, it takes the part of Erico Valenza’s tutorial where a tube with a blend texture makes the planetary halo. I’ve used pydrivers, based on the camera’s location, to ensure that this part is at the point where horizon meets sky.
There are two atmosphere halo objects - one is just a simple tube with pydriven shapekeys to ensure it’s always facing the camera. The other is a torus. Both seem to have their respective advantages and disadvantages at varying distances.
Right now it doesn’t work perfectly, but with tweaking I’m sure it could be a great way to have a consistent atmosphere no matter what altitude the camera is at - perfect for animations.
Edit: And I forgot to upload the .blend file. Doh. https://webdisk.ucalgary.ca/~djetowns/public_html/misc_files/planetatmoshape2.blend