Cloud layer texturing

A quick search turned up nothing, so here goes…

I am trying to make a planet Earth from the maps located I’ve obviously set mapping to sphere, color map to color, bump to normal, specular to spec, lights to emit. The problem comes with the cloud layers. I inverted the colors of the cloud layer transparency and added it as a mask to the cloud layer (using GIMP). I then applied it as a color map, using sphere mapping and the alpha channel. It works more or less alright, the following being a very quick test.

But when I do the same for my Earth UV sphere, there is odd color distortion - the clouds look like infected patches on the planet, rather than independent floating clouds:

Notice the western part of North America. Is there a way to fix this problem? I’m sure it’s something embarrasingly simple, but it has eluded me.



I wont be able to give you specific solutions as I do not have your .blend file, but here is some stuff that might help you out a little.

From the images you posted, it looks like the clouds might need more specular reflections. Also, check that your transparency and image maps are aligned correctly (gets me all the time).

The alignment could also be causing that problem on North America. Also try lowering your bump (nor) level and see if that fixes it.

You might also want to try putting the clouds on their own sphere that is slightly larger then the “ground” one.

If your still stuck try these links:
Better (and bigger) land/cloud image maps (tell blender to “calculate alpha” for the clouds).
Making Earth using blender and the nodes. Yes, I am still working on the tut for that one…

I hope that helps you out.