Planet textures

Hey guys,

I’d like to try and create my own planet textures so I have a few questions regarding it:

  1. If I were to create a texture in photoshop, a simple 1000x1000 pixels big, how would I go by applying it to a sphere in blender?

  2. Is there a specific way I should be unwrapping a sphere?

  3. Is there a specific way I should be making my textures in photoshop?

  4. Should I use procedural texturing instead? Though I’m crap at it.

If you guys could provide any help, even if it’s just suggesting videos or sending links, I’d appreciate it. I’ve always wanted to try this out and I have no idea how to go by it.


  1. Texture should almost always be base 2 2x2, 4x4, 16x16 32x32, and so on, so a 1024x1024 is probably what you’re looking for.
  2. Blender provides several methods of unwrapping, UV, cylinder, sphere, view… so the sphere method is what I would recommend.
  3. I’m not too sure myself, really.
  4. That might work. I once did something similar using a bitmap mask and nodes.

For worlds, I like to subdivide a cube twice, then apply the subdivision. Unwrapping it is easy as I choose 2 loops that would separate the “sphere” into 4 pieces that resemble the slices of an orange that we all put in our mouths to make orange teeth when we were kids. Use a test grid to make any adjustments if you like. Now export the UV (UVs menu export UV). Import that into Photoshop and using layers, I would paint the planet.

Special care is needed when painting the edges. You have to make sure that the pieces actually touch. When in doubt, use texture paint mode to mark the quadrants before exporting. Anyway, When you are done, save the Photoshop file and use it as the texture. Go back into texture paint mode and make any needed adjustments. Oh, after adjusting in Blender remember to save the texture IMAGE. Simply saving the blend file does not save the image.

There are a few good tutorials out there that deal with this. Also Andrew price did a tutorial on making the earth that might help.

If you delete sphere pole vertices and make seam like in first image, you could get unwrap like in the second pic using Follow active quads option. That would need specially distorted image, like this, to map properly tho. Distortions at most are at the poles, so it would’nt be so problematic probably.

Thanks for all the tips guys, much appreciated. I’m going to go ahead and try to make some textures (1024x1024) and just have a whack at it.