Procedural planet and Moon Textures


I’m working on exo moon and planet textures. I will be doing a lot of different variations on textures as I learn more about visual scripting.

In the file below, you will find a dozen of so different textures I used. Still experimenting with atmospheres and different methods.

planet1.blend (4.4 MB)


More planets here!


My node configuration is relatively simple. A lot of work is done by manipulating the coloramp. Icosphere 1 - base planet, Icosphere 2 = clouds, Icosphere 3 = rest of atmosphere that gives that blue glow on the edges.


This Topic is AMAZING!
You are very skilled with Nodes, really cool looking textures.
Blew My Mind.
These are all Procedural?

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Yes! All are procedural. I looked at a Rowan Steyn time-lapse of planet creation to figure out of what nodes to use/how to arrange them in the first minute of his time-lapse, got the knowledge I needed and went ahead with experimenting with different settings. I’ve followed another planet making tutorial I believe a few years ago and they also created rather complex node arrangement with limited complexity in their color ramps.

I decided to go with a complicated Color Ramp + very simple node arrangement sort of setting to see what would happen. There are some strengths with this set up, notably you can get very complex and detailed looking textures with only a few nodes. It is also something very encouraging if you are a beginner (like me). I do think there are cases in which more complex set ups have their benefit, if you want to say… want have both forests, mountains and deserts touch the ocean, this is where the weakness of the very simple set up comes up and would want to use a more complex set up.

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I likes your idea of making 3 icospheres an giving them mats like base planet, clouds etc. Great idea to break it down,
Procedural is best ofc as it can work in any model without and hassle.

Speaking of Complex, you should see Simon Thommes’ procedural materials and his tutorials on Blender Cloud [I recommend it, great videos if you are intrested in this].

Meteors.blend (1.0 MB)
This was my first Complex material, tried to make an Asteroid material as they show on TV.

I looked Simon Thommes up! Great textures, and also really happy to learn he has a lot of CC0 textures! I think I could learn quite a lot from looking into the make up of them.

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So I tested these textures out in the blender game engine. Glad to know it can run there! Though the frame rate is very choppy and not very smooth. I will have to figure that out. Anyways, does anyone know if there is a way to use this to create some kind of “infinite” space scape? Basically a set up in which planets get randomly generated around the player within a certain distance, when the player moves, say 10 parsecs in the direction of X, a planet I have gets duplicated, and generated in that new area and some of the shader settings automatically change to get a different looking landmass. When the player moved in direction X, the old planets get removed from game. However, if the player moved in the -X direction of 10 parsecs, the same planets that get deleted come back.

I experimented this in Godot with land chunks, not planets. But I do wonder if there are nodes in Blender that would allow for this sort of set up.

Another question is this: is there any addon that would allow for Blender procedural textures to function in Unity, Unreal, or Godot? And I mean without baking the textures since I want to be able to take advantage of dynamic procedural textures.

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So I found some great use for the object info node. When I first saw this node, I didn’t think much of it. But when I started trying to figure out how I would randomly generate planets for a game, how would I configure the system so each planet it spawned would never look exactly like any other planet and would be at least a little unique.

Below is a planet that has been duplicated 10 times. As you can see, each texture is unique on each planet, even if all 10 of them use the same texture material, “Material.001”!

What I want to do is to create a system, whether through a script, or the geometry nodes if they permit for such planets to randomly generate in game from a distance from the player, and for each planet to be unique even if one has a finite number of material textures.

The object node’s “Random” feature, when used properly appears to permit this. I’m going to be testing this feature out on more areas to see if I can increase some of the randomness in different features. This is a decent start, but I want to be able to get more variety out of this texture with the object info nodes.

Another version.

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