Low Poly Planet

Recently I discovered that there’s a class (CIS-566) at UPenn that focuses entirely on procedural graphics. Yup, pretty much sounds like the coolest class ever. All of their assignments sound like things that I would do for fun… e.g. their second homework was  to go on shadertoy and recreate animated GIFs using shaders (I know this because they publish their assignments on github). Anyway I saw that one of the assignments was to create a procedural planet, so this inspired me to give it a go and add my own twist to it. I was googling for images of planets and was inspired by some of the cartoonier ones. I found this one especially charming:

planet_reference

Ain’t it purty?

Using that as a reference, I set about trying to recreate it using some math and GLSL. Here’s the result (and here’s the shadertoy link, in case you want to check out the source code):

lowpolyplanet

I’m pretty happy with the end result. I’m ready to move onto something else now, but there are a few things I was planning to add that I might attempt if I revisit this shader later on:

  • Low-poly clouds in the atmosphere
  • Atmospheric glow
  • Fog
  • Foam at the shores
  • Trees/forests in the grass biome

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