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 Home / 3D Theory & Graphics / Making spacey clouds or nebula with DirectX8.1 (3D) Account Manager
Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

March 23, 2005, 05:47 AM


I have a project with Delphi and DirectX8.1, it is a 2D shooter but with 3D demos. I have already created a 'universe' some planets rotating around the sun, all X-Objects.

So I found this picture:


How can I do something 'cloudy' or 'nebula' looking?

Do I have to use particles or are there easier possibilities?

And can you please figure it out, since I am a beginner in D3D.

Thanks a lot!



March 23, 2005, 09:39 AM

What is that cloud stuff anyway? Doesnt really look real...


March 23, 2005, 10:16 AM

search google for some 'earth cloud maps' i used those in a poster i made with 3dsmax for a party we held. The poster was A2 format and if i recall it correctly the resolution of the cloud texture i had (.PNG) was 10k x 8k pixels or something in that order and of superhigh quality (i downloaded it from the NASA site back then). you should of course resize it to a usable size for ingame purposes...


March 23, 2005, 10:17 AM

dinner is served!

hope you can use it.


March 24, 2005, 12:38 AM

Google on "Perlin Noise"

And there's a great noise lib here:

Perlin noise is great for programmatically generating textures for clouds, stars, nebulae, even terrain. This particular lib even has functions for generating textures for the surfaces of planets (they look AWESOME when wrapped on a sphere).

Check the tutorials that come with the lib.


March 24, 2005, 02:00 AM


Thanks a lot for the answers and the links.

I already have animated clouds around my planets, but the cloud textures are nicer than the one I have :)

I want to have a space nebula also, that was my purpose.

I decided to use a billboard, now I have to find a way to create an image, which looks like that 'nebula tongues' you can see on the linked image, perhaps you see it better when you make more contrast or light.



March 24, 2005, 05:36 AM

that cloudy thing around your pic is not really a nebula, just a cloud :) i think you should make a particle system, like a basic smoke emmitting particle system, but instead of blasting the smoke away let it 'hang' around your planet (and move it around a bit, slowly)...atleast that's what i would've tried. just use a noise for the texturing of the particles and use a low opacity

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