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Submitted by Jesse Laeuchli, posted on June 13, 2001

Image Description, by Jesse Laeuchli

This is a screen shot from my 3d engine showing support for planets, which I'm adding. There are 9800 triangles in the planet(so not a ton of detail yet). The main feature I wanted to experiment with was using a a 2D fractal that could be generated in real time to make the planet(as opposed to 3D fbms or fault fractals). The land was generated with a 2D FBM multifractal.

The code for this will be on my site at in a few days.

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

June 13, 2001, 02:31 PM

Surreal. Have you thought of any optimisations like only generating the side near the camera? If you generate the whole lot then you wont be able to do much walking around on the surface.

I'ld like to see this in action.



June 13, 2001, 02:41 PM

Those are some BIG mountains!!!, interesting halo/magnetic field/ atmosphere thing. How fast is it?



June 13, 2001, 02:42 PM

Strange Attractor in snowy space with distorted mist...
but not 2 dark !;

Garett Bass

June 13, 2001, 03:09 PM

If you look closely, I believe it reads "Frames per second: 27" in the upper left.


June 13, 2001, 03:17 PM

Garett Bass: yeah but is it just static text? :)

weird looking planet that's for sure...the clouds are way too big, so are the moutains...but i'm sure you can do better than that with your program. keep up the work


June 13, 2001, 03:56 PM

Yes, that's really, 27 frames, not static text :-P. Download the program and check, it's online now. Btw, does anyone have any idea how to do more realistic atmosphere? It's been stumping me.
MC BAXTON: I was expecting a insult from you :-). Considering how many good pics you have insulted it's almost a compelment.
Yes, I've thought about that. I'll most likly do that.

I like mountains. However if you like boring old plains, I can make it different :-).


June 13, 2001, 04:37 PM

I like the surreal look. Don't let people tell you it looks unrealistic. That's obviously the point isn't it? I doubt very much that such surreal results would go unnoticed. You'd have to be a complete idiot to miss that.


June 13, 2001, 04:39 PM

Normally I wouldn't have anything to contribute because I haven't quite got off my butt to do any coding but I was recently reading something that might help you out with creating a COOL atmosphere. Click on the link belown and look at the planet section.

Making of Duality


June 13, 2001, 04:44 PM

I like the surreal look. Don't let people tell you it looks unrealistic. That's obviously the point isn't it? I doubt very much that such surreal results would go unnoticed. You'd have to be a complete idiot to miss that. Good job!


June 13, 2001, 07:06 PM

It's a nice render for that duality thing, but to be honest, there's easier ways of doing that if you're programming it yourself - what really makes it look good is the good texture maps and specularity maps, the halo could be done just as easily when you assume that the world is a sphere by simply creating a ring that's oriented to the camera, centered on the planet, blue and fairly opaque near the surface, and blue and transparent a little further out. (since his technique on that page certainly assumes that the planet is fairly shperical anyway).


June 13, 2001, 07:47 PM

Speaking of duality, I just got two posts for the price of one! I didn't even click twice! I wonder what happened?


June 13, 2001, 10:52 PM

I'm sure that you've put a lot of work into this and all, but dude that looks weird! An exploding blob perhaps? Haha, beat you MC Baxton!

Nah, seriously you obviously wanted to emphasize the mountain height etc... Just thought I'd let you know that you definately made them stick out enough - literally.

Stefan Karlsson

June 14, 2001, 12:11 AM

Well... There is 'lotsa' different ways... different voxel systems etc and wierd heigmaps etc with fancy blending etc.... Altough they demand some extra thoughts if they shall be fast and still look good.. ie. some nice LOD etc.... Also adding some grass etc and nice water etc etc.... ;p and some 'real' light stuff... not the ordinary vertex light stuff.. some wierd lights i would say (in the nature it doesnt really looks like inside with different spotlights here and there... even if many people think it is so;) and ehrm... well
the clouds can be done in very different ways... if you wanna be close to a cloud and dont wanna have high LOD on the planet you could use some funny fractal to generate the cloud realtime aswell...

I doubt you ever will get a 'realistic' planet so far away to.. i thhink you will have to be inside the clouds ...

// ,

Matthew Morrow

June 14, 2001, 01:39 AM

Well, I'm pretty sure it isn't Surreal(People really should read the dictionary more often) but it does look neat.


June 14, 2001, 03:15 AM

It looks something like Day of the Tentacle in space!


June 14, 2001, 04:06 AM

Maybe abstact is better than surreal, I think it has a style of its own.


June 14, 2001, 05:35 AM

sur·re·al (s-rl)
1) Having qualities attributed to or associated with surrealism: “Even with most facilities shut down... a few mavericks managed to slip into the park to sample the almost Surreal emptiness before the shutdown ended.” (Peter H. King).
2) Having an oddly dreamlike quality.

I don't know about anyone else, but a spinny blue planetoid with green blancmange mountains covered in cloudy clingfilm fits that pretty well in my book ;-)

Nice Image BTW - it has style...


June 14, 2001, 07:17 AM

With my bad eyes I can see "Frames per second 27" on the upper left side...


June 14, 2001, 08:43 AM

sur·re·al (s-rl)
Having qualities attributed to or associated with surrealism: “Even with most facilities shut down... a few mavericks managed to slip into the park to sample the almost surreal emptiness before the shutdown ended.” (Peter H. King).
Having an oddly dreamlike quality.

surreal adj 1: characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions; "a great concourse of phantasmagoric shadows"- J.C.Powys; "the incongruous imagery in surreal art and literature"; " [syn: phantasmagoric, phantasmagorical, surrealistic] 2: resembling a dream; "night invested the lake with a dreamlike quality"; "as irrational and surreal as a dream" [syn: dreamlike]

I'd say that surreal is exactly what it is. Dream-like. Not real, but leaves a real impression as in a dream. You know, how things are distorted in a dream and disproportionate.


June 14, 2001, 08:44 AM

For some reason it reminds me of Melmac. Anyone remember Melmac? :-)


June 14, 2001, 08:55 AM

yeyaah, that's where Alien Life Form comes from :)


June 14, 2001, 09:07 AM

Man! I guess you're not worried about stalkers or anything! Can I have your credit card number while your at it? "HAH! I kill me!" :-)

Anyway, yeah, ALF was a great show was it not? I miss it. I think it was a pretty well-liked show over-all... except with the cat-lovers. ;o)


June 14, 2001, 10:16 AM

Runs fune on my work machine (Celery 466/i810 int. graphics) @ around 13 fps.

Matthew Morrow

June 14, 2001, 02:48 PM

Take an art class and you'll see what I mean.

Hiro Protagonist

June 14, 2001, 03:08 PM

Wow. I've never seen the abbreviation etc. used so many times in one chunk of text! You should call Ripley's or Guiness or something.


June 14, 2001, 03:17 PM

I perfectly familiar with surrealism in art (Salvador Dali etc.), and I think it conforms perfectly to the context in which we've used it to describe this IOTD. But even if it did not, why restrict the use of the term "surreal" to the use it has in art and art alone? Clearly, given it's definition, it applies in a broader set of circumstances than just those that occur in "art". And if you're reffering more to the connotations that go along with surrealism (such as underlying symbolism an such) in "art" parlance, why should the word's use in "art" restrict how we use it elsewhere? Should not the Dicitonary itself, and not a single, narrow field of human endeavor ("art"), be the definitive standard by which we measure the fitness of words for certain purposes?

The Wolf

June 14, 2001, 04:17 PM

I totally agree with what Punchey is saying. Mathew this is not art class, it's a coding board, being all (or mostly) coders we tend to understand what others mean by 'Surreal'. And the dictionary (as you see) happens to agree with us.



June 26, 2001, 10:57 AM

Yup,yup not very fast, i think that requires quite a bit of optimizing

And those montains are a TINY LITTLE BIT too BIG

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