I'm rendering planets using a couple of UV spheres (terrain and atmosphere) and a displacement node (for mountains) in Cycles. Since I've upgraded blender, sometimes the renders have square-edged artifacts as you can see in the image below.

It almost looks like it's not respecting the shade_smooth setting on the meshes. But the size of the artifacts is larger then the size of the segments of the sphere (and way more then I'd expect the subsurface'd segments to be.)

planet with square shadowed areas

  • $\begingroup$ It looks like a "shadow terminator artifact". blender.stackexchange.com/questions/160211/…. If suitable, a quick and dirty solution is to increase the geometry of your sphere $\endgroup$
    – Carlo
    Mar 29, 2020 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at this with fresh eyes, I suspect that what we're seeing here is the subdivision modifiers not being applied in the render. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2020 at 21:45


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