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Does anyone knows how to make spiral clouds (hurricane) for a planet? i want to make a planet with spiral clouds like in the image but here is the thing online tutorial on youtube show you how to make hurricane but sadly they don't work with planets because they use some kinda angle tricks meaning if you moved the camera you will break the illusion


2 Answers 2


You can use material nodes to create this spiral-like pattern on curved geometry. With cycles you can make use true displacement, which is important with light from acute angles.


  1. Unwrap your object or use object coordinates if possible. With a distance node, we can create a gradient, starting at $0$ in the center and increasing outward. If we use this value as the angle for a Z rotation (with a mapping node) you can twist the texture coordinates into spiral.


  2. These spiral mapping coordinates can be used as the input for any texture, for example a noise texture. I will use it to color a diffuse BSDF.

    Noise Texture

  3. You can also use the diffuse texture to create a displacement of the surface by connecting it to a displacement node. Use a colorramp or rgbCurves node to shape the ridges and valleys of the displacement.


  4. The reference seems to have some ridges and noise in its outer areas. We can replicate that with a radial stripe texture. Create a radial gradient first with the gradient node. Then multiply it by a whole number and use the fraction node. The result is a radial-symmetric gradient which goes from black to white any number of times. Use a colorramp or RGBcurves to shape the gradient and make it goes from black to white to black again. Hence, we get a seamless transition. I use a noise texture to create some variation for the initial texture coordinates.


    There seems to be less noise in the center of the spiral. Add another distance node using the same input coordinates and shift its black-white transition outwards with a mutliply-add math node. I checked clamp to limit the highest number to one. Multiply the result with the previous stripe pattern and we get the stripe pattern, but with black in the center.

    center is black

    This is good, because we don't want to add noise to the center.

  5. For the alpha channel, I used a duplicate of my original spiral noise with slightly different settings. Then I shifted the distance gradient and subtract it, making the alpha fade to black further from the center.


The complete node setup looks like this.

node setup

  • $\begingroup$ thanks man !! this is unbelievable $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2020 at 12:36

If I needed to do it I’d find an image, give it a feathered alpha channel in Photoshop and import it into Blender as a plane and position it. You could create normal and specular maps from the image.

Creating it in Blender, as far as I can see, means modeling it, using a particle system or perhaps nodes though that would be beyond myself. You might somehow animate smoke emitters to form a spiral then take one frame of that against an alpha background (the same as getting an image).

Hope that helps.



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