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I made a low poly planet with mountains and water on it, and I am trying to achieve something like this :

Perfect render

(Of course without the rocks in the space and the nice background)

I tried several shader combinations (Refraction, glossy, glass, transparent, ...) but I can't get anywhere close to it :

My render

I watched several tutorials and found only realistic water shaders that are using glass, and if I use glass or refraction shaders I get bad results in the middle of the planet. How can I achieve nice looking shaders like the first one, I would love to get some help or advices.

Here is my blend in case you want to see my materials :

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  1. Ground surface have to keep own relief under water surface;
  2. In original picture probably presents some specific HDR environment map producing specific light, hard to achieve with common light sources.
  3. I'm not shure you need decimate modifier (but this not really important).

Well. I tried to reproduce original picture (but without HDR environment). Afraid it will took much longer time to write what I've done than time I had spent doing this scene :)

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow man, that's exactly what I needed :). I see that you can use the "Geometry" node with a "mix shader" to make this "atmosphere effect". The work you made is teaching me a lot about node combinations, thanks a lot, you did great shaders! :) $\endgroup$ – Bounty Jul 12 '15 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Atmosphere effect is fake as always, because real volume absorbtion/scattering eating too much cpu/gpu. I think in original it was painted in 2D. Most time you have to learn about "good fakes". $\endgroup$ – Daniil Romanov Jul 12 '15 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yes faking is always nice to spare some cpu/gpu, I thought of doing it with a spot lamp poiting to a dark plane behind the planet or something like that, but your technique is really nice actually!Can I ask you how you learnt to make shaders in cycles? I mean what tool did you use (Video, books, etc...) $\endgroup$ – Bounty Jul 12 '15 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Usually it is some experience and google. You just have to learn what nodes usually do and how it corresponds with real-world properties and their combinations. $\endgroup$ – Daniil Romanov Jul 12 '15 at 15:57

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