So, I have a scene with a cube which I have modified into a group of clouds and a plane which I intend to be the ground. The camera is placed such that I can see the ground through the scattered clouds. Like so:

enter image description here

However, I'm not able to create the ground shader. I need it to look as realistic as possible.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe use a photo? $\endgroup$ – SilverWolf - Reinstate Monica Nov 13 '17 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @seaturtle I couldn't an HD image of it. If you can find any send a link my way. $\endgroup$ – Tejas Nov 13 '17 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ Just google “earth from a plane” or similar : goo.gl/images/Uh6vj7 $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Nov 13 '17 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @RichSedman I tried using various HD images, the result wasn't satisfactory...I suppose images just don't cut it $\endgroup$ – Tejas Nov 13 '17 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ I would recommend the Space VFX tutorial, you can also find some free procedural planet tutorials like this $\endgroup$ – sambler Nov 16 '17 at 9:01

enter image description here click to enlarge

By feeding a wave texture into a noise texture,combined with true displacement, you can create a good starting point for a procedural terrain. The color ramp determines the shading, and the RGB to BW node creates a grayscale mask from the color ramp for the parts that should be water.

Here is the node setup, this is based around the planet plane material from the material library vx add-on which is now included in blender as of version 2.79:

enter image description here click to enlarge

The contents of the displacement node group:

enter image description here click to enlarge

The file to play with:

  • $\begingroup$ This works beautifully, but I have another question, is it possible to control the colors based on height? I have used the ANT landscape addon to create mountains, and I want the green part only on the "flat" surfaces. I tried to do this myself but was unsuccessful, some help would be greatly appreciated. $\endgroup$ – Tejas Nov 19 '17 at 19:43

Ok, after a lot of searching, the best search phrase is "NASA aerial view", you get many HD images without watermarks on them.

I used an image to do it this time, although, I am still interested in learning how to make a procedural shader for this.


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