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earth atmosphere

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earth atmosphere
on Jul 2, 2007 at 3:48:41 pm


i need to make a realistic looking earth. while i can add a sea texture and a land texture to a sphere i am a bit unsure of how to make a realistic atmosphere. i am after the slight blue hint you get at the edge of the earth where the sun bounces of the atmos. as i am new to maya i would appreciate any help or suggestions and maybe an indepth way of doing it. or can anyone point me to a good planet tutorial in the net? i can't seem to find one!



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Re: earth atmosphere
on Jul 13, 2007 at 4:32:08 am

To get the halo effect the keywords are "sampler info" and "ramps".

A quick recepe would be:
Create a lambert.
Make it Atmosphere blue.
Create a ramp.
Open ramp.
Change "Type" to V Ramp.
Have only 2 color swatches. Top one white bottom one black.
Connect ramp.outColor to lambert.transparency
Create sampler info node.
Connect samplerInfo.facingRatio to ramp.vCoord.

Duplicate your planet sphere. Make it slightly bigger (not much 0.5 % o something like that).
Assign the lambert material to the duplicated planet sphere.
In the attribute editor under special effects have the halo lambert glow a bit.

That should get you started.

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Re: earth atmosphere
on Jul 13, 2007 at 1:32:36 pm

thanks! you're a massive genius!!!!

mia x

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Re: earth atmosphere one more question!
on Jul 13, 2007 at 3:49:29 pm


i just tried it out and it worked brilliantly! thankyou! i was just wondering if there is a way to soften the edge a little. when i look at nasa pictures of the world the edge is always slightly soft.



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Re: earth atmosphere one more question!
on Jul 13, 2007 at 9:21:30 pm

play with the ramp swatches. Try and slide the top towards the bottom and vice versa. You'll see that you are controling the falloff with the colors of the ramp.

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Re: earth atmosphere
on Aug 16, 2007 at 3:19:45 am

I'm using your technique and it's working wonderfully! I also have a question about it.

In my scene, I have a directional light off to the side with a high intensity, so the planet has a fairly hard-edge light dropoff, making half the planet nearly black. The problem I'm having is that the atmosphere layer is just as bright on the "dark" side of the planet as it is on the bright side.

I have a V-ramp and the facing ratio piped into the ramp's V coord.

Any thoughts on how I can make the dark side of the planet also have a dark atmosphere?



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mandeep singh
Re: earth atmosphere
on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:48:09 pm

Brilliant post i want to ask few more things, first of all it is good effect but to get it even better i had to add some glow effect. Is there any other way?

Secondly with a glow effect the entire globe shows the glow is there a way to show half of the globe glow due to the sunlight?

And lastly i want to show city light map on the dark side of the earth i am not able to figure that out i played with some setting but its not coming up any help to show city lights on dark area would be much appericiated . Thanks for solving stratosphere simulation it worked like a charm

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Igor Tesanovic
Re: earth atmosphere
on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:36:59 pm

don't know if you still need help with the lights on the dark side of the planet, if not then this might be useful for anyone new reading this.

the way i pulled it off is as follows.

Graph your earth shader in the hypershade window.

create the following nodes.

1. surfaceLuminance
2. Reverse
3. File

for the file node, select the earth night lights texture map. rotate the map UV's if nescecary in the place2dtexture node for that file.

connect the Surface Luminance nodes output into all the inputs of the Reverse node. (there are 3 and you have to do them induvidualy)

then connect the output of the Reverse node to the colour of the file node.

and finally connect the file node to the incandescence of your earth shader.

here is a pic of what my hypershade window looked like with the complete earth shader:

hope it helps

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Billy Hoiler
Re: earth atmosphere
on Nov 4, 2011 at 12:45:21 pm

there seems to be one little mistake in the description of how to connect the nodes:
"then connect the output of the Reverse node to the colour of the file node."

it didnĀ“t work for me until I connected the Reverse Node Output to the "COLOUR-GAIN" (instead of the "default COLOUR").

other than that it works like a charm and thanks for the tutorial!

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