w40 – Low-poly planet

This week’s feature is inspired from a low-poly wallpaper created by nO8. It proved to be an excellent study in lighting. Fast and fun as these projects has turned out to be! See it here on youtube:

Edit 10.10.2016: A real-time version can be fetched here
It’s been a while since I’ve released an executable, so please drop me the “output2.txt” file if it crashes… test on nvidia hw only – which almost guarantees some issues on amd hw..


I used this image for inspiration (saw it on the internet…reversed searched it back to nO8).


I did some changes to the colors. I’m not honestly sure of which version I prefer, but you can probably spend ages on going through all the variations….im going to save this for the next trip to outer space, and move on.

So, a few words of how I did this. The geometry was made in ABAQUS, a FEA software with some basic CAD functionality. I used the CAD features to create some spheres, planets and a few variations for the asteroids. sphere

I created a mesh – triangles – in Abaqus, and wrote a script which moved the nodes radially to create unregularities. The normals are naturally face normals, which makes this look kinda neat.


I applied some diffuse, specular mixed with some fresnel effect to create a “soft” lighting effect.¬†Then a wide noiseGaussianBlur was applied on the outside of the geometry


Add some astroids,


And do a final composition, let it bake for 4 hours on 200 degrees. Have a beer, and enjoy the week..


It’s always super fun to copy images that makes you go “shit, I can do this”. This turned out to be a challenge from which I learned quite a lot about the finer details of geometry and lighting. Can’t wait for the next one!


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