From Elite Wiki

BPlanets is an oxp attempt to bring in planet maps using the new features of composite maps (available in Oolite 1.89/1.90).

The new Onrira
The new Lave

A Work-In-Progress (See Note 2).

Here are some details.


I named it BPlanets for two main reasons: first, the maps are generated with Blender, and second, Povray Planets are the "A" package as they are a source of inspiration for this, and the target for final coverage.

(1) Blender File

For the adventurous and courageous I can provide the Blender file used to generate these (it might need some sanitizing, as it's in a "personal ordered mess" status at this time :-D ).

(2) Only 119 Earth-like planets

The initial package has only Earth-like variants. As mentioned above, I used Povray Planets as a source of inspiration, and tried to cover this initial type of planet.

  • As a reference, I classified the G1 Povray Planets in 5 main types:
Terran (119)
Barren (115)
Water (7)
Winter (5)
Gas Giants (10).
  • This package has 4 different types of colour palettes for the planets.

(3) Technical aspects

  • all the maps are cube maps 1024x6144 (yup, they are 6k, alright)
  • the procedural maps are generated in Blender (2.8x - 2.83 at this time)
  • the actual generation is done by baking - which is a sort of rendering, not "on" a camera view, but on a texture
  • there are 4 baking steps, one for diffuse, one for specular, one for normal map, and one for city lights
  • the actual process is scripted in Python (Blender's scripting engine), because the parameters are "changed by animation", and although you can render an animation, there is no such option for baking
  • the main inconvenience is that baking is only available for the Cycles engine (which can be used through GPU and/or CPU). The times it took for each of the steps was roughly 6 minutes per diffuse map, 6 minutes per normal map, 2 seconds per specular map, and 2 minutes per lights map (for the curious this happened on an NVidia GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER -- the newer OptiX facility doesn't do any good, as it doesn't support baking).
  • the post-processing (for combining diffuse/city lights and normal/specular) was done using ImageMagick suite. The city lights and specular maps need to be inverted before inserted in the alpha channel of the diffuse and respectively normal map.
June 13th 2020

  • as with the initial set of maps, all the planets have ice caps (forgot to mention this there)
  • the clouds have a swirl pattern around the planet, with a maximum effect at the equator
Added July 3rd 2020 (version 0.4)

By Commander_X


BPlanets.oxp (2.54 Gb)

Note: this is an OXP not an OXZ and needs to be physically placed in your AddOns folder.

See OXP for details of how to do this (and how to restart your game).


I hit a blocker I'm not sure how to overcome. Any help would be useful, but some intensive knowledge of 3d-math and glsl programming principles, mostly.

A quick overview of the blocker would be:
1. in order to avoid stretching over any axes of the generated texture, I'm using a 3d noise algorithm
2. all is well and dandy colour/specular/roughness wise
3. the blocker is that all the (glsl) examples I could find on doing normal map out of texture presume the texture can be sampled, and/or is 2d generated; these don't work here, and all my hacking/adapting  attempts miserably failed Post May 2022

Quick Facts

Minimum Oolite versionCPU usage not specifiedMemory usage not specifiedGPU usage not specified


Version Released License Features Category Author(s) Feedback
0.4 2020-07-03 None yet Planet Textures Ambience OXPs Commander_X BB-Link