Jump to content

Planet Textures: A Simple Tutorial using GIMP


Recommended Posts

To all new budding planet modders, and perhaps older ones, this is a tutorial on how to create a decent looking texture for a rocky planet.

Requirements: GIMP

GIMP is a free plugin you can download that is my platform of choice for texturing, and it's what I will be using in this tutorial:

3VffYNR.png

Firstly, after you've opened up GIMP, click File > New, and create a new page. The Dimensions are VERY IMPORTANT if you want the texture to work. Use a 2*1 texture, which comes in 1024-512, 2048-1024, and 4096-2048 sizes, you can continue going up if you want, but I would recommend 2048-1024 textures for rocky planets and 4096-2048 for gas giants. In this tutorial, I will be demonstrating a smaller rocky planet.

d05Auk9.png

Next, choose a color to fill the page with after you have created it. This will be your theme color. It can be pretty much anything, but I would recommend staying away from purple/pink colors due to it being unrealistic, but it's your texture!

IQ2vxMX.png

In this tutorial I'm using a blue theme color, but the method works for a lot of other colors.

t6s3uMm.png

Switch the brush to Acrylic 01 and cover most of the texture in variations of the base color. Don't sweat if it's not seamless, we'll worry about that later.

ZpavSY0.png

Now, using the smudge tool, blend all the various patches together. If you were to export that into a texture for your planet, it would work, but would probably have a horrible looking seam as you are about to see.

VThn2rY.png

Go to Layer > Transform > Offset and click.

pQwUO3K.png

In the X field, put in half the length, or the width of your image, in this case it being 1024.

plKgSoV.png

This is what the texture would look like if you wrapped it around a sphere, note the obvious seam cutting through the image. How do we remedy this?

jMhCEJJ.png

Using the smudge tool, blend the two sides of the texture together until the seam is no longer visible.

KgevOmq.png

Repeat Layer > Transformation > Offset once more by putting the width of the image in the X field, and you will go right back to where it was before.

nWyVuMv.png

Now, go to the Filter's tab, click distorts and click of the Polar Coordinates.

ea4irXM.png

This is what the planet would look like from the north pole. Look at all that polar distortion!

dE3Ji1b.png

Use the smudge tool once more, and blend the poles to your satisfaction.

3gHqdev.png

Now, click on Polar Coordinates once more, to turn back to it's original format, then use Polar Coordinates once more, but disable (or enable) Map from top. This is now the opposite pole.

AIBK4Go.png

Use the smudge tool again to your liking on the top pole to rid the texture of the polar distortions.

y70mq16.png

Congratulations, you now have a texture!

SEe6H6J.png

Now, before you save the image, click on the Filters Tab, go to Map, and open the Map Object tab. Change Map To: to Sphere, disable the wireframe, enable transparent background and enable Updating Live.

5VIDeNF.png

If you go to the orientation tab, and change the y axis, you can look at a mini preview of your planet!

Now, you can leave the texture as it is, or you can add surface features, such as craters, canyons, and mountains. Remember to export, not save the image, and make sure to save it as a .png and .dds file (either one works), and place it in the folder of choice.

Other resources that might help creating planets:

The Kopernicus Wiki: A pretty good documentation of the basics of Kopernicus

@OhioBob's Atmosphere Calculator: If you want to create an atmosphere

@Poodmund's Planet Texturing Guide Repository: For more fancy tips and tricks on making planet textures.

In game examples: (From my Mod, Japris Stellar Neighborhood)

Spoiler

Texture (Bold):

NoDAvxQ.jpg

In Game:

2e8fghX.png

Texture (Dindin):

7DE6Cx5.jpg

In the Game (Dindin):

OCcPd74.jpg

Texture (Retuo):

HoCX3RF.jpg

In Game (Retuo):

UIZesDx.jpg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
15 minutes ago, Souptime said:

What about height and biome maps? or configs!

For heightmaps, I would recommend Wilbur. It's free and I use it for most of my projects nowadays.

For biomemaps, just paint it in several different colors depending on the terrain/height/color of the region.

This will teach you all you need to know about Kopernicus modding: https://kopernicus.github.io/wiki/

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/14/2020 at 11:12 AM, DunaManiac said:

For heightmaps, I would recommend Wilbur. It's free and I use it for most of my projects nowadays.

 

But how would you use the Wilbur height maps in KSP?

Do you just load your texture in Wilbur then mess around with everything, then get that as a map and put that in the config?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kerminator1000 said:

Do you just load your texture in Wilbur then mess around with everything, then get that as a map and put that in the config?

Ironically I don't really use this method anymore, I've changed a lot of the planets who used this kind of texture.

Essentially, currently I use 10+ layers of noise in Wilbur to accomplish a reasonably good looking texture. I've created some really good planets based only off noise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DunaManiac said:

Essentially, currently I use 10+ layers of noise in Wilbur to accomplish a reasonably good looking texture. I've created some really good planets based only off noise.

So wait... can you walk me through your method? I'm really confused how you get the height map to line up with the terrain.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kerminator1000 said:

So wait... can you walk me through your method? I'm really confused how you get the height map to line up with the terrain.

The Height Map is the terrain... I'm confused. Do you mean how to make the texture seamless?

Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, DunaManiac said:

The Height Map is the terrain... I'm confused. Do you mean how to make the texture seamless?

I mean the height map to line up with the textures that you make. Like if I draw a texture based off this tutorial and want it to line up with the height map that I produced earlier, how should I do this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Kerminator1000 said:

I mean the height map to line up with the textures that you make. Like if I draw a texture based off this tutorial and want it to line up with the height map that I produced earlier, how should I do this?

Ah, I see now. You can just grayscale the texture.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
On 10/14/2020 at 8:05 PM, Neil Kermstrong said:

amazing, I literally just thought about making a planet and was wondering how to make the textures.

 

funny thing is that textures always look ugly on paper but in-game they can actually look amazing

 

I agree, but some textures look pretty nice when there just a image file, but most do look weird when flat, like my planet texture, it looks strange flat, but on a planet it looks ok6lNpMOv.png

EDIT: This is no longer the planet texture because it was not lined up right

Edited by Jeb_da_kerbal
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2020 at 12:15 PM, Jeb_da_kerbal said:

I agree, but some textures look pretty nice when there just a image file, but most do look weird when flat, like my planet texture, it looks strange flat, but on a planet it looks ok6lNpMOv.png

EDIT: This is no longer the planet texture because it was not lined up right

By the way, the optimal file dimensions is 2x1 textures, such as 2048 by 1024, 4096 by 2048 etc. The image you are currently using does not follow that unless I'm mistaken.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

D'oh! its saying something about needing an openGL driver, can i use gimp for height and biome maps?

Edited by Souptime
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Souptime said:

can i use gimp for height and biome maps?

Do you mean, does GIMP support height and biome maps? Or can it make height and biome maps?
GIMP supports pretty much any file format you'd use, so it's fine.
As for making them, the only thing GIMP really has in terms of heightmapping is the "render noise" feature.
For biomemapping, you'd just derive it from your texture or whatever.

Edited by Maple Kerman
Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...