One More Bit About Noise

While I intend to continue posting new versions of planetGenesis as I make(hopefully useful)changes, this will be my last noise post for awhile. Did I just hear applause?  To start with, here is planetgenesis_301a.jar. I’ve added scaling to the Modified Multifractal node. The MMF seems to be properly scaled for all modes so long as the Sensitivity parameter is set to 0.0. So basically a modified monofractal. Still, it’s progress. It’s a fairly minor improvement, though, so I went with version 3.0.1a rather than 3.0.2. There are also some other minor improvements.

I’m really happy with the F4-F3 Planet effect. It makes a nice blocky fractal, with much less pronounced linear features. After generating the “planet” noise in planetGenesis, I loaded the resulting 16-bit PNG into Wilbur.

In Wilbur, after rescaling the elevations for land and sea, I used the exponent filter to give the planet some continental shelves and more interesting mountain ranges. I also added a bit of Incise Flow. Maybe more than a bit. That thing is so slow, that you kind of want to see something when you’re done!

The F4-F3 heteroterrain fractal rescaled and shelved into our planet in Wilbur.

The F4-F3 heteroterrain fractal rescaled and shelved into our planet in Wilbur.

I then reworked the gradients to change the coloring. Under Texture>Shader Setup…, I selected the Altitude tab. To change the Land and Sea gradients to my preferred coloration I clicked on the Color List… button in the appropriate section and then clicked on the Load button in the Edit Color List window and selected the landColors and seaColors files in the F4-F3 Planet folder respectively. The result seen in Wilbur is as shown here…

The map with my own slightly modified color ramp.

The map with my own slightly modified color ramp.

Still in Lighting Settings, I selected the General tab and changed the Display Type from Lighted to Height Code. This gives the hypsometric coloring without the hillshade effect. I will use this in Photoshop to tone down the hillshade in the undersea areas.

A flat version of the hypsometric map without hillshading.

A flat version of the hypsometric map without hillshading.

My third, and for our purposes, last, image will be a seamask. I create this by selecting Texture>Gray Maps>Sea Mask… and selecting an appropriate sea level.

The sea mask to hide the flattening layer over land.

The sea mask to hide the flattening layer over land.

We save that mask image as a PNG Texture and adjourn to Photoshop.

In Photoshop, I open the hillshaded image first. Next, I load the flat image, Select All, Copy, go back to the hillshaded image and Paste. That will produce a new layer, hiding the hillshaded background. Next, we open the sea mask layer, Select All and Copy. Back in the original, formerly hillshaded image, we select the top layer and Add A Layer Mask. Now we go into the Layer Mask Channel and paste the sea mask. Selecting  RGB in channels, we find that the hillshading is visible on land, but hidden under the oceans. Next we reduce the Opacity of the flat sea layer just enough to let some of the undersea hillshading show through to give the seas a little “PIZZazz!”

The result, as I did it, can be seen in the planet1.tif file here(F4-F3 Planet). A web-ready version can be seen below.

The finished product!

The finished product!

As always, manually placed and masked elevation effects, preferably guided by some sort of tectonic model will always be more effective, but I was impressed by the results of the fractalized Voronoi noise and thought I’d share it. Also, most of the styling tips given here will work quite well with handmade elevations. I think next, I will try masking in fractalized F4-F3 noise guided by the results of a good Tectonics.js session. Maybe use that for higher mountains and a less angular Perlin(Simplex) for lower hills and highlands. Hmm… Gotta think how I’d do that.

Thank you,
The Astrographer

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