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General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: dduane on June 04, 2010, 08:46:53 AM

Title: WIP: Morning Over Mogo
Post by: dduane on June 04, 2010, 08:46:53 AM
Friends, I just started a project that's a little quirky... and I could use some advice.

Those of you who are comics fans and know anything about the DC universe may be familiar with the Green Lantern Corps (an interplanetary band of picked warriors-against-evil) and a specific GL called Mogo.  He premiered some years back in a story called "Mogo Doesn't Socialize" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and the reason given for Mogo not turning up at Corps cocktail parties a whole lot is that, well, he's a planet. A sentient planet. (Check his Wikipedia page here, ( or the page at  Comic Book Resources, ( for details.)

But sentient or not, he's a perfect subject for Terragen. He looks (depending on who's drawing him) like a class-M planet with a band around his middle that sports the generic Green Lantern symbol. So I took a run at creating a simple version of his look. As below:

( (

I got the effect by creating the band and insignia in black and white in Corel Photopaint, using Adobe Photoshop to save the image as an .sgi file (this is one of the very few formats that Corel doesn't have an export filter for...),  then projecting the image from a camera at the center of the planet with an image map shader, and adding a whacking great displacement (like 40,000 or so) so that it can be seen, as well as checking "repeat x" so it goes all the way around. So far so good.

Obviously this is very basic, and inevitably as I got this done, a thousand other possibilities started intruding themselves: roughen up the band-and-insignia in texture and color so that they look more natural or terrain-like, add decent planet features, the occasional ocean, polar caps, some weather, etc etc. But right now there are a couple of more pressing issues.  

(1) At the moment the green color of the equatorial band and insignia is coming from the base colours shader. Yet the image map shader has an "apply colour" setting on the Colour tab. Where else could its color theoretically come from, and how can I control/specify that? -- as I'd prefer to have the planet feature other colors in the terrain than the characteristic solid green of the band. (This effect is supposed to be produced by Mogo arranging his own plant life into the pattern, BTW, though later additions to his story suggest that he can also move his continents around into whatever shapes he feels inclined to at the moment.)

(2) When I try setting the camera to perspective (as the present ortho projection looks kind of flat), the projected terrain image vanishes. Does anyone have any thoughts on why this might be?

Best! -- Diane
Title: Re: WIP: Morning Over Mogo
Post by: Hetzen on June 04, 2010, 04:58:07 PM
Hi there.

Interesting project with equally bizzare backstory. :)

1/ I believe you're using this as a mask for your base colour node, by plugging it into the 'blending shader' input. You can put another 'Power Fractal' (the same thing as your 'base colour' node) infront of this in the connection chain, to cover the rest of your planet with what ever you like. You can also use a 'surface layer', which allows you to lay displacments and colour, but also adds blending, altitude constraints, and slope amongst other things. By plugging anything into the child input of a surface layer, your are in effect applying a series of effects which are masked/blended through the surface layer onto it's input. A bit like Photoshop groups.

The colour out of the image map shader very much depends on what you plug it into. eg, plug it into the colour input of a surface layer, means that the colour information will be projected through the surface layer onto it's input. If you plug it into the blending input of the same surface layer, the SL will look for levels of white to mix what ever you've set it up to do, white is on, black is off, grey is levels of opacity.

2/ You might want to place the 'image map shader' in the centre of your planet (copy and past the coords, by clicking the clipboard icon beside the x,y,z values) and then set the mapping type to cylindrical and then play around with the scale, to maybe get a better fit on the planet. You also have a spherical option.

Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here.

Title: Re: WIP: Morning Over Mogo
Post by: jritchie777 on June 04, 2010, 07:30:41 PM
Don't forget reflected light that will color things on your planet - for example the standard atmosphere makes everything blue by default.  So you may have to play with the atmosphere settings as well.

Cool project!  Sentient planet, excellent idea - surprised it hasn't been in a movie yet - unless you count the US remake of "Solaris" with G. Clooney which led you to believe the planet they were orbiting was sentient.