Ok, this line was just for fun, but.. There used to be such cool procedural map called planet. Ok it had its limitations. I would have liked to be able to add complicated maps inside each color slot of planet procedural map. But still, it was very good map. To me it was as important as noise and smoke.

noise & smoke procedurals

noise & smoke procedurals

I used to use three of them to achieve very nice random organic shaders. Ofcourse it was written to simulate planet surface, but that’s, to me at least, is only one way to use it. I used it in any situation..  But now I have 3D max 2010 and I see no Planet!!??

max 2010 vs max 9, where is planet procedural map?

max 2010 vs max 9, where is planet procedural map?

What happened, am I blind? Whats so good about it? I will add some pictures here:

planet functions

planet functions

Ok. there must be a reason why its gone. Might be its old code, somehow not compatible with some other newer elements.. So why not to rewrite it?

But if someone decides to do so, lets add some more functions to it.

In original Planet we have function called Iceland factor. It was probably the reason I used planet.

But one can increase or decrease island factor to whole generated procedural . To all its elements.

Why not to separate this effect, so we could apply it to separate elements of planet map, called colors. Now here its a bit hard to explain. Pls look at previous image and next ones.

island factor

island factor

Or, even cooler, might be we could add a map for each color slot, as how and where island factor should be high or low. What I mean is, if we change value per color slot, it would affect whole contour of that color slot, what if we could add noise or smoke material there… (i should update last pictures adding map selection button to each noise factor, i guess…  it simply would work as either value (0-1) or as a map.)

We also have blend water and land switcher. As far as I understand if it’s on, max generates gradient transitions between colors. Again, why not to have this option separately for each element, or color. And here is my proposal for Planet Pro :)

planet pro

planet pro

Ok, continent size and water size hardly make sense, but, common, that’s just an idea, not a finished procedural.  What you think of it? Could we have water regions and land regions like well… like a groups of colors? so we could apply some stuff to a bigger regions compared to one color?

like this might be:

planet procedural map pro 2

planet procedural map pro 2

Here is a text from 3d max 9 help file, describing planet material.

Here they say it’s not good for bump maps, but actually I loved it for rusty, heavily corroded surfaces.

Planet Map

Planet map used to create another world
Planet is a 3D map that uses fractal math to simulate the colors on the surfaces of a planet. You can control the size of continents, percent of ocean coverage, and so on. This map is meant to be used as a diffuse map. It does not work well as a bump map. 
Tip: The Material Editor's sample slot doesn't show the planet effect very clearly. To help get the effect you want, double-click the sample slot to get a larger sample slot, or assign the map to geometry and render the scene. Another way to preview the planet map is to use the Material Editor Options dialog to set the 3D Map Sample Scale to equal a main dimension of the object you are applying the map to. For example, if you want to use the planet map on a sphere with a radius of 20, change the map scale from 100 (the default) to 20. 

Interface

Continent Size—Sets the size of the fractal noise pattern used to generate the continents. Can range from 0 to 100. The higher the value, the larger the continents. Default=40. 
Island Factor—Sets the size of the fractal noise pattern used to generate islands and mountains. Can range from 0 to 100. At 0, the geography is very low. Higher settings create a more rugged landscape. Default=0.5. 
Ocean %—Sets the percentage of the planet's surface that is covered by water. Default=60.0. 
Random Seed—Sets the seed for pseudo-random generation of the pattern. Changing this number can completely change the pattern, even if other settings remain the same. On the other hand, a different Planet map with the same settings including the same Random Seed will appear the same. 
Water Colors group 
The colors in these three swatches are applied to the water areas of the planet surface. 
Water colors—Click a swatch to display the Color Selector and change the color. Color #1 is the "center" area of the water mass, Color #2 surrounds Color #1, and Color #3 surrounds Color #2, meeting the land. 
Land Colors group 
The colors in these five swatches are applied to the land areas of the planet surface. Their arrangement continues that of the water colors. 
Land colors—Click a swatch to display the Color Selector and change the color. Color #4 is the shoreline of the land, meeting the water; Color #5 comes next, working toward the center of the land mass. Color # 8 is at the center of the land mass. 
Blend Water/Land—When on, the boundary between water and land is blended, giving a hazy appearance. When off, the boundary between water and land is sharp. 
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