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Making a Procedural Earth Material in P5

Author: Nalif

Tools Needed

  • Poser 5

Introduction

Ever want to make a space scene inside of Poser 5? This tutorial will teach you the basics on how to make Earth-like planets. By the time you finish this tutorial, you'll be well on your way to populating your space scenes!

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Step 1 - Add a sphere

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Add the “Ball Hi-Res” prop to your scene, found under the primitives catagory. Since this ball is a little small, we'll be scaling it up to 500% of the origional.

Step 2 - Adding the Material

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Next we're going to add the materials to this sphere to get it to look like our Earth. Go ahead and click on the “Material” tab near the top of the screen in Poser. It should take you to a screen that looks like the image below.

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Make sure you have BallUV3_1 selected. It's circled in red on the screenshot above. This is the material assigned to the sphere that will be our earth.

Step 3 - Setting up the Spots node

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The first thing we're going to do is spawn a “spots” node. You can do this by right clicking and going to “New Node - > 3D Textures - > Spots” . Once you have the node, plug it into the “Diffuse Color” slot. At this point, your material should look like this:

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If you've got that, then you're doing good. Now put the following values into the spots node - Spot Size = 3.5, Softness = 0, Threshold = .18

Change the “base color” on the spot node to pure white. That's it for this node - onto the next :)

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Step 4 - The color ramps

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Next, spawn two color ramps. You may find them under the math section. These color ramps will give us the two colors we need for our world - green and blue.

Color ramps may seem confusing at first, but they are actually quite simple. Here's a basic explanation: The color ramp allows you to define four colors. It then applies them to a grayscale input you supply. The input can be another node, a grayscale texture map - anything. Whatever is black on your input will be color 1, and white will be color 4. All other colors will be blended between 2 and 3. And there you have it - that's what color ramps do.

Go ahead and spawn your two color ramps if you haven't done so already, and set the colors like so in the below image.

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Once you have your colors setup, plug the blue colorramp into the base color of your spot node. Then plug your green colorramp into the spot color. Your setup should look something like this.

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Step 5 - Giving our Colors life

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Our next step is to give our two color ramps input. Right now they have no input, so they're just using Color4 as their base color. We'll use the turbulence and the fBm nodes to change that. You'll find them both under New Node - > 3D Textures. Go ahead and spawn them both. By default, the turbulence node is scaled too large for our material. Change the X, Y, and Z scales to 2.0. This will give us a much better result. Your node setup up until this point should look as follows.

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Step 6 - Finishing up

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Our colors are set up now. The next step is to setup the displacement - we want our water bumpy and our land sticking above our water. The first step to achieving this is creating another spots node. Since it's going to have the same settings as the previous spots node, you can just copy and paste that one to save time. Plug this node into the displacement channel. Once that's done, plug the previously created turbulence node into the base color, and the fBm node into the spot color. This spots node tells the displacement channel to only use the turbulence to displace the water, and only the fBm to displace the land. Change the value for the displacement channel to .25.

The last thing we need to do for our material is make the water slightly glossy. To do this, we're going to use the glossy node. Make sure you set the “Specular Value” channel to 0. We're going to have to use the “Alternate Specular” for this, and if the “Specular Value” isn't set to zero, it won't render properly. Spawn a glossy node. You can find it under New Node - > Lighting - > Specular - > Glossy.

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Plug your glossy node into the alternate specular channel. It's a little too glossy, so change the Ks value to .5. Notice how it makes everything, including the islands glossy? We can change this. To do so, copy and paste one of your previous spot nodes. Change the spot color to pure black, and then plug this node into the Ks slot of the glossy node. This will tell that node to only make the material glossy on the water. Here's what the final settings for your material should look like.

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Step 7 - We're finished

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All that's left now is to throw in a star background and render :)

I hope you learned something from my tutorial. Have fun with your space renders!