One Earth to rule them all. A realistic high-fidelity asset with feature rich shaders for orbital scenes and truly cinematic Earth close ups. Easy customization directly from blueprint parameters.
Incredible Earth 80K is a realistic high-fidelity Earth for orbital scenes and cinematic close-ups of the Earth. It's configured as a blueprint with easy access to customize all the parameters in a single place, the details panel. For further and more precise control, the parameters have been exposed to cinematics, giving you a fast single-click approach to keyframing the values.
The shader automation handles the big lifting, such as the day-night cycle in the background. Customizable parameters range from the look and details of the ground, clouds, sunset, and night to adjusting thunder and aurora. While the clouds are texture-based, the shader has multiple individually tileable layers with scale, offset, speed, formation, and noise modifiers to tweak on the blueprint. Create new combinations of clouds or interesting animated changes. Animating the layers with slight differences creates eye-twisting parallax illusions that increase the feeling of depth. Check the Features video for a visual presentation of the main features of the Incredible Earth 80K. Please also view the Cinematic Trailer with a focus on visuals.
Both videos were rendered with MRQ, using 80K with Temporal Sampling. Minor color correction was done to Cinematic Trailer outside UE, while similar results could be achieved with UE post-process volume. Some detail is lost on MP4 compression. All sequences used to render these videos are included in the project to show how different settings work together. Product gallery shots are highresshots from UE apart from 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th, which show alternative grading.
The level is designed with spinners to rotate the Earth, sun, moon, and the universe, not only per actor but also all together in relation to the world zero. Use spinners to create perfect orbits flying around the Earth without moving the camera or the actors. It can be beneficial to have actions happen locally in a small controlled area rather than moving everything around the Earth.
Incredible Earth 80K uses the UE's own atmosphere system.
The Textures and the Work Done:
On top of creating the custom shaders in Unreal, hundreds of tedious hours were spent on fixing textures, matching, and converting data to develop an Earth asset that isn't just high resolution on marketing terms but the highest possible usable resolution.
The color, water mask, and normal maps based on height data are from true 80K+ NASA sources. No upscaling was done. The color is a custom composite of multiple Blue Marbles to minimize errors. Some obscured information near the equator on the original data has been recreated. Unfortunately, the color has a directional blur style stretching towards the polar regions, and there's a limit on how much of it can be fixed. The height source data has an increasing number of scanlines in regions such as northern Siberia and Canada. While pixel peeping the newly created normal map can reveal smoothed scanlines, in actual use, lots of what is left of them disappear into the environment. If you need to focus on a specific area, ask before purchasing.
Clouds' texture has been rearranged and made tileable. Hundreds, if not thousands, of dead pixels and scanlines were fixed. A separate pole-optimized regular texture was created, and on the shader side, there's an option to project clouds on poles to avoid texture stretching or compression altogether.
Night texture from Black Marble was scaled down to 32K. While the original file is 86K, every dot on it consists of a minimum of 4 pixels. With the actual detail being only 25% of the 86K, 32K is enough. The shader adds customizable procedural city detail for crisper night scenes. Other assistive textures, from height to different masks, are included.
Incredible Earth 80K was made for cinematic renders. With certain reservations, such as turning the aurora off, you could use it on some real-time applications. Still, it's not recommended without having control over the end system and further optimizing the asset specific to your needs. Please, consider carefully based on the following limited data.
On a 5950X and 3090 on a 2160p monitor with Windows scaling at 150% (It should match the non-scaled 1440p screen). The UE5 layout was reset to the default, the editor Screen Percentage was set to 100%, and the engine scalability to Cinematic. The result is 90fps or about 11ms with aurora off. With the aurora set to 100 layers, as used to render the demo videos, and the thunder turned on, the fps drops to 30 with 34ms.
On the test setup, the aurora at 100 layers can add 25ms, while at 50 layers adds half of that. Thunder can add 3ms. Changing the mesh from SphereMid (with 600k vertices) to SphereVeryHigh (with 6.5mil vertices) used on the demo videos for better displacement may lose additional 5ms.
Use "r.Streaming.Poolsize 10000" to work on this project. If not switching between resolutions, 64K should work with 9000, 32K with 4000, and 80K VT with 3000. Therefore, for GPU, at least 3080 with 12GB VRAM. You should have at least 32GB RAM with 250GB of free space on the system drive for memory swapping. Consider CPU in the level of 5900X.
Limitations / Why this asset may not be for you:
Meshes: 7 (Just simple spheres)
Materials: 10 Masters, 7 Instances, 14 Material Functions
Textures: 39 Regular + 4 VT of 25 UDIM tiles each. Total 139
Texture Resolutions: 16384x16384, 16384x8192 , 8192x8192, 8192x4096, 4096x2048, 2048x2048, 1024x1024, 512x512, 64x64
Disclaimer: The 16K textures exceed the Unreal Marketplace's guideline maximum size of 8192x8192
Supported Platforms: Windows (No other platforms tested. Nanite and Lumen not required)
Documentation: See the product description above. Linked video sequences included in the project for study. Material graphs with comments.