Asteroid Fields

Asteroid Fields
Procedurally placed asteroid fields.


An 8 Second video clip of the current state of my space RTS game ~ 4.6MB

I’ve been spending some time learning SideFX Houdini as my main DCC to model procedurally. After watching YouTube tutorials on how to use Houdini to create asteroids, I tested out a bunch of methods and settled on a combination of various techniques. I now have a node network where I can move one slider to generate random asteroids with varying shapes, craters, associated UVs, and high/low poly meshes. I then created my own tiling asteroid textures using Substance Designer while using real images of asteroids as references. This was after studying many other asteroid/meteor/moon/crater substances to learn some interesting ways of generating various details. Finally, I used Substance Painter to bake maps and apply my asteroid substance using some triplanar projections.

Within Unity, I created a custom lit HDRP shader graph for the asteroids, and I’m using detail maps to give the asteroids good resolution up close. In the whole process of coming up with this pipeline, I’ve already got some ideas on how I’d do things differently if I were to revisit the generating of asteroid assets in the future. That’ll have to wait, as I need to move on to other aspects of the game, as this already took longer than I was anticipating.

I also included methods of placing the asteroids procedurally around the gameplay area. As of now, there are 3 types of asteroids: giant ones in the far background, medium-sized ones which can’t be destroyed that form the boundary of the gameplay area, and smaller obstacle asteroids which are fragmented when spawned at runtime and whose chunks can be destroyed using weapons. The last type required creating textures and detail maps for the inside of the asteroid when various fragments are destroyed.

Below you can see another picture of the asteroids. I added the reflective metallic bits in the texture to simulate exposed metallic ore. I know it’s probably not that realistic, but the real reason I added it was because when spaceships or glowing projectiles pass by the asteroids, with SSR (Screen Space Reflections) those reflective bits light up and it just looks soooo cool.

A screenshot of some asteroid assets created for a space RTS game.
More asteroids...

Soon I’ll be making a post about my procedural planet shader and textures, and then I’ll be focusing on some spaceship models.


The comments shown below are from visitors when I was using Squarespace for website hosting, but I've switched to cheaper hosting with a different CMS and currently have registering/commenting disabled. I've copy/pasted all past comments in case they may be useful for someone.

Marcus 2022

These asteroids are just WOW!

Sean Kumar 2022

Thank you for taking the time to comment!