Anyone who's tried using NightTextures to make planets glow knows that past a certain point, you just can't make it look good. The results often look something like this.
The transition from day to night is too sharp, and diffuse shading darkens the texture well before the terminator. While this is fine for cities or subtle volcanism, it doesn't work as well for hot Jupiters or lava worlds. Here, I've replaced the planet's surface with a high-poly CMOD. The day texture is in the diffuse slot, and the night texture is in the emissive slot.
Now, the night texture is drawn over the entire surface and doesn't fall off toward the day side. This is what a red-hot planet should look like. These textures are just placeholders, but you get the idea.
It does have some issues, though. If you define an atmosphere, there will be tiny gaps between it and the surface. These aren't really an issue from space, but you'll see them if you land. It can't do anything other meshes can't, so no eclipse shadows. I haven't done much in the way of testing this, but if you want to try it yourself here's a template you can use. Open it in a text editor, switch out the textures, and generate tangents in cmodview if you added a normal map.
Post requests, images, descriptions and reports about work in progress here.
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