I swore that I wouldn't go to bed until I made a good-looking planet in ShaderToy. No complexity, no frills, no BS...just finding out what makes a planet look good. LT planets look pretty bad IMO.
Thankfully, I was successful. Not to say that this is the best-looking planet ever, or anything, but it's a definite improvement over my previous works. AND, I finally implemented "the real deal" atmospheric scattering, instead of the cheap hacks I've been using up to this point. It took many hours of staring at O'Neil's GPU gems article. In the end, I was able to simplify his implementation to about 13 lines and achieve good results. It's nice to finally have this technique under my belt 🙂
Not sure yet if this level of quality will be achievable in-game yet...but given that it's running at 60FPS in just a pixel shader, I would say it will probably be fine 🙂