A Real-Time Procedural Universe, Part 1: Generating Planetary Bodies
This article takes a look at how to procedurally generate planets that look realistic. It discusses different procedural algorithms and tries to find one that looks good. Included are plasma, perlin noise, and fractal brownian motion. What the author wants is an algorithm that can be used to quickly generate the planet at any level of detail so that no data has to be precalculated and stored. From the included demo it seems that he succeeded fairly well.