Hi all!

I've spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how to make a somewhat convincing horizon. This is for a personal project for doing a fun cartoonish airplane lesson. Something that's very important in actually flying a plane is using the horizon as a reference. It's taken a lot of experimenting to find something that works.

Figure 1, my first experiment.. boy it was bad...!

It took some tinkering but I found what kinda works out! I think it really just turns out I just need elevated HDR images such as photos that are taken up on hills. I did find making the ground plane slightly curve helped. Although I did a non-curved plane and it kinda looked the same if I make it large enough. These photos are just proof of concepts (borrowed Zach's trees from the course).

Figure 2 & 3, a flat ground plane (white) vs a slightly curved ground plane (green)

1. Does anyone have any general tips for horizons from altitude? I'm trying to find ways of faking it without creating a massive ground plane. I fear it massive planes will cause problems later down the workflow process.
2. Is there any tips for making the horizon line less sharp, and a bit more obscured like in real life? I was thinking of adding a white volumetric cube.

Thanks so much for any feedback!
Figure 4, a picture of atmospheric haze in a real-world horizon at altitude.

Figure 5, a CG cartoon I found on youtube with the horizon look I would be happy with. (The airport diary)
Hey Currysonic, apart from what you found out , I actually have a few ways I achieve working results with horizon lines:
1. Instead of a rectangular plane, use a big curved plane, which will automatically make your ground look curved in the distance, and in whichever direction you look, you will not see any corners. Just make a plane, add a subd modifier with Catmull-Clark type of subdivision and apply it, then select the edges, hit F3 and search for TO SPHERE command. Just input a value of 1 to that command and you have a circular plane (with Quad topology), which results in curved horizon lines.
2. Add atmosphere, either by using Fog Volumes in the shape of your ground plane or add different type of fog planes. All of my methods I use I discussed here: https://youtu.be/J-zfEqMQS88?t=999
3. Blur the far background a tiny bit in postproduction. Just render out a Depth pass / Mist pass and set it as mask for Blur effect, blurring only the far background...
Hope it helps!

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