It’s already possible with procedural heightmap, so I feel silly not having added support for data based heightmap I have done the modifications and now (in the develop branch) you can have planet with real relief, if you have the right elevation map
Here is Mars with the elevation map generated by the Mars Orbiter, it has a resolution of 563m and an uncertainty of ±3m (Well much worse here as I’m using a simple oblate spheroid and not the correct mars geodetic system). For fun, I used an exaggeration factor of 10x
You can admire Olympus Mons (on the left), the Tharsis Montes (the three mons at the left of the center) and the impressive Valles Marineris :
And the same in 3D :
You can also add more precise elevation map for some place of interest, but for now on you need to convert the longitude, latitude to the patch coordinates (x, y and lod level) manually, which is cumbersome.
There is still a bug, I think, with the generated normals which shows artifacts when you get too close to the planet. Even with the b-spline interpolator they do not vanish, so probably I’m doing the calculation wrong. I hope to find it and fix it before the next release though