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Community Projects => The FreeSpace Upgrade Project => Topic started by: m2258734a on March 01, 2007, 01:42:06 am

Title: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 01, 2007, 01:42:06 am
Hello, I thought it would be better to create a new topic rather than bumping an ancient one that ended abruptly.

With LS' nebulae available, I take that the majority of you all are satisfied with the background features of Freespace. However, I still believe that the main stars of all systems need to be enhanced. A long time ago, I started a topic over on the SCP forum called "Background features". The topic didn't really get anywhere as far as improving the look of the stars of Freespace, but I believe it did create an initiative to apply LS' nebulae templates to FS2 (Are the multiple star configurations the same as those featured in the original templates, such as Capella being represented as the quadruple star system that it is? I don't have the capability of running Freespace SCP on my laptop, so I currently don't have anyway of knowing).

The purpose of this topic is to gather ideas on how each star should appear in the game, and hopefully encourage any of our extremely talented designers to recreate them. I understand that Freespace is not an astronomy simulator, but applying one's artistic license in a manner based on real stellar data might help liven up the Freespace atmosphere and awe the users. So far, I have edited some information on the Freespace Wiki. I have only touched stars beginning with 'A' that way you all can see what I have done. I honestly didn't do anything major: I fixed some abbreviations, changed the description "color" to "spectral class", updated numerical values, etc. If you would like to see more information, like stellar radii or temperature, let me know and I'll go ahead and add it to the Wiki. I am doing this not only to update the Wiki, but to establish a template for those who would like to redo the stars. Every star has its own characteristics and behaviors, and no two stars should look the same in Freespace.

What do you all think? I honestly would love to do this myself as astronomy is my passion, but I simply lack the tools and expertise necessary to recreate my visions. Well, that's all from me. If anyone is interested I would be glad to provide any helpful information. Please feel free to provide your ideas, information, and feedback.

EDIT: I recently tried some new programs and it looks like I got the links to work. I will take the liberty to enhance the stars' appearances myself, provide the original images of the stars on this thread, and allow anyone else to finalize the overall images.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: S-99 on March 01, 2007, 03:12:07 am
Having accurate star maps would be cool. But, since 3.6.7 we do have the new much better star field as compared with the starless vanilla fs2 starfield.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 01, 2007, 06:50:14 am
never the less it would be nice if they were accurate,  Only there won't be as many wonderful nebulas in the background.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 01, 2007, 08:26:22 am
hmmm theres a big problem with that... remember that unless you calculate for each system, the star pattern your referring to is the one you can see from earth

That means that in any other system, the stars wont be seen on the same pattern
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 01, 2007, 09:37:11 am
I see what you all are saying. Well, determining what the local star field should look like is no problem if you have programs like Celestia.

Ultimately, this is not what I was referring to. In most of the Freespace and Freespace 2 missions there is a main star, or multiple stars, which is much larger and brighter than the stars within the field. I was referring to stars like Antares, Betelgeuse, Vega, Deneb, Gamma Draconis, Capella, i.e. the star systems within the storyline. What you all have mentioned is another cool idea, as I also think it would be a nice addition to add a more accurate star field according to the location of each system.

IIRC, Deneb is the first star system we encounter in FS2. So I'm saying why not improve the look of Deneb, because right now it looks dull. Deneb is one of the most luminous stars in the sky, and the most luminous star of its spectral class. As a white supergiant, Deneb in Freespace just doesn't live up to its real-life counterpart. It's not even the right color. There's more to be said about Deneb, and all other stars in Freespace.

As for local star fields, I can produce some images if you all would like.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 01, 2007, 10:42:52 am
I started something like this.  I have a list of all the spectral types of all the stars in all of the FS2 system that exist IRL.  I also have a list of the RGB color values for all spectral types.  The idea was to create stars that are of the correct color for every system and insert these into the Lightspeed mission pack.  This activity proved quite time consuming, and I never got very far.  If you are interested in working on such a project, I'd love to include these in the mission pack.

I do think it might be interesting to have a skybox for Sol that reflected actual star positions.  We wouldn't be able to recognize the night sky in other stellar systems and so have these correct is of less value.  After all, the nebulae background themselves aren't really realistic, anyway.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 01, 2007, 11:24:08 am
In games like FS, theres certain things of realism that can and should be forgotten, in order to promote the coolness factor :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 01, 2007, 11:41:54 am
Quote
After all, the nebulae background themselves aren't really realistic, anyway.

Meh, FS2 != realistic game. Old argument and almost as old response; you just have to presume that the helmet visor or cockpit canopy multiplies background light from weak targets in order to make it easier for pilots to determine their state of motion better; almost uniform starfield would do a poor job at that, but when you multiply weak intensities, you get this in Sol system:

(http://www.eastbayastro.org/2000/0800/milkyway.jpg)

...I dunno, I think that (but perhaps slightly downtoned in brightness/contrast) would be a rather cool environment to fly in...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 01, 2007, 03:22:18 pm
Actually, it is a different argument this time.  The fellow seems to want to produce an accurate starfield for each system that exists IRL.  I presume an application such as Celestia can do so.  However, the nebulae selected to appear in mission are not those that would appear if enhanced.  Thus the gain from the accurate starfield seems minimal, except in the case of Sol, where we can recognize constellations, etc.  I do think it would be nice to correct the colors of the stars themselves.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 01, 2007, 10:20:16 pm
I apologize if I wasn't clear.

I agree with you; I do believe that color is one of the physical properties of the main stars of Freespace that need to be corrected and enhanced. I also have a list of RGB color values that correspond to each stars' spectral classification and luminosity type, so it looks like we're on the same page. When I say stellar enhancements, I don't mean those applied to the background as a whole, but only to the main stars of a particular system, which is either one, two, or more depending on the type of binary system the star is a part of. You all brought up some interesting ideas, and it would be possible to create specific star field backgrounds for each system. I could provide pictures of what these different star fields should look like, but it was never my intention to go that deep into making the Freespace environment that realistic. Since LS' nebulae are fantasy, they obviously do not pertain to a specific Messier Object or any other recognizable deep space object. The purpose of trying to make these accurate star fields would go unnoticed with so many of these fictitious nebulae obscuring a large portion of the sky. I am in absolutely no way saying that the nebulae shouldn't be there, they look gorgeous and really liven up the scenery. But if someone would like to take the time to make these accurate star fields regardless, I would be glad to provide images for them.

Ultimately, the purpose of this topic was to come up with ways to enhance the main stars of a particular system. I mentioned the supergiant Deneb as one example that really needs a makeover. IMO, the stars do not fit very well or add any awe to the Freespace environment. In all honesty, they look dull and lack any interesting feature which sets each one apart.  If anyone is interested, I would be glad to share my ideas on how each star can be physically improved. I don't own Photoshop, or any other application similar to that, so I cannot express my ideas as an image. I provided links to Photoshop plugins in the first post to see if anyone might want to give it a shot. I hope I cleared things up  :yes:

EDIT: That shot of the galactic plane is beautiful. I couldn't agree with you more.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 01, 2007, 10:32:08 pm
I think we are exactly on the same page.  I would recommend downloading GIMP, which is free, and should be good enough for the work, if you are interested.  I have every system in FS2 already mapped to the spectral classes of all the stars in them.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 01, 2007, 10:44:08 pm
Awesome, I'll look into GIMP asap. This looks very interesting....
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Alan Bolte on March 02, 2007, 12:39:51 am
Agreed on the main stars concept, that never really occurred to me but it would liven things up a bit. One thing that I'd really like to see though is a pic like above of the milky way. If you can see it from the ground, you should damn well be able to see it from space. It would be a really good way to stay oriented, and would give a real sense that each system is in the same part of the galaxy.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 02, 2007, 01:37:11 am
Actually, it is a different argument this time.  The fellow seems to want to produce an accurate starfield for each system that exists IRL.  I presume an application such as Celestia can do so.  However, the nebulae selected to appear in mission are not those that would appear if enhanced.  Thus the gain from the accurate starfield seems minimal, except in the case of Sol, where we can recognize constellations, etc.  I do think it would be nice to correct the colors of the stars themselves.

Ah. Yes, it is a bit different, I agree.

It is true that practically only the Sol system's starfield would get any advantage from having realistic stars; in other systems the relation of work required and the adcantages gained would be ridiculously off-balanced, so it doesn't really make any sense. But I would really love to see the galactic plane as a Sol skybox...

As to the star colours. I couldn't agree more either. But how are you going to define what RGB colour the stars look like? Because a star with spectral classification G2V (like our Sun) will appear white due to the fact that human eye recognizes daylight as white. On the other hand, human eye can recognize also different colours as white, depending on their current white balance mode. You can do interensting experiments yourself, by the way - keep another eye closed for perhaps five minutes when reading a book for example. Then open both eyes and compare how the paper looks like - other eye sees it a bit orange, the other sees it bluish... that's because the white balance of the eyes is different. The effect will pass in few minutes. But I digress.

What this means to the star colours is that absolute correctness is not required, because to some limits, human eye adapts to dominant light as being white light. Also note that with most stars, the actual colour of the star is usually very close to white with only slight tint of colour notable - you only need to take a look at the clear night sky to notice that most stars definitely don't have much recognizable colour into them. Most oar yellow (ie. white) stars like our sun, only the most blue or red stars are have definite colour into them. There's a table in Wikipedia about Morgan-Keenan spectral classification (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_classification#Morgan-Keenan_spectral_classification), which uses RGB values to indicate what colour is associated to different spectral classes. They go like this:

Code: [Select]
Spectral RGB
Class Colour

O #9bb0ff
B #aabfff
A #cad7ff
F #f8f7ff
G #fff4ea
K #ffd2a1
M #ffcc6f

For our purposes, those values should be sufficient for the colour of the stars. Of course, those values are a bit boring because they don't differ from each other very much. If artistic freedom and prettyness requires more varying colours, you can always use the other list, in Main sequence stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_sequence#Main_sequence_data):

Code: [Select]
Spectral RGB
Class Colour

O2 #3D6BFF
O5 #3E6CFF
B0 #4472FF
B5 #5785FF
A0 #7CA5FF
A5 #9CBDFF
F0 #B1CCFF
F5 #D4E4FF
G0 #EDF4FF
G2 #FDFEFF
G5 #FFF6E9
K0 #FFE9CB
K5 #FFCB91
M0 #FFAE62
M5 #FF8A38
M8 #F00000
M9.5 #D00000


That will result in more variable, if not overly realistic, stars. In this case I would probably go for the second list, even if I'm usually for realism. In either case, those values should be of sufficient accuract considering the human eye adaptivity to different colours being recognized as "white".
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 02, 2007, 01:24:40 pm

 On the other hand, human eye can recognize also different colours as white, depending on their current white balance mode. You can do interensting experiments yourself, by the way - keep another eye closed for perhaps five minutes when reading a book for example. Then open both eyes and compare how the paper looks like - other eye sees it a bit orange, the other sees it bluish... that's because the white balance of the eyes is different. The effect will pass in few minutes. But I digress.

I noticed that along timeago but thought that it was just me going crazy ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 02, 2007, 05:07:23 pm
I think the galactic plane should be a background feature for all star fields, but the only problem with this is that it might become very repetitive to see the same band of light in every system. While it would be realistic, the galactic plane's features won't noticeably change as we go from system to system. Leaving the galactic plane for only the solar system would be a good idea, but at the same time I know that the plane should be visible everywhere else in our stellar neighborhood. I don't know, what do you all think about having the galactic plane visible for all systems in the Freespace Universe?

As for the defining RGB values, I have them already defined in a database that I discovered when I was working on a visual astronomy simulation with a friend of mine in Spain (still a WIP). The database I collected originated from SIMBAD, which is a very good source of astronomical data. The RGB colors chosen are dependent on the temperature of the star, which of course vary within a spectral class. So basically I have a list of all of the RGB values these stars should have according to their spectral classification from O0-M9, and based on their luminosity type from type I supergiants, to VI subdwarfs (very rare luminosity type).

In the case of the actual colors of the stars, I was thinking of adding realism combined with an artistic touch. Stars are extremely close representatives of black bodies, and by assuming that the Sun is one, we can calculate the peak radiation the Sun emits based on its temperature. With a surface temperature of ~5800 K, we get ~500 nm. By knowing that the intensity of radiation is a function of the wavelength emitted, we can produce functions for typical black bodies of various temperatures.

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/blackbody-1.jpg)

The intensity of radiation through the visual spectrum determines what colors we see, and this makes sense. Cooler stars have peak wavelengths in the infrared region, and so the intensity of red light is higher than that of all the other colors in the visual spectrum. The opposite is true with hotter stars, as they peak in the ultraviolet region. The Sun lies in between these two extremes, and the intensity of light through the visual spectrum is roughly constant. Combining the intensities of visible light together, we end up with an emission of white light.

From time to time, I have heard stars of different spectral classes having the colors described as follows: O-blue, B-bluish-white, A-white, F-yellowish-white, G-yellow, K-orange, M-red. This is an extreme simplification and is not really accurate; however, it hints the idea that blue stars are hot and red stars are cool. This description does not take into consideration the fact that the combination of wavelengths of different intensities will not produce a pure color. Only until we get to the extremes such as a very hot star, or a very cool star, will the dominant color be blue or red, respectively.

Anyways, I thought that was just an interesting subject to talk about. What Herra Tohtori mentioned was absolutely correct (it is a very interesting experiment BTW), but I believe the reasons which were described also have to do with the idea that the Sun actually is white and not yellow as we commonly perceive. So while the true color of the stars might not be a pure orange or pure red, I think it would be fine to increase the vivacity of the color, as long as this change in vivacity is constant throughout the stellar spectrum.

In the meantime, I'm trying to learn how to use GIMP. I have never used any software like this before let alone try to create my own images in this fashion, it's interesting nevertheless. Thanks for the input.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: JGZinv on March 02, 2007, 08:03:55 pm
If you are more experienced with Photoshop, or want to use it as a prep to get
into Photoshop - I can suggest the overhauled version of GIMP called GIMPshop.

http://www.gimpshop.com
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Agent_Koopa on March 02, 2007, 10:00:04 pm
Well, seeing the rest of the galaxy would be pretty realistic, but I don't know if it would be worth it. You're adding a lot to the background and seeing a background that rich in detail would certainly get irritating after a while. Sometimes you need space (no pun intended). On the other hand, if the Milky Way is only visible from Sol, won't that look quite suspect, though atmospheric, especially for the last missions of a campaign? If we leave the galactic plane out, then we'll get posts from people who say it's missing.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 03, 2007, 05:09:55 am
Well, I have completed my first star. I am content with the results, but if someone would like to take it over and provide finishing touches I would be happy to give it away. First up (going completely out of alphabetical order) is Deneb:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Deneb.jpg)

As I said before, Deneb is the most luminous star of its spectral class that we know of so far. I made sure that the star has the correct color based on the estimated RGB color value for a spectral class A2 supergiant. It worked out pretty well, because as you see it does have a slight bluish hint to it, especially in the corona. My main focus was on the luminosity of the star, and I tried my hardest to give the supergiant an extremely vivid appearance. To give you an idea of just how luminous Deneb is, take into consideration that Deneb is about 3000 ly away from the Sun, yet it is the 19th brightest star in our sky. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is only about 8 ly away. Compared to the Sun, Deneb is about 160,000 times more luminous, so hopefully I portrayed that luminosity in this image. One thing that I would like to improve is giving Deneb a "supergiant" appearance. What do you all suggest?

Well, I'd be glad to receive your feedback, and feel free to edit the star if you believe something needs to be changed.

EDIT: I went ahead and updated the picture to add a little more clarity to the surface of Deneb, as well as some other minor improvements such as enlarging the corona to correspond with the large radius of the star.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 03, 2007, 10:17:20 am
Looks good so far.  Can you post a link to the original file and provide the RGB values you used for the color?  Stars.tbl will need an entry for Deneb with these RGB values so that the in game light coming from the star is accurate.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 03, 2007, 07:19:02 pm
This is a question I should have asked earlier. I have saved the Deneb image as several different types, because I was unsure of what type is necessary for Freespace SCP. So which file type would you like? As for the RGB color value, Deneb has values of 199 214 255. Thanks.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 03, 2007, 07:37:08 pm
Preferably DDS files these days... I think DXT3 format would be the correct one in this case.

TGA files also work, though they can be significantly larger than DDS files and also don't have the benefits of mip mapping.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Alan Bolte on March 03, 2007, 08:20:28 pm
IIRC, the visible galactic plane is at most 20 degrees wide. So if you're looking at it dead on, a band of somewhat brighter and more colorful background will fill at most half your view. Pull up maybe 35 degrees, you'll be looking at the same view as ever. I really can't see how it could get irritating. It seems silly to leave that out and put fictitious nebulae in.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 03, 2007, 08:29:10 pm
One of the saved file types was .tga, so I assume that I should be able to convert my image from .tga to .dds. I just downloaded DDS Converter 2.1. Is this application recommended, and what options should I take into consideration when converting the image, such as JPG quality/compression ratios, filter types, number of mipmaps, etc.?

EDIT: I think what Agent Koopa was getting at is that the Freespace skybox, as it is right now, is very detailed in terms of nebulae. This nebulae filled sky, along with the large galactic plane might overcrowd the amount of celestial objects in the sky given the limited amount of free space available, and overall seem overdetailed. This is what might become irritating. What I mentioned is the fact that the galactic plane's appearance is not going to noticeably change as you travel from star system to star system in our stellar neighborhood. While I think it would be nice to see the galactic plane in all missions, there are just too many nebulae at the moment which could possibly obscure the band of light, or as mentioned earlier, overcrowd it. Since the galactic plane would be an unchanging background image, the overcrowding nebulae and the overall scenery would just seem repetitive as the storyline progresses. I have mixed feelings about the idea for those reasons, and maybe a decrease in the number of fictitious nebulae may solve the problem. I am all for realism as long as everyone else is content with the idea.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 03, 2007, 08:57:49 pm
I would recommend nVidia's DDS tools. It gives you a batch converter (command line utility) for converting files into variable DDS formats.

http://developer.nvidia.com/object/dds_utilities.html (http://developer.nvidia.com/object/dds_utilities.html)


...of course, I don't know if that program is just software or does it require a nVidia GPU or something like that. Probably not.


When you have installed the utilities, open Start menu and run cmd. Navigate to the directory where your file to be converted is. Then use the tool by typing command line

nvdxt -file <file.name> -<format> -<quality> -<other hundred cmdline options>

In this case, you would choose the appropriate format: There's about 20-30 of available formats to select from in nvDXT, but FS2_Open uses dxt1a for colour only maps like most ship textures, and dxt3 for transparent textures... mostly, anyway. Background images should AFAIK be in DXT3 mode. But I'm not really sure about what kind of blending mode the background images use, you should ask someone who knows the code.

I recommend you use the "quality_highest" flag (without dashes). And of other cmdline options, perhaps Gaussian mipmap filtering (I don't know what the default is).

Just typing nvdxt command will open a rather comprehensive documentation, you should be okay with it.


I find it especially handy when you need to convert many textures - like frames for animation. You can just use

nvdxt -file *.tga <cmdline options>

which converts all tga files in the directory into selected DDS format.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Bobboau on March 04, 2007, 02:24:17 am
"and dxt3 for transparent textures"

not for transparent textures, for textures that NEED and alpha chanel, if you don't requier an alpha chanel do not use dxt3. anything that is blended with additive alpha and thust does not use an alpha chanle, like the nebulas in the background, should NOT use dxt3, anything that uses alpha blending, like planets in the background should use dxt3.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Agent_Koopa on March 04, 2007, 07:29:32 am
EDIT: I think what Agent Koopa was getting at is that the Freespace skybox, as it is right now, is very detailed in terms of nebulae. This nebulae filled sky, along with the large galactic plane might overcrowd the amount of celestial objects in the sky given the limited amount of free space available, and overall seem overdetailed. This is what might become irritating. What I mentioned is the fact that the galactic plane's appearance is not going to noticeably change as you travel from star system to star system in our stellar neighborhood. While I think it would be nice to see the galactic plane in all missions, there are just too many nebulae at the moment which could possibly obscure the band of light, or as mentioned earlier, overcrowd it. Since the galactic plane would be an unchanging background image, the overcrowding nebulae and the overall scenery would just seem repetitive as the storyline progresses. I have mixed feelings about the idea for those reasons, and maybe a decrease in the number of fictitious nebulae may solve the problem. I am all for realism as long as everyone else is content with the idea.

Yes, that was what I meant. Nice to know sometimes that my opinions are not wholly unfounded.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: S-99 on March 04, 2007, 08:52:16 am
Going as far as realism goes. If people lived on planets in a supergiant system. Say like humans, planet conditions would at least have to be characteristicly comparable to earth for life. Which means planets to sustain human life in a supergiant system would have an extreme distance away from the supergiant for it's orbit, otherwise you roast the planet quite easily.

Pretty much i'm saying the beautiful deneb star that was created in this thread wouldn't like take up the whole skybox because all the ships in the said mission would probably be going back and forth between planets as the standard lanes of traffic and in fs2 standard lanes of assault perhaps. Fs ships, hell not many ships could get very close to a supergiant at all. Fs ships would roast, sort of like that heat wave from hitting those two corvettes before the actual nova happened(a super giant probably gets a lot hotter than that heat wave). The supergiant in a skybox would probably be the average size star used for lighting in all missions.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 04, 2007, 09:55:03 am
Oh yes, this is true.  However, the distinct color and light ray pattern he has created will remain unique to Deneb.  Note that one exception to your comment may be Betelgeuse, given that it is relatively cool, but incredibly large (perhaps 500 times the size of Sol).  Once we have Deneb done, m2258734a should give Betelgeuse a go... :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 04, 2007, 01:30:37 pm
You read my mind. I was planning on attacking the supergiants first, since they are at the very top of the luminosity class hierarchy. I chose to do Deneb first only because I had mentioned it towards the beginning of the thread  :).

I have finished Deneb, and it's appearance is exactly the same as the image on the first page. I'm very happy with the luminous appearance, but I would appreciate if someone would finalize the image. What I plan to do is provide the new images of the stars as I finish them, along with stating the RGB color values used for each star. I can only go so far as to create the basic outline of the star, such as what I have done with Deneb, and hand it over to someone with more experience who can really give the stars the artistic touch that they need. In the case of Deneb, I would like to give the star a "supergiant" appearance without having to resort to making the star take up half of the sky box. This is a little difficult, because I think I would need some form of reference (i.e. the Sun) in order to show just how large Deneb is, and I don't see how this would work in FS. I think the luminous appearance is just right, but the surface of the star looks a little on the grainy side IMO. I'd be more content if Deneb had a more prominent, plasma-like surface..... what do you all think needs improvement?

As for the size of the image, I do not have the original FS star images to do comparisons, so my Deneb image is very large (2000 X 2000 to be exact). I could easily resize and crop the image without losing clarity, so if anyone could provide the FS star images I would greatly appreciate it. Unless the media vp stars are too small in FS, the new stars are not going to be any bigger than the stars they are supposed to replace. This idea will become unrealistic for supergiant systems with habitable planets, such as Cygnus Prime, but I wouldn't want to make the stars appear so small in the background that the new features go unnoticed. With Deneb's luminosity of about 160000 solar luminosities, we can estimate the average radius of the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) for a planet in orbit. This means that Cygnus Prime would have to be about 400 AU away from Deneb. At this distance, given Deneb's +200 solar radius, Deneb would appear about 3 times smaller as observed from Cygnus Prime than the angular diameter of the Sun as observed from Earth.

To an inhabitant of Cygnus Prime, Deneb would actually appear just as bright as the Sun would from Earth with an apparent magnitude of -27.3. However, I don't know how much improvement of detail a FS user would experience with a star slightly less than one third the angular diameter of the Sun. So I think it would be fine just make the new stars no larger than their predecessors unless the predecessor is too small to begin with. What do you all think?

As for converting the images, I'm still having trouble. I think I am going to send the original .tga file, and hopefully if someone does take the image to improve it, they can convert the file, as well. I know it's a simple task, but I'd feel comfortable with someone else doing it who has actually done this before. I wouldn't want to hinder the quality of the image without knowing.

Until then, I will have to wait till I see how large the original Deneb image was so that way I can resize my image and attach it to a future message... (Betelgeuse and Antares come to mind.... ;))
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 04, 2007, 03:03:58 pm
The original images are just 128 x 128 pcx files.  There are two images, one for the star itself, and one for its glow.  As you see, there is no detail whatsoever.  Your work would need to be resized to some intermediate level, as these are much too small to be useful.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/SunBlue.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/SunGlowBlue.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 04, 2007, 05:37:14 pm
Are those the very original images Volition created for FS, or are these the ones from the media vps. I do recall this image before I was ever introduced to the SCP, but ever since then I remember the stars looked different: the stars had no light rays, they came in all sorts of colors like cyan and violet, and had large halos. There was no other detail that that. Let's see if I can find an example...

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/screen0629an0.jpg)

Here is an image from the "Screenies" thread from the general FS forum. These are the stars I remember seeing. Might you have those images available? Thanks for providing what you had.

I'm just about done with Betelgeuse.....
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 04, 2007, 05:56:54 pm
I extracted these from sparky_fs2.vp, so these should be the originals.  This is the extract from stars.tbl of all the sun bitmaps.  You will see that there are only 5 of them.  Moreover, since the colors are defined as RGBI,  the luminosity value has to be supplied in stars.tbl.

Code: [Select]
; sun bitmaps and lights - NOTE all $Suns must have a $Sunglow and a $SunRGBI!

$Sun: SunWhite
$Sunglow: Sunglow01
$SunRGBI: 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

$Sun: SunRed
$Sunglow: SunglowRed
$SunRGBI: 1.0 0.1 0.1 1.0

$Sun: SunGreen
$Sunglow: SunglowGreen
$SunRGBI: 0.5 1.0 0.5 1.0

$Sun: SunBlue
$Sunglow: SunglowBlue
$SunRGBI: 0.2 0.2 1.0 1.0

$Sun: SunGold
$Sunglow: SunglowGold
$SunRGBI: 0.74 0.76 0.44 1.0

$Sun: SunViolet
$Sunglow: SunglowViolet
$SunRGBI: 0.66 0.44 0.54 1.0

#end
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: S-99 on March 04, 2007, 07:13:24 pm
In that case betelgeuse would have closer orbiting planets. :)

That starfield is definitely from the 3.6.7vp's, the vanilla fs2 starfield is very starless, and the suns in the mediavp's have already replaced the vanilla fs2 ones.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 04, 2007, 11:52:06 pm
Yup. Assuming that Betelgeuse does have habitable planets, they would probably be within 200 to 316 AU from the supergiant. This all has to do with how luminous the parent star is.

I understand the star bitmaps now, and thanks for the information Admiral Nelson. I now see why I was asked about the RGB color value used for Deneb. However, are my images going to be compatible with the stars.tbl since I don't have a separate image for glows, or can the .tbl be modified to fit my progress. Also, is it more beneficial to create separate images for glows or to have one single image as I have done?

Well, Antares is next on my list and the star system got me thinking.... Antares A is about 550 AU away from Antares B. Considering that Antares B is a spectral class B2.5V star, we can assume that the radius of the star is somewhere in between 5-10 solar radii. So, from Antares A we can calculate that Antares B would appear about 613 times smaller than the Sun would appear from Earth. From Antares B, the +700 solar radii Antares A would appear about 1/5 the size of the Sun as viewed from Earth. I even went ahead and took into consideration that the user is going to be about 50 AU from Antares A in order for the supergiant to appear twice as large as the Sun, yet no matter where the user is positioned, Antares B will always be a very bright speck in the star field.

Assuming that we have multiple missions in one binary system, why not change our perspective of the binary system by resizing and repositioning the stars in each mission? Let's say we are in Antares for the first time, and the main star in the background is Antares A. For another mission we can venture close to Antares B, and have it has the prominent background feature. Since there are several multiple star systems that have made their way into the FS universe, would you all agree that this might be a good idea to opportunity to enhance the scenery?

If you all think this is a good idea, then I am going to need information about the missions and the location each mission takes place. That way, I can come up with some sort of stellar template if that's possible. If this is accepted, I think I'm going to hold out on resizing the images until I can understand how I should reposition the stars according to each mission in FS and FS2. I have four more supergiants to finish: Adhara, Enif (Epsilon Pegasi), Mirfak, and Polaris. When these are finished, I will provide an attachment for all supergiants in FS for anyone to improve or take possession of.  I would say to hold back on resizing and converting the images to .dds until we know how large each star should be in each mission... assuming you all like the idea.  :)

EDIT: Tell me what you think about Betelgeuse...

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Betelgeuse.jpg)

RGB: 255 193 104
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: miskat on March 05, 2007, 01:26:30 am
I would blur the edges of the inner sphere, fight now it looks like the glow is just a backlight of some sort.  blur the hell out of it all for a more realistic "youre looking into the sun, and your eyes cannot deal with it" effect.

Just my 2cp
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on March 05, 2007, 01:37:33 am
TABS!!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 09:54:12 am
There is no need to resize your star image based upon how the star will appear in mission.  FRED has a setting to alter the scale of the star in each mission.  You merely need to select a size that is a good balance between graphics memory use and detail. 

The glow is required; you cannot use any star in FS2 without one.  Are the "rays" emanating from your star on their own layer?  That could be exported as a separate image to serve as the glow.

Betelgeuse is looking good! :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 11:22:45 am
Oh, ok. That's good to know.

When I made the stars I created everything on a single layer. Since this is the case, and stars are required to have separate glows in FS, it looks like I am going to have to start all over; and I was almost done with the supergiants... :sigh:

It's ok though, I've learned from my mistakes so hopefully I should be able to create more promising stars in the future. So, how should I separate the star from its glow? Should I create a single image of the star with its own luminous atmosphere, including flares, and then create another image consisting of light rays? Maybe if I illustrate it....

So let's say I wanted a FS mission to have a pulsar. Altogether, the image would look like this:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/PulsarTotal.jpg)

So these images would be the star and glow:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Pulsar.jpg) (http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/PulsarGlow.jpg)

If this is what I should do, do I need to do anything to make the light ray layer transparent or does FRED take care of that, as well?

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 11:59:24 am
Based on the original examples above it wouldn't appear that there is anything special done wrt transparency.  Perhaps the best approach would be to produce a simple ordinary star like Alpha Centauri A that can be completed quickly and get that working in game before moving on to all the big stars. 
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 02:38:25 pm
That would have been a great idea if I read the message on time :). I have finished Adhara and its companion. I tried to implement a radial blur to give the stars' surfaces an explosive and intense appearance, but I'm not too sure if it worked out...

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/AdharaA.jpg)

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/AdharaB.jpg)

Adhara A RGB: 177 196 255
Adhara B RGB: 160 180 255

I have attached a .rar file of the four images required for the individual stars and their glows. They are still very large files and need to be resized, yet I am not sure what is a good size for FS. They are also .tga and still need to be converted into .dds. I am going to be away for a while, so I would greatly appreciate it if someone could test the stars in FRED and see how they turn out. Thanks for the support and feedback.

NOTE: I made an estimate on the spectral classification of Adhara's companion based on its absolute magnitude. Like Antares B, Adhara B is going to be a bright speck viewed from Adhara A, while Adhara A will appear a small fraction the size of the Sun as viewed from Earth when the user is close to Adhara B.

EDIT: This file is now obsolete. New files for the star and glow are available on the third page.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 05, 2007, 02:43:33 pm
Betelgeuse! It's my favourite! <---in fact SthCrs starts there

WOW!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 05, 2007, 02:49:28 pm
you didn't attach anything ?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 02:50:09 pm
I don't see any attachment?  Can you post these on filefront or suchlike?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 05, 2007, 02:56:42 pm
Nice. DLing it now.

DL link for Betelgeuse?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 03:05:29 pm
Sorry, not yet. I realized that I needed to make separate images for the stars and their glows after I had made most of the supergiant stars, so now I'm starting over and Adhara was first on my list. It was my fault for not checking that out earlier, but its perfectly alright. Antares is next on the list, and Betelgeuse is third. Before I can continue with the rest of the supergiant stars, I need to see how Adhara turns out, and at the moment I don't have the time to check myself as I have some coursework that needs to be completed. So as I said, I would greatly appreciate some feedback and I will try to improve what I can. Don't worry, Betelgeuse will be available soon enough  :yes:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 04:16:18 pm
The glow file seems to be hiding the sun file?  I had to greatly scale up the star to make it visible; FS2 by default seems to assume that stars are of a tiny size.


(I don't know of any missions set in Adhara, so this is Regulus)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Adhara.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Adhara2.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 04:52:37 pm
Uh oh, that doesn't look too good. Seems like there's been a large loss of detail: blue flares are missing, the star's halo seems faded, no detail on the surface of the star, and the color seems to have gone from a hint of blue to lavender. It also seems like the corona of the star has become transparent. This hopefully has to do with how I set up the star and glow images.

How do you suggest I create the glow and star files? I saved both Adhara A and B's template so I won't have to start over from scratch. If the glow is supposed to cover the star file, maybe I should leave an opening in the glow for the star to reside without becoming obscured. I should also include the flares and halo with the light rays. But one thing that still bothers me is how the corona is transparent now. I assume that when looking at Adhara, the star will look similar to the image I posted minus the halo and blue flares.. or am I wrong?

I'll just have to experiment. I'll be back tonight to see if I can find some time to make the proper changes.

EDIT: No missions set in Adhara, you say. That's ok, I'm going to make all stars that are included in the Wiki in case someone would like to make a mission or storyline of their own.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 04:58:08 pm
I think that we are only seeing the glow file.  The glow file you posted is solid white in the middle.  I am thinking the fiery corona part of your sun file probably belongs in the glow file.  The solid center is probably causing nothing of the actual sun to appear.  If you look at the stock glow file I posted earlier, the central part seems to be semi transparent. 
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 05:07:35 pm
I agree. I edited each star to look bright and energetic as is, yet I am unsure of the consequences the effect of a transparent glow is going to have on the detail of the stars' surface. I am going to try to make an opening in the glow provide the updated the files, and then I'll try to make the glow partially transparent and send those files so we can see the difference.

I am curious to why the brightest part of the glow file I provided is transparent. I was thinking that the rays themselves would be partially transparent, but not any region of the star's atmosphere. Can this be changed or does this have to do with the glow file itself?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 05:14:11 pm
I can't say for sure, but the distinction between the two files may well be that the regular file is solid, and the glow file transparent.  Someone like taylor would need to weigh in on this one, I think...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 07:54:47 pm
Yeah, this is tricky. I was thinking that it was possible to make one portion of the glow image completely transparent, exposing the solid star and atmosphere. Unless I lack the proper tools, I can't achieve that goal.

Adhara's atmosphere and the brightest parts of the light rays should not be transparent, yet the entire glow is designed to be transparent. I'm also wondering if the star's surface itself will appear luminous if we can get the transparency issue taken care of. I honestly don't know how this all works, so maybe giving taylor (if he's not too busy) a PM so we can understand the situation would be the best solution.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 05, 2007, 09:06:55 pm
Well, I asked him to have a look and see...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: taylor on March 05, 2007, 10:13:43 pm
I haven't really looked at this topic in detail yet, but here is the basic deal:
- the bitmaps are additive blended, which means that black == transparent and white == opaque, so dark colors will blend more
- the glow bitmap is drawn on top of the sun bitmap, but at 50% opacity

So based on the images posted, it's doing exactly what it's supposed to do.  The glow bitmap is just overpowering the sun bitmap.  Your options are basically to remake the glow so that it merely adds to the sun bitmap instead of pretty much replacing it like now, or incorporating the sun bitmap into the glow bitmap so that you will still be able to see some sun bitmap details in the glow bitmap.  It's easy enough to do in GIMP, I just did a color-to-alpha conversion on the black of the glow bitmap, then copied and pasted it as a layer over the sun bitmap, set it to screen and with 80% opacity.  I haven't tried it in-game, but it should probably work pretty well, though you'll might have to tweak the settings a bit and try again if the values I used don't work as you like.

Also remember that although you have to specify a sun glow bitmap, no one said that it can't be a totally black image, and therefore fully transparent to the game.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 05, 2007, 11:02:54 pm
Thanks for clearing that up, taylor.

Now I have some options to consider. First, I would create a single image of a star as I did previously, and then create a black image for the glow. My next option is to create a single image, and then "pull" out the star and its atmosphere and create two separate images of the star and its glow. Taylor since you already configured the opacity and transparency of the images, may we see how this looks in-game? If someone could try out each of the two cases and show screenshots I would greatly appreciate it. So basically I would like you all to decide which set you like the best. Once I have established the best way to add the stars to FS, then I can continue with the rest of the list.

I'll provide links to the image sets shortly...

EDIT: Here is Adhara with transparent glows: https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Adhara%20-%20Single%20Layer.rar (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Adhara%20-%20Single%20Layer.rar)
         Here is Adhara with the separated star and glow images: https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Adhara%20-%20Double%20Layer.rar (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Adhara%20-%20Double%20Layer.rar)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 06, 2007, 09:35:46 am
Here's the single layer one:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/screen0028.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on March 06, 2007, 10:29:51 am
as long as flares like that are static, they'll never look quite right.

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 06, 2007, 11:49:45 am
I agree. the flares are problematic,  because they never change and it's just not how stars look. Look at our sun for an example, it doesn't look like this.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on March 06, 2007, 12:14:16 pm
So, how would you implement a variable flare?  Maybe modify the code for the screen whiteout so it changes the flare as you turn towards it?
BTW, screen whiteout was one of the things that bugged me.  How many years into the future?  We are working on stuff to protect fighter pilots from blinding ground laser attacks, we already have auto-darkening sunglasses, and we can't fix that?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 06, 2007, 01:53:49 pm
They definitely need a flare. They don't look ok with FS nebulae otherwise.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 06, 2007, 04:50:42 pm
I can say I am not very happy with the way Adhara is coming out. I really like the original image that I posted earlier along with its companion, but in-game it seems like there is a high loss of detail (unless I am mistaken since Adhara is much smaller in-game than the original picture).

As for the flares... I assume you all mean the light rays emitted by the star. I never meant for those to be actual flares, similar to coronal mass ejections observed from the Sun, but just a lens effect similar to the way stars appear in Freelancer. However, when I look at videos of solar storms, raging flares on the Sun can extend to distances of one solar radius and much more. These flares dance around the surface of the star and are definitely not static. More surprisingly they do resemble the light rays on my images, so I can see why you all would say they do not look right as stationary flares.

Here's an example of a typical solar storm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xiMmvP9nq0&mode=related&search= (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xiMmvP9nq0&mode=related&search=) (Typical is an understatement, as one of the CMEs in this video holds the title as the most powerful flare on record)

I could set up an animation by moving these rays around the surface of Adhara and save each image as a separate file, but I don't know what good a large animation would do for FS. If you all have any suggestions for giving the stars a more realistic appearance let me know. If you have ideas yourself, then feel free to do as you please with my files.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 06, 2007, 04:55:03 pm
Solar rays(or beams?) should be short.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: ni1s on March 06, 2007, 05:09:19 pm
You might want to check out Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/). You probably heard of it, but I can't help myself mentioning it every time someone talks about "stellar ambiance". And while you're at it, download the 2 million stars database (http://celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/extrasolar_stars.php) (brace for some hefty startup times).

It's hard not the be at awe of the beauty that is Space.

P.S, I do recommend any "fan of space" to check out Celestia and The Celestia Motherlode (http://celestiamotherlode.net/), great stuff.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 06, 2007, 05:26:33 pm
I have Celestia and I can say without a doubt that the program is useful.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 06, 2007, 05:28:13 pm
Thanks, but I already have the program and the 2 million stars database installed.  ;) It is a great program, but IMO it needs more emphasis on the extrasolar regions of the Milky Way. For example, the stars do get a little repetitive.... they are all essentially the same (except Altair), but with different colors. Nevertheless I really enjoy the program. Thanks for mentioning it.

As for decreasing the radius of the solar flare, even the solar flares in my image of Adhara are smaller than the ones produced by the Sun. What I was getting at with the light rays, which is what I intended them to be, was for this effect to give the notion that a star is very luminous. Until now, I realized they look very similar to solar flares, which can be just as long and longer than the rays I have produced for Adhara. Not only this, but Adhara is a supergiant. It does not look like the Sun because it is not even in the same luminosity class, let alone spectral class. This star can be on the order of 100,000 times more luminous than the Sun; just take my description of Deneb for example. At 400 AU, the supergiant will appear just as bright as the Sun would from Earth. Now imagine how bright Deneb would appear if the supergiant were to be the same angular diameter as the Sun. Since I cannot change the brightness settings for the star in-game, I was planning on making supergiants have large, dazzling flares to give them a luminous appearance. If you all do not like this idea, then I'll see what I can do.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 06, 2007, 05:42:18 pm
The trouble is that the rays rotate with the the star itself.  The star looks "painted" on the background in mission, as one would expect the length of the "rays" to be constantly vary as the observer's point of view shifts.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 06, 2007, 05:54:25 pm
PLaying the devils advocate here... I do like the long beams\flares\rays, whatever u want to call them :P

For some stars at least, the whiter ones, with a gradual diminish in ray size as the stars aproach the red color

Granted, that white screen effect is getting aged... a lens flare effect would make it all look better ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: S-99 on March 06, 2007, 05:55:29 pm
Who says any rays have to be added. I mean, a star having rays is really more of just an interpretation of how the sun broadcasts light. The stars are more like street lights at night, they have a spherical glow of light that gets dimmer according to the square of the distance the light has to go. But, the thing to i really meant here was the spherical glow aspect of light, not the rays part. The existing stars in the media vps are completely awesome, they don't look all ****y with rays, they're just like normal stars. No to the rays, and you could still have you system accurate stars as well. Something that might be cool to do is mess with the lighting on the skyboxes of the mission, or just make a mission with a supergiant brighter than usual to show off that you're in a system with an uber star. But, i mean **** the rays, if anything, go for that spherical glow thing.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 06, 2007, 06:08:54 pm
Rays or not rays... its all a matter of personal preference

Some people, like you, like that realism factor, other ppl, like me like the eyecandy factor... so no need to argue bout that
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 06, 2007, 06:35:16 pm
FS2 SCP does support lens flares, perhaps this functionality could be exploited to acheive the desired effect?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 06, 2007, 06:43:48 pm
Since I know that there are people that are already content with the media vp stars, I'll go ahead and provide the RGB color values for each star that is in the Wiki, in case someone would like to make a mission using one of these extra stars. That way nothing is forced upon any FS user, and they can have realistic stars with their correct hue based on their luminosity and spectral class.

If I knew how, I would change the brightness settings for each FS mission depending on what star is in the system. By far, Deneb would have the most blinding scenery, yet I am sure users will find it very annoying to fly around in such a luminous environment. It depends on what you all prefer.

You are completely right about a star's spherical emission, and I am all for realism as well. But I did say that I would like to see realism with an artistic touch. I do not want to get into why I believe there needs to be an artistic touch applied to the media vps as I do not want to start a debate over it, but no star should be exactly like another. Stars have differing luminosity types, spectral types, variability, rotation rates, radii, age, etc. and each one of these plays a part in defining the appearance of a star. I just think the uniqueness of a star should be applied, even if it slightly stretches the boundaries of realism such as visible corona and stellar surface. But as Raven2001 said, its all a matter of personal preference, and I want to make everyone content.

EDIT: Lense flares sound like a great idea, only if I knew where to find those files. I would also like to see how I could possibly make the "rays" rotate with the user. The problem is these "rays", which are pretty much flares, are a part of the corona and so this means I would have to rotate the corona as well. I'll think of something...

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 06, 2007, 06:54:12 pm
Okay, my thoughts.

Stars have a corona, which does have inherent structure from the solar wind and magnetic fields etc, but that structure is way more detailed than the ray beam thingys in the latest shots here. Something like this would work much better as coronal detail:

(http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/samplestar_small.jpg) (http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/samplestar.jpg)

Also, if the ray beam thingys are supposed to be diffraction visual effect, they are too few and too bulky to be that either. Bright lights do generate twinkly "beams" in optic devices such as telescopes, binoculars, human eye and car windshield, mostly due to diffraction, but baking that statically into textures is not really a good idea since those effects are, as was said, variable depending on various things such as how dilated your pupils happen to be or how much you squint your eyes. However, it's an interesting proposition that the lens flare  system could be used to create more realistic diffraction rays from stars. I don't have any idea on how to do it, though...

Anyway, the solar glare system used at the moment is rather borked IMHO. Looking at sun doesn't really make everything brighter - in fact it makes things look darker except for the star itself. At the moment, if you look at a star past a capital ship (ie. you see the shadow side of the cap ship), the cap ship magically becomes more visible when solar glare lights up everything. It would be better to make it so that looking at a star activates a relatively large bright glare texture on the background, while reducing the overall brightness.

EDIT: Also, practically there is no way to realistically depict the brightness of supergiants*, we might just as well say that FS2 fighter cockpits shield the pilot's eyes from exess light if necessary and automatically adjust the brightness to non-hazardous (although still possibly glaring) levels.


*exept playing a message at mission start: <Alpha 1 was killed by spectral class B superciant.>
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 06, 2007, 07:11:01 pm
wow, that's really nice example there, Herra.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 06, 2007, 07:34:37 pm
The trouble also is if you look back at the table stuff I posted earlier, all of the stars in the game already have a luminosity value of 1.0, the maximum it can be.  There is no place luminosity can go but down, which will be useful for background red dwarfs, but doesn't really help us out here....
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 06, 2007, 08:03:22 pm
Seems like this "stellar enhancements" proposition is slowly going downhill....     :sigh:

Thanks for mentioning the luminosity values, I completely overlooked them. This also answers the question I was going to ask Herra. However, even if increasing the luminosity of a star did work, I don't think realism would have any effect on why the brightness shouldn't be increased to simulate the high luminosity of a supergiant. If the luminosity of a supergiant were to actually be taken into consideration, Deneb would have to appear from Cygnus Prime about 1/3 the size of the Sun as viewed from Earth. Since Deneb is about 160,000 times more luminous than the Sun, Cygnus Prime would have to reside in the circumstellar habitable zone of radius 400 AU. Seeing how large Deneb appears in that first mission, we know that Cygnus Prime is way too close to be inhabitable.

All missions in FS with a supergiant that appears just as large as the Sun would from Earth or larger would roast any ship. It was just something Volition never took into consideration. Regardless, that death message would be hilarious <Alpha 1 was killed by Betelgeuse>.

That corona effect is great, something I can't produce myself. This is the problem; I'm limited with my applications, so I can only work with so much. As I have said before, feel free to take my images of the Adhara system and enhance them to your liking. So far, your image looks more realistic than any star I have produced yet. My stars, while based on a star's spectral class and luminosity, are basically fantasy and made to be eyecandy and not totally realistic celestial objects. You can say that Freelancer was my motivation, but I think I took it to the next level with those light ray/solar flares. This is the first time that I have ever produced an image using an application that I actually think looks promising, and the first time I have ever made a contribution to the FS community that does not involve error reporting.

I'm still new at this, so if you would like to improve my work then please feel free.

EDIT: Just wondering, has anyone checked to see what the double layer Adhara files look like?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: taylor on March 06, 2007, 09:15:53 pm
Few more tidbits from me...

 - The "white-out" effect can be disabled.  It's not a global thing though, just per sun, as specified in stars.tbl.

 - Both the sun bitmap and sun glow bitmaps can be animated.  You can use ANI or EFF there, but a static version of any effect is loaded first, so if a static bitmap exists then it will use that instead of an animated version.  Most of the time this is just wasteful though, since those are texture resources which would otherwise be put to much better use for ship textures or other effects.  Perhaps in the future we can make some changes that allow better use of this without wasting texture resources in the process.

 - Think of the sun glow not as coming from the sun itself, but as an effect on your canopy.  Perhaps that will help everyone better understand how best to make use of it, or not make use of it as the case may be.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 06, 2007, 11:25:57 pm
why don't you and herra work together on getting these stars the right color and have nice halos. I think you might learn a bit in the process too.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 07, 2007, 01:55:20 am
- Both the sun bitmap and sun glow bitmaps can be animated.  You can use ANI or EFF there, but a static version of any effect is loaded first, so if a static bitmap exists then it will use that instead of an animated version.  Most of the time this is just wasteful though, since those are texture resources which would otherwise be put to much better use for ship textures or other effects.  Perhaps in the future we can make some changes that allow better use of this without wasting texture resources in the process.

Glow bitmap could benefit from being animated, but the bitmap itself should not be animated. The scale of stellar phenomena is so big that from any reasonable distance the star looks essentially static in FS2 mission timeframe. It takes days to take the pictures then linked into those fierce animations seen in science TV shows about sun. Many of those coronal mass ejections and solar prominences are much larger than Earth itself - it takes time from stuff to be ejected from Sun, reach the top altitude and then drop back to the surface. Only if the mission was located on a very low orbit around a very dim red supergiant which has a low surface luminocity and thus is not actually that brilliant when seen from near. That is the only way to be near enough a star to actually see the slow changes in the photosphere detail in real-time. Otherwise it's like watching grass to grow.


Quote
- Think of the sun glow not as coming from the sun itself, but as an effect on your canopy.  Perhaps that will help everyone better understand how best to make use of it, or not make use of it as the case may be.


Or as a result of how the visual system (eyes and visual cortex) behave when they have to handle overly bright objects.


As to producing the star images, it's not really very complex process. I did that sample star with GIMP in less than half an hour. Supernova lighting effect was very essential in creating that image. If you want I can make a detailed basic guide on how I did that image with GIMP, so it can be modified to create differently coloured stars.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 07, 2007, 08:06:05 am
and I want to make everyone content.

Dont even try that... some1 wise once said to me that trying to make every1 happy is an exercise in futility... the wise man can post at will to claim credit for the sentence :P

Just follow what your taste tells ya... if you prefer more fantasiac scenery, continue doing so, its looking good so far, with very little stuff to improve. Some1 else will eventually make a more realistic set for those that prefer that way :)

Looking at sun doesn't really make everything brighter - in fact it makes things look darker except for the star itself. At the moment, if you look at a star past a capital ship (ie. you see the shadow side of the cap ship), the cap ship magically becomes more visible when solar glare lights up everything. It would be better to make it so that looking at a star activates a relatively large bright glare texture on the background, while reducing the overall brightness.


A lil correction there. The main idea is right, but what it really does is augment the contrast between lit areas and unlit areas, no just between the scenery and the star itself. That means that everything well lit, will be even more lit, while the shadowed areas and poorly lie areas will become even darker... this is called the exposure effect btw.

To get a better idea of what it does, just take a screenie of FS, slap it into PS, duplicate the layer and set the duplicate into overlay mode :)



Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 07, 2007, 08:58:26 am
Very well...


Here, a star is behind the Apollo.

(http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_behind_apollo_thumb.jpg) (http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_behind_apollo.jpg)

Here the star is visible.

(http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_visible_thumb.jpg) (http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_visible.jpg)


Finally, here's a slightly modified version of the first image (with the star behind Apollo). Only change was uniform brightness increase of 76 in GIMP. Contrast was not altered. Is there any difference to the picture where the star is visible?

(http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_behind_apollo_brightness_increased_thumb.jpg) (http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/FS2_Open/star_behind_apollo_brightness_increased.jpg)

I must say that unless there is some pretty heavy evidence to the contrary, it looks to me that what the solar glare effect does is simply increase the brightness temporarily. With higher ambient/emissive light values the effect is even more prominent, I play with no_emissive_light and ambient_factor 18 and it still is visible.


Oh and by the way, talking about diffraction effect... :drevil: A little experiment. Might be useful for some weapon effects in some form too (light balls, anyone?). Should probably find some way to make it less hectic and more calm, but it's a start...

(http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/Space/diffraction_glare_anim_thumb.gif) (http://users.tkk.fi/~lmiettun/Kuvat/Space/diffraction_glare_anim.gif)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 07, 2007, 11:13:18 am
Oh, you were talking about the behaviour in game... I was talking about how the effect should be to appear more realistic and eye pleasing :P
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: DaBrain on March 07, 2007, 11:43:33 am
FS2 SCP does support lens flares, perhaps this functionality could be exploited to acheive the desired effect?

Media VP 3.6.9 will feature lensflares.

(http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/6362/scpmvtl9.jpg)

(http://i15.tinypic.com/48lvhpu.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 07, 2007, 11:58:00 am
->Raven:

Yeah, that was the other possibility, but if you read your message again, that's not what you said... :p Meh, no matter.

Anyway, if you test the theory you'll notice that it doesn't work that way.

What happens when a human looks at very bright light? Well, the first reaction is to close eyes or at least squint them, and pupils of course contract to limit the amount of light getting into eyes. In case of stars, that is not even close to limiting the light to safe levels, but it does reduce the brightness of everything else in sight, while the immediate area around the star becomes an "overexposured" mess of light.

Also, perceived contrast scale will be affected so that the brightest light (star) is at the bright end, while darkest dark (black) is in the dark end. However, since practically everything in sight will have a brightness vastly inferior to that of the star, that means that practically everything in sight will fall into the dark end of the contrast scale... which makes the objects simply look darker.

Unfortunately, achieving more realistic sun glares with the tools at disposal now would be hackery-pockery at best, and results might not be very much better than now. I think it's best to wait what kind of options the shader support opens... perhaps it would be possible to implement some kind of HDR solution to make very bright lights actually appear dazzlingly bright.

...although maybe, just maybe, it would be possible to construct a system where overall brightness would be decreased instead of increasing it, while a bright glare texture would be overlayed on the background, increasing in intensity if the pilot would be looking in that direction... that would be at least a bit more realistic than what we have now. But obviously, it would require someone to do the job of actually implementing the required stuff to check the player's view orientation and change the intensity of the glare texture accordingly. And it is very likely that there are much higher priority things to be done instead of this. :cool:

->DaBrain: Sweet shots there... :nod: Although what I know as lens flare is a bit different, that looks completely cool.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 07, 2007, 12:10:08 pm
It might still be nice to make simple properly colored stars for each system.  This would help give each system a unique look, pending availability of more elaborate stuff like you suggest.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 07, 2007, 03:20:45 pm
I really like those lens flares. The star depicted in-game looks very similar to one of the stars in Freelancer which also has two "flares" ejecting from opposite ends of the equator:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freelancer/Avatars/Foundations/California.jpg)

I can honestly say that THIS is what I have always wanted to see in Freespace, and I tried my best to apply that luminous appearance given my limitations. I am happy to see that I have interested some people in what I have done with the stars, and if anyone wants me to continue with the fantasy stars like Adhara I will run through the entire FS list.

Now, for the sake of simplicity, I will also produce spherical-glow stars that probably won't look much different from those in the media vps, but will have their correct colors corresponding to their luminosity types and spectral classes. Here's the Adhara system in its simple, realistic form.

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Adhara.jpg)

Herra, I would appreciate if you did provide the explanation on how you made the star. Thanks
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: DaBrain on March 07, 2007, 03:59:50 pm
I had to keep is more simple, cause the lensflares in FS2 aren't rendered on top of everything. Which looks pretty ugly with 'strong' lensflare effects. :(
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: takashi on March 07, 2007, 04:16:10 pm
how about new stars themselves, like animated twinkles, and star clusters. i have photoshop skills that could help.

(if this has already been mentioned be aware i havent read thw whole topic)

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 07, 2007, 05:40:53 pm
Herra, I would appreciate if you did provide the explanation on how you made the star. Thanks

Okay, let's see... for the sake of keeping it brief, I assume you're familiar enough with GIMP to understand the terminology - if something needs clarifying, I'll be happy to provide more information. :) Also, I'm working with a Finnish copy of GIMP so I need to translate them on the flight and they might not be precise, but I hope you can understand my rambling...

1. Create a new image of, let's say 1024x1024.

2. Fill it with uniform noise cloud with seamless option on. Copy this layer.

3. Create a new image sized 2048x2048. Paste twice so that the image is filled with two tiles.

4. Reduce the contrast and increase the brightness so that there are less darker than brighter surface. Exact values are not a concern yet, but dark areas need to be a minority.

5. Colourize. Find suitable tone from the uppermost slider and adjust brightness and saturation to almost white with colour-tned darker flecks here and there.

6. Fill with RGB noise, individual RGB off, correlated noise on, at about 15 strength.

7. Gaussian Blur at 3-5, again find the suitable values. Now you should be looking at nicely granulated surface texture for star's fotosphere.

8. Copy the 2048x1024 texture you just created. Create again a new file of size 1024x1024. Paste the copied layer and resize it to fit the visible area. This is important because it will reduce the equatorial stretching of the texture at the next phase.

9. When you have the texture fitted to 1024x1024 size, find the option where you can fit a square texture into an object (surface, cylinder or a sphere). Select the sphere, transparent background, create new image, set highest anti-aliasing mode (though it's not really important in this case). On next tab, do nothing. On third tab, set diffuse to zero and environmental light to about 1.05-1.10, depending on the particular texture you created and how bright you want your star to be. You'll need to find suitable values yourself. The attitude controls are, in this case, good as the are. Click OK and let the processor do it's magick.

10. Now you should see a new image (again) with transparent edges and a round star in the middle. Brilliant. To make things look better, create a black layer as a background texture - makes things somewhat easier. Now you will start working with layers.

11. First, duplicate the star texture.

12. Now do gaussian blur of perhaps 200-300 value to the lower one of the star layers. That'll be a good start in creating a corona around the star's fotosphere.

13. Create new layer below all others but above the background black layer.

14. Find "Filters->Lighting effects->Supernova". Set colour to #000000 (ie. black, and don't question that - I know there's no black light but that's not really what the supernova effect does. Play around with it a little and you'll see a logic in what it actually does). Set the center point to (512,512), which positions the supernova effect nicely dead center of the image. Set radius to maximum and amound of spikes to something that appeals to you. Somewhere between 512 and 1024 is probably best area for this case - it depends on how detailed you want the corona to look like. Hit OK and you should now see the supernova's "spikes" spreading from beneath the higher layers.

15. Now, if you want to create protuberances and flares and stuff surrounding the star, you might want to duplicate the primary layer (again), select Smudge tool (S) and drag some gas into the space surrounding the star - I don't really think there's a filter that would create realistic effects, you'll need to look at pictures taken by SOHO et al, and manually apply what you want into the picture. This is obviously optional, but as you see from my ster, it gives at least some life to the star's surface. You'll need to play around with it to get it right, I can't really give better instructions about that.

16. Create a new layer (again) to make a corona layer. Position the layer behind the uppermost star surface layer. Select free selection tool (F) to select an irregular area around the star. Fill that area with something grey - uniform cloud might work fine. Now, un-select the area. Apply gaussian blur to the layer at about 300-400 strength. Now set the layer to "Display" mode and you should, with any luck, have something at least remotely resembling the star I posted earlier...


After this point it's all about meddling with several layers with different modes to get whe desired results out of it. Experimenting == good. For example, you can colourize the corona layer, make multiple ones of them, change the places of the layers etc etc ad infinitum.


By the way that "simple" realistic Adhara is looking great.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 07, 2007, 07:11:27 pm
Hmm, yeah i like the simple Adhara too - perhaps keep it like that with a little of what herra has explained, keep going ! you're getting there !
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: takashi on March 07, 2007, 09:15:30 pm
are these available in .vp's?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 08, 2007, 12:59:30 am
Not yet; all I have created are prototypes of what might be in the media vps in the future. I like the simple stars myself, but like I said if anyone would still like the fantasy stars I will still make them. I tried messing around and experimenting with new effects and features, and so I tried to apply what I learned from Herra into the Antares system:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Antares.jpg)

Here I added some faded sunbursts, and an artificial lens flare just to see how it would look. The flare is only temporary as I was only experimenting, so don't worry about it being a static image. The next step is to go into a little more detail on the star's surface, putting everything together into the next star on my list... Betelgeuse.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 08, 2007, 04:03:31 am
:yes2: :nod: :yes:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: TrashMan on March 08, 2007, 05:41:08 am
 :yes:
seconded
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on March 08, 2007, 07:26:03 am
:cool:
...That looks like I always imagined our sun would look like close-up in space.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 08, 2007, 08:37:45 am
Dude ! you're on to something now. Can you get these into some easy vp form for the lazy of us ! I want !
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 08, 2007, 08:40:51 am
This last pic you posted, thats an ingame shot?!? wow!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 08, 2007, 08:47:54 am
I'm really starting to think that it's not necessary to add any detail to the surfaces of stars, seeing how good that last picture looks. Adding detail would just reduce the apparent brightness of the stars. And considering that the primary nature of stars is to be bright, not detailed, I'd say we're better off with stars that actually look like they are bright - detail is secondary concern. Although I must say that you managed to nail the corona detail extremely well. I want that kind of stars in my FS2_Open, stat. I'll have to start using sunglasses soon. :cool:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 08, 2007, 08:57:17 am
agreed. I like that last image even better than herra's mockup.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 08, 2007, 10:12:31 am
I was doing some thinking myself, and I really don't want to add detail to the surface of the stars... not that I'm lazy or anything  :p. But I agree with Herra and I really would not want to hamper the effect by adding such minuscule details. So that settles it, looks like I've finally got something. I'll start redoing the stars in this manner by tomorrow.

The picture isn't an in-game shot, though I wish, but something I created myself... background and all. So do we all agree that the realistic stars need to go into the vps?

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 08, 2007, 10:58:54 am
Just a thought... im no expert in astronomy or whatever, so correct me if im wrong.

I think its the neutron stars (not sure), that give off a very small amount of radiation (light and the other stuff)... maybe it would be feasable for those to have that detail on teh surface? not very realistic true, but would add up on the eyecandy and diferentiation between star types
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 08, 2007, 11:18:44 am
Since you're creating beautiful effects for my favourite systems, finish with Sol. lol

PS I want the permission to use the latest image for a forum signature. Plz


Antares is a Red Giant, with a small star near it.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 08, 2007, 11:51:15 am
-Raven:

Neutron stars are so small that you would need to be very very close to see them in the first place - they are only about 20-40 km in diameter. And at that distance, you should be orbiting the star really fricking fast if you didn't wish to fall onto the surface of an object that has a huge density. Not to mention that tidal forces would likely tear you and your ship into shreds that close to such massive object.

Further more, none of their possible detail - should they have any - would be visible, since they characteristically rotate very fast due to conservation of angular momentum - essentially, they maintain a lot of the momentum of the original star, but pack it into incredibly dense form, so typical neutron stars rotate several thousand times a second. They slow down slowly - very old neutron stars can rotate as "slowly" as one rotation per second...

Plus, since you're essentialy right - it wouldn't radiate very much light at all - things would be quite dark, and you wouldn't, well, actually see the star anyway. What would be more plausible would be a dual star system consisting of large shiny star and a dense neutron star or even black hole tearing plasma from the star's photosphere and sucking it to itself, which would possibly make for quite interesting backgrounds... but for now, I'd like to see upgraded normal stars first.

However, there are objects that are more like what you describe. White dwarfs essentially exist after an old star has gone nova, spawned most of its mass into planetary nebula around itself and formed a small object of the core matter - dense, yes, but nothing like neutron stars or black holes. They radiate residual heat for some time, then dim into black dwarfs.

Another type of objects would be the brown dwarfs, which are essentially protostars without sufficient mass to start fusion reaction. They too radiate residual heat and until they cool off sufficiently, their temperature is sufficient to shine visible light, much like blackbody radiation spectrum indicates. Depending from their age they could be very bright pale blue or dark glowy red, not unlike Shivan ships... Eventually they will stop radiating their own light, though, and will become more like gigantic gas planets in appearance.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 08, 2007, 12:06:23 pm
Ah then I was referring to the dwarfs... mixed my way around them :P

Actually thought that the dwarfs were the ones very small, extremely dense... bcoz of that " a spoon weights more than the entire earth" thingy they told us years ago :P

I stand corrected then :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 08, 2007, 12:59:18 pm
Well they're called dwarves <--- canon plural of dwarf ---> because they look little if put near their big sisters, but they're much greater than planets(except for many dwarves).

EDIT: Anyway, the big ones usually eat their younger sisters. Most FREDders represent it using a stetched nebula bitmap...I use it too...and works fine.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 08, 2007, 02:42:24 pm
If only there could be a scenario where I could make semidetached, contact, and X-ray binaries.... Making such systems would be very interesting, but at the moment I need to focus on the stars alone, whether they are detached binaries or single stars. Thankfully binary stars like Procyon and Sirius are in the Wiki, so I will be making white dwarfs for those systems.

Herra is right about neutron stars. The main form of EM radiation these stars emit are X-rays and radio. The radio jets originate from the north and south magnetic pole of the star. When these poles happen to face the Earth, astronomers are able to detect this oscillation of radio emission in extremely short, periodic pulses. In my fantasy depiction of a neutron star, which in this case happened to be a pulsar, I created my interpretation of what the radio jets would look like from each pole if radio waves were actually visible. When the time comes for me to make neutron stars, I will definitely consider realism to my creation.

Neutron stars can also be X-ray bursters. Similar to how a cataclysmic variable involving the mass transfer of stellar matter from a companion star to an orbiting white dwarf periodically explodes as a nova, neutron stars can do the same, only more violently. Basically the larger star will have filled its Roche Lobe, and at the Lagrangian Point between the neutron star and the larger companion stellar matter will begin to flow unto the neutron star. This swirling matter essentially becomes an accretion disk, and as more matter gets dumped onto the surface of the neutron star, pressure increases; hence, the the surface of the neutron star becomes hotter. Eventually it will become so hot that hydrogen will fuse, causing an X-ray burst. Very interesting stuff...

As for white dwarfs being extremely dense, so are neutron stars on a much greater scale. A typical white dwarf is planet sized, a typical neutron star is city sized. White dwarfs can have a mass between 0.5-1.44 solar masses. I believe a neutron star hits its limit at around 4 solar masses. So basically we can have a situation were we have equal masses and extremely different volumes leaving us with extremely different densities.

Since you're creating beautiful effects for my favourite systems, finish with Sol. lol

PS I want the permission to use the latest image for a forum signature. Plz


Antares is a Red Giant, with a small star near it.

Of course, I will get to the Sun eventually.... even though its last on my list in terms of luminosity class,  :D. Since I know there are plenty of missions centered around the Sun in the FS universe I'll make an exception.  :yes: I like how you're telling me that you want permission and not asking for permission  :lol:. No problem at all, go ahead and use the picture as you want. As for Antares A, remember it is a supergiant. Stars like Capella and Aldebaran are giants, and Antares makes these stars look like dwarfs. As for Antares B, it's infinitesimal compared to Antares A, but most likely 5-10 times larger than the Sun as it is a B2.5 main sequence star.

Well, with that said its time to go to my lab. I'll see what I can do for the Sun when I get home.



Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 08, 2007, 02:56:11 pm
Sun, or Sol, is for Inferno. You know.

Thanks for the permission!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 08, 2007, 03:32:07 pm
The main form of EM radiation <neutron>stars emit are X-rays and radio. The radio jets originate from the north and south magnetic pole of the star. When these poles happen to face the Earth, astronomers are able to detect this oscillation of radio emission in extremely short, periodic pulses. In my fantasy depiction of a neutron star, which in this case happened to be a pulsar, I created my interpretation of what the radio jets would look like from each pole if radio waves were actually visible. When the time comes for me to make neutron stars, I will definitely consider realism to my creation.

You forgot to mention that for a neutron star to become a pulsar, it must have its magnetic axis mis-aligned with its rotational axis. That's what causes the "lighthouse effect", ie. pulse signal.

X-ray and gamma pulsars work a bit differently and have several mechanisms of generating the radiation. Mainly residual heat, magnetospheric radiation and accretion disk radiation are at work there.

Anyway, a pulsar would be much better seen from a distance rather than from very near. If the pulsar is inside a nebula - which is most often the case, considering that remnants of the original star oare usually still around the place - it can cause areas of the nebula to heat, especially in case of X-ray or gamma pulsars. The area heated would look like two cones having their tips at where the pulsar is - the angle of the cones would depend on how much the magnetic axis would be mis-aligned from the rotational axis.

By the way, some pulsars actually do radiate visible light as well as radio waves - not surprising, since it's the same stuff, only different wavelength. The pulse itself wouldn't be visible, just like most people can't spot the oscillation of normal 50Hz grid electricity in light bulbs. And pulsars have much, much higher frequencies. The cone of vsible light could, however, illuminate areas of a nebula around a pulsar. So it's not really that far-fetched idea at all.

<cue Starship Troopers propaganda voice>

Would you like to learn more? (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/pulsars.html) :p
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 08, 2007, 03:55:28 pm
actually the guy says: "Would you like to KNOW more?"
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 08, 2007, 04:06:37 pm
Damn. :p
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 08, 2007, 05:27:10 pm
Quick! Go edit it, Ill delete the other one :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 08, 2007, 11:37:00 pm
 :lol: I haven't seen that movie in a while.

Oops, I did forget to mention the magnetic axis orientation relative to the rotation axis. Thanks for pointing that out. If I may ask, what is your scientific background Herra?

Well, I traveled down the luminosity class hierarchy momentarily, and here is my very first main sequence star:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Sun.jpg)

What do you all think of the Sun? I added a sample Sun.rar for anyone to use if they want to try and see what the Sun looks like in-game. It will probably appear a little on the bright side since the images alone were made to look bright without any necessary increases in luminosity due to FRED. So feel free to try it out and let me know what you think. I will try my hardest to make the stars look just like the pictures I posted, minus the lens flare (which might become a nice addition in the future).

I also need to know how large the files need to be. The Sun files are much smaller than the files that I made for the fantasy stars, and I can always go back and make the files bigger if it is needed. I also need to know if I should make the glow of the star a separate image just like in the media vps, or if what I have done in the past with the single star images and black glows is acceptable. Feedback is appreciated.

The Sun can be found here: https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Sun.rar (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Sun.rar)

NOTE: The RGB value of the Sun is 255 245 242
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 08, 2007, 11:43:16 pm
The important thing with size is to make sure that your textures are in power of two dimensions.  These are 1024 x 768; 768 is not a power of two, and Freespace suffers a performance hit.  1024 x 1024 would be better for now.  This is still a very large size for a star.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Sol.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 08, 2007, 11:50:14 pm
Ah, ok. That's perfectly fine, and thanks for letting me know. So what size would you recommend for a star?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 08, 2007, 11:53:47 pm
I'd guess that 512 x 512 would be more than enough; let's get some other opinions though.  The effect is much nicer now!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mongoose on March 09, 2007, 01:52:50 am
I have to say that all the work you've been doing is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, especially for my astronomy-nut side. :) My gamer side does have one or two very minor concerns, though.  While achieving realistic stellar effects for all of the systems in both campaigns would be amazing, I'm slightly concerned that we might give up some of the particular shine map effects that make for such great eye candy (and screenshots).  For instance, my somewhat-limited knowledge of stellar spectra suggests that starts that emit light of a primarily greenish or violet variety aren't all that realistic, but both of those colors are featured in FS2 missions, and I've always thought that they looked really cool.  Similarly, some of the missions have featured stars of a deep reddish hue that might not be anywhere close to their actual RGB value, but still looks fantastic.  Just something to possibly keep in mind.  Another point to consider is the actual physical configuration of most of these systems.  Capella is the example I've heard used most often; while it's a multi-star system that could most likely never support a planetary system capable of sustaining human life in the real world, we know in-game that it's one of humanity's most populous colonies, and every bit of evidence from the cutscenes and mission briefings suggests that it has only one star. 

In other words, while I think that the pursuit of greater realism is a noble one, I'd prefer that it doesn't interfere too much with the gameplay experience I've come to known and love.  After all, we all know that ships probably wouldn't explode like they do in the game in actual space, we certainly couldn't hear a singe sound out there, and ships that move in the manner and speeds we see in-game make absolutely no sense...but I don't think any of us would change any of those things even if we were paid to. :p

P.S. Although I know it's no longer really being considered, I do have one more comment about the solar flare depictions.  Unless I'm mis-remembering things, I believe that the only reason SOHO is able to take such detailed images of them is because it physically blocks out the light coming from the Sun itself (which can be seen by the circular disk at the center of the previously-posted images).  In other words, if Joe Pilot were looking at one of the stars in-game (presuming he could do so without blinding himself), all he'd be able to see would be the disk of the star itself, and not the much fainter coronal material.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 09, 2007, 04:06:27 am
->m2258734a:

Well, I've always been interested in natural sciences so I've read quite a lot of popular science books, especially about cosmology and astronomy, and I also remember a lot of them. Also, I study technological physics, which is more on the mathematical side of the physics...

The problem with me and physics and mathematics is that I tend to lack the longevity to learn the mathematical stuff of physics by heart. I've got a strong physical intuition - I usually know (at general level) why stuff happens and I generally can say what the results will be, and I can describe the processes involved, but number-crunching is something I've never really liked. :p

->Mongoose: Have no fear.

Even though there are no stars that directly emit green or violet light, we can simply make background art that consists of a green or violet or zebra striped nebula, and use that as a star texture - or use an invisible star texture on top of the nebula, emitting the desired colour. That's definitely within realistic parameters and will most likely satisfy the eye-candy need of yours.

Of course, realistically the nebulae would appear gray to bare eye, even up close... but who cares, really. :lol:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 10, 2007, 10:34:54 am
I was looking closely at the image that was posted with the new Sun, and I notice that you can see where the 1024 x 768 image ends. It's as if the black portions of my image are actually lighter than what they should be. Anyone else notice this?

I have finished all of the supergiants and their companions. I'd release them, but I need to find out what is the cause of this slight discoloration in the image, and if it can be corrected so the stars will blend in better with the rest of the sky.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 10, 2007, 10:56:25 am
Hmm. I don't see anything too horrible - which picture are you referring to? Anyway, from the top of my head I'd say you might need to expand the contrast in some layer. Supernova lighting effect (presuming you used GIMP) does tend to effect the whole layer more or less, in which case you need to apply the contrast expanding thingy, which will make the darkest areas black (edges) and brightest areas white. After that it's a simple matter to make black transparent colour, and that should take care of the blending issues.

Here's what you can also do to find the faulty layer(s): probe the edge areas of each layer separately with the colour select tool (shortcut "O"). If you find a layer with an uniform gray colour on the edges, that's the faulty one. I would bet for the layer that has the supernova llighting filter applied onto it, but it could be any of them, especially if you've increased brightness on some of the layers.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 10, 2007, 01:07:03 pm
I was referring to the last image with the new Sun that Admiral Nelson posted. I'm on a different computer now, and I don't notice the change in color that much anymore. Regardless, I'll make the correction.

You were right, the culprit is the supernova effect. I will go ahead and correct this for all of the stars I have made. I'll then provide the Supergiant.rar for anyone to use...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 10, 2007, 03:35:47 pm
so how do we use these file, they just go in data/effects folder ?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 10, 2007, 03:54:01 pm
Ultimately.  A modified stars.tbl and modified missions are also needed.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 10, 2007, 04:01:47 pm
oh :(
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 10, 2007, 04:02:06 pm
I would advice to make also files that can be used to replace the current star bitmaps with a generic gold, red, white and whatever types there are of them in retail.

That will make all existing missions to use those without updating them to use system-specific stars, which will already be an improvement from retail stars. Otherwise, all missions would need to be made to use new system-specific stars, and that'll take some time. This way the transition to new stars will be smoother, at least hopefully.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 10, 2007, 04:21:31 pm
You were right, the culprit is the supernova effect. I will go ahead and correct this for all of the stars I have made. I'll then provide the Supergiant.rar for anyone to use...

Create a thread in the Modding board...we will never be able to find links in the middle of a page and such.


PS I want more screenshots.... try with Alpha Crucis :P
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 10, 2007, 04:56:34 pm
I will go back and add these to the LS Nebulae FS2 and FS1 and the other missions I have added LS nebulae to, once these are finished.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 10, 2007, 04:57:32 pm
I would advice to make also files that can be used to replace the current star bitmaps with a generic gold, red, white and whatever types there are of them in retail.

That sounds great. Coincidently, I was fooling around with some colors before I read this message, and I produced some fantasy stars:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Fantasy.jpg)

I was inspired by one of the star systems in Freelancer. I think this idea is perfect; everyone will have the option of having realistic stars based on their real life counterparts, or the updated retail stars. I believe the color of the retail stars are in this thread, so I will look through them when I get a chance.

I am done with the supergiants, and I will provide the .rar and correct RGB color values when I return.

PS I want more screenshots.... try with Alpha Crucis :P

Is Acrux featured in the FS universe? Well... I assume it's been used for modded missions, so of course I will produce Acrux. Whatever stars you all want, I'll make them. Just give me a chance to complete what I started first :yes:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 10, 2007, 05:11:19 pm
Is Acrux featured in the FS universe? Well... I assume it's been used for modded missions, so of course I will produce Acrux. Whatever stars you all want, I'll make them. Just give me a chance to complete what I started first :yes:

It's used in The Southern Cross. lol

Yeah you should complete retail-based systems first.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 10, 2007, 05:16:54 pm
These are the FS2 systems:

Vega
Deneb
Gamma Draconis
Nebula System (unknown)
Epsilon Pegasi
Gamma Draconis
Capella
Polaris
Sirius
Unknown Binary System (Knossos)

and FS1 adds:

Betelgeuse
Antares
Ikeya
Beta Cygni
Ribos
Antares
Alpha Centauri
Beta Aquilae
Altair
Delta Serpentis
Sol

And other prominent campaigns add:

Ross 128
Talania
Regulus
Kaus Borealis
Gienah Cygni
Naos
Aldebaran
Tau Ceti ("Tau Sigma")
Beta Hydri ("Vasuda")

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 10, 2007, 05:22:41 pm
There also is Fomhalaut...Fhomalaut...whatever.... in that "prominent campaigns add".

If you have intention of upgrading all sun bitmaps used in many FS campaigns, be sure that someone will implement these campaigns with your background effects.

*Mobius raises hand for Warzone(Kaus Borealis)*
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 11, 2007, 12:39:45 am
*Fomalhaut* (added to my list)

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Supergiants.jpg)

From left to right: Antares, Betelgeuse, Deneb, Enif (Epsilon Pegasi), Mirfak, Polaris, Adhara, and Naos (this spectral class O supergiant has a radius of roughly 20 solar radii).

Here are the Type I supergiants of FS:

[Link disabled: revised and resized version available on page 7]

That is a nice list of stars, and I've already added the stars from here that weren't in the Wiki to my "to do" list. There are some imaginary systems in that list, like Ikeya, Ribos, and Talania; if you all have an idea of how these stars should appear, feel free to give me your opinions.

RGB Color Values:

Antares A: 255 193 104

Antares B: 165 185 255

Betelgeuse: 255 193 104

Deneb: 199 214 255

Enif: 255 211 135

Mirfak: 219 225 255

Polaris Aa: 255 243 250

Polaris Ab: 230 233 255

Polaris B: 230 233 255

Adhara A: 177 196 255

Adhara B: 160 180 255

Naos: 155 176 255


Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 11, 2007, 08:47:00 am
Thank you for Antares and Betelgeuse... :)

Don't forget Alpha Centauri and Acrux..lol
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 11, 2007, 09:22:16 am
Don't worry, these stars are already on my list. There are some specifics that I would like to mention about some the supergiants.

Antares:
A highly evolved star, this red supergiant has no distinct photosphere (or surface). The star exists in its own matter... a large nebulous circumstellar shell. For realism, Antares should reside "within" a nebula in-game to give the appearance that the supergiant is ejecting matter into space. Antares B would also reside in this circumstellar shell, but this tiny companion should not appear large next to Antares. Antares B is actually around 550 AU from Antares A, so as calculated before Antares B would appear to be a very bright star in the background. Viewed from Antares A, Antares B would be more than 200 times smaller than the angular diameter of the Sun as viewed from Earth. But get this... with an absolute magnitude of about -0.9, the star would appear nearly 200 times brighter than a full Moon. From Antares B, Antares A would actually appear to be about two thirds the angular diameter of the Sun as viewed from Earth.

Betelgeuse:
Practically Antares' twin on the opposite side of the Northern sky. Betelgeuse would also have to reside in a nebula to give the appearance that the supergiant dwells in its own ejected matter.

Mirfak:
I know that this system has not been used in-game, but it would make a dazzling background for one reason only. Mirfak is actually the largest member of the Alpha Persei Cluster. This cluster is particularly young, so we would have a random assortment of spectral class O and B stars filling the sky. Having a mission set in this young cluster would be amazing.

Polaris:
This trinary is composed of a spectroscopic binary and another main sequence star orbiting this pair. The supergiant Polaris Aa would appear to dwarf its 18.5 AU-distant companion. In a background dominated by the supergiant, the closer companion would also appear very tiny, but relatively bright. Polaris Ab would have an apparent magnitude of -22 as viewed from Polaris Aa (over 7000 times brighter than a full Moon), assuming that the star is not overpowered by its much larger companion. Some 2400 AU away, another main sequence star is in orbit. Being the third star of the system, Polaris B would appear from Polaris Aa to be about 40% as bright as a full Moon. Despite Polaris Aa being a supergiant, it only as a radius of about 30 solar radii. So if we were to view Polaris Aa from Polaris B, the supergiant would appear about 150 times smaller than the angular diameter of the Sun as viewed from Earth.

Adhara:
Most of what has been said about binary star systems is true for Adhara. From Adhara A, Adhara B would appear to have a very tiny angular diameter, but with an apparent magnitude of -25.2, it is nearly one fourth as bright as the Sun viewed from Earth. Much like Polaris, Adhara A is not a supersized supergiant, with a radius slightly larger than 20 solar radii. From a distance of about 991 AU from Adhara B, Adhara A would appear 93 times smaller than the angular diameter of the Sun as viewed from Earth.

I thought this information would enhance the scenery and give it a realistic touch. Next time I reply, I will provide the upgraded retail stars.

EDIT: Here are the updated retail stars:

[Link disabled: revised and resized version available on page 7]

EDIT 2: Yeah.... I updated my calculations because some of them made absolutely no sense, such as Antares A appearing 5 times smaller than the angular diameter of the Sun when viewed from Antares B. Now everything is corrected :yes:.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 11, 2007, 03:19:47 pm
Deneb:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Deneb1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Deneb2.jpg)

Betelgeuse:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Betelgeuse1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Betelgeuse2.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Betelgeuse3.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 11, 2007, 04:57:06 pm
EDIT: Here are the updated retail stars:


Okay, I took the liberty to convert the star images to DDS format and re-named them so that they should now replace the old retail stars. I also packed them into a VP file. I haven't tested it myself, but it should work when you slap it into mediaVP directory - assuming that there aren't any other stuff in data/effects overriding the VP stuff.

It also replaces the retail star glows with completely black textures.

I only have one question - the files seem quite big, they are 1024x1024 resolution. As I haven't tested the VP file myself, I don't know if they will appear bigger than the retail stars in the game. If they look bigger, perhaps they should be resized or cropped into 512x512 size.

File attached (474 KB 7zip file).

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 11, 2007, 06:08:16 pm
Epsilon Pegasi:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EpsilonPegasi.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EpsilonPegasi2.jpg)

Polaris Aa:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/PolarisAa.jpg)

Polaris Ab

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/PolarisAb.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 11, 2007, 06:47:42 pm
Great work!

Just one thing: please edit the first post of this thread and post the links there...spreading them throughout this thread isn't that good. Ok? ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 11, 2007, 06:50:24 pm
When he's done, I'll bundle it all together as a replacement for the LS Nebula FS2 mission pack I made earlier, so that it can go in the media VPs. 

I have files that contain such backgrounds for most systems; I will clean these up, add these stars and release them as a modder's resource.  In this way new campaigns can leverage these backgrounds / stars and ensure that individual system have a consistent appearence.
 
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 11, 2007, 08:44:31 pm
Nice...

Don't forget that creating backgrounds inSTEAD(oh,dammit, again...)of simply using the same bgs is interesting.

The first Episode of Steadfast takes place in Alpha Centauri...I change the bg in almost every mission!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 11, 2007, 08:46:07 pm
I would like to thank you Admiral Nelson and Herra for taking the time to set up the stars for the main campaigns of FS and FS2. From the images I see of the stars, it looks like they came out just right. Betelgeuse is is positioned perfectly IMO... the distortions of light caused by the nebula really seem to give the supergiant a pulsating, nonuniform appearance.

I see that the retail stars might be too large to be pure replacements. That completely slipped my mind, so if it is necessary I will resize the retail star images to 512 x 512 without losing quality. The same goes for the supergiants, and now bright giants which I have just completed. While the stars are positioned perfectly, they do seem to be a little on the small side in-game (with the exception of Betelgeuse). I know that one of the underlying reasons might be because the supergiants would otherwise be too close to the user, making the environment hostile and uninhabitable. But in this situation, I think its okay to sacrifice realism for eyecandy. If it's because my images are too large and would otherwise appear way too big in-game, I would be glad to resize all of the images.

One other note I would like to make is about Polaris. Did it originally reside in a nebula before I made the new star? It's not a big deal really, but even though it is a supergiant, it hasn't evolved to that stage where it ejects large quantities of matter into space to form a circumstellar shell. Also, Polaris Ab is positioned fine, but can it appear brighter? It's only 18.5 AU from its larger companion, and should appear about 7000 times brighter than a full Moon from that distance. At 2400 AU, the third component of Polaris, Polaris B, would appear 40% as bright as a full Moon from the supergiant.

I again appreciate the help I have been receiving. Go ahead and let me know if the files need to be resized. Thanks.

EDIT:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/BrightGiants.jpg)

From left to right: Albireo (Beta Cygni), Alphard, and Mintaka (another O type star between 15-20 solar radii in size).

I was meaning to upload this after I posted my last message as an update just as I am doing now, but I fell asleep during the process. While you think about how that might have appeared from my end, here are a few words on the two bright giants.

Albireo (Beta Cygni):
A spectacular double star, Albireo can be seen as a mix of bright orange and contrasting blue. While two components of the system can be made out visually, Albireo A is actually a spectroscopic binary. Basically, this system is set up very similar to Polaris. The difference is that the smaller companions of Albireo Aa are going to appear much brighter than they would for Polaris Aa, since the companions are of a younger, more energetic spectral class. To be specific, Albireo Ab would have an apparent magnitude of about -23, about 4.2% of bright as the Sun viewed from Earth. At more than 4000 AU away from Albireo A, Albireo B would have an apparent brightness of -13.8, about 3 times brighter than a full Moon.

Alphard:
Although white dwarfs are dim compared to their stellar companions, these "stars" do emit light and can appear very bright in the sky of a nearby companion. Assuming that the white dwarf companion of Alphard is roughly 50 AU away from the bright giant, it would appear more than one third as bright as a full Moon.

Mintaka:
Although not featured in FS, it was in the Wiki and can be used by anyone if they desire. This system is very complex, and is made up of three components, A, B, and C. Mintaka A is an eclipsing binary, consisting of Mintaka Aa (an O type bright giant), and Mintaka Ab (a B type giant). The stars take about 5.73 days to complete one orbit around each other, leaving the stars with a separation of one tenth of an AU. So these two stars should appear very close to each other in-game. Mintaka B orbits the center of mass of Mintaka Aa and Ab 73 AU away. At this distance, the young star would have an apparent magnitude of -24, or about one tenth as bright as the Sun as viewed from Earth. Even further out at nearly 15000 AU away lies component C. Mintaka C is made up of Mintaka Ca (a B type main sequence star) and Mintaka Cb, (another main sequence star). Separated by about three tenths of an AU, the energetic pair would appear more than one fourth the brightness of a full Moon.

I provide this information to give anyone ideas on how these star systems should appear in-game. I usually make references to the angular diameter of the Sun, and the brightness of the Sun and a full Moon. To provide a form of reference, the Sun and the Moon both appear roughly the same size in the sky with an angular diameter of one half a degree. The Sun is over 400,000 times brighter than a full Moon; a full Moon is over 20,000 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Sirius is over 20 times brighter than Polaris.... and so on. Just use your imagination and your artistic license to make realism look good.

Also, I have been providing large images of companion stars to make it possible to switch up the scenery in different missions of the same system. This is why I have been mentioning how large the main component of a system would appear from its companion, such as Antares A and Polaris. What do you all think?

Here are the Type II bright giants of FS:

[Link disabled: revised and resized version available on page 7]

RGB Color Values:

Albireo Aa: 255 220 166

Albireo Ab: 185 201 255

Albireo B: 177 195 255

Alphard A: 255 220 166

Alphard B: 192 207 255

Mintaka Aa: 162 188 255

Mintaka Ab: 158 177 255

Mintaka B: 160 182 255

Mintaka Ca: 160 180 255

Mintaka Cb: 160 180 255

EDIT 2: I recently updated the BrightGiants.rar file to include one other bright giant which I overlooked in the Wiki, Alphard. The file should now be up to date, so if you downloaded this file prior to the update and you would like to have the extra stars, please redownload it. Color values for Alphard and its white dwarf companion have been provided.


Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 13, 2007, 06:58:44 am
are we doing the lensflare thing?  I can't see it in thoes pics.  In anycase, they look downright awsome rightalong side lightspeed's nebulas. I can't wait till we put these in the mediavps
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 13, 2007, 07:17:26 am
if you're talking about the lens flare I artificially made in one of my pictures (Antares I believe), then no. I only slapped that on there to experiment, but I think it would be awesome to have lens flares like that in-game. DaBrain's effects look awesome and they will be included in the next set of VPs, but I don't see an actual lens flare like the one I made in that picture (unless my eyes are deceiving me).

I'm working on the Type III giant stars, and I have finished Capella not to long ago...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 13, 2007, 04:52:46 pm
Beta Cygni is used in SthCrs as well. Thanks! :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 14, 2007, 03:06:36 am
You're very welcome  :)

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Giants.jpg)

From left to right: Tania Australis, Etamin (Gamma Draconis), Aldebaran, Dubhe, Gienah Cygni, Kaus Borealis, and Capella (approximately 10 solar radii in size).

Tania Australis:
A spectral class M giant, Tania Australis A has an unresolved companion star a mere 1.5 AU away. Without doing any calculations we already know that this companion would appear very close to Tania Australis A, as bright as the Sun would appear from Earth or more. Also, we already know that from Tania Australis B, its red giant companion would appear humongous in the sky... almost 22 times the angular diameter of the Sun.

Aldebaran:
Also a double star, Aldebaran consists of a K class giant and an M class dwarf. The red dwarf is several hundred AU from Aldebaran A, so it would probably appear nearly 200 brighter than Sirius from our night sky. From the red dwarf on the other hand, Aldebaran A would appear about 23 times smaller than the angular diameter of the Sun from Earth, but would have an apparent brightness 1/582 times that of the Sun (remember, the Sun is over 400,000 brighter than a full Moon, so Aldebaran A is still very bright regardless of this fraction).

Dubhe:
A quadruple star system, Dubhe is made up of three components. Dubhe A is the giant of the system, and orbiting about 23 AU is component B. This main sequence star would appear 3% as bright as the Sun. Even further out at 8000 AU lies component C, a binary itself. The combined apparent brightness of the binary would appear nearly 350 times brighter than Sirius from our night sky as viewed from the giant.

Gienah Cygni:
Composed of an M class dwarf and K class giant, Gienah Cygni is the third brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. The stars are separated by nearly 1700 AU. At this distance, the red dwarf would appear as bright as Jupiter from Gienah Cygni A, and Gienah Cygni A would appear brighter than 2 full Moons as viewed from Gienah Cygni B.

Capella:
Last is the most famous spectroscopic binary in the FS universe. It is composed of a pair of red dwarfs orbiting a pair of G class giants. The giants are separated by ~2/3 AU, so Capella B would be positioned fairly close to its slightly larger companion. In fact, from the surface of Capella A, Capella B would appear nearly 6.5 times larger than the angular diameter of the Sun. From the surface of Capella B, Capella A would appear 8 times larger than the angular diameter of the Sun. At nearly one light year away lie the pair of red dwarfs. Together, the red dwarfs would appear as bright stars in the skybox. This is due to the extreme distance between the two pairs, and due to the fact that red dwarfs are not very luminous. From the red dwarfs' perspective, the giant pair will appear nearly 3% as bright as a full Moon.

Here are the Type III giants of FS:

[Link disabled: revised and resized version available on page 8]

RGB Color Values:

Tania Australis A: 255 203 132

Tania Australis B: 248 247 255

Etamin (Gamma Draconis): 255 204 138

Aldebaran A: 255 204 138

Aldebaran B: 255 196 131

Dubhe A: 255 227 190

Dubhe B: 224 229 255

Dubhe Ca: 255 247 252

Dubhe Cb: 255 247 252

Gienah Cygni A: 255 227 190

Gienah Cygni B: 255 206 129

Kaus Borealis: 255 223 181

Capella A: 255 231 199

Capella B: 255 242 233

Capella C: 255 204 142

Capella D: 255 204 111

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: TrashMan on March 14, 2007, 04:51:47 am
Why give us only the stars? I suggest giving the community the complete background settings (either by several empty FRED mission or jsut the copy/paste of the background entry) to use. They are awensome!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 14, 2007, 09:43:41 am
I will be providing such a package (stars + LS Nebulae) once he is done.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: neoterran on March 14, 2007, 10:31:25 am
Umm, how many stars are there left at this point  :shaking:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 14, 2007, 12:40:28 pm
Well.... taking into account multiple star systems and the fantasy systems in the FS universe and their companions, I have about 50 left.
*drops suddenly to the floor*

*gets back up*
What might help is that while I am going through the subgiants at this moment, you all can give me ideas on what real stars I can use as a foundation for a particular star system; this would be similar to how you all decided that Beta Hydri would be the best representative of Vasuda. I would like to share some ideas:

For the Shivan binary system in Knossos.... I got that covered (I want to surprise you all and hopefully it works).

For Ribos, for absolutely no reason a cool red dwarf comes to mind, but not your typical spectral class M main sequence star. If Ribos is supposed to support life, than this is probably not a good idea as far as realism is concerned (unless the planets are really close to their parent star). I would like to make Ribos a spectral class L red dwarf. This star would emit mainly in the infrared and would appear very red in color, more so than any other star in the FS universe.

For Delphi, Ikeya, Laramis, Talania, and the Nebula system in FS2... I have not had the time to decide. I would like to implement special types of stars for these fantasy systems, similar to what I would like to do for the Shivan binary and Ribos. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 14, 2007, 12:50:20 pm
Sirius, the unknown binary system, and the nebula star (if it is desired to fix this) are the ones not yet posted for FS2.

Lightspeed's ideas on the fantasy systems are below, which are what I have used for these systems in a few places:

Code: [Select]
System   Stars                                      Background Nebulae
Ribos    Violet Giant, Yellow Purple (#2)
Delphi    Blue Giant     Yellow (#8)
Ikeya    Violet Black Clouds (#5)
Laramis   Green      Cyan (#4)
Talania    White , Violet Dwarf        Black Clouds (#5)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 14, 2007, 05:44:24 pm
isn't sirus a binary star?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 14, 2007, 05:57:05 pm
Yup.  A normal white star, and a white dwarf.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 14, 2007, 06:22:47 pm
There are plenty of multiple star systems in FS. Acrux, which is the star system I am working on, is made up of 6 stars, by far the most that I have seen in FS. What I would like to see is some variation of the scenery within a system, but that all depends on the number of missions within that system. One mission could be set near Sirius A, and the next could be set 50 AU out near its spectral class DA2 white dwarf companion. Does this sound like I good idea?  :lol: I don't mean to sound repetitive, but I have asked this a few times and I don't think anyone answered.

As for the fantasy systems, I am sticking with my idea for the Shivan binary system. I am also going to work with LS original ideas, but I want to make each one of these systems special types of stars. For example, Delphi is described as a blue giant. I would like to make Delphi a spectral class W star, a Wolf-Rayet star which is essentially an evolved O type star. I would base Delphi off of Regor, which is the brightest Wolf-Rayet star in the night sky.

As for the other portions of LS ideas, everything after a comma is the color of the nebulae correct? I'm a little confused with the format.

Anyways, I should be done with the subgiants by the end of tonight. Tomorrow I will devote my day to finishing the rest of the main sequence stars, and then saving the special fantasy systems for last.

EDIT: I also need to know if I need to resize the stars. IMO the stars look too small in the background, and if I need to resize them to 512 X 512 I would be glad to do so.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 14, 2007, 06:32:01 pm
The issue about setting missions at variable distances to the different components of a stellar system is an annoyance about how FS2 handles luminosity.  Stars.tbl uses RGBI format, which strands the star's luminosity in a table file instead of in the mission file where it belongs.   This means I would need entries in stars.tbl for "SiriusAClose" and "SiriusAFar" and so forth to capture that variance in luminosity.  Annoying but not impossible to deal with.

Yeah, Lightspeed created several sets of nebulae of varying color.  These were his ideas for each system.  the only reason to note it here is to ensure that we don't disrupt somebody's existing missions by introducing something wild for a star.  For instance, I used green and blue nebulae for the unknown binary.  It would be nice if the new stars were not wildly out of place with that existing background.  I don't know of any LS backgrounded missions that exist for Delphi or for Laramis, so I'd say to do as you like for these.

EDIT:
I do think they are too big for their in mission size.  Maybe 512x512 would be better.  Lassi, you agree?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 14, 2007, 06:49:46 pm
Ah ok, I understand. That's perfectly fine. I'll still provide the companions as they still will need to be represented as very bright stars in the background of any multiple star system. Also, I don't know if this has been done for all multiple star systems, but the companions of Polaris Aa seem to be too faint in your screenshot. Polaris Aa and Ab make up the component A, a spectroscopic binary. Polaris Ab should appear very bright in Polaris Aa's night sky. Polaris B is another companion which is gravitationally bounded to the center of mass of component A. Even at 2400 AU away, this star would still appear very bright as I described in the Polaris text with the Supergiants.rar release. I don't mean to sound repetitive in those descriptions, especially since I refer to the Sun and the full Moon as standards, but I am trying to say that companion stars will appear very bright in the proper stars' sky, but would have very small angular diameters. Of course, this all depends on the size of the star and its spectral class, but this is why I provide the information to give the designer an idea of how bright and how large each component should appear to maintain realism while creating spectacular sceneries.

Don't worry about the special systems. They will not deviate from what LS has already provided; I just want to take each one to a new level. What I plan for the Shivan binary system will fit the blue and green nebula you have placed. I hope you guys like what I have in store.

So there are no binaries in that list of LS ideas, or does Talania consist of a white and violet dwarf?

EDIT: Sorry about that Admiral Nelson, I got your EDIT after I sent out my previous reply. No problem, I'll resize the images when I can.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 14, 2007, 07:02:42 pm
He has Ribos and Talania as binary systems.

Eltanin/Etamin/Gamma Draconis:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Eltanin.jpg)

CapellaA:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/CapellaA.jpg)

Capella C & D
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/CapellaB.jpg)

Now with Capella, Capella B is never visible or explained in FS2.  I have sort of decided that rather like the ridiculous old movie  "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" Capella B just happens to be on the other side of Capella A all the time... :)

The sizes of the stars in game is open for discussion.  These sizes correspond to the old retail stars.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 15, 2007, 01:21:36 pm
Discussing about the size of the stars means discussing about the presence of planets, many of which seem habitable.

I think you should leave the dimensions as they are...

...uhm make them bigger so we can appreaciate your work. :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 15, 2007, 05:23:30 pm
Is there a reason why Capella B is being permanently obscured, other than the fact that having Capella as a double giant star would deviate from canon? Everything that I have been doing so far is deviating from canon, so I really don't see the need to hide Capella B. I don't think Volition cared too much about getting the astronomy correct for FS, otherwise our work would have been done: stars would be represented with their correct colors and luminosities, multiple star systems would be correctly respresented such as Sirius and Antares, planets would exist in the correct circumstellar habitable zone, and so on.

I really don't understand why Volition took the time to use real stars to represent their universe, but didn't take the extra time to make those stars at least a little similar to their real-life counterparts. Sirius doesn't have its companion in FS2, Antares and Betelgeuse aren't supergiants (let alone red supergiants), and our famous Capella is not a double giant star, just to name a few. So if we can correct Betelgeuse and Antares, and give Sirius A its white dwarf, why not give Capella A its large companion?

This might be because the numerous animations don't mention or portray another stellar companion to Capella. First, FS and FS2 never mention accurate details of any star, visually or verbally. The only thing the games got right was fairly accurate pronunciation. Referring to the animations, if we go with the idea of making the in-game scenery more like what we see in the animations, then several changes have to be made: less nebulae, more planets in Capella, Capella has to be infinitesimal in size compared to any real star, and so on. I know that none of these changes are wanted, so why make Capella B hidden just because it's not shown in the animations?

*explaining myself about Capella's animation size*
IIRC, command states there are hundreds of Sathanus juggernauts surrounding the Capella. I don't remember if it was hundreds, thousands, or millions but let's go with hundreds for now. Lets say an SJ Sathanus is about 2.5 km wide and about 2 km away from the nearest Sathanus. Let's assume that they are in a straight line, forming a large circle. If Capella A was the same size as the Sun, it would have a circumference of ~4,373,097 km. If this is true, there would have to be 971,799 Sathanus juggernauts encircling Capella. This is already way off commands calculations of hundreds or even thousands of Shivan juggernauts. If there was no space in between the juggernauts, then we would have 1,749,239 Shivan juggernauts. This is assuming that the juggernauts formed their circle on the surface of Capella, which we know did not happen since the juggernauts would have been obviously destroyed and this is not depicted in the animation. So let's say the Juggernauts are Mercury's distance away from Capella's surface (which is still Sun-sized) at a little more than 1/3 AU. With the 2 km spacing, we would have to have 82,024,890 juggernauts in line; Without the spacing we would have 147,644,802 juggernauts. The problem is we know that the juggernauts are not lined up in this manner, and that Capella A is 10 times larger than the Sun. We would need a helluva lot more juggernauts to make one complete circle around the giant, at a suitable distance away that would not destroy the juggernauts in the process. Assuming a Sathanus could survive being 1/3 AU away from Capella, the giant star would appear huge in the sky at this distance, more than 14 times the angular diameter of the Sun.... maybe the juggernauts are even further out than 1/3 AU, but that would mean more juggernauts to complete the circle. Therefore either the juggernauts are very humongous, or Capella is extremely tiny.

As for the size of the in-game stars, I think they should be much bigger. Betelgeuse looked great in your screenshot, but I think all of the others are too small. Stars with companions are also too dim. The situation with Capella C and D is fine, because not only are they dim red dwarfs, but they are extremely far away from Capella A and B. The calculations I made would give the pair of red dwarfs an apparent magnitude from Capella A and B no brighter than that of a normal skybox star. I would still like them to be a little noticeable since I did take the time to make them. But in the case of Polaris Ab and B (I don't even see B in the screenshot unless Ab is the bright center of the nebula and B is the little speck in the corner of the nebula), they appear to be too dim. With Polaris Ab being 7000 times brighter than a full Moon, no one should have any problems locating it, the same goes for Polaris B which is only 40% as bright as a full Moon and much brighter than the brightest star in the sky.

Back to the proper stars, here's the same shot that I found from an older 3.6.8 thread:

(http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/6153/screen0629an0.jpg)

This is the original image, no zooming or cropping. The sizes of the stars here look perfectly fine, so I believe its ok to increase the current stars' radii to make the hues and details more visible.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 15, 2007, 07:52:31 pm
Is there a reason why Capella B is being permanently obscured, other than the fact that having Capella as a double giant star would deviate from canon? Everything that I have been doing so far is deviating from canon, so I really don't see the need to hide Capella B.

Mostly because its weird to see two stars in mission, and then immediately see a video of one star blowing up and incinerating all sorts of planets, yet nothing is seen of another star that should be nearby.  I arranged the nebulae I put in Capella rather far away from the star for the same reason.  I also need to confirm an issue with the supernova code wherein the supernova in the last mission does not occur if more than one star is in the background.  In this case, I'd even have to take out the red dwarf stars from the final mission of the game.

I believe that there were only 80 juggernauts.  The whole idea of them forming a ring around any sort of object on a planetary, much less stellar scale, is pretty silly.

Quote
As for the size of the in-game stars, I think they should be much bigger. Betelgeuse looked great in your screenshot, but I think all of the others are too small. Stars with companions are also too dim. The situation with Capella C and D is fine, because not only are they dim red dwarfs, but they are extremely far away from Capella A and B. The calculations I made would give the pair of red dwarfs an apparent magnitude from Capella A and B no brighter than that of a normal skybox star. I would still like them to be a little noticeable since I did take the time to make them. But in the case of Polaris Ab and B (I don't even see B in the screenshot unless Ab is the bright center of the nebula and B is the little speck in the corner of the nebula), they appear to be too dim. With Polaris Ab being 7000 times brighter than a full Moon, no one should have any problems locating it, the same goes for Polaris B which is only 40% as bright as a full Moon and much brighter than the brightest star in the sky.

Back to the proper stars, here's the same shot that I found from an older 3.6.8 thread:


That's fine, it is simple to change star size until we find one everyone likes. The annoyance is really just dealing with the luminosity limitations inherent in FS2.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 15, 2007, 08:52:18 pm
Mostly because its weird to see two stars in mission, and then immediately see a video of one star blowing up and incinerating all sorts of planets, yet nothing is seen of another star that should be nearby.

Yeah that's true, one of the reasons why I wish the time was taken to realize that Capella actually has a nearby giant companion. I don't know how much the new scenery for Capella has changed from the original, but I only recall seeing one planet in-game. It's been a while since I have seen the video, but IIRC it depicts these planets to be very close to one another and very close to Capella... unless we assume that the Saturn-like planet just had many satellites. Either way, that Saturn-like planet is nowhere to be seen, and should be represented as a bright star at the least. I know its a very minor thing, but I am just saying if the video doesn't have Capella B, and has all sorts of planets, what difference would it make if we had Capella B and only one of those planets in-game? I do understand the concern and the inconsistencies it causes, but the videos are inconsistent with FSSCP in general, seeing how so many improvements have been made to the game to make it better despite deviating from canon.

On the otherhand, if the supernova code causes a problem with the number of stars in the Capella system then that is an entirely different situation.  :)  That is rather unfortunate and I hope that can be fixed. Speaking about the supernova, it's about time that "animation" gets a makeover. I believe thesource has something planned for us. 

Quote
I believe that there were only 80 juggernauts.


 :wtf: You are absolutely right, it was 80. Wow....  :lol: this is what I was talking about. If the video can go above and beyond ridiculous and completely unrealistic by having 80+ Shivan juggernauts form a complete ring around a giant star with relatively close spacing at a distance away from the star's surface, then we have all the right to make Capella B appear in-game just to give realism and common sense a chance to recover from that massive error. 80.....

I am a little behind schedule, so the next time I reply with updates, I will provide all of the real-life stars in FS from luminosity type I to V in 512x512 size (is this still necessary Admiral Nelson?). I'm gaining more ideas for the fantasy systems, so right now all of FS2 is covered. Admiral Nelson, may I be of some assistance for those luminosity values? Again, thanks for all of your help.

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 15, 2007, 09:18:49 pm
Perhaps the juggernauts were headed towards the Capella Star from the general direction of the subspace node...

Which would make it possible to see some of the last ones silhouetted against the star. Although you would only see their rear side, which is not as easily recognizable as the familiar side silhouettes. Meh.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 15, 2007, 09:36:17 pm
I like that alternative, but I believe one of the briefing animations actually presented the juggernauts having formed a ring around Capella. I don't remember which one, but I believe we see a sphere representing Capella. The camera quickly revolves around the star, revealing multiple Sathanus juggernauts which have already formed a closed circle around the star. I think its the mission where they mention the 80+ juggernauts, but I am not exactly sure.

So while it is possible for all of the juggernauts to have ventured to Capella in a single fleet, I think that animation gives us the notion that they indeed formed a great circle with 80+ juggernauts. Again I am not exactly sure if that's what the briefing animation portrayed...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 15, 2007, 09:57:06 pm
On the otherhand, if the supernova code causes a problem with the number of stars in the Capella system then that is an entirely different situation.  :)  That is rather unfortunate and I hope that can be fixed. Speaking about the supernova, it's about time that "animation" gets a makeover. I believe thesource has something planned for us. 

Yeah, I'll confirm before we make a final determination.


Quote
I am a little behind schedule, so the next time I reply with updates, I will provide all of the real-life stars in FS from luminosity type I to V in 512x512 size (is this still necessary Admiral Nelson?). I'm gaining more ideas for the fantasy systems, so right now all of FS2 is covered. Admiral Nelson, may I be of some assistance for those luminosity values? Again, thanks for all of your help.

Well, the luminosity problem is really with how FS2 handles luminosity -- stuck in a table file, and not changable in FRED.  All the retail star have a luminosity value of 1.0, which is the maximum.  There isn't really a whole lot of room for tinkering here.  Perhaps an idea is to have DaBrain spill the beans ound how the lens flares he has work, and see if that is the best solution. 

I think 512x512 is plenty big.  One naming convention to observe is to call all your files SunStarname; Thus SunCapellaA or suchlike for consistency.  I've renamed all the ones you have finished so far.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 15, 2007, 10:02:14 pm
I wouldn't pay too much attention to assorted inconsistencies&impossibilities that are called briefing animations... As you calculated, the star would need to be seriously small to accommodate 80 evenly and relatively densely spread juggernauts around it. It's just not possible that way.

If we want some of the juggernauts silhouetted against the star, they would be the rear guard of the fleet, left to keep potential GTVA disturbances away from the barbeque party.

As to 512x512 vs 1024x1024. using a 512x512 texture uses a quarter of memory compared to that of 1024x1024 sized texture. And from what I've seen, most of the stuff in these stars is at the center part of the images... so it might be worth it to simply crop a 512x512 portion of the image's center and test how it reacts. That way you don't even need to reduce resolution, you just save memory by choosing the actual informative area to be shown. Currently you have an awful lot of black (or very close to black) around the stars, and showing uniform black takes just as much memory as anything else AFAIK.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 15, 2007, 10:05:27 pm
Currently you have an awful lot of black (or very close to black) around the stars, and showing uniform black takes just as much memory as anything else AFAIK.

Will this be true after dds compression?  You are probably right about cropping the images, in any case.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on March 15, 2007, 10:11:23 pm
I always thought that the Saths were in a cluster, like you see in the cutscene.  And, if Capella B isn't visible, maybe they used it from the other side to form some sort of weird tidal pull... of course this is borderline insane..
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 16, 2007, 01:55:07 pm
I have finished all of the stars (I think). This morning I stumbled across a jumpnode map and noticed a few extra star systems that are not on my current list: Cygnus X-1, N362, and Gehenna.

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/nodemap_bwo.jpg)

If there are more stars that are mentioned or used in any FS or FS2 campaign, regardless if they're canon, please let me know about them so I can upgrade them for future usage. I'm already half way done with Cygnus X-1 so to speak. I basically made an O9.7Iab supergiant, stretched it out a tad, and made it teardrop shaped to give the impression that the star has filled its Roche Lobe and is now transferring mass to its black hole companion.

Anyways, back to the rest of the stars, I need to make revisions to the image sizes and so on, so I will provide the full FS star bundle when I am finished. Real stars that is; I still need to form some ideas on what to do with the fantasy systems.

While you all wait, I would like to ask a question: has it ever been explained exactly how the Sathanus weapon works and how it caused Capella A to become a supernova? If so, would anyone explain the process?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 16, 2007, 02:44:03 pm
Uhm I think the Sathanas "accelerated" the process, compromising the gravity.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 16, 2007, 06:45:51 pm
I have redone the retail stars, and managed to blend the colors of the blue and red stars' halos much better this time. Files have been cropped and resized to 512x512. Here they are:

Retail Stars (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Retail.rar)

I'll comment on my thoughts about Capella becoming a supernova when I return. Hopefully by then, I will be finished revising and resizing the rest of the stars with real-life counterparts. I still need to know if I should continue with Cygnus X-1, N362, Gehenna, and any other star system that I don't know of.

EDIT 2:

Here are the updated FS supergiants and bright giants:

Supergiants (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Supergiants.rar)

Bright Giants (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/BrightGiants.rar)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 17, 2007, 09:59:05 am


I'll comment on my thoughts about Capella becoming a supernova when I return. Hopefully by then, I will be finished revising and resizing the rest of the stars with real-life counterparts. I still need to know if I should continue with Cygnus X-1, N362, Gehenna, and any other star system that I don't know of.


Cygnus X-1 is a real place, so no harm in doing that one.  Gehenna appears in Ace's campaign Twilight.  Ace has said he will be overhauling this campaign, so you should probably ask him if he'd like a new star made for it and how it should look.  No idea what "N362" is -- it doesn't match any sort of star catalog number I know of.  Perhaps it is a BWO system.

EDIT: Naos.  Sun size increased a bit over what is normally used.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Naos.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 17, 2007, 02:23:11 pm
wow! just wow :eek2:is this part of the next version of media vps?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 17, 2007, 02:47:49 pm
Eventually.  The last screen shot is from Warzone.

Now here is a curious problem.  Mintaka appears in Warzone.  But it is a nebula system:

Quote
A massive nebula extends beyond the jump node and looks like the remnants of a supergiant star which today has only it's core intact.  If we were to return to Capella the view outside would be very much the same.  Perhaps this nebula is the result of the destruction of yet another sun by the Shivan Sathanas fleet hundreds of years ago.  Command has authorized the deployment of the 7th Fleet and the 12th Vasudan Battlegroup into the Mintaka nebula system.

Yet Mintaka is manifestly not a supernova remnant.  Mintaka is 915ly distant, so only if the supernova occurred as recently as perhaps 700 or so years ago can this be believable.  I suppose the Shivans could have nuked the O supergiant, but it seems odd for them to have done that as recently as a few hundreds and not thousands of years ago.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on March 18, 2007, 11:39:15 am
untill this is released in the media vps is there a table that is needed to get these to work ingame?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 18, 2007, 11:41:16 am
Both stars.tbl and the individual missions themselves have to be modified, so there isn't a whole lot of value in making some interim release.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 18, 2007, 03:21:42 pm
Okay, I noticed something possibly interesting.

FS2_Open doesn't seem to be able to use DDS textures as sun images. I tested with exactly similarly named files, one set of TGA's and one set of DDS files. When the TGA's were in the directory, everything worked fine. When only DDS file were present, retail stars were used.

I don't know if this is a bug or a feature, just thought you would like to know. Looks like we're stuck with TGA's for now. Second thing, the entirely black glow does not work fine at all. It makes the stars dim as hell, at least on my end. In my opinion, duplicate of the main image seems to work much better.


Other thing that I *really* would love to get fixed is the awful way that background objects move in relation to other background objects when you turn your ship to other direction. It's really annoying to see the stars move past the background star.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 18, 2007, 03:30:47 pm
Other thing that I *really* would love to get fixed is the awful way that background objects move in relation to other background objects when you turn your ship to other direction. It's really annoying to see the stars move past the background star.

So, it's not only me ;)

This bug must be fixed.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Snail on March 18, 2007, 03:34:23 pm
Oh... I thought it was only me too...

This bug WILL be fixed. ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 18, 2007, 03:49:28 pm
We all hope so. It makes the bgs look stupid.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 18, 2007, 03:53:02 pm
Here are the updated giants:

Giants (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Giants.rar)

I don't know if anyone noticed, but in the old Giants.rar I forgot to put Tania Australis A and B in the archive. I also gave Kaus Borealis a companion accidentally. The removal of this companion and the addition of the other giant system has been taken into account in the new version. I still need to work on the finishing touches of the subgiants and main sequence stars.

Cygnus X-1 is a real place, so no harm in doing that one.  Gehenna appears in Ace's campaign Twilight.  Ace has said he will be overhauling this campaign, so you should probably ask him if he'd like a new star made for it and how it should look.  No idea what "N362" is -- it doesn't match any sort of star catalog number I know of.  Perhaps it is a BWO system.

Yup, and to tell you the truth, that was my little surprise for the Shivan binary system. Then I found out that Cygnus X-1 already has ties to the FS universe. I thought that the mysteriousness of a black hole binary would be perfect for that unknown Shivan system, but I'll see what other real system I can use instead. I did some searching on the forum for information on the other two systems. Gehenna is a red supergiant like Antares and Betelgeuse, which ejects its own mass in the form of a circumstellar shell. N362 is a neutron star which might have been the core of another star destroyed by the Shivans. When I have everything done, I'll contact Ace.

Mintaka's story is pretty interesting. Another inconsistency to bring up is which of the five stars did the Shivan's destroy? The main component of Mintaka is an eclipsing binary, and if the primary component was destroyed, the secondary component would probably survive with a considerable loss of mass. The rest of the components would be unharmed. It really doesn't make much sense, but if anything, there should be 4 stars remaining in the system and in-game.

As for the TGA file problem, I hope that can be fixed. The black glow is also interesting. It was my intention to make the stars look very bright and luminous alone without the use of another image. Herra, do the stars with black glows look anything like what Admiral Nelson has posted? May I also see what sort of effect you get when you make a duplicate star image a glow?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 18, 2007, 04:23:11 pm
Four pictures say more than... four thousand words. Well, maybe not. Anyway:

With duplicate glow, without glare and with glare (respectively):

(http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/426/duplicategloweu9.th.jpg) (http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/426/duplicategloweu9.jpg)(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4185/duplicateglowglarefz7.th.jpg) (http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4185/duplicateglowglarefz7.jpg)

With black glow texture, without glare and with glare:

(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4590/blackglownn1.th.jpg) (http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4590/blackglownn1.jpg)(http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/268/blackglowglareoe1.th.jpg) (http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/268/blackglowglareoe1.jpg)


These are the retail stars that you released, the 512x512 version. So... is Adm. Nelson using black glows, duplicate glows or something else?


About the DDS incompatibility and rendering anomalies... I think it's simply that no one has touched the way the stars are rendered to the background since retail (or in a rather long time). I could be wrong, but I remember that normal stars (those that have the retail FS2 "motion blur" effect) don't move in relation to the suns... Or rather, they too move in relation to everything else that is rendered on the background.

Those two things are most likely interconnected. They might even be the same problem. But I don't know the code, I'm just shooting my impressions into the darkness and hope that the coders that dwell there will catch some of them and check if they are anywhere near the truth.

But I really hope it get's sorted out soon, because it really makes the stars look rather stupid. Of course clever hackery-pockery can circumvent the problem but it doesn't remove them... Simply use the star images as planet background, and use black images for the star itself. It's very much likely that the light source itself is in no way dependant on how the textures themselves look. And for some reason, planet backgrounds don't swerve against the other background stuff like drunken monkeys. But that's really hackery-pockery at best... or worst. :nervous:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 18, 2007, 08:14:14 pm
I am using the black glows.  I haven't noticed excessive dimness. I will look and see.

The unknown binary shouldn't, I think be any real life system.  It can certainly be inspired by one, but it would seem less mysterious if it were a known location, IMO.

As for Mintaka, it is clear that the creator of Warzone was not aware of the actual characteristics of the stars used in the campaign -- Naos, for instance, in Warzone is a trinary system.  The Mintaka nebula is mostly blue poofs, so perhaps the Shivans nuked Mintaka Ab, and the O star lights up the nebula blue.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 19, 2007, 09:03:03 am
That's fine. I also found out that Delphi, the Wolf-Rayet system that I intended it to be, is actually a blue subdwarf with a large blue gas giant. So it looks like I will be sticking with that template. I'll see what I can do with the unknown system; do any of you all have any requests?

I stumbled across some more programs, and I have to say that I still have much to learn. This is my attempt to recreate that green planet in the SCP splash image, along with a more detailed star that I learned to make:

SCP Splash Planet (http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/SCPSplashPlanet.jpg)

The star is basically the same, only that it is a slight combination of the stars that I made at the very beginning of the thread. The larger "spikes" are those wide solar flare-looking rays, only this time I made them much thinner. I still have the corona effect, but I also added a rainbow-like halo just to experiment. If you all like this star better that the previous images of Antares and the Sun, it looks like I will have to redo all of the previously sent stars. I am going to be very busy within the next few weeks so I cannot guarantee daily updates like last week (which was my spring break). So tell me what you all think.

I also need to know if I need to make a glow image. I really don't know what to say about your situation Herra, but hopefully it can be corrected.

EDIT: About the star size. I like to see large stars in the background, because you can get detailed images like the one I just provided. But then of course if it's too large then the star might become a distraction/annoyance. In any case, Admiral Nelson I believe you posted an image of the Sun in-game after I had released my first version of it. I think the size of the star that you chose for the screenshot is perfect, but let's see what everyone else thinks.

EDIT 2: I have had some time to think, and for a moment I would like to review my progress. The main reason why I thought it was necessary to redo the stars was to liven up and add uniqueness, realism, but most importantly eye candy for all systems in the FS universe. My first attempt was a failure: the lens flare effect was very exaggerated (giving people the idea that it was actually a part of the star like a solar flare), and while it looked cool, it wouldn't look right if it was just a stationary image. The star's surface was also visible, and while it was my intention to give the stars a new bright appearance, this only made it seem like the blinding light was coming from behind the star.

My second version is the one that everyone seems happy with. First brought up by S-99, the spherical glows are simple yet look convincing. I really like them myself, but I think they are missing something. My other reason for wanting to redo the stars was to make each one different from the other. So far that has been going well, but I would like to see what else can be done that will look good, but differentiate the stars in a different manner.

So I made a third version, and this star is visible in my SCP Splash Planet image. I believe this is what I was going for all along, yet there are a few problems. All of these stationary effects contribute to how a user, or in this case a pilot, would perceive blinding light through his or her own eyes. The supernova effect (what I have been using as a "corona"), the lens flare circles, and now the thin spikes are not a physical part of the star. So any of these effects IMO wouldn't seem right if they were stationary. The lens flare circles would move according to where the light is coming from in the pilot's field of vision, and the same would apply to the supernova effect. The spikes or rays radiating from the star would shrink and increase in size as objects eclipse the star. Take a look at this orbital sunrise taken from Discovery:

Orbital Sunrise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxwN4PQe51g)

Not only that, but once the rays become visible, they cannot be obstructed. Take a look at my Freelancer image I posted a while ago to see an illustration of what I mean.

While I would like the stars to have these effects, I think it's best to wait when we finally have the support for it. For now, I'll just continue with the second version of the stars unless you all think the third version would look better as a stationary image. Since the stars of Freelancer were pretty much my inspiration, what to you all think about how they look compared to the original retail stars of FS2 Open?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 22, 2007, 02:41:49 am
Sorry about the double post, but I think I should display these images so you all can see what I am talking about in case the EDITS were missed in my last response. Here are some more "hybrid" stars that I have had a chance to work on this week. I used some programs that I am sure most of you are familiar with, like LunarCell. I am also learning how to make planets like these manually, and I enjoy the experience:

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/GreenPlanet.jpg)

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Fiery.jpg)

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/Brown.jpg)

What do you all think about these hybrids? Are they too much, and what should I do to make them look better? Or should I not worry about the hybrids and continue with my current set of stars? Lots of questions, but I appreciate feedback and ideas and the more I get, the faster I might be able to get my stellar project finalized (even though there is always room for improvement in the future).
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on March 22, 2007, 04:31:15 am
Mm-hm. :yes:

The following is written assuming that you used GIMP in making these images - otherwise the suggestions won't necessarily be valid.

1. Have you tried applying slight Gaussian Blur to the cloud layers of your planets? One or two pixels strength. It looks to me like they could use some anti-aliasing effect...

2. The nebulae/mass ejecta look good for the most part, but especially the first blue ones are too opaque and lack finer detail IMHO... I'd try to make a new layer on GIMP, then apply Plasma renderer at fine detail, reduce saturation (convert to gray scale) and then try different layer options (Hard light or Soft light might work well - no pun intended). In the end, Copy visible, make a new file, remove the bacground layer, paste the layer from working file and change black to transparent. The red/orange nebulae are the best of this bunch, but they still appear rather blurry to me.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Ace on March 22, 2007, 04:28:02 pm
Your Naos looks more like Delphi (but you do have the blue giant, white companion thing right).

Naos has a more dark purple/red look.

Gehenna has a red background and there is a custom star with a ring for Twilight.

N362 is a neutron star, and a nebular system.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 22, 2007, 10:38:34 pm
Thanks for the tips; I'll try to make the nebulae look sharper in the future. I agree, they look way too blurry. Don't let that distract you; my intention of posting those pictures was to show off the new "hybrid" stars, and to see if you all liked them better than the simple spherical ones I have been making. As I said before, I would like for the stars of FS to head in this sort of direction (a combination of fantasy and realism). My only problem is that I think the hybrids would look much better if the lens flare effects were actually lens flare effects that can be seen in-game and not static images.

Thanks for the reply Ace, I was meaning to give you a PM but I haven't had the time. Would you like me to make new stars for your campaign? Just tell me what you are looking for and I'll see what I can do. (I read your descriptions, but do you have anything specific that you would like to see in your systems?)


Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Raven2001 on March 23, 2007, 08:32:35 am
Above all others, Naos is freaking gorgeous :nod:

Even if you re-build it as per the original specs, keep that systemstar info for something else
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 23, 2007, 10:16:54 am
Well, unlike all the other systems talked about above, Naos is a real star (Zeta Puppis).  Naos is an extreme blue supergiant, and so wouldn't have any purple or red in it.  The fantasy systems can be constructed any which way.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 24, 2007, 03:27:46 am
I still have the original Naos, as well as the other original stars saved in those .rar files. So don't worry, I won't be making any changes to these stars. However, if Ace would like another version of Naos to fit his campaigns I would be glad to make one. I just need to finish what I started and some other extras, as well.

I still need to know if FS should have the hybrid stars or if I should just continue with the spherical stars. Might it be possible in the future to implement the full lens flare effects? That way I won't have to worry about the hybrid stars, and I can save them for a future project when the support becomes available.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on March 24, 2007, 03:36:12 am
Ask a coder.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 24, 2007, 09:44:32 am
You new stars are already hugely superior to what existed before.  I'd say to just finish them off, and then look to future versions of FSO for refining them further.  Perhaps ask DaBrain can supply some info about how lens flares work in the present version of FSO?

EDIT:

The wiki describe tbl entries needed for lens flares: here (http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Stars.tbl).

Code: [Select]
# $Flare:

    * Defines lens flare effect.
    * +FlareCount:
          o Defines number of lens flare effects attached yo the sun, if the value is omitted then 1 is used as a default number of flare effects.
          o Syntax: Value
    * $FlareTextureN:
          o Defines the name of the bitmap used for the particular ( N ) lens flare texture.
          o Syntax: Name
    * For each (defined in +FlareCount:) lens flare effect
          o $FlareGlowX:
                + Defines the Xth lens flare effect.
                + +FlareTexture:
                      # Defines the texture used for the lens flare effect.
                      # Syntax: Value, number of the texture defines in $FlareTextureN:.
                + +FlarePos:
                      # Defines the position of the lens flare effect, relative value
                      # Syntax: Value
                + +FlareScale:
                      # Defines the scaling factor used for the lens flare effect.
                      # Syntax: Value

# $NoGlare:

    * Defines ????


What would help enormously are some samples of how these values are used.  It seems each star will require its own flare textures of the correct color.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 24, 2007, 01:20:48 pm
I agree, some samples would really help. I stumbled across that before, but I just had no idea of what exactly needs to go in those entries. Thanks for posting it.

I think I'll just finish what I started, and then we can try to work on the lens flare effects afterwards. It doesn't seem that complicated, but we will see. I would also like to add some animations to some of the stars in the future, but I will wait until we have the capability.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Wanderer on March 24, 2007, 01:42:24 pm
One example:

Code: [Select]
$Sun:    SunWhite
$Sunglow:   Sunglow01
$SunRGBI:   1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
$Flare:
+FlareCount: 6
$FlareTexture1: corona001
$FlareTexture2: corona002
$FlareTexture3: corona003
$FlareTexture4: corona004
$FlareTexture5: corona005
$FlareTexture6: corona006
$FlareGlow1:
+FlareTexture: 1
+FlarePos: 0.0
+FlareScale: 5
$FlareGlow2:
+FlareTexture: 2
+FlarePos: 0.1
+FlareScale: 4
$FlareGlow3:
+FlareTexture: 3
+FlarePos: 0.3
+FlareScale: 2
$FlareGlow4:
+FlareTexture: 4
+FlarePos: 0.6
+FlareScale: 1
$FlareGlow5:
+FlareTexture: 5
+FlarePos: 1.2
+FlareScale: 6
$FlareGlow6:
+FlareTexture: 6
+FlarePos: 1.8
+FlareScale: 6
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 24, 2007, 01:46:18 pm
Thanks for the sample.  What exactly does FlarePos mean? The comment states "Defines the position of the lens flare effect, relative value", but relative to what?  I thought it meant degrees of arc, but the values in your example don't seem to correcspond to anything I can determine.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Wanderer on March 24, 2007, 02:58:00 pm
Not exactly sure in what units the value is but it defines the 'distance' of that particular flareglow is from the sun
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 26, 2007, 12:50:31 am
Thanks for the help, I guess now all that we need to do is experiment and see what works and looks best. As soon as I am done with the spherical glow main-sequence stars I can use a single star and make a completely new but simple design for it using the tbl entries. 

What sort of images can be used for the various flare textures? For instance, can I make one texture for the light rays, another for the "corona" effect that I am using for the spherical glow stars, and then a set of textures to create the actual lens flare circles, hexagons, and other possible geometric shapes?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on March 26, 2007, 01:05:38 pm
Incidentally, wrt the dimming problem, I forgot that I resized your empty glow to a tiny 2x2 image.  Since its empty anyway, there is no need for a large image size.  This may be why I haven't noticed the dimming problem reported by Herra.

The WIP Warzone I posted in the campaign restoration forum has the first publicly available missions using these stars.  The retail stars are used for now for Regulus and Sirius.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on March 26, 2007, 01:21:57 pm
Oh, ok. How do the stars look after you use a duplicate Sun image for the glow? If these look any better, I'll provide the duplicate glows from now on with the correct file names.

EDIT:

Here are the FS subgiants:

Subgiants (https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Subgiants.rar)

RGB Color Values:

Alpha Crucis Aa: 156 179 255

Alpha Crucis Ab: 170 191 255

Alpha Crucis B: 160 182 255

Alpha Crucis Ca: 164 184 255

Alpha Crucis Cb: 255 247 248

Alpha Crucis D: 255 195 139

Beta Aquilae A: 255 233 211

Beta Aquilae Ba: 255 206 129

Beta Aquilae Bb: 255 206 129

Beta Hydri: 255 244 242

Delta Serpentis A: 218 224 255

Delta Serpentis B: 218 224 255

Delta Serpentis C: 224 229 255

Delta Serpentis D: 224 229 255

Phi Eridani A: 175 193 255

Phi Eridani B: 177 195 255

Procyon A: 241 239 255

Procyon B: 207 218 255

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: FSW on April 13, 2007, 03:30:46 pm
I'd rather have a cool-looking starfield than an accurate one for each system, with the exception of Sol. I don't know what the skies at Deneb look like, so I wouldn't notice the accurately-placed stars. On the other hand, if we had some stars looking different from others, and perhaps a planet and a moon in the background, I would notice how cool it looked.

In response to m2258734a's images - those look very impressive, though more transparent clouds would be more convincing. In the third image, is the lens flare part of the background itself or can it fade in dynamically when the player faces the star?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on April 13, 2007, 04:01:49 pm
Thank you for Alpha Crucis, dude! :yes:

Keep going!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on April 13, 2007, 05:06:54 pm
>LieutenantGeneralMobius
Hey no problem.

To be honest I haven't been doing much for the FS stars like I should have. My mind slowly wondered into making planets, so now I'll finish what I started. These stars, whenever the support becomes available, will all need to be updated again. Visually, I think I can do much better than what I have currently released. I'll see what I can do in the future...

>FSW
Yeah, I completely agree. While a realistic starfield would be... well, realistic... who's gonna notice? So hopefully with new stellar and substellar art, we can make the FS sceneries look like beautiful and unique. Thanks for the complements, but don't pay much attention to the planets and the nebulae in the images. I was merely trying to present different ideas for the stars, and I had to simulate a background somehow. Eventually, I will be able to make the lens flare effects just like in the image, but for now it's only a static rendering.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on April 13, 2007, 06:04:23 pm
You think you can create a new starfield? Interesting. Though I think that creating a starfield for each system is a bit...exaggerate, I really want to see what can come out from your work. The actual starfield has only white(and maybe golden or yellow) suns. Adding more various stuff should make it look better.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on April 13, 2007, 09:54:02 pm
Starfield experimenting... Zero distortion skybox texture. Two versions; with more and less of the dim stars.

First I tried with a 8192x4096 skybox texture, but the GPU or the engine didn't like that big a texture, so I had to resize it to only 4096x2048.

Here be two comparision shots. First with more stars and then with less stars. Tell me what you think. :)

(http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/3059/morestarsbu4.th.jpg) (http://img92.imageshack.us/my.php?image=morestarsbu4.jpg)

(http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/5135/lessstarspc0.th.jpg) (http://img258.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lessstarspc0.jpg)


However, I do not know how the UV mapping in the MediaVP standard skybox is done. These maps would probably work best with a simplest possible spherical UVmap - from a cylinder around the equator to the sphere (AFAIK that's the simplest way). Other kind of mapping would likely cause at least some kind of distortions.

Here are also the JPG versions of the textures, should you want to take a closer look at them.

Less stars
(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/284/lessstarsstarfield0001be0.th.jpg) (http://img339.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lessstarsstarfield0001be0.jpg)

More stars
(http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/412/morestarsstarfield001pt3.th.jpg) (http://img201.imageshack.us/my.php?image=morestarsstarfield001pt3.jpg)


What surprized me was how the new starfield affected the nebulae. ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Dolphin on April 14, 2007, 12:06:56 am
Looks good, but fewer stars looks better. You also might consider layering the nebula over the stars--looks less like you've just put a noise filter on it. I usually put a cloud layer over my stars that's about 30% transparency and color burn, makes the stars look less filtered in. But who am I to talk, this is my first post on a Freespace forum in seven years. 
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: BlackDove on April 14, 2007, 12:15:25 am
Just looks like noising it up then doing the reduction thing, like that tutorial suggests in Photoshop (I think we've all done our star fields like that at some point).

Both look overly simplistic to me. No better or worse. Needs more work/uniqueness per field.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on April 14, 2007, 04:41:49 am
That's pretty much what I expected.

My screen probably displays slightly less of the dimmer stars due to my darkish gamma calibration... As to what comes to complexity, this was the first uniform starfield test, and the starfield texture does not have one single nebula in it. Now, off to add complexity and finding a good brightness/contrast balance.


--> ;7
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: DaBrain on April 15, 2007, 05:17:12 am
Looks good, but fewer stars looks better.   

I agree, the current one is still better.

Acutally, I think the number of stars is fine in the current version. Maybe the res could be higher though.

Also... Lunar Cell isn't a good tool to create game content. Maybe the effects look ok alone, but I don't like them in the game.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: m2258734a on April 15, 2007, 03:01:30 pm
Also... Lunar Cell isn't a good tool to create game content. Maybe the effects look ok alone, but I don't like them in the game.
Agreed. I used LunarCell in my example shots just to create a quick scene for the stars that I had made. I would recommend LunarCell for any beginner who wants to create planets which look decent in certain aspects. IMO, the planets look like cartoons, especially when cloud coverage is relatively low. Not only that, but planet surfaces (especially liquid surfaces) do not look very realistic and become very repetitive. LunarCell planets might be better for those who use mv_cell, however.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on April 15, 2007, 03:34:03 pm
Looks good, but fewer stars looks better. You also might consider layering the nebula over the stars--looks less like you've just put a noise filter on it. I usually put a cloud layer over my stars that's about 30% transparency and color burn, makes the stars look less filtered in. But who am I to talk, this is my first post on a Freespace forum in seven years. 

:welcome:

Welcome, 34th!


LunarCell planets might be better for those who use mv_cell, however.

No, I don't think so...they're good for every scenario or mod.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on April 15, 2007, 09:22:03 pm
are you kidding me? thoes screenshots working with lightspeeds nebulas are nothing short of amazing.  The currentone doesnt even compare.   This one realy brings out the vastness of space.  True the higher resolustion really helps.
Its just that that is what I think of space as actually being in my minds eye.  That and thats what you see in all thoes hubble telescope pictures.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Alan Bolte on April 15, 2007, 09:44:46 pm
Consider this an enthusiastic vote for more stars.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: BlackDove on April 16, 2007, 12:45:25 pm
Personally I would like our **** ingame to be adjusted to look like this...

(http://web.njit.edu/~pjo3/htl/shivore01.jpg)

(http://web.njit.edu/~pjo3/htl/shivore03.jpg)

But hey, that's an artistic choice more than just high quality-ing the thing we have and were going for. There's a slight difference between them CG's and Gameplay looks. I wish we could make it all old school FS1 CB cutscene style. Not trying to achieve "realizm!" Realism is ****ing boring and uneventful.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on April 16, 2007, 09:16:12 pm
How did you do that???
What's your command line?

IMHO, there should then be two or more quick-config options in Turey's new launcher that he's working on, to set different presets to adjust how things look in-game.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: S-99 on April 17, 2007, 12:06:46 am
You can get a game to look like that, through such things as bloom or hdr, along with bump maps and possibly even lense flares. The only game that has come close to looking like the fs1 lucy cutscenes was doom3, and doom3 did a good job with what it had, mainly bloom, expert lighting, and bump maps.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on April 17, 2007, 12:29:57 am
How did you do that???

Frames from cutscenes, thus, renders. Not in-game shots... :p
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on April 17, 2007, 12:55:48 am
:hopping:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on April 17, 2007, 03:56:02 am
Darklord42: Are you from ACS?  You should know me ;)


That pic is obviously fake. The Scorpions are placed well, and the light of that sun and the way it hits objects is different from the one of FS.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on April 17, 2007, 06:41:16 am
That pic I have seen somewheres else, though...
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Dysko on April 17, 2007, 06:46:52 am
That pic is obviously fake. The Scorpions are placed well, and the light of that sun and the way it hits objects is different from the one of FS.
It's the CB ANI shown after Lucy's attack on Tombaugh Station, but looks like a blue sun has been added.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on April 17, 2007, 11:40:31 am
In fact, that was my point. Without considering the sun, everything is normal.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: takashi on April 21, 2007, 10:00:03 pm
i would like to see the "sun glare" effect seen in those shots, WCS, and BTRL to be in the next media vps.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: -Joshua- on April 22, 2007, 04:32:28 am
Yeah, I like that one to, pity that you should never look into the sun.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: TrashMan on July 06, 2007, 02:41:55 pm
Anything new happening on this front?

Wi h backgrounds and stellar enhancments?


BTW - anyone notice that huge gun thingy on the Lucy? (below, between that front turret and the "fin" like structure )
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on July 06, 2007, 02:45:47 pm
m2258734a hasn't been around for a couple of months. :(
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: TrashMan on July 09, 2007, 04:40:06 am
Anyone knbow where to find hte fiery nebula?

Actually, where to find hte best nebula pack out there? I checked Lightspeeds nebula pack, but the fiery ones don't sem to be in there.... :(
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mehrpack on July 09, 2007, 01:27:36 pm
hi,
do you mean this nebular?

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,32341.msg675833.html#msg675833

Mehrpack
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: TrashMan on July 09, 2007, 02:39:00 pm
yeeeez

EDIT - found it...effect was there but hte G & H nebulas were missing from teh stars.tbl :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Kazan on July 14, 2007, 10:07:40 am
stumbled across this thread in my wanderings around and thought i'd note something i intend to implement for 3.7

right now the randomly generated stars in the background are done with lines (making it easy for them to have motion blur).  In 3.7 I hope to reimplement them to use bitmaps, have different sizes (supergiants, giants, main sequence, dwarves).   Total number of randomly generated stars would be upped

Dwarves would use the current drawing system, sg, g and ms stars would be bitmaps - enabling the new system would require a mission flag + setting (setting would be alignment of the galatic plane).   Positioning would be randomly generated with bias toward being along the galatic plane + bias toward the galatic-core-ward side of the scene.

rarity would be 75% dwarves, 22.5% main sequence,  2.25% giant, 0.25% supergiant.

so in a mission with 2000 stars you could expect 1500 dwarves, 450 main sequence, 45 giant, 5 supergiant
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Snail on July 14, 2007, 10:18:36 am
What about the skyboxes? Why can't we just stick to textured pofs? Or are you in love with the motion blur thing?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on July 14, 2007, 12:28:25 pm
What about the skyboxes? Why can't we just stick to textured pofs? Or are you in love with the motion blur thing?

Getting stars to look correct everywhere on the inside of a model is infamously difficult, I've tried. At least if you want to use one single texture to cover the whole inside of the sphere, that is... you need to use pretty high resolution in order to avoid the stars becoming ridiculous blurred blots of white. I find 4096x2948 slightly too small for that purpose. And, obviously there's the issue of polar distortions, which are pretty hard to sort in their own right.

BtRL Demo did it quite interestingly, apparently they used some extent of clever tiling. But there's some distortion in their skyboxes nevertheless.

If the stars are autogenerated properly to the background (either using bitmaps or procedurally, like the retail lines), then you don't need to texture the bulk of the skybox - in fact you don't need the skyboxes outer sphere at all in that case, unless if you want it to show something else than stars.

Motion blur on the stars has always looked kinda off to me, since retail even, because it never affected anything else. That's the main reason why I currently also prefer skyboxes and would love to have the retail star count set to zero (especially seeing how they hover over the top of skyboxed planet textures...). But if they were made properly, they would be obviously a whole lot better than having the stars on skybox texture.

And, I can't help but to point out the worst flaw of the retail stars - they don't properly align with other elements on the background when you turn your ship. Whatever is done to them, it should be possibly the most important thing to fix in the system in my opinion... but if it's going through complete renovation, it will likely be done, too. :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Kazan on July 20, 2007, 10:47:47 pm
What about the skyboxes? Why can't we just stick to textured pofs? Or are you in love with the motion blur thing?

not everyone wants to make a new skybox every 30 seconds
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Bobboau on July 20, 2007, 11:28:20 pm
and some of ARE in love with the motion blur thing! is that so wrong?! don't judge me!
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on July 21, 2007, 01:39:31 am
I find it disconcerting, given that other objects move at relatively different speeds.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Kazan on July 21, 2007, 10:41:04 am
please shorten your signature
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Gregster2k on July 21, 2007, 11:48:24 am
When we get shaders down the line it will be very easy to apply one to ANY skybox background to make camera movement smear it slightly to look like motion blur, right? RIGHT? Or better yet, a global motion blur for almost everything. Either way, you'll get your star smear anyway. I personally like the smear but I am willing to part with it short-term.

But not long term :drevil:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on July 21, 2007, 11:56:30 am
please shorten your signature

Please find a way to make signatures be collapsed by default, so you don't have to look at them unless you want to.

Otherwise, no.  I can't think of anything I'd like to drop from my signature, and I've already dropped some stuff that I'd still like on there.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Snail on July 21, 2007, 12:14:06 pm
How about dropping the

[hr]s?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on July 22, 2007, 03:33:07 am
That, I can do... I only put them in there cause I thought they'd make it less confusing for you guys.  If it's annoying, I'll get rid of them.  Scratch that... already done.  :p
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 13, 2008, 04:03:14 pm
Now that M87a is back it is time to resurrect this thread.  The discussion really doesn't belong in the mediavps thread just yet.  More work on these stars will be required due to the new lens flares.  These look good on large/close stars, like Deneb, but not so good on more distant ones like Etamin.  I am also concerned that the flares tend to obscure the individuality of each system, as there is at present no difference between flares from one star to another.  Have a look at the examples below.  It will also be necessary to figure out revised small flares for little stars like Sirius B which are close to a larger star.  I now have restored a stars.tbl that supports all of his stars with the correct color values, and have at least a preliminary background with these placed for all systems but Polaris.  I had forgotten about my pet peeve with stars.tbl, namely that a star's luminosity has to be defined here and not in FRED.  I have not yet set all of the luminosity values as appropriate for small vs. large stars.

Welcome to Vega, pilot.
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Vega.jpg)

Deneb with lens flares.
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Deneb-1.jpg)

Etamin (Gamma Draconis) with lens flares.
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Etamin.jpg)

Capella A.
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Capella.jpg)

Sirius A and B.
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Sirius.jpg)

The most important stars still mission for the major campaigns besides FS2 itself are:
Altair
Alpha Centauri
Beta Cygni
Regulus
Ross 128
Sol
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on January 13, 2008, 05:42:38 pm
i do like those lens flares :-D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 13, 2008, 06:21:10 pm
Here are Sirius A and B with varying lens flares.  Would one expect the flares to look similar but scaled differently as shown here?  Or should I be looking at rotating these flares too?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/SiriusAandB.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 13, 2008, 07:53:11 pm
More tinkering with Etamin.  These are meant to show the star in various positions, plus a bonus shot of the Danton exploding. :)  Feedback appreciated.

(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminMonitor.jpg)

(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminMonitor2.jpg)

(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminColossus.jpg)

(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminDanton.jpg)

(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminIceni.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on January 13, 2008, 08:48:24 pm
this stuff should look very pretty in conjunction with the bloom shader and normal maps.

it's one of the first things i'll try when i get my new computer
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 13, 2008, 09:32:47 pm
More...

Enif:
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Enif.jpg)

Vega:
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Vega1.jpg)

Capella A&B
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/CapellaAB.jpg)

Capella C&D
(http://lvlshot.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/CapellaCD.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 13, 2008, 11:30:13 pm
Polaris Aa and Ab:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/PolarisAaAb.jpg)

Polaris B:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/PolarisB.jpg)


And a first release.  This contains all stars created by M87 to date, a stars.tbl for them all, and all FS2 missions converted to use the correct stars except for TSM104-106, mostly as it seems to be never stated what system these are supposed to be set in.  I might presume Vega, since it is only a sim anyway.  I'll correct these later, but thought it best to get this out there in hopes of getting some feedback / constructive criticism. The full set of latest MediaVps required.

Download from Filefront (http://files.filefront.com/00+RealStars7z/;9432586;/fileinfo.html)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 14, 2008, 04:06:16 am
It seems Freespace has gone through plenty of changes since I have been away. These new lens flares look great, and I thank you for posting the updated images Admiral Nelson. While I do agree that the lens flares blend in very well with the new stars, I also agree with Admiral Nelson that the lens flares' similarity in color and configuration obscure each star systems' individuality.

To improve color, the halo and the two horizontal "rays" should have a hue that is similar to that of the star. I do not know if it is as easy as making the lens flare's RGB equal to that of the star, but it could be worth a try (assuming that is possible). Nevertheless, adding variations in color will be a necessity.

To improve luminosity, the only solution that I could think of is to experiment by increasing or decreasing the size of each lens flare or star in a particular system. Before, I would always add a lengthy description of each star system, discussing subjects like apparent magnitudes, separations of stellar components, and luminosities in solar units. I now realize that dealing with those exact values is not an easy thing to translate onto a computer screen. For example, if I were to say that Sirius A and B have luminosities equal to approximately 25 and 0.025 times that of the Sun, how would we handle those values in a Freespace scene? One way to deal with these quantities is to approximate each case relatively by adjusting the size of the stars and/or lens flares.
 
It was a vision of mine from long ago to see the day that Freespace had stars which looked similar to those from Freelancer. While not all of the stars in Freelancer are dissimilar, the different numbers and formations of rays added to the variation. Currently, I have no problem with the two horizontal rays, but if it is possible, changing the size, number, and position of those rays might help to lessen the obscurity mentioned earlier. I don't know if this is possible at the moment, but if it is, we will have the options we need to create more unique scenery.

That's about it. What I can do is use Celestia to help establish some sort of template or guide for you to follow, Admiral Nelson. I will use your screenshots to help guide me along the way, just like I did with Sirius, so you won't have to worry about repositioning the primary stars. So with Sirius A's apparent diameter set as a constant, the size of the lens flare halo will give you an idea of how large the lens flare should be. Then, the radius of Sirius B and its lens flare could be adjusted to match the Celestia image. How does that sound?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 14, 2008, 09:23:25 am
The lens flares are themselves just textures.  There are six of these in DaBrain's version -- two for the 'halo' and four for the lens flare artifacts.  These can be changed in color and number as desired.  Thus freespace should support individually colored lens flares -- it just requires creating a set of them for each star.  I will attach these six textures here for you to have a look at.  I did try to match flare size and luminosity within reason in the missions.  Are you able to play these yourself?

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on January 14, 2008, 02:24:20 pm
which nebulas play nice with these missions? never mind

also: since in the .tbl you can specify which lens flares are used with which stars, you could conceivably create colored lens flares and give them different names, and then use them on the different stars.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: ION3 on January 14, 2008, 03:27:56 pm
Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself. If at all different flares for different ships would be realistic. But everything else just takes away from the immersion. Of course the flares from the ship thruster effects and weapons have to be matched aswell then.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on January 14, 2008, 04:24:04 pm
Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself.


No. The proportion of different wavelengths in the light emitted from the source does have a significant impact on the colour of the lens flare - which isn't surprizing because lens flare is essentially diffracted light from the star itself, and thus it can't really be, say, blue, if the star is red.

The emissive properties of cockpit glass can of course affect the perceived hue of the whole star, but the fact remains that the star and it's flare should realistically be roughly about similar hue.


Of course, pretty much all stars are just bright in the end - the colours don't realistically show up as much as they are made to look like in, say, FS2 backgrounds. Of course, realism and FreeSpace don't really belong in the same sentence in many occasions at all. I'd say we need to see how the slightly hued flare textures look like, and see how they compare with the dimple bright ones.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 14, 2008, 06:18:55 pm
I would tend to think that some of the really tiny stars, such as white dwarf companions, or other backgroundish suns would have smaller more 'sparkly' flares.  It should be easy to use an eyedropper control etc to produce recolored lens flares.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 14, 2008, 08:03:47 pm
Thanks Admiral Nelson for supplying the textures. Would you happen to know what I could use to convert the .dds files into something editable?

Concerning the variation of lens flares per star system, adding color that is basically similar to that of the respective stars is on my agenda. However, it was also a last resort idea for me to try to add some variation in the orientation of the diffraction spikes. The idea was that in each system, the new stars could have a unique set of diffraction spikes. So for example, maybe Sirius A and B could have a configuration of four spikes per star, while Vega could have a configuration of six. So whatever lens flare configuration is used in a particular system, all bright objects in that system would use the same. The problem with this of course is that it is a farfetched idea and is not entirely realistic unless we assume that different canopies are used on the ships per star system. So while I do agree that the blackbody properties of a certain star have a significant impact on the final hue of the lens flare, the physical properties of the light-scattering "lens" have a significant impact on the final configuration or shape of the lens flare artifacts, including diffraction spikes. Take a look at any deep space photo of star clusters taken through reflective telescopes, and you will notice that the orientation of the diffraction spikes are instrument-specific, regardless of the temperature of the star.

(http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0601/pleiades_gendler.jpg)
Messier 45

(http://www.sdss.org/iotw/m67.jpg)
Messier 67

So that is basically what ION3 was describing. It is probably best that I keep my mind focused on dealing with colors and sizes, instead of configuration and shapes. I don't want to jump too far ahead of myself, as I usually have a tendency of doing so.




Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 14, 2008, 08:25:16 pm
I used Irfanview to resave them as TGAs.

As you see, I could resize the flares themselves using the stars.tbl.  The flares can be scaled, unless the scaling itself makes them look funny and a built for the purpose small flare is desired instead.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Bobboau on January 14, 2008, 09:19:01 pm
Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself. If at all different flares for different ships would be realistic. But everything else just takes away from the immersion. Of course the flares from the ship thruster effects and weapons have to be matched aswell then.

yeah, exactly, this is a video game so rigid conformance to reality is more important that what looks cool or fun.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on January 14, 2008, 10:24:14 pm
Feedback on posted 00-RealStars: I can't type, I'm drooling.

I have noticed a _significant_ change in the atmosphere of the areas thus far (though I'm only 3 missions in on them).

Not entirely sure I completely care for the changes, but they are, no pun intended, stellar over retail.

I don't know if they would win hands down over the VP's, but I certainly would not cry or complain if they replaced the vp ones.

On Mission 2 though, it's REALLY easy to eyeball the "Large Asteroid". Also, you should probably consider using $ALT's to make the "GTF" Loki fighters "NTF" Loki fighters. And you went through a LOT of effort (unecessarily IMO) to remove references to Loki's in the brief and dialogs for that mission instead of changing a brief icon and 2 ship class entries to Loki.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on January 14, 2008, 10:31:29 pm
Feedback on posted 00-RealStars: I can't type, I'm drooling.

On Mission 2 though, it's REALLY easy to eyeball the "Large Asteroid".

i noticed this as well.  i liked it because i was spared staring at its low poly ugliness, as i keep ambient low and the roid was backlit.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: fsphiladelphia on January 14, 2008, 11:57:22 pm
Download from Filefront (http://files.filefront.com/00+RealStars7z/;9432586;/fileinfo.html)

Is this download a different set of stars from the ones posted in this post:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139 (http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139)

???

The ReplaceRetailStars.7z was posted by Herra a couple of days ago, and this 00-RealStars.7z was posted 2 days ago -- I suspect they are different.  Just checking because there has been a TON of new stuff to download lately between various normal maps of ships, new vp files, etc., and I'm trying to keep the game up to speed with whatever is the latest/greatest developments.

If so, is the difference preferential or is one set definitely 'better' or at least more correct than the other?  I guess I could follow up and ask, are either of these sets going to become the definitive set, and thus included in the official 3.6.10 media vp release?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Marcus Vesper on January 15, 2008, 12:11:46 am
Download from Filefront (http://files.filefront.com/00+RealStars7z/;9432586;/fileinfo.html)

Is this download a different set of stars from the ones posted in this post:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139 (http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139)

???

The ReplaceRetailStars.7z was posted by Herra a couple of days ago, and this 00-RealStars.7z was posted 2 days ago -- I suspect they are different.  Just checking because there has been a TON of new stuff to download lately between various normal maps of ships, new vp files, etc., and I'm trying to keep the game up to speed with whatever is the latest/greatest developments.

If so, is the difference preferential or is one set definitely 'better' or at least more correct than the other?
Yes, they are.  The first one is a set of improved graphics for FS2's default Red, Blue, Green, etc stars.   The second set are system specific and require table modification to enable in game, unlike the retail replacements (not actually new, they were originally posted somewhere in the middle of this thread), hence the inclusion of modified missions to take advantage of them.  Installing both of them won't hurt anything; you'll just see better versions of the retail stars whenever a mission isn't referencing the customized less unrealistic ones.  The second pack will definitely look better of course, but you'll have to modify any other mission/campaign you'd like to see them in (or wait until somebody else does it for you).
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 12:38:47 am
And you went through a LOT of effort (unecessarily IMO) to remove references to Loki's in the brief and dialogs for that mission instead of changing a brief icon and 2 ship class entries to Loki.

V presumably had Loki's in the mission, but later changed them to Hercs for mission balance.  Changing them back again would recreate the balance issues they fixed, so it is not an acceptable change.

The retail stars made my M87 are also in this package, you don't need both packages.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on January 15, 2008, 12:46:29 am
Uh, no. There are Loki's in that mission. All of the wings that spawn in are Loki Fighters. It's just that the first TWO fighter ships you meet and greet are Hercs.

Nothing wrong happens when you make them Loki's.

However, the hack job on the mission brief wav's is less than optimal. If you'd like, I can re-sequence the audio and give you a cleaner sample to use for the staging text. The in-game HUD message audio is not too bad, but I think it cuts a little too early.

Mind, I'd much prefer that the 2 hercs get made loki's. If however the pressure persists in NOT and instead in correcting references to loki's being removed, the least I can do is help make it nicer for everyone else and just use my own specific mission file for that mission.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 15, 2008, 01:12:44 am
Sorry I didn't answer your question earlier, Admiral Nelson. Unfortunately, I am still not able to play Freespace on this laptop. I just don't have the necessary hardware to get things running smoothly.

Nevertheless, here is the first test for colored lens flares. I experimented with corona001 and corona002, and made separate files for Sirius A and B. The rest of the textures are exactly the same as before. Just let me know if you have any problems or concerns regarding these four new files.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on January 15, 2008, 10:45:06 am
Exelent job, however did you include  lightspeed's nebulas when you modified the missions?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 12:45:10 pm
These missions all use Lightspeed's nebulae, except TSM-104 thru 106, which I will fix later.  This package also has M87s retail stars in them, which are used presently for the fantasy star systems in FS2 -- the nebula system and the unknown binary system.

On Lokis vs. Hercs, the flak put out by an Aeolus is nothing next to the flak one gets when changing _anything_ in the stock FS2 missions. :)  Improvements to the sound files would be much appreciated.

Revised Sirius Coronae:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/SiriusCoronae.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/SiriusCoronae2.jpg)

The effect is a bit subtle with Sirius as it is a white star; perhaps Etamin would be a good test subject for the next batch?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Koth on January 15, 2008, 12:51:19 pm
Well, I would be quite grateful if you gave the Iceni and the Hinton separate waypoints. The way it is now the Hinton is either blown up by asteroids, destroyed by Vasudans or if it survives all that it is rammed to death by the Iceni at the jumpnode.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 12:53:59 pm
Someone mentioned fixing that in an earlier thread; I'll dig it up for the final release.  Note in here is an alternate version of A Flaming Sword (sm2-10a); give it a try.  This mission is even more broken than Their Finest Hour.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 15, 2008, 01:48:43 pm
The results of the first test turned out much better than I was expecting. :) Here are the colored corona textures for Vega and Etamin.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 02:08:00 pm
Re the Hinton/Iceni bumpercars; Version 2.3 of the Port included bugfixed FS2 missions.  Among other things, this was fixed.  I will include those missions in the next iteration.

Vega with new coronae:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/VegaNew.jpg)

And Etamin:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EtaminNew.jpg)

And stars needing coronae for FS2 (nebular and Unknown binary optional):
Vega
Deneb
Gamma Draconis
Nebula System (unknown)
Epsilon Pegasi
Capella
Polaris
Sirius
Unknown Binary System (Knossos)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 15, 2008, 03:31:23 pm
Here's Deneb and Enif. Also, I have completed new textures for the retail stars.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: fsphiladelphia on January 15, 2008, 05:52:02 pm
Yes, they are.  The first one is a set of improved graphics for FS2's default Red, Blue, Green, etc stars.   The second set are system specific and require table modification to enable in game, unlike the retail replacements (not actually new, they were originally posted somewhere in the middle of this thread), hence the inclusion of modified missions to take advantage of them.  Installing both of them won't hurt anything; you'll just see better versions of the retail stars whenever a mission isn't referencing the customized less unrealistic ones.  The second pack will definitely look better of course, but you'll have to modify any other mission/campaign you'd like to see them in (or wait until somebody else does it for you).

Thanks for the excellent info.  While I am almost always trying to get the most out of FS2, I don't think I'm going to be finding myself ambitious enough to be editing tables for specific missions and campaigns/mods (and downloading new mission files) -- which sort of makes me want to ask -- what are the chances the appropriate tables and missions can be made/altered in time for these system-specific stars to be included in the grand 3.6.10 official release?  If these are truly really cool upgrades, they belong IN the SCP release, along with the required mods to the various tables :)  (in essence:  will someone be idiot-proofing these things for the masses?)  :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 06:07:09 pm
Deneb:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/DenebCorona.jpg)

Enif:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/EnifCorona.jpg)

These are really pretty idiot proof as it is.  M87 has two systems (but seven stars) left that need new coronae. We'll se what DaBrain has to say about the mediavps.

One issue with retail stars is that the size of the coronae do not vary with the size of the star.  Thus a tiny sun will have the same sized lens flare as a big one.  There isn't anything that can be done about this except code changes, or hand tuned tables for every system.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: fsphiladelphia on January 15, 2008, 06:27:04 pm
These are really pretty idiot proof as it is.  M87 has two systems (but seven stars) left that need new coronae. We'll se what DaBrain has to say about the mediavps.

One issue with retail stars is that the size of the coronae do not vary with the size of the star.  Thus a tiny sun will have the same sized lens flare as a big one.  There isn't anything that can be done about this except code changes, or hand tuned tables for every system.

There's different levels of idiot-proof for everyone, but for most people, hand-tuned tables for every system =/= idiot proof.  I guess for me it's not truly idiot-proof until you install the game, load it up, and there it is -- someone has ensured that the tables are tuned when you boot it up.  I mean, these look great -- the coronae extend at differing lengths, the stars are different sizes, brightnesses, lenz flares, colors -- by all reasoning, these things should be in the next release.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 06:32:09 pm
This is a problem with how stars are implemented -- luminosity and the lens flare characteristics are both set in tables.  This is very annoying, IMO, of course,  as one needs separate table entries for the same star close up and far away.  The "average user", however, will just download campaigns in which this is already done for them, and never even have to worry about it. 
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Darklord42 on January 15, 2008, 09:11:54 pm
Really, I noticed you switched the nebula's used in Surrender Belasarius! the ones previously were green not blue.  was that to match the new color of the star?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 09:14:47 pm
That was just an earlier version of Deneb.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: fsphiladelphia on January 15, 2008, 10:45:41 pm
This is a problem with how stars are implemented -- luminosity and the lens flare characteristics are both set in tables.  This is very annoying, IMO, of course,  as one needs separate table entries for the same star close up and far away.  The "average user", however, will just download campaigns in which this is already done for them, and never even have to worry about it. 

Which sort of goes exactly to what I was saying -- these stars look great -- it would be great if the dev team could do whatever it takes to get them into the next release -- if it can be included in a user-created campaign, surely the appropriate steps can be taken for the retail campaign.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 15, 2008, 10:59:02 pm
As long as he gets the other coronae done it shouldn't be a problem.  I am the same person who put the FS2 campaign with LS nebulae into the mediavps in the first place.  All of the FS2 missions have already been updated with his stars.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: fsphiladelphia on January 16, 2008, 10:04:22 am
In that case...sweet!  ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 16, 2008, 04:14:00 pm
Listen to this. I was going to show Admiral Nelson some images taken from Celestia. The images were supposed to be guidelines regarding how the FS2 scenery could appear, based on how Celestia handles differences in luminosity and radius. I manipulated the positioning of the stars in a way that would look comparable to the stars in Admiral Nelson's screenshots. As you can see, Admiral Nelson did a very good job setting up the scenery without needing any guidelines or images.

(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/SiriusAB.jpg)
Sirius A and B.


(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/CapellaAB.jpg)
Capella A and B.


(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/CapellaCD.jpg)
Capella C and D. (They are the two red dwarfs centered in the image)


(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/PolarisA.jpg)
Polaris Aa and Ab.


(http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r21/m22587a/Freespace%20SCP/PolarisB.jpg)
Polaris B.

They don't call him The Master of Backgrounds for nothing. :) Anyway, here are the rest of the FS2 corona files.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 16, 2008, 06:16:04 pm
Ha ha, thanks for the vote of confidence.  Here is a fresh campaign upload.  All FS2 missions now have M87's stars.  I have also included the modest bugfixes by Galemp/Goober that were included with older versions of the Port.  Kazan's version of Thier Finest Hour is also included as an extra.

All we need now is some testing, and probably to convert his stars to DDS, and these should be mediavp ready.

Download from Filefront (http://files.filefront.com/00+RealStars7z/;9448533;/fileinfo.html)

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on January 16, 2008, 09:13:10 pm
Good luck on the DDS conversion. I have had to do multiple save/re-saves to get things done just right.

To point out: While "Their Finest Hour" and "Flaming Sword" are renamed filename wise to remove them from the actual campaign pool, and while they are not the original "V" missions, they exist because they follow the spirit of our perceptions of the way it maybe might have been. Granted, these are the only two possible mission exceptions that I've ever seen, but they do exist.

"Flaming Sword" more than anything raises the point I want to make: the Astaroths are turned into Mara's in the "fixed" version, but turning two herc's into loki's is unacceptable? For all we know, the hercs were a simple fred mistake. Considering the deliberation of time that it takes for the audio files to be created, I find that a more plausible explination.

Can we atleast (or may I post) the alternative mission with that change for others to put to question if it unbalances things? Or at least a definitive statement (additional or otherwise) that states that it does categorically break something?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on January 21, 2008, 09:19:31 pm
Just stopping by to see how everything is going. For those who have tested the new stars, please express any opinions or critiques that you may have. I understand that the stars are not perfect, but I just need to know if they are acceptable for now.

I also have a large list of other stars that need to be completed, including the ones stated by Admiral Nelson:

Altair
Alpha Centauri
Beta Cygni
Regulus
Ross 128
Sol

If there are any extras that need to be created, just let me know.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: jr2 on January 23, 2008, 03:50:14 am
Nice work!  =]

/wonders if some smaller versions of the lens flares would look good with large beam warmups and also large exlosions.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on January 23, 2008, 02:03:18 pm
If you ask me ( and you did :) ) they are a good deal better than the generic systems we had before.  I also like the correct lighting -- not funny neon colors, but nice appropriate shades.  The idea was to create a set of standard backgrounds for star systems so that one would know from the background alone what system one was in.  These stars go a long way towards that end.  The other set of stars I listed would cover FS1 and most of the other major campaigns.

It might be interesting to experiment with the lens flares a bit more, but I do think that the stars alone are quite a step forward.  I had a small accident last weekend, and so have not yet asked DaBrain about including these in the mediavps.  I do think it appropriate to do so; especially if those other half dozen system get completed soon.  Thanks for all of your work so far.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on January 28, 2008, 12:05:52 am
BTW: Why is it that "Into The Lions Den" (loop2-2) an "SF Dragon (terrans)" is now part of the starting ships pool?

Nifty, very nostalgic of when you get to fly it the first time, but it shouldn't be there.

I'm currently revising all of the files for consistancy. Things like "+Flags: ( )+Respawn Priority: 0" as one line getting fixed. Any additional values that could be created by opening and saving in FRED (Retail) being applied evenly. Etc.

Happened to notice the above. Made me laugh. Still think they should be loki's, but I'll have audio files soon.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on August 29, 2008, 06:22:37 pm
I finally decided to experiment with new techniques for making stars. Here are four experimental stars that should finish off the FS1 list: α Centauri A and B, and α Scorpii A and B. These stars seem easier on the eye in comparison to the others stars I had been working on. Anyway, try them out and tell me what you think. I still need to work on the lens flares, so I will reply when those are done.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: peterv on August 29, 2008, 06:30:38 pm
Very nice :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on August 30, 2008, 01:52:41 am
Do you still need any help in designing mission backgrounds. I can do a few if you want some :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on August 30, 2008, 03:10:06 pm
These are great.  There are still two stars missing from the FS1 list -- Altair and Sol.  Altair is for some reason also very common in other campaigns.

@ shiv_pl.  I have LS backgrounds for most systems by now.  Some important ones that are missing are:

Laramis (Green star, Cyan (#5) LS nebulae)
Luyten 726-8 (2 red dwarfs (M5.5 V/M6 V), Yellow (#8) LS nebulae)
Wolf 359 (1 red dwarf (M6.5 Ve), Fiery (#7) LS nebulae)

If you would like to create any of these.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on August 30, 2008, 07:23:31 pm
Here are the last two stars, as well as their respective lens flares.

@ Admiral Nelson. If you don't mind, could you post some screenshots of these experimental stars? I just need to see how they came out so I can perform any alterations if necessary. Also, if those four stars you mentioned in your last reply need updating, I'll work on them when I can. Thanks in advance.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: peterv on August 30, 2008, 07:26:20 pm
Thanks again :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on August 31, 2008, 02:55:27 am
I can take Laramis.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on September 11, 2008, 07:19:04 pm
how's this coming along?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Colonol Dekker on September 11, 2008, 07:34:37 pm
how's this coming along?

Ditto.........
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on September 12, 2008, 08:01:20 pm
Hey,

I've made more experimental stars, but before I release them I need to see how the latest batch came out so I can make any necessary changes. I can't run FS2 on my laptop, so if someone could post some screenshots that'd be great.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on September 13, 2008, 04:12:45 pm
Hey, Matt, I missed this post the first time.  Feel free to send me an e-mail directly next time.

Alpha Centauri:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/AlphaCentauri.jpg)

Altair:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Altair.jpg)

One note, I need the correct RGB values for these stars for the lighting to be right -- I just used approximate values for now.

I am also attaching a list of all the stars in the most common nodemaps.  I have indicated those for which you have made stars, the RGB values and whether or not matching coronae exist.  We've got all of the FS1 stars now, which is fantastic, but not all of the coronae.  Actually, if you look at this list, it is remarkable just how much has been done already!

If you ask me, it would be best to finish the coronae for the stars that you have made already, and then do the few remaining real stars.  Of these probably Regulus is the most important -- many of what are left are just red dwarf stars anyway.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on September 14, 2008, 05:01:14 pm
Looks like I won't have to be making any changes after all. I'm going to start replacing all of the stars that I have provided so far with the new template that I have made for the latest batch. Here are the RGB values:

α Scorpii A: unchanged
α Scorpii B: unchanged

α Centauri A: 255 245 242
α Centauri B: 255 224 188

α Aquilae: 200 213 255

the Sun: unchanged

I did not make Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C) for the reason that the star is so dim, it would not stand out visually in the sky near α Centauri A and B. If someone wants to create a mission near Proxima Centauri and needs the star, I'll add it to my list.

Also, I would like to hear your opinions and suggestions on some of these fantasy stars and their real-life counterparts. I understand the consensus is that Vasuda is β Hydri, and that Tau Sigma is τ Ceti. Does anybody have any ideas on stars like Delphi, Ikeya, Ribos, or Lamaris, for example?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on September 14, 2008, 05:13:31 pm
Proxima Centauri doesn't appear in FS1 for just the reason you mention.  Ikeya is a violet star in the new Port, and Ribos red.  Talania is a brown dwarf.  I haven't heard of any real association of the fantasy systems with real places.

If you wouldn't mind, can you first do coronae for:
Betelgeuse
Beta Aquilae
Delta Serpentis

These will complete the FS1 stars both with an actual star and with color matched coronae.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on September 14, 2008, 05:38:49 pm
Sure, I'll try to have something by the end of the week. I also have attached an image to show you the appearance of α Centauri B from A. By the way, how did Antares come out? Thanks, and I'll reply when I have some new lens flare images for you.

EDIT: I forgot to attach the image.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on September 14, 2008, 05:58:13 pm
Antares A:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/AntaresA.jpg)

Antares B:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/AntaresB.jpg)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on September 14, 2008, 06:44:52 pm
I'm pretty sure that is the old Antares that I made when I first started. The newer "experimental" Antares A and B are in one of the attachments (I believe the first one). Could you give those files a try?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: DaBrain on September 17, 2008, 12:09:08 pm
Those flares are pretty nice. ;)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on September 22, 2008, 05:55:34 am
I'm actually holding off on replaying FS1 until these new backgrounds get implemented.  I loves me some new backgrounds.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on September 22, 2008, 08:35:34 am
About Laramis - should be done in a few days.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on September 28, 2008, 09:12:59 am
About Laramis - should be done in a few days.
Sorry, because of school it's taking more time. I'll try to be finished ASAP.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on September 30, 2008, 12:11:42 pm
Thank you.  I am still away on my business trip and will not return home until Friday night anyway.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 03, 2008, 02:12:54 pm
My Laramis version, I'm finished. Sorry it took so long:
Code: [Select]
#Background bitmaps ;! 23 total

$Num stars: 0
$Ambient light level: 65793

;;FSO 3.6.9;; $Bitmap List:
$Sun: SunGreen
+Angles: 0.872664 0.000000 3.839721
+Scale: 2.000000
$Starbitmap: nebulD2-main
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD3-whisp
+Angles: 0.523598 0.000000 0.523598
+ScaleX: 4.000000
+ScaleY: 4.000000
+DivX: 4
+DivY: 4
$Starbitmap: nebulD12-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 0.436332
+ScaleX: 4.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD14-whisp
+Angles: 0.523598 0.244346 0.174533
+ScaleX: 3.000000
+ScaleY: 3.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD10-whisp
+Angles: 0.698131 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD4-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.523598 0.698131
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD5-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 1.047197
+ScaleX: 3.000000
+ScaleY: 3.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD5-whisp
+Angles: 0.698131 3.141590 1.047197
+ScaleX: 4.000000
+ScaleY: 4.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD7-whisp
+Angles: 0.523598 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD9-whisp
+Angles: 5.934115 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC2-main
+Angles: 5.759582 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC5-whisp
+Angles: 0.349066 0.000000 5.934115
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC8-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 5.759582
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC9-whisp
+Angles: 5.759582 0.000000 5.235984
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC12-whisp
+Angles: 5.235984 0.000000 5.934115
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC4-whisp
+Angles: 5.235984 0.000000 5.672316
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC10-whisp
+Angles: 4.712385 0.872664 5.235984
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC14-whisp
+Angles: 4.014254 0.000000 5.061451
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulC2-main
+Angles: 0.698131 0.000000 3.839721
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD4-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 3.141590
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD2-main
+Angles: 5.759582 0.000000 2.792525
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD1-main
+Angles: 5.585049 0.349066 3.316123
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulD8-whisp
+Angles: 4.886918 1.570795 3.490656
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 03, 2008, 02:20:08 pm
Thanks! I'll be home late tonight and will check this out in the morning. :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 03, 2008, 03:43:50 pm
Do you need any more backgrounds?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on October 04, 2008, 12:19:27 am
I'd like one, if you wouldn't mind, for my mod. for Delta Trianguli, the Tiigran home system. Evenly spaced Yellow and Purple nebulae. You can download my yellow ones from FSM. Anyway,

http://www.solstation.com/stars2/del-tri2.htm

No big chunks of nebulae please, just scattered stuff, but a fair ammount of it.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 04, 2008, 01:16:53 am
I'd like one, if you wouldn't mind, for my mod. for Delta Trianguli, the Tiigran home system. Evenly spaced Yellow and Purple nebulae. You can download my yellow ones from FSM. Anyway,

http://www.solstation.com/stars2/del-tri2.htm

No big chunks of nebulae please, just scattered stuff, but a fair ammount of it.
That's no problem. Just give me some time to fnish it... :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on October 04, 2008, 01:19:58 am
I'd like one, if you wouldn't mind, for my mod. for Delta Trianguli, the Tiigran home system. Evenly spaced Yellow and Purple nebulae. You can download my yellow ones from FSM. Anyway,

http://www.solstation.com/stars2/del-tri2.htm

No big chunks of nebulae please, just scattered stuff, but a fair ammount of it.
That's no problem. Just give me some time to fnish it... :)

What a system to pick after recent events.. :p Thank you shiv.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Ulala on October 05, 2008, 11:41:22 pm
these look fantastic! makes me want to play through fs2 all over again. keep up the excellent work, guys!  :yes:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 09, 2008, 09:37:04 am
Thanks! I'll be home late tonight and will check this out in the morning. :)
And how was it? ;7
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on October 09, 2008, 11:38:48 pm
I have completed all of the new lens flares except for δ Serpentis. I have the lens flares for the subgiant twins A and B, however, I do not know the spectral classes of the distant pair C and D. I have checked catalogs of multiple and optical stars and the data is not available. I guess I am striving too hard for "realism". If necessary, we can just assume that the distant pair is of the same spectral class as the primary pair of stars. Anyway, if that's fine then I guess I am done with the lens flares. The RGB values are as follows:

α Orionis: Same

β Aquilae A: 255 225 189
β Aquilae B: Same
β Aquilae C: Same

δ Serpentis A: Same
δ Serpentis B: Same
δ Serpentis C: 218 224 255
δ Serpentis D: 218 224 255

If this is fine, I'll hand over the flares tomorrow. As for Laramis, if a star is needed for the system just let me know the specifics and requirements and I'll make it. δ Trianguli would make a great system. I think close binaries of all types are just awesome, so I'll add this system to my list.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 12, 2008, 01:47:44 pm
Sorry for the delayed response; due to my chaotic schedule.

On Laramis.  I like what you have done in all respects save this one:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Laramis.jpg)

I always thought that particular bitmap looks weird, and to have it twice repeated looks even stranger.  Perhaps the bright spot of both of these could be made overlapping?

Re: δ Serpentis; I too couldn't find anything about the other component.  Somehow I seem to have used Dubhe B for these, for what reason even I cannot recall.  We could leave these, use a duplicate star system, or perhaps pretend that the other component is obscured by a bright nebula (maybe this would be best).

Please go ahead and upload what you have.  There isn't any real info about Laramis or any of the other imaginary systems.  I'd suggest finishing up the real ones (Regulus, Tegmen and Tau Ceti in particular) before taking these up.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: SypheDMar on October 12, 2008, 08:20:28 pm
I kinda like it. Most nebulae in FreeSpace currently looks too similar to each other. It would be nice if there could be a nebula so mind blowing and bizarre beyond imagination, that it actually becomes believable. After seeing so many images of nebulae, nothing seems impossible and out-of-the-ordinary when it comes to them.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 13, 2008, 07:22:54 am
Admiral Nelson, I can improve that background if you want or do something more if you need any more systems.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on October 13, 2008, 10:45:05 am
so is there going to be a release pack  that changes all the backgrounds for the FS1/FSPort campaign?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 13, 2008, 11:00:16 am
That will be part of Port 3.1.  The flares M87 is referring to above are those required to complete the FS1 systems.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on October 13, 2008, 02:44:22 pm
And the FS2's are (afaik) already done. They are at least in at the moment.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 13, 2008, 03:03:25 pm
I did make all the required changes for FS2 before.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on October 16, 2008, 12:25:21 pm
Hi...do you know where I can find Deneb? :)

(tit's for NTV ;))
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 16, 2008, 01:39:10 pm
Deneb is in Cygnus. ;)

It should be in the existing MediaVps.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on October 16, 2008, 01:46:17 pm
Deneb is Alpha Cygni...

And really? It's there? Which MV(I no longer have 3.6.10 MVPs and I can't DL them all for a single bitmap)? :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 19, 2008, 02:04:28 pm
I'd like one, if you wouldn't mind, for my mod. for Delta Trianguli, the Tiigran home system. Evenly spaced Yellow and Purple nebulae. You can download my yellow ones from FSM. Anyway,

http://www.solstation.com/stars2/del-tri2.htm

No big chunks of nebulae please, just scattered stuff, but a fair ammount of it.
That's no problem. Just give me some time to fnish it... :)
Sorry for delays but I always finish my job finally. Your background is coming along nicely, Hellstyker :)

What a system to pick after recent events.. :p Thank you shiv.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Ziame on October 21, 2008, 02:37:29 pm
My GOD you're awsome, guys. Those stars really ARE great, I hope that you have much fun doing them!

MAKE MORE ME WANTS MORE STARZ

/mehowls

Editted ;D

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on October 21, 2008, 03:47:53 pm
Quote
Please go ahead and upload what you have.  There isn't any real info about Laramis or any of the other imaginary systems.  I'd suggest finishing up the real ones (Regulus, Tegmen and Tau Ceti in particular) before taking these up.
I'll fix that bit you were complainign about. It should be done this weekend. And then I want to do totally new system, just tell me what to do and what colours shall I use. ;7
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on October 24, 2008, 06:56:21 am
Thanks Shiv --  I'll consult my spreadsheet when I get home tomorrow and see what systems remain unfinished..

I really need to put out in a package all of the LS backgrounds for each system -- I have one for nearly every common system by now.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on October 25, 2008, 01:56:35 am
Quote
Please go ahead and upload what you have.  There isn't any real info about Laramis or any of the other imaginary systems.  I'd suggest finishing up the real ones (Regulus, Tegmen and Tau Ceti in particular) before taking these up.
I'll fix that bit you were complainign about. It should be done this weekend. And then I want to do totally new system, just tell me what to do and what colours shall I use. ;7

I always thought regulus should be orange or red (or both) but if there's a canon color scheme of it, by all means use that.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on October 25, 2008, 02:57:29 am
IMO we should use stars that really look like their Real Life counterparts.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on October 25, 2008, 03:13:07 am
IMO we should use stars that really look like their Real Life counterparts.

Heh, well... Sun's apparent diameter at 1 AU is half a degree. If the field of view is 45 degrees on 1280 pixels wide display, the sun ends up 14 pixels in size. Of course, the glare of the immense brightness widens the perceived size of the bright blob quite a bit, since there aren't really any 10^9:1 contrast ratio screens available... :drevil: So the current stars actually work reasonably well in my opinion.

Conclusion - it's almost impossible to simulate sun's appearance accurately in current games, and I doubt it'll ever be possible... Better to settle for what looks good and be done with it, in this case at least.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on October 25, 2008, 03:36:46 am
I know, I was refering to the color. If in RL a star is red its FS counterpart should be red as well.

Question - do you have a Sol bitmap? :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on November 01, 2008, 12:36:00 pm
I've attached the overdue stars and lens flares. These stars should be suitable until I have the time to create a replacement set based on the new template that I've made a few months ago.

@Mobius
I'm pretty sure that the Sun is included in the experimental set of stars that I provided earlier. If it's not in the .rar file, then it will be on its way as soon as the replacement set is complete.

I've made some 3ds Max animations of eclipsing binaries for my stellar astronomy course. These could have some use in the future (maybe), although these specific systems are not in the FreeSpace Universe. However, I am not limited to any particular type of close binary system so long as specific physical data is known. Here are some tests that I've ran so far:

EDIT:
I'm performing some maintenance on the videos. I'll repost them in the Celestial Objects Thread to keep things on topic.






[attachment deleted by necromancer]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on November 02, 2008, 07:18:03 am
Thanks Matt!

Those are interesting animations.  I suppose the period of any of them is still too great for anything to be visible in the short term, but it would be interesting to be able to see some very distinct systems such as those. :)

I will get my spreadsheet updated, and give shiv_pl another system shortly.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on November 07, 2008, 04:17:35 pm
Hellstyker, tommorow you should get your background :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on November 09, 2008, 11:58:54 am
Hellstyker, here's your background:
Code: [Select]
$Num stars: 2000
$Ambient light level: 65793

;;FSO 3.6.9;; $Bitmap List:
$Starbitmap: nebulB2-main
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB1-main
+Angles: 0.349066 0.000000 0.174533
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI1-main
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 0.523598
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB13-whisp
+Angles: 0.349066 0.000000 0.785398
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI3-whisp
+Angles: 5.759582 0.000000 0.698131
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB3-main
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 1.047197
+ScaleX: 6.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI7-whisp
+Angles: 0.523598 0.000000 0.872664
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI7-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 1.570795
+ScaleX: 3.000000
+ScaleY: 3.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI8-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 1.919861
+ScaleX: 6.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB13-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 5.759582
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI6-whisp
+Angles: 5.759582 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 6.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB10-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 3.141590
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 6.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB14-whisp
+Angles: 0.523598 0.000000 3.490656
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 6.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI6-whisp
+Angles: 5.235983 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB5-whisp
+Angles: 4.974185 0.000000 0.000000
+ScaleX: 6.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulB6-whisp
+Angles: 4.712385 0.000000 6.108647
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI8-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 5.235983
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5
$Starbitmap: nebulI7-whisp
+Angles: 0.000000 0.000000 4.712385
+ScaleX: 5.000000
+ScaleY: 5.000000
+DivX: 5
+DivY: 5

Star not included, place it yourself in FRED.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on November 09, 2008, 12:06:37 pm
Why don't you reduce the number of stars? :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on November 09, 2008, 12:15:31 pm
Because, the retail stars give nice streaks.
I like them.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on November 09, 2008, 12:23:55 pm
You like the weird effects they generate when the player maneuvers his spacecraft? :wtf:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on November 09, 2008, 12:26:41 pm
Yes I do.
I don't like how the starfield stars appear so...dead, for a lack of a better term.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on November 09, 2008, 12:45:20 pm
Yes I do.
I don't like how the starfield stars appear so...dead, for a lack of a better term.

That's what they would look like in the vacuum. If we had cockpits, and shaders for cockpit glass effect, and proper motion blur, it wouldn't look dead.

The retail stars become a problem if there are any objects in the skybox aside from nebulas, since the stars are rendered on top of skybox - this can cause quite an ugly effect with skyboxes with, say, planet on them (you see stars layered on top of the planet...). Also, the retail stars are all same intensity unlike skybox stars.

If anything, the retail stars always looked artificial and dead to me. And, to insert a shameless plug, the 3.6.10 starfield will be better than the previous ones. :drevil:
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on November 09, 2008, 12:51:23 pm
Well, yeah, I have to disable them for planet skyboxes, obviously, but when there isn't one, I like them.
Until there's proper cockpit glass effect and proper motion blur, I'll stick with liking the retail stars :P

I usually use a combination of starfield.pof and retail stars...thus having different intensity AND the streaks :D
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on November 09, 2008, 08:58:45 pm
Odd, I can see the purple ones fine but not my yellow ones. I put them in mediavps>data>effects. Lazy mans way of doing things, but by all means it should be working. And yes I updated the stars.tbl
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: shiv on November 10, 2008, 06:24:49 am
Hellstyker, my stars.tbl:
Code: [Select]
; background bitmaps - random stuff
; $Bitmap is for a bitmap which should use the intensity == alpha blending mode
; $BitmapX is for a bitmap which should use 0, 255, 0 == transparent, and no blending otherwise

$Bitmap:  dneb01
$Bitmap:  dneb02
$Bitmap:  dneb03
$Bitmap:  dneb04
$Bitmap:  dneb05
$Bitmap:  dneb06
$Bitmap:  dneb07
$Bitmap:  dneb08
$Bitmap:  dneb09
$Bitmap:  dneb10
$Bitmap:  dneb11
$Bitmap:  dneb12
$Bitmap:  dneb13
$Bitmap:  dneb14
$Bitmap:  dneb15
$Bitmap:  dneb16
$Bitmap:  dneb17
$Bitmap:  dneb18
$Bitmap:  neb01
$Bitmap:  neb02
$Bitmap:  neb03
$Bitmap:  neb04
$Bitmap:  neb05
$Bitmap:  neb06
$Bitmap:  neb07
$Bitmap:  neb08
$Bitmap:  neb09
$Bitmap:  neb10
$Bitmap:  neb11
$Bitmap:  neb12
$Bitmap:  neb13
$Bitmap:  neb14
$Bitmap:  neb15
$Bitmap:  neb16
$Bitmap:  neb17
$Bitmap:  neb18
$Bitmap: nebulA1-main
$Bitmap: nebulA2-main
$Bitmap: nebulA3-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulA14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB1-main
$Bitmap: nebulB2-main
$Bitmap: nebulB3-main
$Bitmap: nebulB4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulB14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC1-main
$Bitmap: nebulC2-main
$Bitmap: nebulC3-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulC14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD1-main
$Bitmap: nebulD2-main
$Bitmap: nebulD3-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulD14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE1-main
$Bitmap: nebulE2-main
$Bitmap: nebulE3-main
$Bitmap: nebulE4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulE14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF1-main
$Bitmap: nebulF2-main
$Bitmap: nebulF3-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulF14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG1-main
$Bitmap: nebulG2-main
$Bitmap: nebulG3-main
$Bitmap: nebulG4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulG14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH1-main
$Bitmap: nebulH2-main
$Bitmap: nebulH3-main
$Bitmap: nebulH4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH9-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH10-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH11-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH12-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH13-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulH14-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI1-main
$Bitmap: nebulI2-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI3-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI4-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI5-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI6-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI7-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI8-whisp
$Bitmap: nebulI9-whisp
$BitmapX: planeta1
$BitmapX: planetb
$BitmapX: planetc
$BitmapX: planetd
$BitmapX: planete
$BitmapX: planetf
$BitmapX: planetg
$BitmapX: planeth
$BitmapX: SunSathanas01
$BitmapX: SunSathanas02
$BitmapX: SunSathanas03

#end

; sun bitmaps and lights - NOTE all $Suns must have a $Sunglow and a $SunRGBI!

$Sun: SunWhite
$Sunglow: Sunglow01
$SunRGBI: 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

$Sun: SunRed
$Sunglow: SunglowRed
$SunRGBI: 1.0 0.1 0.1 1.0

$Sun: SunGreen
$Sunglow: SunglowGreen
$SunRGBI: 0.5 1.0 0.5 1.0

$Sun: SunBlue
$Sunglow: SunglowBlue
$SunRGBI: 0.2 0.2 1.0 1.0

$Sun: SunGold
$Sunglow: SunglowGold
$SunRGBI: 0.74 0.76 0.44 1.0

$Sun: SunViolet
$Sunglow: SunglowViolet
$SunRGBI: 0.66 0.44 0.54 1.0

#end

; debris .ani's for NON-nebula mode. NOTE : there must always be 4 of these
$Debris: debris01
$Debris: debris02
$Debris: debris03
$Debris: debris04

#end

; debris .ani's for nebula mode. NOTE : there must always be 4 of these
$DebrisNeb: gas
$DebrisNeb: gas
$DebrisNeb: gas
$DebrisNeb: gas

#end

#end
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Colonol Dekker on November 10, 2008, 06:59:59 am
Flub! That's a lot of thingies.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on November 10, 2008, 10:12:46 am
I don't need your stars.tbl, I told you I did that already
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on November 13, 2008, 06:24:56 pm
@Admiral Nelson

You're right, those binaries have orbital periods that are definitely too long to be represented as an animation in the game. The only "practical" case would be using ε Coronae Australis, which has an orbital period of about 0.59 days. However, there are known binaries with orbital periods less than one hour. So maybe once I have completed my list of stars for FreeSpace, I can try to work on some new systems and animations.

Speaking of which, I've finished Regulus and Ross 128. What I'd like to know is what other stars, aside from Tegmen, should have the highest priority for completion?

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on November 13, 2008, 10:29:26 pm
Tau Ceti ("Tau Sigma") is probably the only other important real star that would be left to do.  That is remarkable progress!  :yes:

There are other stars left that you have already made that do not have custom coronae, though.  Nevertheless it is great that we soon will no longer need look at the same few stars in every mission! :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Vasudan Admiral on November 14, 2008, 12:26:41 am
Just something to note here fellas from an in-game efficiency point of view:
We've implemented this pack in the upcoming MVPs, and while it looks great, I've had to do a lot of pruning, for a couple of reasons:
1) The stars alone accounted for around 200mb of space, which is more than all LS's nebulea combined. Considering their role in missions, that's just far too much space.

2) Many of the individual suns I saw in the actual missions were tiny specks - just a couple of pixels across, yet more often than not these were actually huge 256 or 512 res images!  The image files themselves in these cases should be using the same image as the main sun, or if the looks/colours are significantly different - tiny graphics of at most 16x16. As is it's a huge waste of RAM for such a tiny detail.

3) In many of the graphic files themselves, the actual sun sits in the centre of the image with ~75% of the space around it pure black. This was happening with the 512 res and 1024 res ones especially, so I went through and shrunk the canvas size of all these graphics ensuring that there were also no nearly invisible hard edges anywhere. I've got a list of the graphics that have been shrunken (attached) because you'll need to halve the res of those suns any missions you have made with them to keep the in-game suns the same size.

4) In many cases the actual differences between the stars was almost nothing. Here players will not notice the slightest difference - especially between missions, so the same graphic should be used twice, as there's simply no reason to have another.

Overall - keep it up! It does look great, but there's a lot of room for improvment efficiency wise as is. :)

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on November 14, 2008, 10:45:52 am
Thanks for the constructive criticism. So let's discuss the issues brought up:

1) This is a very large amount of space, and to be honest, I was completely unaware of just how much space these stars were taking up. As you have mentioned, this is due to the fact that most of the companion stars are distant bright specks that have the same resolution as any other large star in the vicinity. What I need to do is discuss with Admiral Nelson is just how large the stars in the missions should appear. This way, I can significantly reduce the resolution of companion stars if their representative images are not going to be used to the fullest extent.

2) Just as mentioned above, the resolution of distant companions need to be reduced to increase efficiency.

3) This was the biggest problem associated with the older template that I used to make the stars. As of recently, I have been making new stars that actually take up most of the image. The star itself sits at the center, but the halo of the star is what actually takes up the rest of the image. I had to compromise, because a star with a small or absent halo does not appear luminous at all. Flux alone is difficult to represent as it is. So now everything is scaled according to luminosity, where the final star has a halo that barely touches the edge of the image. 

Thanks for taking the time to compose that spreadsheet. I have looked through the stars, and I notice most of these have not received the updates that I previously mentioned. However, I do see some of the new stars on this list. So either I did not to a good job at scaling the halos, or you haven't come across the newer images. For instance, there is a newer version of the Albireo system that was posted in one of the last few pages in this thread, along with a couple of others.

Anyway, the problem that I wanted to avoid is the presence of hard edges. What one might consider pure black is usually an RGB of (4,4,4) or something along those lines. It was my intention to have an RGB of (0,0,0) as close to the edge as possible so the halo of the star blends in well with the background. If too much is cropped from the edges, you will most likely be able to notice the edges of the image in the background. So if you shrunk the canvas size while ensuring that the hard edges are not present, then I'll go back and redo these stars.

4) I'm not too sure I follow you here. I have not played FreeSpace at all to verify how well the stars appear in-game from one mission to another. However, I would at least hope that players will notice the difference between say Altair and Antares A, for instance.

Stars that have similar luminosity types and similar spectral classes will in most cases look exactly the same in these images. This is basically the case with the Sun and α Centauri A, both of which are class G2V stars. The only true difference that one might be able to infer from looking at the images is that α Centauri A has a slightly larger halo to give the impression that it is more luminous than the Sun. So I agree, in cases like this, it is just a manipulation of one image that can be used to represent stars of similar luminosity and spectral classes. Having two separate images, which are most likely going to be scaled in-game to the point where the difference in halo size is inappreciable, is unnecessary.

If you were referring to stars of different spectral classes and luminosities, then not only is scaling the most likely culprit of this indifference, but the positioning of stars within nebulae diminishes detail, as well. When it comes to the primary star of a particular system, I would hope that the in-game image size is very close to the original so the details of the star can be appreciated. Looking at Altair and α Centauri A for example, the primary stars in-game are significantly smaller than the original 512 X 512. Not only that, but it appears as though α Centauri A is next to a nebula, and these images have a habit of washing out the detail of the stars. Up close with no obstructions, the differences should be clear:

(https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Alpha%20Aquilae.jpg)(https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/FSSCP/Alpha%20Centauri%20A.jpg)

Admiral Nelson, what do you think about changing the size of the primary stars at least 50% of their original size? In my opinion, anything less implies too much loss in detail, and of course a loss in efficiency. We can discuss anything you want, but I think we should begin with 1. the size of primary stars, 2. the size of companion stars based on their orbital distances, 3. the size of the lens flares, 4. the positioning of stars within other celestial bodies. Let me know if you have anything else in mind.

Again, thanks for the criticism. If there are any other concerns about the stars, feel free to address them.


Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Vasudan Admiral on November 14, 2008, 11:41:16 am
Regarding 4), Here's the type of thing I mean with a quick glance through the files:

CapellaA:
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y184/VA--Twisted_Infinities/Effects/SunCapellaA.jpg)
DubheA:
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y184/VA--Twisted_Infinities/Effects/SunDubheA.jpg)
KausBorealisA:
(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y184/VA--Twisted_Infinities/Effects/SunKausBorealisA.jpg)

Between these really the only difference is size - the slight differences in gradient won't be noticed, and so they really should be using the one image. The scale can be handled by the Fred scale settings rather than in the graphics themselves. (It may not be 100% accurate to the other stars these represent, but for a game engine there need to be compromises between accuracy and efficiency) :)

About the hard edges, yeah I had a look at that too and ensured nothing would clip with the edges on the smaller canvas sizes. I used a special gradient mask I made to ensure nothing spills over in any of the shrunken files. :)

So I think my two basic guidelines here for future patches/releases are just these:
1) Reuse images wherever possible
2) Use the smallest practical images (obviously basing the size of the graphic on how large the star appears in-game)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on November 14, 2008, 12:26:06 pm
Couple of thoughts -- some stars are tiny specks because i chose to set the mission closer to one component than another.  It is possible that someone may want to set a mission elsewhere in a system where they aren't tiny.  Others, like Sirius B, will always be tiny.  I suppose one has the same issue with planets -- we have only one size of planet for all purposes, close and distant.

It is true that, especially on the main sequence a lot of stars may look alike.  It might be practical to break these down by spectral type and use some generic 'G5' image, for instance.  Most of the stars not yet done are red dwarfs, which probably all look like Ross 128.  Conversely, some stars are quite extraordinary and would need a unique image (Deneb, Naos, etc).


I can repost the latest collection of star images and stars.tbl, if that will help make sure we have everything up to date.

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on November 14, 2008, 12:28:12 pm
I'm just nitpicking, but I can definately see the differance between borealis compared to the other two.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Vasudan Admiral on November 14, 2008, 07:59:18 pm
Hellstryker: Yes we all can, but would you be able to tell they're different from mission to mission though? I highly doubt it without screenshot comparison. ;)

Admiral Nelson: That generic-star-type-image idea would be ideal here I think - with custom star images for any of the more unique stars like Vega etc - this would be the most efficient method to use. It would also help with the scaling of stars you describe, because rather than having an appropriately scaled large image of every star in a system, you'd just need to define in a readme or somesuch what type of star each star in the system is and their relative scales and distances apart.

It could also be very cool idea to provide a couple of templates (if you haven't already - I haven't followed the whole of this thread) for the various systems that mission designers could use. It'd be great to include such template missions in the MVPs for easy  Fredder access too. :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on November 15, 2008, 10:33:50 am
Yeah, I actually do have templates for almost every system, just in a disorganized fashion.  Let me see what I can do to organize these better.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on November 15, 2008, 02:51:45 pm
Hellstryker: Yes we all can, but would you be able to tell they're different from mission to mission though? I highly doubt it without screenshot comparison. ;)

As I said, just nitpicking ;p If you're going to choose one of those three, i'd choose borealis. The way the other two cut off sharply isn't easy on the eyes.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on November 15, 2008, 09:07:59 pm
The way the other two cut off sharply isn't easy on the eyes.
It's been a very long time since I have seen my original images. In my opinion, none of those stars are easy on the eyes.

First of all, what I have noticed with the older template stars is that there appears to be some unintentional reddening. Also, given that Dubhe A is the most luminous out of the group, I have no idea why Capella A appears to be the most luminous based on the size of its halo. Just more reasons why these images need to be replaced.

Looking at the images of Altair and α Centauri A, I'm starting to question whether the "supernova" streaks surrounding the stars are reasonable. In some way, they enhance the overall image by making the stars appear bright. At the same time, these stars are beginning to look more like bright flowers. If I could see what these stars look like up close, along with matching lens flares, I might be able to see these stars in a different perspective. Tell me what you all think: should I continue making the streaks, or would it look better if the stars had no streaks at all?

Anyway, I completely agree with the idea of using generic images to represent stars of similar spectral class and luminosity. What I'm doing right now is compiling a spreadsheet to see which stars have similar classifications. I'm also using the spreadsheet to calculate the necessary scaling of companion stars given the orbital separation and distance. If the apparent magnitude of the companions are given in the literature, I can also determine whether companion star images are even necessary. Regarding the orientation of the stars, if the time of periastron passage is given, I can use some future date within the FreeSpace universe to determine how the stars will be oriented in their orbits. From there, it all depends on where the player is in the given star system.

@Admiral Nelson
If you know where the player is positioned in the multiple star systems, feel free to let me know. All I need is a general idea for each template.

Other than that, I will use the data from the spreadsheet to complete a new set of stars to replace the older images. Hopefully this will result in a much more efficient star pack for the media VPs.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Vasudan Admiral on November 15, 2008, 10:28:27 pm
Oh that's right - Capella I had to treat a bit differently to the others, as I was finding that with the supernova, the initial stellar enhancements graphic would just scale up to slightly larger than normal sun size before the shockwave hit, whereas the original got much larger. The one posted above is the size that most closely matches the size and appearance of the retail graphic, and so it looks correct when it explodes. :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Admiral Nelson on November 16, 2008, 05:39:31 pm
Matt,

I usually assumed the player was near the primary, and then scaled it to look appropriate from there.  I didn't really follow any rhyme or reason -- just what I thought would look interesting.

The stars usually are distant enough that I don't see the built in flares looking bad -- here is Vega, for instance:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/NelsonAndBronte/FS2/Karnak.jpg)

If it is possible for you to post up Regulus and Ross 128, that would be fantastic! :)

There probably isn't time to redo everything for this release; I will make the best of what we have already.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on March 03, 2009, 08:40:54 pm
 :bump:
Really, this is nitpicking, but if we are to go by FS canon there are some major errors here. So far, I've compiled a list of FS 1 systems and their nebulae:

Sirius - Green, White?
Delta Serpentis - Green, Cyan
Beta Aquilae - Purple
Antares - Red, Yellow?, Orange?
Ross 128 - Yellow, White, Orange?
Ribos - Red, Purple
Ikeya - Blue
Beta Cygni - Red, White, Orange?, Yellow?
Betelgeuse - Blue
Deneb - Red, Purple, Orange
Alpha Centauri - Blue
Vasuda - Orange?, White?, Yellow?
Altair - Yellow, White?
Vega - Green? Purple?

The two of these that really bother me are Deneb and Altair, as they are both actually opposite to their canon colors...
I'd be willing to redo those two if you want, and the list is there for anyone else who wants to fiddle with the other systems.

Deneb is a real iffy system... In FS 1, it is always red, and in the FS 2 intro it's shown as orange and purple, which is, oddly enough, what gamma drac now looks like.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on March 03, 2009, 10:09:14 pm
Well, I think they based the color of the nebulae on what goes well with the star.
For example, a Red Giant like Betelgeuse in a blue nebula background is kind of...dissonant.

I rather like the new ones.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Hellstryker on March 03, 2009, 11:32:07 pm
Well, I think they based the color of the nebulae on what goes well with the star.
For example, a Red Giant like Betelgeuse in a blue nebula background is kind of...dissonant.

I rather like the new ones.

Unless I'm mistaken, Deneb and Altair are both white, (or close to it) Besides, nebulae are so far away I highly doubt the color of the star would have an impact on the them.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on March 04, 2009, 12:45:36 am
It's not the effect of the star, its just if it is visually appealing or not.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 06, 2009, 05:52:35 pm
Are there any Sol bitmaps available? :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Kazan on March 07, 2009, 04:34:03 pm
i still want to see background nebulae with stars backed in of various sizes, intensities and colors... someone a LONG LONG time ago made an example.. but i don't have the artistic skills to come close to repeating it for an example.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Droid803 on March 07, 2009, 05:03:52 pm
Just going to put this out there:

Can we have a list of systems that have been enhanced, and the their backgrounds done with Lightspeed's nebulae, and if so, where to get it from?
After all, it is better to get the same system looking the same in custom campaigns as they do in other ones or the main campaign.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on March 08, 2009, 04:19:31 am
i still want to see background nebulae with stars backed in of various sizes, intensities and colors... someone a LONG LONG time ago made an example.. but i don't have the artistic skills to come close to repeating it for an example.

Wouldn't that be scaling-unfriendly?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: M87 on May 24, 2009, 12:25:34 am
:bump:

I'm back from another typical semester of pain and research, and I finally decided to build a new computer since my laptop has not been exactly reliable for the past few months. I cannot believe that I have been missing out on the sheer beauty of this game for this long. Ridiculous.

Anyway, I can see how the new stars appear during game play. It was a concern of mine in the past, but now it seems fairly evident that I need to redo these stars. For one, the "supernova" streaks just don't improve the perception that I'm looking at a bright object through a monitor, IMO (at least the old version of the streaks that were made using Corel). Using the GIMP versions of the streaks as seen with α Centauri A and Altair may be the better alternative. Also, as we were discussing before there is a problem with memory usage and efficiency. Therefore, all spectral classes will have one respective image.

@Admiral Nelson:
How's it going? I wanted to know how many mission variants exist for each star system in FS so I can scale generic spectral class images to appropriate sizes.

I'm going to rework the FS2 stars, beginning with the star used for the training simulations (Vega I'm assuming). I'll provide screenshots as soon as I get good results...

EDIT:

So here is a list of stars for FS2:

Capella A                           G8III       255 231 199
Capella B                           G0III       255 242 233
Deneb                               A2Ia       199 214 255
Epsilon Pegasi                     K2Ib       255 211 135
Gamma Draconis                  K5III       255 204 138
Star A (Knossos)                 ?           #N/A
Star B (Knossos)                 ?           #N/A
Nebula Star (Unknown)        ?           #N/A
Polaris Aa                          F7Ib       255 243 250
Polaris Ab                          F3V        230 233 255
Polaris B                            F3V        230 233 255
Sirius A                             A1V        181 199 255
Sirius B                             DA2        168 189 255
Vega                                A0V        185 201 255

What spectral classes do you all prefer for the stars of the Knossos system and the nebula system?

Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: FreeSpaceFreak on May 26, 2009, 05:34:08 am
Something that fits the nebula background. It would mean blue/green for the Knossos stars and - well, nevermind the nebula. We don't even know how many star systems it spans. And as it changes in almost every mission, it would probably do better with a sun that fits the mission colour.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Mobius on June 01, 2009, 04:54:50 pm
It's normal for nebulae to have multiple parts with different chemical elements spread all over them. Look at the Krab nebula to find out how different colors can coexist. :)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Turambar on August 10, 2009, 12:52:19 pm
has this been done for the backgrounds in FS1 yet?
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Herra Tohtori on August 10, 2009, 02:05:50 pm
"Someone" should make M45 (Pleiades) skybox... :drevil:

(http://www.btlguce.com/images/Trips/M45dif.jpg) (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0601/pleiades_gendler_big.jpg)

That would be pretty nice practice I think.
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: High Max on August 10, 2009, 02:18:58 pm
;-)
Title: Re: Stellar enhancements
Post by: Zacam on August 10, 2009, 11:13:37 pm
Actually, having maps per system to offer some variation would be good. But unless and until $Texture Replace: works on mission load for the skybox, that is not going to happen.

Why? Because I'm sure as **** not going to make or bloat the mediavp's with seperate models AND textures for each and every system.

That _is_ a nice star skybox though. It's x1r5g5b5 for the DDS plugin, remember.