Author Topic: A celebration of Freespace  (Read 1750604 times)

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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
I'm surprised. My RAM boost lets me play with AdVPs.
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Offline blowfish

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
:jaw: That beam looks really good.


That's the power of 3.6.10 beta VPs with AdvancedEffects.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 11:19:05 am by blowfish »

 

Offline shiv

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
New backgrounds in action...

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Offline Snail

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Hawt damn.

 
 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Hmm... since everyone seems to be collecting their eyes from their monitor surfaces, I'm going to work as an advocatus diaboli here and say that the baked-in geometry of the lighting on those planets is way off.

Basically, to be lighted like that, the planets are bigger than the star. Both of those planets should be visible as just crescents.

Also, talking about critique... the Shivan beamglow effect seems to be of different colour than the actual beam, which doesn't really look good. The beam itself has a substantial amount of blue on it (as per Bobboau's awesome beam textures), making the electric arc detail around the bright core look somewhat electric violet than traditional Shivan red... while the beamglow is mainly of red hue with some yellow as well, making it look orange in comparison to the actual beam. Both look good, but IMHO they could look better with a little hue change of the brightest part of the beamglow, so that the glow and the beam would look like they are parts of the same weapon.

This is what I mean. With a small hue change towards magenta and blue on the medium bright areas, I manually changed the area of the beamglow to look like this:



Perhaps I should take this to the MediaVP department directly, but I suppose it'll be seen here as well... If it's considered to be off topic, feel free to move it to appropriate forum for further discussion on the subject.
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Offline Snail

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Sorry, Herra, and I don't mean to be annoying or anything, but I don't think anybody really wants to go and check that all their planets are lit up the right way. In FS, whatever looks cool, is cool.

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
We know from the cutscenes that planets aren't placed in the right way...

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Sorry, Herra, and I don't mean to be annoying or anything, but I don't think anybody really wants to go and check that all their planets are lit up the right way. In FS, whatever looks cool, is cool.

I agree with the last sentiment, but it's just that my mind is built so that it keeps shouting at me when I see physically inconsistent stuff, which makes it several degrees less cool than it could be. It does look cool, it's just that with relatively small planning of the background, it could be better.

I'm not talking about completely accurate placements, just the general location of the star, planet and the player... Usually you can't make accurate comparisions in-mission anyway, since the planet and the sun are usually not on the same field of view... but when they are, the planet should appear as a crescent. Accuracy be damned for all I care, but it should at least look consistent.

Hmm... perhaps part of the problem is that the planet background images are usually static and only feature one phase of the planet, which effectively limits the amount of believable positions the planet can be placed in on the background. With four phases of the planet available, one could use way more positions for the planet - full planet, 3/4, ½ and 1/4 lit modes would already widen the selection notably. Perhaps 1/8th lit crescent could be usable as well, for situations like the one in the screenshot I picked on....

Perhaps I (or someone else) should make a set of planets in several phases so they could be used more freely on different relative positions to the sun. :drevil:
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Offline Mobius

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
I also am a maniac of the correct placement of bitmaps but here I have other things to consider, like the textures... many of the screenshots show stuff I don't have, I could care less about the way the planet is disposed  ;)

And, damn it, I really agree with that proposal! More planets!!! ;7

 

Offline Snail

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
And, damn it, I really agree with that proposal! More planets!!! ;7

Yarr!

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Idea> instead of drawing up new phases for each planet, why not make a selection of masks to put over them in the background editor? :nervous: If it's feasible. Either the same colour as the default starfield.pof textured or some kind of freaky alpha map using SCPower to "erase/hide" a portion of the image file using layering maybe? :nervousagain: ;)
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Idea> instead of drawing up new phases for each planet, why not make a selection of masks to put over them in the background editor? :nervous: If it's feasible. Either the same colour as the default starfield.pof textured or some kind of freaky alpha map using SCPower to "erase/hide" a portion of the image file using layering maybe? :nervousagain: ;)

Assuming you can stack planet textures on top of each other and that it works well too. I don't know if that's even possible, but assuming it is...

I thought of that as well, but the problem is that in a full-lit version you would have the atmosphere surrounding the whole planet with a rather prominent glow. Now, if you would stack a shadow mask over it, you would need to stretch the shadow mask over the atmospheric glow of the underlying fully lit planet.

This would undoubtedly work pretty well, as long as the background doesn't have any nebulae on it. If it had any nebula behind the planet, the stretched shadow layer would visibly show up against the nebula, or at the very least it would be visibly larger than the lit side of the planet.

A possible solution would be to use a base texture of the planet without any atmospheric glow whatsoever, and overlay that with appropriate shadow/atmo-glow hybrid layer. But that would require the mission designer to stack the two planets on the correct positions, then rotate the shadow/glow layer to correct position, and on the user end it would end up using twice as much VRAM as simple baked-in shadow/glow planet image would. I have no idea how much of the actual rendering performance goes to the background and how much the performance would be hit, but every unnecessary bit is too much in my opinion...

Another thing is that with some planets (especially those that are on skybox use and thus are very high resolution) the direction from which the light supposedly comes from can pronounce terrain elevation (mountains) and it could look fairly stupid to have mountains on the surface of a planet and notice that they look more like canyons judging by the supposed lighting. :p

EDIT: I think this tangent would be better discussed here. :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 10:27:41 pm by Herra Tohtori »
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
This might as good thread as any to mention that both Wing Commander Saga as well as the Beyond the Red Line appeared on finnish computer magazine's (Mikrobitti) cover DVD.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
Did they mention us in print any?
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
On a brief glance... Not really.. But they do mention some details about the game engine though leaving the SCP as well as the HLP unmentioned.
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Offline Mobius

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Re: A celebration of Freespace
On a brief glance... Not really.. But they do mention some details about the game engine though leaving the SCP as well as the HLP unmentioned.

Which is idiotic giving the fact that the community did a lot in the past years.

 
Re: A celebration of Freespace




Just to show how much things evolved since the first post...

and  to get back to the topic  :p
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Offline castor

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Re: A celebration of Freespace