Author Topic: Stellar enhancements  (Read 73401 times)

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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.


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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.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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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.
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

 

Offline jr2

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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..

 
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.



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?

 

Online Mobius

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Uhm I think the Sathanas "accelerated" the process, compromising the gravity.
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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

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

Bright Giants
« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 07:00:36 am by m2258734a »

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2007, 11:46:05 am by Admiral Nelson »
If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

 
wow! just wow :eek2:is this part of the next version of media vps?

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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Eventually.  The last screen shot is from Warzone.

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

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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.
If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

 
untill this is released in the media vps is there a table that is needed to get these to work ingame?

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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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.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 03:26:39 pm by Herra Tohtori »
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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.
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Offline Snail

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Oh... I thought it was only me too...

This bug WILL be fixed. ;)

 

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We all hope so. It makes the bgs look stupid.
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Here are the updated giants:

Giants

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?

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Four pictures say more than... four thousand words. Well, maybe not. Anyway:

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



With black glow texture, without glare and with glare:




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:
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

 
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

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

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?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 05:24:36 pm by m2258734a »