Author Topic: Stellar enhancements  (Read 75250 times)

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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:







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).

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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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.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline Ace

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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.
Ace
Self-plagiarism is style.
-Alfred Hitchcock

 
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?)



 

Offline Raven2001

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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
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
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.

 
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.

 

Offline jr2

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Ask a coder.

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.

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.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 11:05:48 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.

 
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.

 

Offline Wanderer

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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
Do not meddle in the affairs of coders for they are soggy and hard to light

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
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 Wanderer

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Not exactly sure in what units the value is but it defines the 'distance' of that particular flareglow is from the sun
Do not meddle in the affairs of coders for they are soggy and hard to light

 
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?

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
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.

 
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

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

« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 03:34:43 pm by m2258734a »

 

Offline FSW

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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?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 03:36:03 pm by FSW »

 

Online Mobius

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Thank you for Alpha Crucis, dude! :yes:

Keep going!

 
>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.

 

Online Mobius

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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.