Author Topic: Stellar enhancements  (Read 73404 times)

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Offline Hellstryker

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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

 

Offline shiv

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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
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Flub! That's a lot of thingies.

 

Offline Hellstryker

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I don't need your stars.tbl, I told you I did that already

 

Offline M87

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@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?


 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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! :)
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Offline Vasudan Admiral

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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. :)

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Offline M87

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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:



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.



 

Offline Vasudan Admiral

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Regarding 4), Here's the type of thing I mean with a quick glance through the files:

CapellaA:

DubheA:

KausBorealisA:


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)
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.

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Offline Hellstryker

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I'm just nitpicking, but I can definately see the differance between borealis compared to the other two.

 

Offline Vasudan Admiral

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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. :)
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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.
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Offline Hellstryker

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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.

 

Offline M87

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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.

 

Offline Vasudan Admiral

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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. :)
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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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:



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.
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Offline Hellstryker

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 :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.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 08:44:02 pm by Hellstryker »

 

Offline Droid803

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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.
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Hellstryker

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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.