Author Topic: Stellar enhancements  (Read 74284 times)

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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...





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.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 11:49:33 pm by m2258734a »

 

Offline Mobius

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Betelgeuse! It's my favourite! <---in fact SthCrs starts there

WOW!
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Offline neoterran

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you didn't attach anything ?
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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I don't see any attachment?  Can you post these on filefront or suchlike?
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Offline Mobius

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Nice. DLing it now.

DL link for Betelgeuse?
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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:

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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)



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.

 
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.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 04:56:57 pm by m2258734a »

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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. 
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. 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?

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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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...
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.

 
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.

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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Well, I asked him to have a look and see...
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Offline taylor

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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.

 
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
         Here is Adhara with the separated star and glow images: https://webspace.utexas.edu/maa945/www/Adhara%20-%20Double%20Layer.rar
« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 07:29:46 am by m2258734a »

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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Here's the single layer one:

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Offline Turambar

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as long as flares like that are static, they'll never look quite right.

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Offline neoterran

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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.
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Offline jr2

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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?

 

Offline Mobius

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They definitely need a flare. They don't look ok with FS nebulae otherwise.
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