Author Topic: Stellar enhancements  (Read 74223 times)

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Offline Turambar

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this stuff should look very pretty in conjunction with the bloom shader and normal maps.

it's one of the first things i'll try when i get my new computer
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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More...

Enif:


Vega:


Capella A&B


Capella C&D
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 Admiral Nelson

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Polaris Aa and Ab:


Polaris B:



And a first release.  This contains all stars created by M87 to date, a stars.tbl for them all, and all FS2 missions converted to use the correct stars except for TSM104-106, mostly as it seems to be never stated what system these are supposed to be set in.  I might presume Vega, since it is only a sim anyway.  I'll correct these later, but thought it best to get this out there in hopes of getting some feedback / constructive criticism. The full set of latest MediaVps required.

Download from Filefront
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 12:22:13 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.

 

Offline M87

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It seems Freespace has gone through plenty of changes since I have been away. These new lens flares look great, and I thank you for posting the updated images Admiral Nelson. While I do agree that the lens flares blend in very well with the new stars, I also agree with Admiral Nelson that the lens flares' similarity in color and configuration obscure each star systems' individuality.

To improve color, the halo and the two horizontal "rays" should have a hue that is similar to that of the star. I do not know if it is as easy as making the lens flare's RGB equal to that of the star, but it could be worth a try (assuming that is possible). Nevertheless, adding variations in color will be a necessity.

To improve luminosity, the only solution that I could think of is to experiment by increasing or decreasing the size of each lens flare or star in a particular system. Before, I would always add a lengthy description of each star system, discussing subjects like apparent magnitudes, separations of stellar components, and luminosities in solar units. I now realize that dealing with those exact values is not an easy thing to translate onto a computer screen. For example, if I were to say that Sirius A and B have luminosities equal to approximately 25 and 0.025 times that of the Sun, how would we handle those values in a Freespace scene? One way to deal with these quantities is to approximate each case relatively by adjusting the size of the stars and/or lens flares.
 
It was a vision of mine from long ago to see the day that Freespace had stars which looked similar to those from Freelancer. While not all of the stars in Freelancer are dissimilar, the different numbers and formations of rays added to the variation. Currently, I have no problem with the two horizontal rays, but if it is possible, changing the size, number, and position of those rays might help to lessen the obscurity mentioned earlier. I don't know if this is possible at the moment, but if it is, we will have the options we need to create more unique scenery.

That's about it. What I can do is use Celestia to help establish some sort of template or guide for you to follow, Admiral Nelson. I will use your screenshots to help guide me along the way, just like I did with Sirius, so you won't have to worry about repositioning the primary stars. So with Sirius A's apparent diameter set as a constant, the size of the lens flare halo will give you an idea of how large the lens flare should be. Then, the radius of Sirius B and its lens flare could be adjusted to match the Celestia image. How does that sound?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 04:18:09 pm by M87 »

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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The lens flares are themselves just textures.  There are six of these in DaBrain's version -- two for the 'halo' and four for the lens flare artifacts.  These can be changed in color and number as desired.  Thus freespace should support individually colored lens flares -- it just requires creating a set of them for each star.  I will attach these six textures here for you to have a look at.  I did try to match flare size and luminosity within reason in the missions.  Are you able to play these yourself?

[attachment deleted by ninja]
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 Turambar

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which nebulas play nice with these missions? never mind

also: since in the .tbl you can specify which lens flares are used with which stars, you could conceivably create colored lens flares and give them different names, and then use them on the different stars.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 02:50:45 pm by Turambar »
10:55:48   TurambarBlade: i've been selecting my generals based on how much i like their hats
10:55:55   HerraTohtori: me too!
10:56:01   HerraTohtori: :D

 

Offline ION3

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Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself. If at all different flares for different ships would be realistic. But everything else just takes away from the immersion. Of course the flares from the ship thruster effects and weapons have to be matched aswell then.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself.


No. The proportion of different wavelengths in the light emitted from the source does have a significant impact on the colour of the lens flare - which isn't surprizing because lens flare is essentially diffracted light from the star itself, and thus it can't really be, say, blue, if the star is red.

The emissive properties of cockpit glass can of course affect the perceived hue of the whole star, but the fact remains that the star and it's flare should realistically be roughly about similar hue.


Of course, pretty much all stars are just bright in the end - the colours don't realistically show up as much as they are made to look like in, say, FS2 backgrounds. Of course, realism and FreeSpace don't really belong in the same sentence in many occasions at all. I'd say we need to see how the slightly hued flare textures look like, and see how they compare with the dimple bright ones.
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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I would tend to think that some of the really tiny stars, such as white dwarf companions, or other backgroundish suns would have smaller more 'sparkly' flares.  It should be easy to use an eyedropper control etc to produce recolored lens flares.
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 M87

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Thanks Admiral Nelson for supplying the textures. Would you happen to know what I could use to convert the .dds files into something editable?

Concerning the variation of lens flares per star system, adding color that is basically similar to that of the respective stars is on my agenda. However, it was also a last resort idea for me to try to add some variation in the orientation of the diffraction spikes. The idea was that in each system, the new stars could have a unique set of diffraction spikes. So for example, maybe Sirius A and B could have a configuration of four spikes per star, while Vega could have a configuration of six. So whatever lens flare configuration is used in a particular system, all bright objects in that system would use the same. The problem with this of course is that it is a farfetched idea and is not entirely realistic unless we assume that different canopies are used on the ships per star system. So while I do agree that the blackbody properties of a certain star have a significant impact on the final hue of the lens flare, the physical properties of the light-scattering "lens" have a significant impact on the final configuration or shape of the lens flare artifacts, including diffraction spikes. Take a look at any deep space photo of star clusters taken through reflective telescopes, and you will notice that the orientation of the diffraction spikes are instrument-specific, regardless of the temperature of the star.


Messier 45


Messier 67

So that is basically what ION3 was describing. It is probably best that I keep my mind focused on dealing with colors and sizes, instead of configuration and shapes. I don't want to jump too far ahead of myself, as I usually have a tendency of doing so.




« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 08:09:02 pm by M87 »

 

Offline Admiral Nelson

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I used Irfanview to resave them as TGAs.

As you see, I could resize the flares themselves using the stars.tbl.  The flares can be scaled, unless the scaling itself makes them look funny and a built for the purpose small flare is desired instead.

[attachment deleted by ninja]
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 Bobboau

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Don`t use different lans flares! They should only differ in size and colour. Their form and orientation should not change as the flares are caused by the eye and cocpit glass and not by the sun itself. If at all different flares for different ships would be realistic. But everything else just takes away from the immersion. Of course the flares from the ship thruster effects and weapons have to be matched aswell then.

yeah, exactly, this is a video game so rigid conformance to reality is more important that what looks cool or fun.
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Offline Zacam

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Feedback on posted 00-RealStars: I can't type, I'm drooling.

I have noticed a _significant_ change in the atmosphere of the areas thus far (though I'm only 3 missions in on them).

Not entirely sure I completely care for the changes, but they are, no pun intended, stellar over retail.

I don't know if they would win hands down over the VP's, but I certainly would not cry or complain if they replaced the vp ones.

On Mission 2 though, it's REALLY easy to eyeball the "Large Asteroid". Also, you should probably consider using $ALT's to make the "GTF" Loki fighters "NTF" Loki fighters. And you went through a LOT of effort (unecessarily IMO) to remove references to Loki's in the brief and dialogs for that mission instead of changing a brief icon and 2 ship class entries to Loki.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 10:30:30 pm by Zacam »
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Offline Turambar

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Feedback on posted 00-RealStars: I can't type, I'm drooling.

On Mission 2 though, it's REALLY easy to eyeball the "Large Asteroid".

i noticed this as well.  i liked it because i was spared staring at its low poly ugliness, as i keep ambient low and the roid was backlit.
10:55:48   TurambarBlade: i've been selecting my generals based on how much i like their hats
10:55:55   HerraTohtori: me too!
10:56:01   HerraTohtori: :D

 
Download from Filefront

Is this download a different set of stars from the ones posted in this post:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139

???

The ReplaceRetailStars.7z was posted by Herra a couple of days ago, and this 00-RealStars.7z was posted 2 days ago -- I suspect they are different.  Just checking because there has been a TON of new stuff to download lately between various normal maps of ships, new vp files, etc., and I'm trying to keep the game up to speed with whatever is the latest/greatest developments.

If so, is the difference preferential or is one set definitely 'better' or at least more correct than the other?  I guess I could follow up and ask, are either of these sets going to become the definitive set, and thus included in the official 3.6.10 media vp release?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 12:02:34 am by fsphiladelphia »
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Download from Filefront

Is this download a different set of stars from the ones posted in this post:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,51229.msg1039139.html#msg1039139

???

The ReplaceRetailStars.7z was posted by Herra a couple of days ago, and this 00-RealStars.7z was posted 2 days ago -- I suspect they are different.  Just checking because there has been a TON of new stuff to download lately between various normal maps of ships, new vp files, etc., and I'm trying to keep the game up to speed with whatever is the latest/greatest developments.

If so, is the difference preferential or is one set definitely 'better' or at least more correct than the other?
Yes, they are.  The first one is a set of improved graphics for FS2's default Red, Blue, Green, etc stars.   The second set are system specific and require table modification to enable in game, unlike the retail replacements (not actually new, they were originally posted somewhere in the middle of this thread), hence the inclusion of modified missions to take advantage of them.  Installing both of them won't hurt anything; you'll just see better versions of the retail stars whenever a mission isn't referencing the customized less unrealistic ones.  The second pack will definitely look better of course, but you'll have to modify any other mission/campaign you'd like to see them in (or wait until somebody else does it for you).
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Offline Admiral Nelson

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And you went through a LOT of effort (unecessarily IMO) to remove references to Loki's in the brief and dialogs for that mission instead of changing a brief icon and 2 ship class entries to Loki.

V presumably had Loki's in the mission, but later changed them to Hercs for mission balance.  Changing them back again would recreate the balance issues they fixed, so it is not an acceptable change.

The retail stars made my M87 are also in this package, you don't need both packages.
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Offline Zacam

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Uh, no. There are Loki's in that mission. All of the wings that spawn in are Loki Fighters. It's just that the first TWO fighter ships you meet and greet are Hercs.

Nothing wrong happens when you make them Loki's.

However, the hack job on the mission brief wav's is less than optimal. If you'd like, I can re-sequence the audio and give you a cleaner sample to use for the staging text. The in-game HUD message audio is not too bad, but I think it cuts a little too early.

Mind, I'd much prefer that the 2 hercs get made loki's. If however the pressure persists in NOT and instead in correcting references to loki's being removed, the least I can do is help make it nicer for everyone else and just use my own specific mission file for that mission.
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"If you can keep a level head in all this confusion, you just don't understand the situation"

¤[D+¬>

[08/01 16:53:11] <sigtau> EveningTea: I have decided that I am a 32-bit registerkin.  Pronouns are eax, ebx, ecx, edx.
[08/01 16:53:31] <EveningTea> dhauidahh
[08/01 16:53:32] <EveningTea> sak
[08/01 16:53:40] * EveningTea froths at the mouth
[08/01 16:53:40] <sigtau> i broke him, boys

 

Offline M87

  • 24
Sorry I didn't answer your question earlier, Admiral Nelson. Unfortunately, I am still not able to play Freespace on this laptop. I just don't have the necessary hardware to get things running smoothly.

Nevertheless, here is the first test for colored lens flares. I experimented with corona001 and corona002, and made separate files for Sirius A and B. The rest of the textures are exactly the same as before. Just let me know if you have any problems or concerns regarding these four new files.

[attachment deleted by ninja]

 
Exelent job, however did you include  lightspeed's nebulas when you modified the missions?