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Work in Progress / MPL3D Solar System

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Morcilla
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Posted: 18th Feb 2007 12:34 Edited at: 18th Feb 2007 12:35
Thanks! I guess this is getting somewhere

The new video "Sun Lava" is available at youtube :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qha4yFbtDt4

I wasn't releasing without the everchanging sun lava, it adds realism and visual enjoyment.

m22587a, about the MSC, please send it to me so maybe I can give it a boost in those few gap weeks. I want to get into binary systems next week. I guess that the orbital data for far-away bodies is not needed. There will be problems and non-sense results, and the data would be mostly estimated. We have enough well known systems to represent. However, it doesn't hurt in any case to have the data.
Once we are finished with the MSC, there will be time to talk about more catalogues, but as I said, I think there are enough systems by now.

Ok about the bolometric magnitude, I'll take it into account depending on my time. I've checked the current numbers and they don't look that bad, but an improvement is an improvement, and this is an easy one.

Quote: "some extra star systems were within the MSC spreadsheet"

What I remember now, is that the web version and the ftp version of the database differ on some records, for example HD142 is missing from the ftp version. Don't worry, I'll look into it when you send me your current version. I'll revise completed data, I'll complete remaining data, and I'll send it back to you for revision.

Meanwhile, I guess I could be remaking the nebulae video, and I'll try to update the web with the news
m22587a
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Posted: 19th Feb 2007 06:57
Ok, that sounds good. I still have a week or two before my exams come up, so I will manage some time and see what I can do to minimize the work that you'll have to do. I slowly go through the MSC because I am trying to make reasonable and accurate estimates of the missing data, whether it's the spectral class or the visual magnitude, and so on. I believe the estimation process is what takes the longest. I apologize if I am taking too long and you would like to work on the MSC on your own. I'll send it over as soon as I can.

I saw the video and I am very impressed. It really gives the stars that pulsating plasma-look. The sunspot evolution is amazing. I have never seen a program like this which puts so much detail into a single star.

Ok, for the bolometric luminosities: I was wondering if you calculated the radii of the stars, or if you managed to find some catalogs which listed stellar radii, or if you did a combination of both. If the stellar radii are from a catalog, then you shouldn't worry about the calculations. But if not, I would say to use the bolometric correction. When you do have the time to make the corrections, ensure that the corrections make sense. I say that because I know from experience with the MSC that using the bolometric corrections on some of the K and M class main-sequence stars, I would get a few instances where these stars were as big as or slightly larger than the Sun. I am still trying to figure out why this has happened, and it most likely has to do with a variation of the formula. But I will research on that when I can, and hopefully I can find a solution to theses rare occurrences.

Now that you mentioned the nebulae video, I have yet another thing to look forward to in the upcoming days. Can't wait to see what improvements have been made.
Morcilla
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Posted: 21st Feb 2007 10:56
Come on, no need to apologize, you are already helping
I'm hurrying it up, but I've just finished fine tunning of the nebulae. I'll let you know if I'm waiting just for the catalogue.

Glad you liked the video

About the star radii, I'm using catalogue data when available, and calculated when not. I think there is catalogue-based bolometric data, so I'll use it as well when available and pick the generic values when not. I make usually some automatic calculus for revision, that tell me for example if the new value exceeds more than a % the old value (I think more than a 50% increase starts to be suspicious). So I can focus at some particular cases quickly.

Nebulae video...Ah if I could get the time. They are really psicodellic, but I hope that not too much. Experience may change upon the monitor used. TFTs are very spread now, and they are sooo much bright compared with CRTs...
Morcilla
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Posted: 3rd Mar 2007 17:43
I've been tunning the shadow system these days. They appear good looking, however I have a problem, the shadow volume becomes solid at some places:



Now this is strange for me. I use standard 'set shadow shading on' If anyone has any idea about this, please post it at this specific thread:

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=101218&b=22
(More info at the thread)

I'm satisfied with Saturn's rings shadows, but I have no explanation for this issue.
Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Mar 2007 12:40
Ok, I fixed the shadow system. It was an engine issue. Visit the link above for more details.

In the meantime, I made this video showing the 3th March 2007 total lunar eclipse from a privileged position:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyPEPQzXBpE
Torq
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Posted: 12th Mar 2007 14:02 Edited at: 12th Mar 2007 14:04
Morcilla, I just posted a wip I am working on and got to looking through this post.
Would you perhaps be interested in doing some planets for my project? I just need the models + textures and if required the code to display it.
If so let me know and Ill get with you and work something out.

My wip
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=101836&b=8
My game has a fantasy setting so you would be free to do what ever.
BTW this project looks just great!

Whats the RED button for ?

http://badtempergames.tripod.com
Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Mar 2007 19:42
Torq, your wip looks very promising.

Thanks for letting me help you, but right now I'm very busy trying to finish and release this project.

By now, I recommend you to use the photoshop plugin that was listed at page 2 of this thread:

http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

Also take a look to their other downloads, 'glitterato' and 'solarcell'.

They all provide excellent results. Good luck, I'll visit your progress from time to time
Torq
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Posted: 13th Mar 2007 07:23
Hey I did not see this link. Thank you very much for reposting!
Looking forward to your project release!!

Whats the RED button for ?

http://badtempergames.tripod.com
Morcilla
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Posted: 13th Mar 2007 11:08 Edited at: 12th Jun 2007 13:31
Torq, you are welcome. The plugin is awesome, just make sure that it is in 'texture map' generation mode. You'll get the textures ready to use with your objects, and it is quite funny to play around with it.

[Edit: While the plugin achieves nice results if all maps are applied, I'm not using its output spreadly, since the maps are intended for rocky planets, and almost all discovered extrasolar planets are gaseous.]
Morcilla
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Posted: 12th Jun 2007 18:33 Edited at: 13th Jun 2007 12:16
Well, three months after the complete fixing of DGDK, I've been able to apply all the pending techniques that weren't working before, including:

Shader effects
GPU shadows
Exclude objects
Blend mapping

Now, I'm quite happy with the behaviour of DGDK, and with the final appearance of the simulation.

The change list is closing quickly, the binary stars are half-way done and many other things have been definitively improved.
Have a view of the hot jupiter class with blend mapping:



So, I hope I can do the first release during this summer.

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tha_rami
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Posted: 12th Jun 2007 20:26
Wow, I browse a TGC forum and then I find my SolarVoyager' buddy Fahad's work in here. Looking good!

Morcilla
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Posted: 13th Jun 2007 12:26 Edited at: 13th Jun 2007 12:27
Thanks! I didn't know Fahad was the author. Great images, they help me as a guideline.
I show up at SolarVoyager from time to time, to see the acceptance level of the simulation images, and to collect some ideas about space appearance, etc. However, I didn't know him
tha_rami
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Posted: 13th Jun 2007 14:39
Not you, m22587a posted some above.

SolarVoyager is being a good place, I think this project might pretty soon reach a stage in which it'll be quite interesting and pretty to see.

Sixty Squares
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Posted: 14th Jun 2007 00:33
WOAH how did I miss this! These solar systems look amazing and the lens flare taunts me because I can't make it... lol. One of the best parts is that its scientifically accurate too Great work. One of the best projects I've seen here.

Morcilla
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Posted: 27th Jun 2007 14:36
Thank you guys, those comments mean a lot coming from you

There is a new video around, made by J.M. Wingfield, it is about the Polaris star.
This is the link to his page:

First Light Machine : Stella Polaris

It is also available at YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LafANusnez4

Besides, I made a playlist for all the videos, so they can be watched easily:

Playlist: MPL3D Solar System

First video at the playlist already has more than 50,000 visits, so I want to thank everybody, I'm quite happy about that
Jna99
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Posted: 27th Jun 2007 17:45
Morcilla I've noticed that you have on one side of the earth a night texture, is that static or if you rotate the planet the light part would switch to the corresponding night texture?

Morcilla
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Posted: 28th Jun 2007 13:21 Edited at: 28th Jun 2007 13:22
Hi Jna,
yes it rotates. It is not static. Of course that is the funny thing.
I guess that what you are really searching can be found at here:

Specular Mapping in DBPro

Correct usage of Blend Mapping

They have all the info you need.

I owe this technical feature to CuCuMBeR, he experimented and found out the meaning of the undocumented parameters for blend mapping.
Morcilla
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Posted: 13th Oct 2007 12:03
Hi all,

I haven't had time to update this thread because lack of time to do so.

I keep on advancing to finish this. Right now I'm performing the final data load for the first release.

As hot news, many features shown at previous pages have been implemented. Main code development is finished, and any pending issue or new feature is now left for future versions. Said this, the project is each day closer to see the light.

This is some media published since July:

MPL3D Solar System - Star clusters

First Light Machine : Tiamat, also at youtube: Tiamat

First Light Machine : Population IV, also at youtube: Population IV
Deathead
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Posted: 13th Oct 2007 15:38
This is looking awesome!

-Go onto the forums its nice! Join now!
ZDawg
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Posted: 16th Nov 2007 01:03
The only criticisms i have are that the "glow" around the planets might be a little bit big and I think the clouds around the earth should be a little closer to the planet.
Other than that, I think this will turn out better than Celestia once it's done.

Ok. Let's do this. Leroooooooyyy Jenkiiiiiiinnnnnnss.
Morcilla
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Posted: 16th Nov 2007 10:16 Edited at: 16th Nov 2007 10:19
Thanks to all for your comments.

I appreciate the constructive criticisms, thanks a lot. I understand what you say, and I cannot disagree. However, I've been doubting about reducing the planet halos, as it is understood as a camera effect. Also they can be turned off, just in case someone doesn't like them.

The clouds, on its side, were over-sized initially to avoid z-fighting and other issues. So it has a tech reason to be that way, rather than a realism purpose.

I'm deep into other things right now, and it is amazing the huge amount of little things, like these ones, that could be changed. They sum up a long time, and I'm already plenty of job to finish it as it is, so I think I'm leaving it like that.

The data load has been succesfully performed, and I'm fixing some unexpected behaviours that produced some loss of scientific accuracy. I rather fix these than having non-real or bad setup scenaries, so it is for accomplishing one of the main objectives of the simulation.

There are some new pics posted at the web. Here you can see how far is reaching the data load, it is a profile of the Castor star, with images took from the simulation, and composed as a whole pic:

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CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 16th Nov 2007 20:25
oh well, you finished this project finally?
Morcilla
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Posted: 17th Nov 2007 10:56
Hi CuCuMBeR, long time no see

Well, it won't be finished until it is released. I still have a couple of things pending, no big ones, and then comes packaging.

However, if everything goes as it should, this could be just the 1st release, as there are many ideas to already start developing the 1st update for the future.
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 17th Nov 2007 17:31
its been 2 years
Morcilla
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Posted: 18th Nov 2007 18:07
Wow, time flies. I've been working for the sim all this long.

Well, I'll let you know when it is released (although I hope to make enough noise to be heard from there ).
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 29th Nov 2007 02:39
Hey i suggest you to check this out, it can make your planets better
Morcilla
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Posted: 29th Nov 2007 11:37
Hey thanks! I'm posting my comments there
Morcilla
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Posted: 1st Dec 2007 11:30
There is a new J.M. Wingfield's video, based on Saggitarius A* black hole, where a young star is devoured:

First Light Machine : Blackdrop, also at youtube: Blackdrop
Morcilla
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Posted: 5th Jan 2008 18:25
While still finishing the release version, I made a video as a show for keeping on the entertainment.

Please enjoy some binary stars, including systems like Alpha Scorpii (Antares), Alpha Piscium (Alrisha), Alpha Virginis (Spica), Beta Cygni (Albireo), Beta Persei (Algol), Beta Monocerotis (Cerastes), Gamma Cassiopeiae (Tsih), Gamma Velorum (Regor), VV Cephei, Theta Orionis, Tau Canis Majoris and many others.
Watch star systems with mass transfer, systems inside nebulae, systems with planets, the movement of stars with eccentric orbits... All images shown have been done using real data about known binary star systems:

MPL3D Solar System - Binary stars
Zotoaster
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Posted: 5th Jan 2008 19:20
Hey this is really great work.

I've been meaning to ask you (or someone with any sort of experience) what the best way would be to make a realistic planet atmosphere, and planetary rings. Hollow spheres and plains just dont seem to cut it

Anyway, again, great work. I love the vids.

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Morcilla
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Posted: 7th Jan 2008 18:33
Thanks Zotoaster, glad you like it.

Well, I just use the regular techniques that are discussed here at the forums.
Let's see, for the atmosphere I use, at the same time, one additional ghosted or transparent sphere and a ghosted plain as halo.
For the rings, a ring mesh just ghosted or transparent.
For any shadows, I'm just using the regular in-built shadows.

There is a new shader for rings that darkcoder published at the 'Learning to write shaders' thread. The results seem to be more realistic than any ghosted effect.

Other than that I think that the crucial base is to use good looking textures.
Zotoaster
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Posted: 7th Jan 2008 18:39
Quote: "the crucial base is to use good looking textures"

Something I'll need some more practice with

I have tried ghosted spheres, and I have tried ghosted plains.. but I never thought of doing both at the same time! I might consider that. I think I will check out DC's shader. IIRC it's basically a hologram shader but different.

Thanks for all the advice

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dark coder
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Posted: 8th Jan 2008 02:09 Edited at: 8th Jan 2008 02:10
My atmosphere is indeed a modified hologram shader, I actually used the shader found here as reference(as well as ninja matt's, is his based on that? Is it the same person? Who knows), however some parts of the shader are still a little puzzling as to why they work, or why they don't work when it's written correctly but once I clear that up I'll make a demo of it, writing shaders is fun!, when it works .

Morcilla
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Posted: 9th Jan 2008 11:28
dark coder, that sounds good. The results you got are quite nice. I guess your 'Atmospheric density map' is responsible of any fresnel effect over the atmosphere. I think the fresnel effect (to have the atmosphere thicker at the 'edges') is one of the important ones to achieve greater realism.
Also your rings detail looks impressive. Someday please tell us how to you did it
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 20th Jan 2008 19:17
Still havent finished this thing? Well here is somethin i found while surfing and thought it might get handy to your project.

Universe Image Creator Plugins

Its one package including several plugins. Some are shareware and some are free.

Cheers
Morcilla
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Posted: 21st Jan 2008 12:38 Edited at: 21st Jan 2008 12:38
Thanks a lot CuCuMBeR, you always helping around

I'll take a look into it, for possible future uses. Right now I'm not using new stuff anymore, otherwise I'd never end. Nevertheless, thanks again.

I think the project is looking ready for release. Here's is something unseen, the exploration statistics:



I hope they will keep the users stuck longer, as they show how deep is the simulation itself, and how much is pending to visit.

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Morcilla
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Posted: 25th Jan 2008 12:04 Edited at: 25th Jan 2008 12:07

New pic at the User Gallery: Adhab d (50 Upsilon Andromedae d)

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Zotoaster
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Posted: 25th Jan 2008 16:40
I am getting more and more impressed with this all the time.

There are still questions though

What are you using for the shadows? Are you just using dbSetShadowShadingOn(), or a shader of sorts?

Also, when making space sims/games I can never find good scale values. I happen to notice a few pages back that you and Philip were talking about scale and you said it was variable. Is that still true? If so, roughly how do you scale it? If not, how do you size things evenly?

Lastly, how many star systems do you have so far? I think for me if I tried any reasonable amount I would get lag unless there was some serious optimization. Do you hide things far away, or do you only load relevant systems on the fly, or something completely different?

Thanks in advance for any answers. They will help

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Morcilla
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Posted: 26th Jan 2008 11:07 Edited at: 26th Jan 2008 11:10
Glad to see you like the result

Well, for any shadows, yes I'm using dbSetShadowShadingOn, no custom shader.

About scale, yes it is dinamic. It 'expands' when close enough to stars, and it 'shrinks' when far away enough. Visiting big bodies does not 'expand' the scale. Expanding only makes sense when trying to visit small things, so they grow big enough to be seen.

The star number right now is 10,000 stars. Of course I've been doing all kind of optimizations, although I think performance still can be improved a lot. Right now, perhaps it could admit more stars, but it also takes time to collect the data and everything.

Things are usually hidden when they are out of the screen, or when they are -dim- enough (it is another way of saying far away enough, but you have to calculate if they still could be seen from the current position).
Of course, dynamic load happens for those systems with planets, etc. But big things have to be there all the time. So, if it doesn't run fast enough, end user can always turn off some effects or bodies.
Nevertheless, I've tried it with lastest videocards and they seem to stay over 30fps, at maximum quality, most of the time.
Zotoaster
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Posted: 26th Jan 2008 19:50
Thanks, that's very helpful

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Morcilla
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2008 18:59
Please have a look to the user manual:

MPL3D Solar System - User Manual
Morcilla
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Posted: 30th Mar 2008 12:57
Credited persons from the community will receive a 100% discount coupon, these are:

Mikkel Fredborg - Lens flare original code
Cloggy - Batch 3d lines & AA text plugin
Dan 'Scilynt' H. - Cloggy's plugin to DGDK support
Dave 'Sephnroth' Burford - Image extensions DGDK code
Matthew 'Ninja Matt' Lawrence - Basic shader support
Evolved - Basic shader support
IanM - Key state handler DGDK code
CuCuMBeR - Specular maps & night lights techniques
Phaelax - 3d to 2d projection code

So, if any of the above is missing my email, just let me know and I'll send you back the coupon number.
Thank you very much to all
Plystire
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Posted: 31st Mar 2008 13:28



I am hesitant to buy this piece of software, simply for fear of neverbeing able to peel myself away from my computer screen.

I mean, geez, I just spent 3 hours catching up on this thread, watching the vids, staring in awe at the screenies, and then watching the demo for about half an hour. (Yes, I watched the demo for half an hour, lol... imagine how long I'd stare at the real thing. )


Excellent work, Morcilla. You have officially become my Forum Hero. You deserve it. Not many people can stick with a project for this long, let alone get their dream program released!


I feel like a big sissy, I almost cried watching the "Blackdrop" video. Poor little star. Just circling the drain, waiting to face the inevitable. I almost started clapping when it was over, too.


The one and only,
~PlystirE~

Morcilla
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Posted: 31st Mar 2008 19:35
Wow, those are really kind words, it's an honour for me to receive your acknowledgements. Thank you very much indeed.
Plystire
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Posted: 31st Mar 2008 21:29
By the way, a thought just occurred to me. Is your search engine able to search for planets that are capable of supporting life? You know, planets that fall within a certain distance from their stars, where the planet wouldn't too hot or cold.

I think that'd be fascinating to have a tour around all the known planets that were capable of supporting life. It'd be like touring a new house in a new neighborhood.


The one and only,
~PlystirE~

Morcilla
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 19:07
Well, currently the selector only allows to select stars by number of planets

I think it is a good idea to include a 'Planet selector' on future versions, and then add the 'habitability zone' as a criteria for selection

Thanks again for your feedback
BatVink
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Posted: 1st Apr 2008 19:25
CuCuMBeR
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 12:44 Edited at: 2nd Apr 2008 12:45
Quote: "Credited persons from the community will receive a 100% discount coupon, these are:"


That means a free CoPy ?? hehe, for the first time in my life i got somethin QualitY for free

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
Morcilla
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 19:55
BatVink, that ribbon is sweet
Thanks a lot for the great article, and nice quote at the end too

CuCuMBeR, lol, yes I'll send you your free copy, if I ever get your email address
Zotoaster
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2008 21:21
Congratulations mate, it's not often that people can finish their projects, let alone release them to the public. This one is very original and useful/fun to a great range of different people. Well done

Don't you just hate that Zotoaster guy?

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