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Forum » SpaceEngine » Mods and Addons » Addon Development Thread (Discuss new addons you're developing)
Addon Development Thread
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 04:32 | Message # 1
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This thread is for anyone who wants to discuss addons that they are working on, but are not ready to release. You can also use it to get opinions on any addon ideas that you want to pursue.

Think of it as a community development blog for addons in their pre-release stages.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 04:32 | Message # 2
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My next project is to make (another) new map for Mars. This one will be a lot bigger and have much higher resolution than any map currently available for SpaceEngine. At full resolution, the final cube-map version would probably be 5-6 GB, so I will likely release only a somewhat reduced resolution map.

Here's a gif I made to show the difference in detail between the best current map and the map I'm working on:



Note: the color will not be the same as this in the final version. For this I just used the old map's color for the new map. When I finish the map I will have to colorize it manually. It will look different, but overall it should produce a much nicer appearance when viewed close up.

I'm not sure how much work I have left to do. I'd say I'm about 20% done. I have one half of the map assembled, but there's a lot of work to do on it even after it's pieced together. I also have to experiment more to figure out how I'm going to color it. And even with a 64-bit OS, 8 GB of RAM, decent CPU, etc., I still have a lot of trouble manipulating files as large as this will be. So there's a lot of work to do. But maybe by two weeks from now I can have it done smile





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 06:24 | Message # 3
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My hard drive would hate to have a 6GB Mars map, but my brain would love it if my hard drive did.

Thats pretty detailed and torrenting that would not be fun sad





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HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 06:53 | Message # 4
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Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
Thats pretty detailed and torrenting that would not be fun

I agree. I'll probably release it at about 2/3 resolution and in JPEG format, so the download size should be in the 1 GB range, which is comparable to other hi-res maps floating around in the official addons already.





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Arron17Date: Friday, 10.08.2012, 08:19 | Message # 5
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Good look with that, Looks good. It must be a nightmare with files that size. I remember trying to do stuff to a 2gb file in photoshop 6, it took about 5 minutes just to pan the view.

What sort of size do you think it would be if you used PNG compression instead of JPEG?





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apenpaapDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 09:42 | Message # 6
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Wow, that is amazing. But yeah, 6 GB is probably too much. I don't think you should reduce the resolution, though, as that would take away part of the charm of such a map; but JPEG compression is probably the way to go. I don't know how much smaller the file would become with only the compression, but even 3 GB is already a lot less unwieldy than 6.




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HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 10.08.2012, 17:38 | Message # 7
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Quote (Arron17)
What sort of size do you think it would be if you used PNG compression instead of JPEG?

The ~6 GB estimate I gave was for full resolution under PNG format. The reduced resolution version could still be 2 GB with PNG. JPEG will probably be necessary with this map.

Quote (apenpaap)
I don't think you should reduce the resolution, though, as that would take away part of the charm of such a map; but JPEG compression is probably the way to go.

I agree about the JPEG, but I want to keep the download size to 1.5 GB or less preferably. Also, I don't know if my computer can handle creating the map at full resolution (92160x46080). Even the half of the map that I have already assembled gives me many problems. I may have to reduce the resolution to 64k before even creating the final map. But I don't think it will make a big impact on its appearance.

In any case, my "reduced resolution" map is still going to be more than 71% of the original resolution, so very little detail would be lost, and it would still look many times better than the current map.





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anonymousgamerDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 02:27 | Message # 8
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I continuously update my lens flare mod, so I'm not sure whether to make new threads all the time or update the current one.

For example, I just made it better than before (on an airplane trip, too!) but literally less than a day ago I uploaded an older version...





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 03:26 | Message # 9
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Quote (anonymousgamer)
I continuously update my lens flare mod, so I'm not sure whether to make new threads all the time or update the current one.

I think that this thread would be best used for discussing addons that have not yet seen initial release. For your lens flare addon, if you are simply updating and improving it, then you should use the thread you already created for it and continue to post there. But if you started some completely different addon, like a lens flare mod of a distinct style from your existing one, and you wanted to discuss it or get opinions before or while you were developing it, then this would be the place to talk about it. Once you released it you would make a separate thread for it.

This is mostly for people who are working on addons that will take a long time, people who want input on addon ideas, or people who have done work on addons and want to discuss them even if they may not be released (I myself have a few partially complete addons sitting around).





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SpaceEngineerDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 10:07 | Message # 10
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Note: the color will not be the same as this in the final version. For this I just used the old map's color for the new map. When I finish the map I will have to colorize it manually.

Do you use infrared map or something? I have a huge map of Valles Marineris (approx 20000*10000) in infrared, but have no idea how to use it in SE. SE allows using a different number of cubemap texture levels in different places, so you may make for example Gale crater with the best details and keep other surfaces with lower details. But the CubeMap tool can work only with the entire map. I may improve it to allow converting only of a part of a map (like this Valles Marineris map) and automatically blend it with tiles of the full map at a lower resolution, but it is hard work.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
I agree about the JPEG, but I want to keep the download size to 1.5 GB or less preferably. Also, I don't know if my computer can handle creating the map at full resolution (92160x46080). Even the half of the map that I have already assembled gives me many problems. I may have to reduce the resolution to 64k before even creating the final map. But I don't think it will make a big impact on its appearance.

Why do you want to reduce it? Downloading a DVD of Full HD movie or installing the Mass Effect 2 (that occupies 27 Gb!) is not a problem in 2012. Why must we economize on disk space for SE addons? For example, the full pack of Earth textures occupies 3.38 + 2.59 + 0.45 = 6.42 Gb.

Also I should mention that SE can't use textures with resolutions greater than 4 times of height map textures. So for the 131072x65536 texture you should have at least 32768x16384 height map.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
. I also have to experiment more to figure out how I'm going to color it. And even with a 64-bit OS, 8 GB of RAM, decent CPU, etc., I still have a lot of trouble manipulating files as large as this will be.

I may add a new tool to the CubeMap to split the big RAW image to pieces. It may help you with editing in the Photoshop or Gimp. You may split the big image to 10000x5000 pieces, edit them (or perform a batch conversion), and concatenate them back to a single image using the Glue utility from the CubeMap package.

*





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 11.08.2012, 16:19 | Message # 11
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Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Do you use infrared map or something? I have a huge map of Valles Marineris (approx 20000*10000) in infrared, but have no idea how to use it in SE.

It is a visible light map, it must just have not enough coverage with different filters to get color information. It is from Mars Global Surveyor (from one of your addon resource links): http://www.mars.asu.edu/data/moc_256/

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
SE allows using a different number of cubemap texture levels in different places, so you may make for example Gale crater with the best details and keep other surfaces with lower details.

Yes, I have thought of this. If I can make the full resolution map without crashing my computer I may do this.

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Why do you want to reduce it?

Many SE users have not much disk space (myself included now!) and I don't want to exclude anyone by making a 6 GB addon. Also, with my 40 kB/s upload speed it would take forever to seed tongue

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Why must we economize on disk space for SE addons?

If every addon map made for SpaceEngine was huge, 3 GB or more, then SE could become very big! I think that makers of large addons should at least give a reduced-size option for people to use (like I did for my Mercury with the JPEG option). That way, people can still enjoy the addons without having to sacrifice disk space if they do not want to.

Also, my installation of ME2 is 17.9 GB, and I have all DLC... My SpaceEngine installation is already 14 GB, and with my new map it would surpass ME2.

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
Also I should mention that SE can't use textures with resolutions greater than 4 times of height map textures. So for the 131072x65536 texture you should have at least 32768x16384 height map.

Good info. Thankfully, the Mars height map is HUGE! happy

Quote (SpaceEngineer)
I may add a new tool to the CubeMap to split the big RAW image to pieces.

I already plan on splitting the image into ~8 pieces for editing, it will just be slow work. Having a way to do that automatically would of course be more convenient.

Also, I STILL have never gotten the Glue tool to work!





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Destructor1701Date: Saturday, 25.08.2012, 00:21 | Message # 12
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I've been messing around with some of the parameters of the Sol system in its SC file.

I added a bump map line to Earth's clouds, and the results aren't half bad!









A typical sky in my native Ireland:


An evening shot:


It admitteldly doesn't look perfect, especially from some angles:


Code
Planet    "Earth"
{
   ParentBody     "Earth-Moon"
   Class          "Terra"

   Mass            1.0   // M_Earth
   Radius          6378.14     // km
   //Oblateness      0.0034

   Age             4.54        // billions years

   RotationPeriod  23.9344694  // hours
   RotationOffset  100.5       // degrees
   Precession      25592       // years
   Obliquity       23.4392911  // degrees
   EqAscendNode    180.0

   Color         ( 0.850 0.850 1.000 )
   Albedo          0.367

   Surface
   {
    DiffMap        "Earth/Surface"
    DiffTileSize    514
    DiffTileBorder  1
    DiffMapAlpha   "Water"
    BumpMap        "Earth/Bump"
    BumpTileSize    514
    BumpTileBorder  1
    BumpHeight      9.486 // 0.907 + 8.579 km - total height
    BumpOffset      0.907 // 0.907 km - below sea level
    //BumpMap        "Earth/Bump-gebco"
    //BumpTileSize    514
    //BumpTileBorder  1
    //BumpHeight      19.007 // 10.577 + 8.430 km - total height
    //BumpOffset      10.577 // 10.577 km - below sea level
    Exposure  2.0
    Life            true
   }

   NoOcean    true
   //Ocean
   //{
   //    Height 0.907
   //}

   Clouds
   {
    DiffMap        "Earth/Clouds"
    DiffTileSize    514
    DiffTileBorder  1
    BumpMap      "Earth/Clouds"
    BumpTileSize    514
    BumpTileBorder  1
    BumpHeight      6.0
    BumpOffset      0.0
    Exposure        1.5
    DayAmbient      3.0
    Lommel          0.2
    Height          9.0 //3.5
    Velocity        0.0 // km/h
   }


I also edited the Mercury config so it uses the diff map *AS* its bump map. I thought it was a pity to have such a lovely high-res diff map available, but for the planet to be smooth. This isn't close to correct, and due to the shading of the craters, looks very odd at ground level, but it does add a bit of roughness to it.



Code
Planet    "Mercury"
{
   ParentBody     "Sol"
   Class          "Selena"

   Mass            0.05528
   Radius          2440

   RotationPeriod  1407.509405
   RotationOffset  291.2
   Obliquity       7.01
   EqAscendNode    48.42

   Albedo          0.06

   Surface
   {
    DiffMap        "Mercury/Bump"
    DiffTileSize    514
    DiffTileBorder  1
    DiffMapAlpha   "None"
    BumpMap        "Mercury/Bump"
    BumpTileSize    514
    BumpTileBorder  1
    BumpHeight      0.5   
    BumpOffset      0.25   
      
    Lommel          0.0    // Lommel-Seeliger lighting model
    Exposure        4.0
   }

   NoAtmosphere    true

   Orbit
   {
    Period         0.2408
    SemiMajorAxis  0.3871
    Eccentricity   0.2056
    Inclination    7.0049
    AscendingNode  48.33167
    LongOfPericen  77.456
    MeanLongitude  252.251
   }


I have also begun experimenting with importing Star Trek ships from Bridge Commander, starting with Wiley Coyote's Enterprise-D. I will not release without his permission.

So far, the lack of support for multiple mapped textures per model is a problem. (I still have to tweak the alpha channels and the bump config):








Edited by Destructor1701 - Saturday, 25.08.2012, 01:45
 
anonymousgamerDate: Saturday, 25.08.2012, 00:54 | Message # 13
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Those clouds look bloody beautiful, even if they are low res. Because of the higher res of the procedural ones, they should look amazing.




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Freak2121Date: Saturday, 25.08.2012, 03:26 | Message # 14
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Yeah! I bet the procedural clouds would look even more nice if they had that kind of effect.




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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 25.08.2012, 04:35 | Message # 15
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I did that with the clouds before as well. What is really needed is a use of procedural clouds on Earth, but they don't look realistic.




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Forum » SpaceEngine » Mods and Addons » Addon Development Thread (Discuss new addons you're developing)
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