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Forum » SpaceEngine » Development Status » [Contest] Main menu background
[Contest] Main menu background
SpaceEngineerDate: Sunday, 14.08.2016, 22:30 | Message # 1
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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So I decided to make a static texture for the main menu background, instead of blurred last position. I did this especially for VR - it needed 3D menu, so I exported some skybox and used it as main menu background in VR mode. It looks good, the only problem is visible jpeg artefacts and low dynamic range of the texture (banding on Milky Way is visible). The skybox version is also works in the fish eye and cylindrical projection mode. Also, it gives new possibilities for modding.

So, now I need a set of screenshots/skyboxes to test. Required:

1) Find or make a good place, which will match the main menu layout. All text should be readable, so try to make a screenshot in that manner so planets/moons will not overlap the main menu text. The place also may have some epic view on a galaxy or giant planet in it's back side, as an eastern egg for those who have Oculus/Vive and decided to look backward in the main menu. Nearby planet should have great detail and no visible artefacts by the same reason.
2) Stop a time. Take a screenshot. It must be at lease 1920*1080 (better 1920*1200).
3) Don't resume a time and don't move the camera. Export the skybox from the same location. It must be 2048*2048. Make sure sun/planet particle is not on the corner of one of the squares, otherwise it will look broken (SE didn't render them correctly at the skybox corners).
4) Save this place to F6 menu! Will be needed to capture hi-quality images for release version, if you win smile (in 16-bit png/dds format, with LOD 2 etc).

You may "load" saved screenshot to the menu by replacing the config/exitscreen.jpg with it and launching SE. (Although it will be replaced with game scene if you enter planetarium). You can't look on skybox in SE though.

You may also draw some background for buttons right in the screenshot. In release, they must be dynamic, because menu have different number of items in each sub-menu. I will make backgrounds for buttons later, so make sure you are saved the button texture photoshop/gimp file. Moving/modding the SE logo is also welcome. You may black out the default logo one it in the main menu texture (data/locale/eng-menu.png), so it will not disturb your "mod".

My example, not very good:

Normal:


Fish Eye 180°:


Fish eye 360° (note the distorted gas giant at the right, in VR it will be visible in backward direction):

Attachments: 8865926.jpg(281Kb) · 0731220.jpg(293Kb) · 0000746.jpg(305Kb)





 
arturuniverseDate: Monday, 15.08.2016, 00:15 | Message # 2
Astronaut
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I said one time to change the background,but now,I gonna do a new one.




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second-ichDate: Wednesday, 17.08.2016, 14:19 | Message # 3
Space Pilot
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Germany
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Just an example if you like it I would make it again with the earth HD patch. I could place it so you can see the moon in the background in VR. (I desaturated the menu.)



Attachments: 2234099.jpg(230Kb) · 2436031.jpg(214Kb)


Edited by second-ich - Wednesday, 17.08.2016, 14:21
 
sclarinvalDate: Thursday, 18.08.2016, 16:30 | Message # 4
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Are you going to choose multiple, then show then at random each time the menu is opened (similar to the loading screen), or are you just going to choose one? I personally think you should choose multiple so that it's not always the same. smile
 
simonecinque1992Date: Thursday, 18.08.2016, 21:21 | Message # 5
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sclarinval, Good idea! smile




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MixaDate: Thursday, 18.08.2016, 21:33 | Message # 6
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Few good positoned shots of solar system and couple of procedural ones. It should load random one each time. I like the idea.
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Thursday, 18.08.2016, 23:27 | Message # 7
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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For now I made them configurable in skin config, so each skin may use it's own background. Some can have forced 3D skybox in 2D mode, with slow camera wobbling. In this mode lens flares for sure must be dynamical.

Skyboxes eating a lot of video memory, so maybe it would be better to just load some 3D scene with planets. Dynamic lens flares are added automatically. But loading of the main menu scene may be long. Remember Half-Life 2? Maybe if restrict LOD for menu, use the same galaxy in the background, and other tricks may shorten loading time. Showing blurred preview picture/skybox until loading complete, then blend into scene? And the same for entering planetarium. Many ideas, all should be explored.





 
sclarinvalDate: Friday, 19.08.2016, 04:01 | Message # 8
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Here is my submission. It's a beautiful scene of a moon in the foreground and a gas giant in the background. The menu buttons fit well inside the dark are of the moon, and the logo inside the gas giant. As an Easter egg for VR users, there is a spaceship in the distance behind the camera.

This is how the menu would look


And here are the rest of the images:



Edited by sclarinval - Friday, 19.08.2016, 16:17
 
parameciumkidDate: Friday, 19.08.2016, 04:11 | Message # 9
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Why not simply change the engine to save a menu background cubemap instead of an image?
When the game closes, it just renders whatever the player's surroundings are into a small, blurry cubemap and then sets that as the menu background for the next launch, ready to render in perspective or fisheye modes as needed.





Intel HD Graphics 4000 ;P
 
sclarinvalDate: Saturday, 20.08.2016, 18:56 | Message # 10
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Hmm, this thread seems pretty quiet, only two entries so far. Anyway, here's my second entry. It is again a moon of a gas giant, with a ship behind the camera as an Easter Egg for VR users. I think this one works very well with the the buttons and logo, because the atmosphere is a similar color to them. Anyway, here it is, hope you like it! ^_^



And here's the rest of the images:


Attachments: 6707783.jpg(180Kb) · 8044202.jpg(133Kb) · 4022555.jpg(134Kb)


Edited by sclarinval - Saturday, 20.08.2016, 19:50
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Sunday, 21.08.2016, 00:44 | Message # 11
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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sclarinval, can you simply share locations of these places? So I can make a cubemap myself.
Also, that ship is not designed to land on a planet smile





 
sclarinvalDate: Sunday, 21.08.2016, 01:39 | Message # 12
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SpaceEngineer, Wow, thanks for responding! :D

Is there any way for me to share the exact location instead of just the name of the planet? Well for now, here are just their names, even though I'm not sure how useful it will be...

Here's the first one: RS 8476-5-5-1181-42 7.2

And here's the second one: RS 8474-1353-6-171606-263 3.1 (I changed the atmosphere in the editor to be Earth instead of Mars, it looked better in my opinion... Hope that's okay xD)

And good point about the ship, I wasen't really paying attention to which one I chose smile


Edited by sclarinval - Sunday, 21.08.2016, 01:43
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Sunday, 21.08.2016, 01:54 | Message # 13
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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Quote sclarinval ()
Is there any way for me to share the exact location instead of just the name of the planet?

Of course: F6 - add button - copy button - then paste in browser





 
sclarinvalDate: Sunday, 21.08.2016, 02:08 | Message # 14
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Quote SpaceEngineer ()
Of course: F6 - add button - copy button - then paste in browser

Well I feel silly now, I never realized that worked outside of SE... sad

Anyway, here it is:

First one: (I had to decrease the FOV to get the shot)

And second shot: (As I said earlier I changed the atmosphere...)


Edited by sclarinval - Sunday, 21.08.2016, 02:11
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Monday, 22.08.2016, 23:32 | Message # 15
Author of Space Engine
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Russian Federation
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I tried these places in SE, and... Well, banding artefact is awful even on exported images. They should be at least 16-bit floating point to avoid this. But this will make file size huge, and even more video memory will be needed to load them.
Or maybe don't use dawn scenes. In deep space scenes banding is also noticeable, this time on milky way.
Maybe I indeed should use full 3D scene for main menu, despite on it's loading time.





 
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