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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » General suggestions (Post your suggestions here.)
General suggestions
EdDate: Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:12 | Message # 466
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I would like to thank you for this great application. I always wished to travel to other galaxies and to walk on the surface of the other planets. Space Engine made this possible. I switched from Celestia because it lacked the procedural surface feature and was limited to a distance of about 16.000 light years (?).
I have some suggestions regarding the engine:
1.Collision detection/physics system for the surface of solid planets/space body ; everytime I make a wrong move I sink through the surface and get a lot of graphic abnomalies. I would rather crash on the surface or bounce over it.
2.Streaming of high-polygon surface (100 million polygon or more, in chunks) for the planets for which height dataset is available (Earth, Venus, Mars). When walking over the Earth surface a 128k texture is not enough to make it look realistic; I would like to use also geometry. I have about 20GB of height dataset (Digital Elevation Model) which cover the entire Earth (from www.viewfinderpanoramas.org ) , from which I can generate a mesh (eventually split in a number of chunks), tweak it and make detail textures. If not for the entire surface, at least for some points of interest – mountains, cities, coast line, etc. To understand the full scale of the planet some size reference is required on the surface, and for the Earth (in my opinion) the best reference for size are the trees. Placement of about 10-20 types of pre-modeled trees can be made using a hand-painted distribution map. Other “details” that I would like to place on the surface are grass, rocks, maybe buildings, and render distace for those details should not be be too big.
I read that for Venus and Mars height datasets are also available. If so, I can make meshes for their surface too, my goal is to obtain surface images closest to the photos sent by Mars Rover (including the rocks, cracks, sand).
Issues:
- I couldn’t find the super – massive black hole from the center of Milky Way. Is it placed there? I thought I should see a big black spot there that covers the far-away stars.
- if I do not move while near the center of the galaxy I can see the corners of the skybox, somehow they receive light from the stars inside, instead of beeing self illuminated and without cast or receive shadow. A shader issue I suppose.
Thank you again for all your work. I would like to know if it’s the case to start making the mesh for the Earth surface (until now I couldn’t find a suitable engine).


Edited by Ed - Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:15
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:22 | Message # 467
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Quote Ed ()
Collision detection/physics system for the surface of solid planets/space body

This already exists, which objects are you having problems with?

Quote Ed ()
When walking over the Earth surface a 128k texture is not enough to make it look realistic

Procedural augmentation of textures is planned.

Quote Ed ()
I have about 20GB of height dataset (Digital Elevation Model) which cover the entire Earth

Even 20 GB will seem very low res compared to what you want.

Quote Ed ()
I couldn’t find the super – massive black hole from the center of Milky Way

It exists. Keep in mind that even the largest black holes are still very small and would not be visible over interstellar distances. Select the Milky Way and press Ctrl-Enter.

Quote Ed ()
if I do not move while near the center of the galaxy I can see the corners of the skybox

This is a known issue, and has been fixed for the next version.





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EdDate: Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:40 | Message # 468
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Collision issues - until now I managed to sink through Earth, Mars and the Moon. Didn't experiment yet with another planets.
About surface detail - I had in mind what Google Earth is capable of in the matter of geometry regarding - for example - the Carpathian Mountains or Grand Canyon; I see no use for the height dataset on a plane area. Maybe with an altitude limitation the lack of detail will be less evident. But I suppose that is a NO for a high polygon surface. What are the limits (vertex number, faces number) for a mesh to be properly imported in Space Engine?
Offtopic - I'm a fan of Mass Effect ( Harbinger the Ripper? ) and it would have been awesome to have the features of your engine during the space flight.
Later Edit - I use the 37GB extras.
System - Core 2 Quad Q9550, 8GB RAM, NVidia GTX260 . Win 7 x64 SP1.


Edited by Ed - Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:42
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 25.01.2015, 14:48 | Message # 469
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Quote Ed ()
until now I managed to sink through Earth, Mars and the Moon

Their limited mesh resolution means that the collision surface and rendered surface do not perfectly match. On a planet with a procedural surface you will rarely if ever encounter this issue.

Quote Ed ()
I had in mind what Google Earth is capable of in the matter of geometry regarding - for example - the Carpathian Mountains or Grand Canyon

Any high resolution data like that would have to be stored on a server, since it would be too large to host locally on a large scale. Implementing this would not be easy or cheap.





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FastFourierTransformDate: Sunday, 01.02.2015, 21:23 | Message # 470
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Also on the issue of planetary textures;

In SE + addon the resolution of the martian surface reaches 460 meters per pixel. I have expressed sometimes the dream of having one day all the martian surface accesible in SE with the data of the HiRise camera of the MRO mission (0.5 meter per pixel). I know the limitations about this (the same as for the google earth concept debated in the last posts) and also know that the coverage of HiRise is limited to few small regions due to the gigantic ammount of data needed to map the whole surface.

But I have an intermediate suggestion for a really big addon for Mars. We can use the data obtained by the Context Camera instrument onboard of the MRO. This instrument mapped by 2012 the 75% of the surface with a resolution of 6 meters per pixel!! By now it should probably have reached the complete coverage of the planet.
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE NEWS

If a map for a resolution of 650 meters per pixel gives us 425 Mb of memory then a map of resolution 6 meters per pixel (meaning the area of each of the previus pixels would be occupied by 11736 pixels) should occupy, at least in this rendering system, 5 Terabytes sad
EEEhhmm I just realized that this is tooooooo much for a computer hahahaha

Well, then we could just take the CTX map and lower its resolution to maybe 65 meters per pixel. In this case the size of the addon would be 42.5 Gb (quite huge but affordable for many). The difference from 650 m/px to 65 m/px worth it (maybe). What do you think.
I have a terabyte external hard drive that one friend have gifted to me, I would surely introduce those 42.5 Gb of Mars to it just to see high definition martian fly-overs biggrin

Maybe a system where the previous resolutions are not needed for adding the highest ones could reduce the size of the data to 30 Gb more or less.

P.D: I am aware that what I'm suggesting is quite crazy. But maybe one day Vladimir arrives to a method for adding this textures without that gigantonormus archive sizes.


Edited by FastFourierTransform - Sunday, 01.02.2015, 21:35
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 01.02.2015, 23:07 | Message # 471
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You suggest adding a map to SE that does not exist. Where can we actually get a global CTX mosaic? Who will process it to eliminate seams and errors?




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pzampellaDate: Tuesday, 03.02.2015, 19:09 | Message # 472
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One suggestion:
The fact that a system with at least one catalogued body will not spawn procedural planets is, in general, a good idea! However, when somebody is trying to make an addOn (like DoctorOfSpace, right now with the StarTrek AddOn) and creates a system with only one planet in it, it becomes a little unrealistic, because I don't expect a star having only one rocky planet and nothing more. The same thing applies for comets and asteroids.
Maybe, instead of no procedural objects for a star with at least one catalogued body, there should be a variable on the star (or barycenter) that allows or denies procedural generation.

What do you guys think?


Edited by pzampella - Tuesday, 03.02.2015, 19:45
 
FastFourierTransformDate: Tuesday, 03.02.2015, 20:22 | Message # 473
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Quote pzampella ()
What do you guys think?


I find it a good idea. But it would need to have certain limits. For example, if there is a system composed only by a kepler planet and that planet is the size of earth (for example) then we can't put a gas giant on that system (because we know that with a high probability is would have been detected by kepler in a more evident eclipsing event), or the gas giant have to be sufficiently far from the star, to make the small inclination between the orbital plane of the system and the star-observer line, as to avoid eclipsing events. Or even farther (if the inclination of that plane of ecliptic is small with respect to the line to the observer) to allow the possiblity that the planet has not yet eclipsed the star because his period is extremely large. Or maybe planets with other orbital inclinations (currently Se is uncapable of making heavily inclined orbits). So yes, it would be great!! but the procedurall generation would have to intelligently addapt to the conditions imposed by the self-security of having an amzing space telescope watching and not seeing it.

Quote HarbingerDawn ()
You suggest adding a map to SE that does not exist. Where can we actually get a global CTX mosaic? Who will process it to eliminate seams and errors?

That's true. Maybe in a few months or years we have the complete map without any artifacts in between the scans.
My suggestion is to immagine the future of SE smile
I have also a question. Can a high resolution map (maybe from one Hirise picture) of one small region be added to the base global map? or do we need the entire global map at that level of detail to reach that hights. Perhaps we could add to the addons some elevation maps and images taken by HiRise like a pach in the surface (I know it looks ugly but it would be great to land in those places and admire the landscape).
Perhaps if someone explains to me how to do that I can adjust many images to make smooth interpolations in the borders of the image with the default terrain and change the colours to make the appearence less strange, even if it would clearly by a pach with higher resolution in one small place.

If you tell me that this can be done and someone explains me how to do it. I easily can take as a hobby the idea of adding each one of the images of HiRise, step by step biggrin I love mars
 
SpaceEngineerDate: Tuesday, 03.02.2015, 22:32 | Message # 474
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Quote FastFourierTransform ()
This instrument mapped by 2012 the 75% of the surface with a resolution of 6 meters per pixel!! By now it should probably have reached the complete coverage of the planet.

Well, this is a lot of work, even with reduced resolution. Also, we needed an elevation map (DEM, digital elevation model) with comparable resolution to make this texture work in SE. Also, this map is b/w and have a lot of seams.

Quote pzampella ()
Maybe, instead of no procedural objects for a star with at least one catalogued body, there should be a variable on the star (or barycenter) that allows or denies procedural generation.

This is impossible now. I wanted to make an easy way to add a procedural asteroid belts and procedural moons for catalog planets many years ago, but this is too difficult in the current system generator.

Quote FastFourierTransform ()
I have also a question. Can a high resolution map (maybe from one Hirise picture) of one small region be added to the base global map?

Yes, this is possible, but have many limitations. First, you must made a bump (elevation) map with at least 3 level of details smaller than this texture patch. Second, the most difficult part, the CubeMap utility can't process a part of the map, it needed a full global map. This means that you can make a patches with a resolution equal to a 128k...256k global map, but bigger one is almost impossible. I must upgrade the CubeMap to make it work with a small patches.





 
SpacePilotDate: Wednesday, 04.02.2015, 19:23 | Message # 475
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Greetings to all!

Been enjoying my SpaceEngine voyages much more than words can tell.

I am using Version 0.9.7.2 and have noticed that when disengaging Tracking mode the control keys still stay in the Tracking mode, but do get restored after using Centering function.

Been trying to record my sessions yet still any and all attempts have failed me miserably, which is why I propose an "Offline recording mode" - records keystrokes ( or movement variables, either way ) then uses that data to render the simulation into a recording under the maximum LOD.
(could also keep track of the audio during recording coordinates, then reproducing the same playlist in the final exported piece.)

My thanks goes out to the creators of SpaceEngine, for such a marvellous work.
 
EdDate: Thursday, 05.02.2015, 14:13 | Message # 476
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Suggestion – engine’s ability to use custom user-made meshes (within the vertex/faces limits you establish) and textures (Diffuse, Specular, Bump/Normal) for Earth’s/Mars’/Moon’s/Venus’ surface, if not for the entire surface due to technical limitations at least for certain “patches/regions of interest” where you can land and walk/drive vehicle.
Arguments – from previous posts I understood that’s impractical to use the most detailed surface mosaic texture available (huge amount of data) for Earth/Mars/Moon. Nothing is mentioned about meshes. You rely heavily on huge diffuse and bump maps with less geometry.
I’ve experimented with a patch of 11x11 Km from the Earth’s surface centered on a mountain range (DEM data from SRTM dataset). Initial mesh - 2.8 million faces and 201MB size. After optimization I end up with 575099 triangles and 43.1 MB obj file. By manually painting the textures I can re-use the same texture in different spots + seamless tiling of the same texture, thus decreasing the size of data package. To cover the lack of terrain detail while walking over the mesh some pre-modeled rocks can be spawned (for all above planets) at limited distance, maybe trees/bushes/grass (Earth only). The Fallout 3 and Gothic 3 engines use this approach, with a huge low polygon terrain, same small texture tiled over a big surface (noticeable from altitude) and a lot of “clutter objects” (rocks, grass, garbage, broken branches) placed at render time to give detail.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Thursday, 05.02.2015, 15:39 | Message # 477
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Quote Ed ()
Nothing is mentioned about meshes. You rely heavily on huge diffuse and bump maps with less geometry.

What's the difference between making a mesh using DEM data and just using the DEM data with SE directly? It's more efficient that way, since SE makes the mesh itself, that's how landscapes are generated. All you have to do is find some way of mapping your DEM to the correct projection, giving the tiles the correct names, and you're done.





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EdDate: Thursday, 05.02.2015, 17:50 | Message # 478
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I'll try to do what you say, but the issue with the diffuse map will not be solved, I still will not be able to control texture coordinates (UV).
In my opinion the difference is that a static mesh made by me can be better than the one generated by the engine. I can add overhangs and caves, I can decrease the number of polygons in the areas with less elevation data (plains, riverbeds) without changing the overall quality but improving the performance, and I can use a small texture - let's say 1024x1024 to cover by seamless tiling a big area with similar features, instead of using a huge diffuse texture to cover it without tiling (manually add texture coordinates). And not the least - I can manually add markers for the engine to know where to place props/clutter objects (rocks, trees) at render time. To avoid sinking through the surface I'd like to be able to make my own collision mesh, maybe a bit bigger than the surface itself.
 
wombythewombatDate: Friday, 13.02.2015, 13:54 | Message # 479
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*Is it possible for you to add an option to display 'labels' of catalogue objects only?
This would be very useful as we won't have to turn off procedural content altogether in some cases!

*Is there a way to lock the camera to mouse so you dont have to keep holding down? A toggle would be nice.


Edited by wombythewombat - Wednesday, 18.02.2015, 14:49
 
emilieeyannaDate: Saturday, 14.02.2015, 15:42 | Message # 480
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A small suggestion

This is easier you can create asteroid belt

add or remove procedural asteroid belt in star catalog

NoAsteroidBelt False ( asteroid belt procedural enabled)


NoAsteroidBelt True ( asteroid belt procedural disabled)


how make asteroid belt in star catalog

Code
    {

   Radius            10000
                 Asteroid          1000
                   
  }
}


Radius on code

Radius 10000 is far away form star
Radius 800 is close to star

You can make own radius to bigger or small belt

Asteroid on code

Asteroid 1000 will be 1000 asteroids in one belt
Asteroid 200 will be 200 asteroids in one belt

You can make own asteroids numbers to many asteroids

Look at star catalog

Code

Star    "HIP 62449"
{
  ParentBody     "HIP 62449l"

         Class      "K5 V"   
         Radius      2476605
         Mass        317.832
    
      RotationPeriod  9.92425
      RotationOffset  305.4
      Obliquity       2.222461
      EqAscendNode   -22.203

      Albedo          0.51
      Brightness      2.0

  AsteroidBelt
  {

   Radius            10000
                 Asteroid          1000
  }
}
 
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