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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2191
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:12 pm
Daaaaaaamn, they look amazing :twisted: I wonder how the dust effect'd do when animated..... Probably expensive to render, but it'd look awesome when the ship's moving! :squirrel:

I must twiddle with the atmosphere settings more. I currently roll with 90% of the light coming from the sun already, I find it gives me a decent effect.
Your wishes are commands to me :-)



We can see that it does not work well with ships turning as it is always pointing staring back. But not too shabby :-)
It is also not even long to render (OK, only 720x405) but <40min for 16s @ 24fps.
I had to "correct" the black within iMovie, hence the small impact on the colors (warmer); but we can still see the particle effect on the exhausts...

Do not share the video too far away as it contains the music Also Sprach Zarathustra von Strauss, that seems still to have a copyright on it (Strauss died in 1949, so 70 years ago. I guess the copyright is for the musicians playing).

And playing with some parameters (but not the position of the lights):
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Last edited by CSE on Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2192
...and now for HS's entry in the LTFC:

Real nice. Is this a planet you made yourself in the background? I really have to get into the tutorial you posted some time ago. It looks gorgeous!
It would be cool to add one luminous layer to have city lights in the dark side...

The ship is real nice as well - impressive amount of details; angles also feel right (I too often round them down, but actually it makes more "technological" with the sharp angles), and the engine glow is really nice... and we see the cannons (with 2 "n"s for Cornflakes :P) ! :clap:
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2193
Daaaamn, they've come out really well! Just as good as expected, well done :clap: I particularly like the blue one with the more solid exhaust!

The problem with changing direction is a bit annoying, but I guess it doesn't matter if the ship's flying straight! Might be solvable using the particle system, but I must admit I've never been able to fathom it. I'll have to read through the manual.... All ~1,200 pages of it!

Thanks for the feedback on the entry - yup, I based the planet on what I'd got out of the tutorial, just with a bit of tweaking. The ship does feel like an advancement on previous ones, although I could possibly dial down the light a bit.

I did try adding lights on the planet, but I haven't quite got it right - I managed to get some transparency working using the function editor but it affected the land and turned the continents grey.... I'll just have to twiddle a bit more.

I've attached a basic scene with the planet (as a zip file) so if you want something to tinker with, go ahead. There are a couple of hidden objects, rings and atmospheres.... You might have to select the cloud texture again, but it's a Vue standard one so it'll be in your install somewhere :twisted:
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Planet-test4.zip
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2194
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:33 pm
I've attached a basic scene with the planet (as a zip file) so if you want something to tinker with, go ahead. There are a couple of hidden objects, rings and atmospheres.... You might have to select the cloud texture again, but it's a Vue standard one so it'll be in your install somewhere :twisted:
Thanks! I'll play a bit with it.
Trying to add city lights but so far no luck...
I changed the clouds to a fractal, looks less good, but it is independent of a fixed picture.

PS: If you want any model from me, just ask, I can share :)
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2195
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:33 pm
I've attached a basic scene with the planet (as a zip file) so if you want something to tinker with, go ahead. There are a couple of hidden objects, rings and atmospheres.... You might have to select the cloud texture again, but it's a Vue standard one so it'll be in your install somewhere :twisted:
So here is my take on it for now.
This has the following elements:
  • The usual landscape sphere is tripled. One is normal, one is elongated and has more snowy texture and another one is thicker and has a slightly different colour scheme for more tropical region (not really visible)
  • Similarly, the sea has two sphere, with one elongated to have an ice cap on the poles
  • There is a sphere that has the same bump map as the landscape, and uses a narrow band of height to display random lights for the cities
  • One sphere has the clouds - this is also a fractal, no picture
  • Finally, one sphere is supposed to be the light atmospheric glow, somehow it did not work out so far...
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On the bottom left, you see a secret project that could come soon to LTFC is the next theme is "mega-engineering" or so :-D

Let me try to attach the file (without the secret project, for now...):
Planet_v2.fsvue.zip
Vue File
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2196
CSE wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:02 pm
So here is my take on it for now.
If I may, the snow is too thick/wide, and WAY too bright. Unless you are intending those blotches as city lights (in which case you want a soft yellow/orange instead, and for them to be far noisier)
Snow tipped mountain ranges are fairly small after all, compared to the rest of the map.

The only other issue I see with the planet itself, is that the cloud layer is using a noise layer at too high a scale. if each chunk of cloud was scaled down to 20% the size, it'd look better in my opinion.

With atmospheric glow, getting this done is always a pain. I used to draw a circle of atmosphere color, cut out a circle the same size but offset to the right (to get the night side) and apply a blur, and draw that as something like a 5-15% opacity additive layer.
not perfect but it does provide a good enough effect for static images.
There are also libraries for doing it, if you are using 3D rendering. And I'd suggest using them in that case because the math is a pain to copy.


Other than these points, the ground textures are great, the space image is AWESOME, Although it's red on one side, and grey on the other. And I'd have it slightly rotated personally (rather than perfectly horizontal). And the little engineering stations (they are way too big to be ships in relation to that planet and orbit) are beautiful.
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2199
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:47 am
Hmmm, nope, too expensive.

But I'll have a further play later. It could also work for starfields!
I use billboards for explosions. It works quite nicely, I think.
And I hide a source of light in it if required for lighting (usually not, as it is far away).
(see some examples in this old thread, the Structural Space Station and the Massive Attack).
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:42 am
Ta' for the file, I had a tinker with it and the lighting does work well - I'm gonna' try and apply it to the same areas as where the land is.... There's got to be a way. You definitely got closer than I did! :twisted:
This is what I have done, sort of. I used the same function as bump then for the continents, BUT then I put a filter that makes everything to zero except a narrow range at nominal height. Everything at zero is then below the land/sea, so only a certain altitude can get cities.

EDIT: correction, that was the idea, but it is not the case in the file I shared. Cannot remember why I reverted, it probably did not work out well :(
Now it works because by following the continents, everything below sea level is hidden (water is not transparent) so the lights can only appear on continents. But not only on coastal areas (i.e. not on mountains), which was my objective.
Last edited by CSE on Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2200
Silverware wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm
If I may
Sure, this is the main reason to post! Thanks for taking the time to comment!!
Silverware wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm
, the snow is too thick/wide, and WAY too bright. Unless you are intending those blotches as city lights (in which case you want a soft yellow/orange instead, and for them to be far noisier)
Snow tipped mountain ranges are fairly small after all, compared to the rest of the map.
Yeah, the white dots are city lights, not snow. The snow is almost not visible, and mostly present on very few mountains and the ice caps, which are not well visible in this shot. I can try to "orangify" the light, but for some reason it has only a very limited effect.
Making them noisier (which indeed would look better) is a real challenge, as you have to see that it is already very noisy in order not to cover the whole planet but have individual cities... It is difficult to get the noisiness at such different scales. I'll think about it...
Silverware wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm
The only other issue I see with the planet itself, is that the cloud layer is using a noise layer at too high a scale. if each chunk of cloud was scaled down to 20% the size, it'd look better in my opinion..
The difficulty I have is that clouds normally have a structure and then small scale variation in it. I cannot bring this (in my limited competence) in a texture. If I reduce the scale, then while individual clouds look better, the absence of higher scale order becomes overwhelming:
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So to make it work, I would need to find/use different fractals at different scales. Possible, but not trivial. Will have to think about it.
Silverware wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm
With atmospheric glow, getting this done is always a pain. I used to draw a circle of atmosphere color, cut out a circle the same size but offset to the right (to get the night side) and apply a blur, and draw that as something like a 5-15% opacity additive layer.
not perfect but it does provide a good enough effect for static images.
There are also libraries for doing it, if you are using 3D rendering. And I'd suggest using them in that case because the math is a pain to copy.
Thanks! This was my mistake, I forgot to make it additive. Now it's subtle, but it is here (screenshot above). I guess it should even be a bit bigger so that the clouds don't show as spikes (on the bottom, for example).
Silverware wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:42 pm
Other than these points, the ground textures are great, the space image is AWESOME, Although it's red on one side, and grey on the other. And I'd have it slightly rotated personally (rather than perfectly horizontal). And the little engineering stations (they are way too big to be ships in relation to that planet and orbit) are beautiful.
Thanks. The background image is however a camera background found on the inter-web :oops: and just put because when using Vue's star field, the stars are big and look a bit like the city lights, which was destroying the effect.
The station are a bit closer than the planet, but still, the planet's model is 11km high, so a "realistic" ship of 300m or so is a bit out-of-scale :-D
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2201
Alright, some advise then. :D

For both your city lights, and your clouds, you are making the same mistake.
Noise is best applied in layers.

The first layer chooses WHERE you apply these effects.
The city and clouds from the original will work for this, as these are good enough as guides for where to place things.

The second layer choose WHAT to put on the WHERE.
In effect, you do a threshold on the first, and then multiply the result by the second noise layer.

The second noise layer for the cities can be white noise, and it'd look close enough, especially if you then duplicated the result and added a blur to the duplicate, and set it to around 33% opacity and additive.

The second noise layer for the clouds is the second images clouds. You get large patches of small clouds that way.

Here's a quick City Lights example.
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Left to right, top to bottom...
  • Noise 1, scaled to x20
  • Threshold on Noise 1 selecting at a nice level
  • Gaussian Blur on Noise 1, iirc 15px.
  • Noise 2, unscaled
  • Curves on Noise 2, so we get some white and some grey, this was repeated multiple times, with new noise added each time to get the noise to the prefered level.
  • Noise 2 Multiplied by Noise 1, producing Noise 3
  • Noise 3 with Gaussian Blur, iirc at 8px, producing Noise 4.
  • Noise 3 and 4 colorized to 35 Hue, 20 and 30 Saturation respectively, with Noise 4 Additive at 50% opacity.
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Re: Limit Theory Fan Contest - Discussion

#2203
HowSerendipitous wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:39 pm
I did so more playing tonight - I'm almost there. If I can just get the function editor to take into account the direction of the sunlight and change the transparency of the city lights to 100% (or the colour to grey, maybe), then I've cracked it! :squirrel:

This tutorial might have some ideas....
Duplicate the shadow layer, use it as a mask for the lights.

The Clouds are perfect now, and you only have to sort out the lights. :D
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