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3D Galaxy  

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Brianetta
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August 14, 2011 1:08 pm  

As many will have twigged, a 3D galaxy map is coming. Somebody on IRC today was wondering in what respect the game's galaxy wasn't already 3D. Well, it's sort of pretendy-3D. You can find every star in the galaxy map only with up, down, left and right.

Well, here's a little preview taken from the current 3D galaxy branch. It's not available as playable download, but those who are feeling particularly enthusiastic are, of course, free to check out and compile the source branch from GitHub.

First, a video already posted to another thread here. This shows Gliese 581 being found using the galaxy map's new search feature. Why Gliese 581? I have no idea, except that DaWheel92 was specifically asking about it in his only post so far. Perhaps it's special to him.

Second, a new video, taken tonight. A quick whirl around the local stars (all of which are in their true positions in space around Sol), showing off the fact that the map is deep as well as wide and long. After this, a dash in the direction of the centre of the galaxy until we reach the next galactic spiral arm. You'll notice a sudden and significant increase in stellar density at this point - the galaxy really is roughly to scale now.

Hope that keeps you chirpy. Sorry the quality's not amazing; I don't do an awful lot of video stuff on the computer. I find that they look better in the expanded size that Youtube offers.

If you have any questions about the 3D galactic map, do ask them here.


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Marcel
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August 14, 2011 4:20 pm  

This is exactly what I've been hoping for. Thanks tomm! I can't wait to get to Gliese 581! 😀


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Vlastan
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August 15, 2011 2:39 am  

Lovely!


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robn
 robn
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August 15, 2011 3:38 am  

This should be finished and hit the nightlies in the next week or two. I'm mostly just doing cleanup and tweaks now.

Might as well post some screenshots as we go! Today's hacking gives us a nice sphere around the current system showing the current hyperspace range:

HZgND.png

Edit: Already had some feedback that it might be a) a bit obnoxious and b) not particularly clear. Now experimenting with some other ideas, so this might go away.


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robn
 robn
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August 15, 2011 4:40 am  

More or less settled on using label brightness to show in range/not in range:

S8GD5.png

w1Zht.png


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ollobrain
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August 15, 2011 11:05 pm  

awesome work looking forward to it


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Mysibrat
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August 16, 2011 4:33 am  

It looks pretty cool now. With some gfx tweaks it will be cooler than EVE Online star map.


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robn
 robn
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August 16, 2011 5:39 am  
Mysibrat wrote:
It looks pretty cool now. With some gfx tweaks it will be cooler than EVE Online star map.

What do you have in mind? Might as well get your requests in while I'm hacking around in there!


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emajogi
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August 16, 2011 11:04 am  

Terrific! A 3D galaxy with real stars in their real positions are numbers #1 and #2 on my personal Pioneer Wishlist.

I felt it was easy to get disorientated while watching the video, though. (This may have been because I was watching it on a tiny netbook.) Will there be some easy way to recentre the axes, so that x is horizontal and y is vertical, again?


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Brianetta
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August 16, 2011 12:15 pm  
emajogi wrote:
Terrific! A 3D galaxy with real stars in their real positions are numbers #1 and #2 on my personal Pioneer Wishlist.

I felt it was easy to get disorientated while watching the video, though. (This may have been because I was watching it on a tiny netbook.) Will there be some easy way to recentre the axes, so that x is horizontal and y is vertical, again?

Yes, there will.

Do bear in mind that I was pushing the map (and human perception) pretty hard in that video; I was almost always simultaneously rotating and translating, for example. It's not that full-on unless you choose to make it so. (-:


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Mysibrat
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August 16, 2011 3:44 pm  

robn>What do you have in mind? Might as well get your requests in while I'm hacking around in there!

First of all, imho the most important thing is that this is real star map of our neighbours. Its dream feature of the all games.

Ok, so graphically its worth to think about colour gradients instead of circles that are now pretending to be stars. Probably its possible to implement just using star class and size. We are little one step closer. Next one is copy frame with star 'spheres', do gaussian blur and sum with star frame (ot just using transparent scaleable sprites, whatever). We have glowing stars now. Next step is hard to obtain and not necessary. We could draw fuel range (or 100hrs jump for ex.) spheres around the present star system. Sphere have to be fresnel transparent (depended with camera-sphere surface angle) and somehow combined with stars.

Ok, i could forget about eve-spheres, but glowing stars are so tasty that i just cant wait to see this feature in Pioneer. I prepared combined screenshot - left side is present circle star style, and right side are glowing ones.


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robn
 robn
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August 17, 2011 2:09 am  

@Mysibrat, thanks for that. It's given me quite a lot to think about!

The gradient+blur for the stars is an excellent idea. I spent some time with a friend on Monday talking about how we might better display the stars, and couldn't come up with anything. I'm kind of annoyed that we didn't come up with this, as it seems kind of obvious.

Anyway, here's the first step:

2FVCn.png

I'm looking into a few techniques for producing the blur.

The sphere looks interesting. I'm not sure that even if I could make the sphere look this good it would be useful. As noted before, its hard to see what's inside or not without rotating.

The circular "grid" might be an interesting way to show range. I'd need to play a bit.


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Luomu
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August 17, 2011 2:14 am  

One thing about the grid: what's the logic of its positioning? When you start the map it's centered on sol, but as you move up/down it moves as well. Maybe it should be aligned to the currently selected star?

Also, is the grid spacing just arbitrary, it should probably correspond to some distances.


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Brianetta
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August 17, 2011 2:34 am  
Luomu wrote:
One thing about the grid: what's the logic of its positioning? When you start the map it's centered on sol, but as you move up/down it moves as well. Maybe it should be aligned to the currently selected star?

Also, is the grid spacing just arbitrary, it should probably correspond to some distances.

The grid is aligned with the sector boundary.

In Elite, the scanner's grid is always centred on the player. As the ship rotates, the grid remains apparently motionless whilst the ships on the scanner swing up, down and around. Perhaps there's some mileage in making the map do that. Render a plane which is fixed relative to the camera (at a given FoV) and connect stars to that plane with scanner stalks.

Does the sector grid itself need to be rendered? The grid used to be an important visual cue. A mission to a given system gave its sector coordinates, and we'd go and eyeball that sector, knowing that the system would fall within that green square. Now we have a search box (and a means to reset our orientation), do we actually need the sector grid?


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Mysibrat
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August 17, 2011 3:41 am  

Brianetta> Now we have a search box (and a means to reset our orientation), do we actually need the sector grid?

Lets say that one 'grid unit' will be 10ly, so its still very usefull to make fast decissions in bulletin board with delivery missions.

robn>Anyway, here's the first step

Two thumbs up! With time we will define nice gradients for different classes, but i am happy to see this feature implemented so fast 😀


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Brianetta
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August 17, 2011 3:49 am  
Mysibrat wrote:
Lets say that one 'grid unit' will be 10ly, so its still very usefull to make fast decissions in bulletin board with delivery missions.

If that's what you want, then a polar grid would be much more useful.


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Mysibrat
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August 17, 2011 4:22 am  

Polar coords. will be usefull only when you are in the Sun system. Other side you will have to use relative coordinates all the time.

I think such things like green straight lines or whatever are used in the map, should have on/off switches somewhere in gfx panel.


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Brianetta
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August 17, 2011 4:35 am  

I'm not talking about coordinates. I'm talking about a polar grid, showing ranges to neighbouring systems. A completely relative system. After all, a grid of squares isn't much good for judging distances on a diagonal, unless you're competent at dividing by roughly 1.4.

The absolute coordinates system was only necessary for finding systems by coordinate and name. Now, we have a name search; even the coordinates are a fair target, if we decide that other information belongs on the sector map instead.


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OSH
 OSH
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August 17, 2011 7:50 am  

Ok. One question: which option allow to find stars by name? Is such option implemented? I've read quicktsrt file and ther no such option...


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Brianetta
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August 17, 2011 8:20 am  
OSH wrote:
Ok. One question: which option allow to find stars by name? Is such option implemented? I've read quicktsrt file and ther no such option...

There is a search box in the 3D Galaxy branch. None of these new features are available to you yet. Watch the first video in this thread to see how the search will work.


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tomm
 tomm
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August 17, 2011 12:48 pm  

My feeling was that the sector grid had to go, because it was out of keeping with the kindof sphere of stars that the new sector view showed. But some sort of plane for the star depth spikes to sit on would be nice perhaps. It might look better of that plane was limited to a circular area so that it doesn't extend beyond the spherical view.

The reason for presenting the view as a sphere of systems was to make the enormity of 3dness more manageable and less overwhelming for the user.


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robn
 robn
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August 19, 2011 7:31 pm  

Pull request just submitted, with lots of detail about how it all works. Code review should happen in the next couple of days so this should be in the nightlies early next week.


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Brianetta
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August 20, 2011 3:13 pm  

This is gloriously out of context:

On the IRC channel, people wrote:
[00] trivial fix

[00] [pioneer] robn pushed 1 new commit to master: http://git.io/vBNjLQ

[00] [pioneer/master] Merge branch '3dgalaxy' - Robert Norris

[00] Pioneer: subtle.


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robn
 robn
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August 20, 2011 10:50 pm  

As noted, the 3D galaxy is now on master and will be in the next nightly. I made a video that demonstrates its features. If nothing else you get to listen to me trying to speak through my cold 🙂


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s2odan
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August 21, 2011 7:49 am  

I'm rather amazed how far this has come along 🙂


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