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Wanted: new screenshots

robnrobn Pioneer Developer
edited 6:16PM in Pioneer
The screenshots in pioneerspacesim.net's image gallery are getting pretty old. It'd be great if you players could post some good high-quality screenshots so we can refresh the homepage a bit. Obviously cool and interesting terrains are obvious, but it'd be nice to be able to show some snaps of any other parts of the game that look good too.



Post them in this thread. I'll pick the best ones and add them.
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Comments

  • edited 6:16PM
    I've been trying to collect screenshots of all the bodies in all the systems within 20 light years or so of Earth.



    Taking the ship's control panel into account, it's a real pain in the neck getting the planet lined up in the middle of the screen. And even then, my beautiful photographs look rather less beautiful with that control panel sitting at the bottom of every frame.



    Is there any chance of a screenshot taker, which automatically removes the control panel? Something like an F1 which switches between front view, rear view, exterior view and camera would be good. And it would be just dandy if one could nominate a folder in which to save all the screenshots you take.
  • edited 6:16PM
    I like these kind of ones :)

    6d5zg.png



    cgayr.png



    Control panel disabler would be nice. And antialiasing in HDR mode...
  • edited 6:16PM
    ...and this is where the trouble begins. I would love to come up with some great screenshots but i have the feeling that my computer is messing up the whole graphics.

    I know this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeO28VBT ... r_embedded (wich looks AWESOME) does not show the actual graphics in the current alphas. however, i assumed they where anywhere near to it which is not the case on my system.

    This is how mars looks like on my system (planet detail to max):

  • robnrobn Pioneer Developer
    edited 6:16PM
    mathee wrote:
    ...and this is where the trouble begins. I would love to come up with some great screenshots but i have the feeling that my computer is messing up the whole graphics.




    [Edit after some thinking and investigation]



    Mine look pretty much the same, and have back to alpha 11 at least (I stopped looking there). The only thing I can suggest is that you might need to turn up the terrain detail - s20dan (terrain hacker and the guy who made the video) has a pretty high-end rig, so his screenshots can be over-impressive :) Also that video is old, and the terrains have changed a lot since then, generally for the better.



    I will point s20dan at this thread next time I see him in IRC just to make sure there's nothing fishy going on.
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    Edit// Removed incorrect crap :)

    Right, it seems I lost some changes so the terrain in the video cannot be set for Mars-type worlds currently.

    Europa will just require a seed change, theres a nice terrain for Europa in there I just don't have a seed number for it.





    Note to self and fellow devs. I'm getting a little tried of the whole custom systems seed issue. Maybe we should just allow it to say: "This planet is mars, I want terrain 4 and no other".... I suppose it bypasses our fake planet composition stuff, but it would probably save some headaches too.

    I know I have contradicted everything I have said in the past with that last sentence, but I have come to think it might be worth doing, as these certainly won't be the last seed related issues we have. Any thoughts on that?







    Update: I made an issue about any planet problems peaople are having: https://github.com/pioneerspacesim/pioneer/issues/416

    That way it can all be kept in one place and I won't forget about it.



    I had this problem a minute ago while testing this out, no matter which settings I chose the detail would not change. However I then realised that I was in-fact changing City detail instead of Planet detail, as it feels like someone has swapped them round. :) (Last time I loaded up pioneer they were top and bottom)





    I'm putting together a video of what Mars looks like now on the current master, no tricks, changes, threading or anything so you can see for sure if you are getting the detail you should be getting.



    I'll post it here once its done.
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    Here's the video I mentioned.





    This is Very Very High mode from Pioneer Master as of 26/08/2011, if Mars doesn't look like that on your system under the same settings then post about it here or preferably in the issues tracker on Github.
  • GeraldineGeraldine SSC Supporter
    edited 6:16PM
    Beautiful vid s2odan. It took me back to an Olympus Mons animation I did years ago on my miggy using Vista Pro. Took ages to do and it only lasted a minute. How I wished at the time that I could actually fly around it in real-time. Thanks to you and the other Pioneer devs, that is now a reality! 8-)
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    Thanks. How does it compare to what you are seeing when you play? Most people should at least theoretically be able to generate and display a scene in Very Very high, although the framerate would be negligable and unplayable, it should still show it on screen.
  • edited 6:16PM
    I haven't posted any screenshots because of my computer's lack of shaders. Also, I haven't been flying much. Been spending my Pioneer time texturing stuff instead. I'll do a test when I get home later today and post a pic.

    edit: Here's a couple. Looks good to me.

  • GeraldineGeraldine SSC Supporter
    edited 6:16PM
    s2odan wrote:
    Thanks. How does it compare to what you are seeing when you play? Most people should at least theoretically be able to generate and display a scene in Very Very high, although the framerate would be negligable and unplayable, it should still show it on screen.




    It's absolutly fine although it can slow down sometimes on my aging Pee Cee. I usually run it with planets set to High or Very High
  • BrianettaBrianetta Pioneer Developer
    edited 6:16PM
    Something a little different. This was my first successful orbital rendezvous. It was the second one I'd attempted, but the first one involved a high energy collision around Oberon with a Cobra Mk3 target vehicle.



    The Imp. Trader there was tumbling backwards over its pitch axis, and retreating at well under 1m/s. It was kind of beautiful, sharing an orbit like that.



    orbital_rendezvous.png



    Calculations? No. I tried, but the maths required for matching an arbitrary orbit is a little beyond me at the moment, not least because the orbital plane of the target would have to be determined mathematically using only target distance. So I did it the old fashioned way; brake to speed up, and catch it from underneath. Quite the rush.



    The hardest part? Finding the target vehicle in the first place. I get my script to tell me what it's orbiting, then I have to go looking. Space is big. Ships are little. Even with just one moon to search... well, moons are big. Ships are little.
  • edited 6:16PM
    That's really impressive, and I love the names you gave to the ships! 8-)
  • edited 6:16PM
    Marcel wrote:
    I haven't posted any screenshots because of my computer's lack of shaders. Also, I haven't been flying much. Been spending my Pioneer time texturing stuff instead. I'll do a test when I get home later today and post a pic.

    edit: Here's a couple. Looks good to me.







    It's been steadily improving, still have the same critiques tho.



    - still too perlin noise-y / obviously cg.



    - still using the glossy / plasticy looking shader where it should be flat, planets surfaces - at least dirt and rock, are matte.
  • tommtomm Pioneer Developer
    edited 6:16PM
    Yes how was the glossy effect achieved? There is no support for anything but plain diffuse in the ground shader so I am assuming the glossy look is just due to the terrain being kindof high contrast colors
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    tomm wrote:
    so I am assuming the glossy look is just due to the terrain being kindof high contrast colors




    Precisely.


    - still too perlin noise-y.


    I'm curious what you mean by that?
  • edited 6:16PM
    if its a contrast / colour thing, that difference should really be reduced, so its like nearly the same... light falling on the surfaces will separate the top and the sides due to shading. Infact there's often too much contrast between patterns which emphasises the cg look of it.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perlin_noise
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    if its a contrast / colour thing, that difference should really be reduced, so its like nearly the same...


    Thats not such a good idea as in this case its the difference between grass and rock, as as you know they are not the same colour. The game is asigning one colour to the flat areas and another to the rough areas most of the time it works, however sometimes like in the case of the mountinas on mars, it assigns colours that look shiny in conjuntion with one another.

    Its not something to worry about as the textures remove this effect. It was only ever an optical illusion and the textures break that illusion.



    I was just curious about the phrase : 'too perliny' , as it is perlin noise ;)



    Screenshots for Rob:



    Sand dunes on mars.

    80402.jpg

    An oasis:

  • edited 6:16PM
    Well, anyway whatever you decide you should really fix those hills so they don't look shiny.


    s2odan wrote:
    Thats not such a good idea as in this case its the difference between grass and rock, as as you know they are not the same colour.




    I'm not talking about where you're trying to illustrate the difference between vegetation and rock, I understand that a world is defined by contrasts.... But if you're talking about something i saw on my last flight i'm not sure that all those small equally sized bits of moss fairly uniformally distributed over a desert look all that natural (to be fair i couldn't really decide what either surfaces were meant to be) but honestly i'm going to assume that you knew that and i'm honestly not that patronising. It really has improved a great deal.


    s2odan wrote:
    It is perlin noise ;)




    I know, and I'm sorry to say its still fairly obvious, particularly at low level where you're looking at the last layer of noise which is where the excessive contrast between the colours is evident. infact looking at one planet i wasn't sure if you were using a texture but that the bitmap was also of noise rather than depicting some real data, and very stretched - i had the impression of flying over chunky blue and black texels... But i guess that could also be a really simplified version of perlin?



    Essentially like i've said many times it could be improved a lot with microtextures to take that edge computer generated edge off it, If you're doing that already i'm not seeing a lot of evidence of it, but perhaps you're talking of a future release?
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    I'm not talking about where you're trying to illustrate the difference between vegetation and rock,


    But that is essentially what causes the 'gloss'. Colour scales by contours/roughness, certain colours look shiny when combined and the fact that the terrain is rather smooth, there are also no textures to hide the fact. Earth suffers from it much less due to the textures. Any planet textures we use are all generated on the fly in a similar fashion to the terrain, there was talk of moving the generation over the the graphics card which would be the ideal solution IMO.


    Coolhand wrote:
    but perhaps you're talking of a future release?


    No its been there for over a month now, they are only active on a handful of worlds though.

    viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1299&start=320#p21132


    infact looking at one planet i wasn't sure if you were using a texture but that the bitmap was also of noise rather than depicting some real data,


    That would be more help if you could give some specific data. Ideally you could read the stdout.txt and make a note of the details listed under the planets name. We have an issues tracker and issues specifically for this sort of thing. : https://github.com/pioneerspacesim/pioneer/issues/416



    Pioneer is open source, if you come up with an idea or workable solution that might work then it can always be implimented. But you know, everyone has their own goals, for example at the moment my priority has been trying to optimise the terrain and just increase speed where possible.
  • edited 6:16PM
    just one question @ s2odan:

    what exactly did you change on the terrain generation code when you made this video on youtube? Is it just more detail? i have the feeling that the colors look much more realistic and that the terrain is less scattered than in the recent version of pioneer. i am just saying, because this is EXACTLY how i would imagine a terraformed mars... please understand me, i am just a little bit disappointed that it looks so different now..

    Do you think it is possible to make it look like this again?

  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    Thanks. :)

    Ok the differences between that video and the current pioneer master are:

    1. It was using a new terrain which is actually in the master now, just not active for Mars yet. (It will be, especially as that terrain is a fair bit faster than the very complicated mars one we currently have ;) )

    2. It had a new updated colour for Desert worlds which I seem to have unfortunately lost by overwriting an old branch, however its pretty trivial to re-write it and re-implement it as much of the legwork has already been done. IE colours have already been seperated to their specific material types, like rock sand or grass, so its just a matter of enabling them for that colour scheme.

    3. It does have more detail than current master, however Robn and I are currently working out some changes which allow further customisation of the terrain which would enable detail like this, and even higher, if enabled by the user in the options menu. It also allows the user to reduce detail for performance considerations.

    4. It uses the procedural geometry shading/texture stuff to break up the solid colours, this gives the terrain the shrub-like pattern and some patterns on the mountain which arent particularly visiable due to low contrast. These textures are currently in master, however only enabled for a small sub-set of terrrains.

    5. It used Fluffy Freak's threading code to make use of more than 2 cores, this is what causes the lags in the video, as Fraps is fighting with Pioneer for that 4th core :)



    With any luck 1-4 aren't far away, but 5 is some ways off from being implemented.


    because this is EXACTLY how i would imagine a terraformed mars... please understand me, i am just a little bit disappointed that it looks so different now..


    Well because of your feedback I will activate this terrain for mars. As I was kind of sitting on the fence, as on one hand that terrain does look more authentic and run a bit faster, but on the other its far less detailed and has a lot less variation between continents, when I say its less detailed, I mean the way the fractals interact with each other.. Theres a lot less going on from that perspective.
  • edited 6:16PM
    Thanks s2odan for the detailed answer!
    s2odan wrote:
    As I was kind of sitting on the fence, as on one hand that terrain does look more authentic and run a bit faster, but on the other its far less detailed and has a lot less variation between continents, when I say its less detailed, I mean the way the fractals interact with each other.. Theres a lot less going on from that perspective.


    I think sometimes less detail actually can produce a more harmonic result. then it is not so... let me put it this way, wild. ;)

    I addition to that it think i like this shrub-like pattern. When i understand it correctly, it means it reduces the contrast at "color-borders", right?
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    What it does is give a pattern or texture to a particular colour, which can help reduce contrast between borders, but mainly would help distinguish between actual rock or dirt and help break up the solid colours which make up the terrain. I'll just post some examples and you can see for yourself :)



    745b3.jpg

    7727b.jpg



    66150.jpg

    b327a.jpg



    1b845.jpg

    70bbc.jpg



    cb9a4.jpg

    9065c.jpg



    @ Coolhand, does your discerning eye agree that this helps alleviate the problem? :)
  • edited 6:16PM
    I would go for it. Looks much better :)
  • edited 6:16PM
    A thought on that shiny Mars thing. I haven't had the privilege of actually being able to see a planet from orbit, but it seems reasonable to assume that some terrains and lighting conditions would cause reflections into your eyes. In effect, some parts of a planet would probably appear shiny.
  • BrianettaBrianetta Pioneer Developer
    edited 6:16PM
    Marcel wrote:
    In effect, some parts of a planet would probably appear shiny.


    The sea certainly does. NASA have video.
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
    Very true Marcel, @ Brian not only the sea but also flat areas of land such as rock or desert, in certain lighting and atmospheric conditions they can appear to reflect light although the angle which you view them at has some bearing on that too.
  • s2odans2odan Pioneer Developer & Moderator
    edited 6:16PM
  • BrianettaBrianetta Pioneer Developer
    edited 6:16PM
    Tau Ceti from orbit around Tau Ceti b

    YIPsEl.jpg



    Sunset from the surface of Tau Ceti b

    Wfqqql.jpg



    A Talon Military Interceptor in deep space, having been flung out of Titania's orbit. Anybody who's orbited (or tried to orbit) Titania will understand.

    1Mvbnl.jpg
  • edited 6:16PM
    Hey, I am a newcomer to this site and saw that people were posting Pioneer screens, so here are some of my own.
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