CelestialMatters News

General discussion about Celestia that doesn't fit into other forums.
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CelestialMatters News

Post #1by t00fri » 03.01.2007, 17:47

Hi all,

after our new CelestialMatters site at last managed to go online on Christmas eve, this sticky thread will be devoted to communicating CM news of relevance for Celestians!

Cheers,
Fridger
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nmtools Tutorial completed!

Post #2by t00fri » 03.01.2007, 17:48

Hi "Celestial" friends,

after quite a bit of further writing, overhauling and testing for several operating systems, I am proud to announce that my detailed tutorial about the use of my 'nmtools' package is now essentially completed!.

Also, please find a slight update of my nmtools to version 1.0.1 for download!

The change only affects Windows users when installing nmtools by means of the Setup.exe installer. The installer script now adds an entry into the Registry which makes the nmtools known as executables in every application directory under console operation! This is very handy.

At this point, there is plenty of "playground" for you to practice and/or to attempt making your own highest quality 64k MONSTER normalmap, in form of VT tiles according to my step-by-step instructions.

I also devoted some efforts to discuss clearly, how to convert to the new compressed DXT5nm format that is supported in Celestia (pre x) 1.5.0. There are many advantages of this format, while the image quality remains still VERY high.

Here is a link to "Fridger's column" that --for now-- is mainly devoted to a discussion of the nmtools along with questions some of you may have! In a little while I shall address various other "hot topics" as well ...

It might come handy to bookmark it in your browser...

http://www.celestialmatters.org/cm/host ... rs_column/


Enjoy & good luck with your 'nmtools' experiments

Cheers,
Fridger
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"CM Feedback" and "Fridger's Column"

Post #3by t00fri » 03.01.2007, 18:06

Hi all,

the CM team encourages your posts in "CM Feedback" and "Fridger's Column".

Please note in this context:

In order to achieve proper formatting of your text, you have to use HTML formatting tokens in there for making paragraphs etc, which actually is quite similar to what we also do here.

e.g.

paragraph (break) <br>,
hence a 1 line spacing is obtained via inserting <br><br>

bold <b> ......</b>
italic <i> ......</i>


So, it's quite simple for elementary action. How about trying it? ;-) . If you happen to speak HTML, you can really use the full battery of HTML formatting richness, include images, change text colors, vary your text size etc. ...

Let me mention an ingeniously pedagogical learning site for HTML

http://www.selfhtml.org/

Unfortunately, it's basic language is German. However, translation to various other languages is in full progress. The French translations (of course ;-) ) and the Spanish one do exist already.

English is still in progress, however...

The special trick of this tutorial is that you see the HTML code and can click how it would look like right away...There is also an analogous setup for PHP learning...Try it, it's fun! Daniel....that something for YOU!!!



Finally, let me emphasize that the two blogs are RSS feeds. With a modern browser like Firefox 2.0.0.1, you may easily bookmark them and watch any new contributions in your favorite bookmark setup.

The two respective links for you to RSS-bookmark are:

i) General Feedback Blog:
-----------------------------------
http://www.celestialmatters.org/cm/sand ... lates=blog

ii) Fridger's Column Blog:
-----------------------------------
http://www.celestialmatters.org/cm/host ... lates=blog


Enjoy,
Bye Fridger
Last edited by t00fri on 03.01.2007, 19:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "CM Feedback" and "Fridger's Column"

Post #4by rthorvald » 03.01.2007, 18:57

t00fri wrote:In order to achieve proper formatting of your text, you have to use HTML formatting tokens in there for making paragraphs etc


Let me add that you do not need to use HTML formatting for plain text, only if you want to structure paragraphs or use styles, images, etc. A short note in plain english is good. Very much like BBcode here on shatters.

Also, we have made a set of macros (buttons) that formats the text for you automatically if you are unfamiliar with this: they resemple the buttons you use here on shatters to format text. If anyone misses a button that would be convenient in daily use, we??ll be happy to add it.

- rthorvald
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Post #5by ElChristou » 16.01.2007, 23:33

The new Voyager model is available at CM!

A little comment:

A big TX to Andrea and Franck for the good docs! (again Tx a lot)

Really the main problem of doing such models (like Vostok or Pioneer) is to find the good docs (I suppose everybody is bored to hear me saying that, no? :wink:)...
It's a bit a shame for Nasa not to have for the public some very Hires 3D representations of those historical ships... I hope my little works will fill a bit this gap, and help to keep the memories alive. I don't know exactly how the americans people see today those "monsters" of the space conquest, but in Europe, youngers (and even people of my generation) don't even recall how they look like IF they know about them... :x

Well I hope you will enjoy this one and don't forget to use the InfoURL (pointing to Nasa pages or special articles from CM) if you want to learn more.
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Post #6by t00fri » 22.01.2007, 23:25

How about looking in 'Fridgers Column'

http://www.celestialmatters.org/cm/host ... lates=blog

where you will find an interesting page concerned with

Preview of a new Toolset for Processing Monster RGB textures (BMNG,...)

Bye Fridger
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Post #7by ElChristou » 25.01.2007, 21:29

New WIP (work in progress)... :)
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Voyager by Andrea

Post #8by rthorvald » 24.03.2007, 22:37

Thanks to Andrea, the CM now offers a new article: a feature on the Voyager Missions, to complement ElChristou??s beautiful model. Online now!

- rthorvald
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Re: Voyager by Andrea

Post #9by ANDREA » 25.03.2007, 00:40

rthorvald wrote:Thanks to Andrea, the CM now offers a new article: a feature on the Voyager Missions, to complement ElChristou??s beautiful model. Online now! - rthorvald

Happy to add my little cent to CerlestialMatters. :wink:
Bye

Andrea :D
Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 3.8 GHz- 8 GB DDR2
DELL 2709W 1920x1200- WIN 7 64 bit- ASUS P5K-E-
8800 GTX 768MB- 6xSATA II, total 7.5 TB-260.89- Celestia 1.6.1
Celestia1.4.1_patch3- Vincent's LUA Edu Tools 1.2

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Post #10by rthorvald » 04.07.2007, 11:35

Celestial Matters update:
You can now download a small update (3 kb) that will fix A Portrait of our Sun for Celestia 1.5. Click my signature graphic for details.

- rthorvald
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Post #11by danielj » 04.07.2007, 14:28

I tested first.Look to the beautiful Sun under Open GL 2.0:
http://img228.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... suncf8.jpg
Very nice! :D
But about your sun texture,there is some sort of confusion.If you said that details beyond level 3 is ficctional,so we have to delete levels 3-10(or 4-10) of hires folder and not 2-10 as you said in readme.Am I right?
Actually,I almost don??t need to delete because I centered in a sunspot and details beyond level level 4 SIMPLY DON??T WORK.For me it doesn??t matter,but for people interested in the ficctional levels,could be a problem...


rthorvald wrote:Celestial Matters update:
You can now download a small update (3 kb) that will fix A Portrait of our Sun for Celestia 1.5. Click my signature graphic for details.

- rthorvald

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Post #12by Johaen » 04.07.2007, 15:25

rthorvald wrote:Celestial Matters update:
You can now download a small update (3 kb) that will fix A Portrait of our Sun for Celestia 1.5. Click my signature graphic for details.

- rthorvald


Thanks for the update rthorvald. This is actually the 1st time I've seen A Portrait of our Sun in all it's glory. my old PC was too crappy to handle it, hehe :) It looks so nice on my new PC though.

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Sweet!
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Post #13by rthorvald » 04.07.2007, 17:14

danielj wrote:you said that details beyond level 3 is ficctional,so we have to delete levels 3-10(or 4-10) of hires folder and not 2-10 as you said in readme.Am I right?

I have answered this before. Yes, level 3-10 is speculative, and now, badly outdated. Why the higher levels don??t work for you i don??t know...


Anyway, people, in general, please don??t discuss in this announcement thread - use the respective release threads or our columns at the CM instead...

- rthorvald
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Post #14by t00fri » 03.09.2007, 22:41

Hi Celestial friends,

we are happy to announce the public opening of our new

Celestial Matters Forum

The topics in our CM Forum are encouraged to span a pretty wide range:

From

--general Celestial Matters and
--Artwork, Modelling & Design

to

Development for AND beyond Celestia: Fridger's forthcoming new

--Texture Tools and his ambitious
--Cosmological Visualization Project.

Come over, register and enjoy the different "climate"...
Don't be afraid, our Boss this time is a fairly well-known woman with French charm ;-)

See you soon,

ElChristou, Fridger and rthorvald
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Release of F-TexTools-1.0pre1

Post #15by t00fri » 14.09.2007, 19:39

Hi Celestial friends,

I am happy to announce the first prerelease of my new

F-TexTools

You may download the archive in the Texture-Tools development forum of Celestial Matters.

Besides the C++ source code, the archive contains ready to use binaries both for Windows and for Linux. I am confident that dirkpitt will very soon make the MAC-OS binaries available as well at the same location.

In our new Texture Tools forum I prepared various threads for you to leave your comments, experiences, scripts and further feature suggestions!

Enjoy,
Fridger
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Post #16by t00fri » 16.09.2007, 21:46

Hi all,

please find the first minor update of my F-TexTools archive for download at

Celestial Matters /Texture Tools.

I have also created a separate installer-based binary version for Windows users.

Nothing has changed in the code. These are the changes in detail:
  • Created a ChangeLog file and started logging the changes
  • Created a separate binary Windows version with an Installer, README.doc and ChangeLog.doc for greater convenience of inexperienced Windows users. The installer includes a registry entry such that all tools are known by name in any Windows directory after installation!
  • README/README.doc:
    • Modified example 2) to eliminate a possible cause for misunderstandings (width of generated file specmap.bin)
    • Added benchmark times for my 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/ 2GB RAM DELL Latitude notebook besides the times for my Desktop machine (Linux)
  • tx2pow2:
    Completed the help text to include bpp = 4
  • F-texTools.iss/F-TexTools-1.0pre2.bin.exe
    Added installer for a binary version in Windows


---------------------------------------------
It would be VERY important, to get some feedback from Windows users about the performance of Examples 1) -3) etc. with various computers (please specify)!
---------------------------------------------


Let me display the slightly modified three examples specialized for the 85k BMNG 'monster' textures:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Code: Select all

 
1) gzip -dc < world.200406.3x86400x43200.bin.gz | tx2pow2 3 86400 | tx2half 3 65536 | tx2half 3 32768 | bin2png 3 16384  >  outfile16k.png

Linux:        13.1 min on my 3.2 GHz P4/ 3 GB RAM  Desktop machine
Windows XP:   11.1 min on my 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/ 2 GB RAM DELL Latitude D620 notebook

2) gzip -dc < srtm_ramp2.world.86400x43200.bin.gz | specmap 86400 world.watermask.86400x43200.bin 0.12 1 > specmap.bin

Here I used byteswap=1 in 'specmap' corresponding to my 'little-endian' PC. 'Big-endian' MAC users need no byteswap flag!

Linux:         4.4 min on my 3.2 GHz P4 / 3 GB RAM machine
Windows XP:    8.2 min on my 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/ 2 GB RAM DELL Latitude D620 notebook

3) gzip -dc < world.200406.3x86400x43200.bin.gz | tx2rgba 86400 specmap.bin | tx2pow2 4 86400 | txtiles 4 65536 5 

Linux:        19.9 min on my 3.2 GHz P4 /3 GB RAM machine
Windows XP:   22.6 min on my 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/ 2 GB RAM DELL Latitude D620 notebook


----------------------
The last piped command line generates 2048 leve5 1k x 1k VT tiles of highest quality directly from the scientific imaging data...
----------------------

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Enjoy,
Fridger
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Post #17by t00fri » 18.09.2007, 20:40

Hi all,

I prepared this highly reduced 5400x2700 scientific BMNG data archive to stimulate QUICK practising with typical F-TexTools console commands and the respective binary scientific data files!

5400x2700 'dwarf'-testfiles for F-TexTools

The following three command-line examples for my new F-TexTools are identical to the original ones in the archive's README, except that they are specialized to "tiny" 5400x2700 file sizes that can be VERY quickly downloaded and worked upon!

Once you know how to use the tools with these small files, you will have accumulated enough curiosity, self-confidence and patience to go for the really BIG 85k stuff ;-). I promise the results are worth trying!

The Three Examples
==============

Code: Select all

 
1) gzip -dc < world.200406.3x5400x2700.bin.gz | tx2pow2 3 5400 | tx2half 3 4096 | tx2half 3 2048 | bin2png 3 1024  >  outfile1k.png

2) gzip -dc < srtm_ramp2.world.5400x2700.bin.gz | specmap 5400 world.watermask.5400x2700.bin 0.12 1 > specmap.bin

3) gzip -dc < world.200406.3x5400x2700.bin.gz | tx2rgba 5400 specmap.bin | tx2pow2 4 5400 | txtiles 4 4096 1


Like the 16 times (!) wider 85k original, the 5400x2700 'dwarf'-sized textures are NOT a power-of-two size. That's why 'tx2pow2' is called for to reduce them to standard 4096x2048 size. In exercise 3) we generate only 8 RGBA tiles (1k x 1k, level 1), instead of 2048 RGBA tiles with the 85k original texture! If you display the tiles with xnview, you can toggle the alpha channel mask=spec texture by hitting the M key! Check it...

All these exercises now only take SECONDS, so it's really worth trying for yourself!

------------------------------------------------------
The 16bit 'dwarf'-elevation map is stored in 'big-endian' mode, just like it's "big brother". So with usual 'little-endian' PC's, you need to apply the byteswap=1 option in example 2) as shown above. For 'big-endian' computers, like PowerPC MAC's NO byteswap is needed, however!
-------------------------------------------------------

Enjoy and let me know about your experiences...
See you at the

Celestial Matters TextureTools Forum

Cheers,
Fridger
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Post #18by ElChristou » 23.09.2007, 11:54

An interesting rendering technic by Cham for stars surface in IR, X-ray, Ha:

http://www.forum.celestialmatters.org/viewtopic.php?p=1180
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Post #19by t00fri » 30.09.2007, 15:59

Hi all,

I am pleased to announce a significant update of the Nmtools (nmtools-1.5pre1), for making the greatest monster normalmaps directly from the scientific imaging data . You can download it in


CelestialMatters -> Texture Tools

along with a binary installer version for Windows users.

The full archive contains besides the sources, Makefiles and VS-2003.net project files all the binaries for Windows, MAC-OSX-Universal (PPC and Intel) and Linux!

Here are the release highlights from the ChangeLog file
  • created a ChangeLog file and started logging the changes
  • created .doc versions of README and Changelog for Windows users
  • replaced the 16 bit IO by considerably faster code
  • renaming of the individual tools to match the naming systematics of the
    F-TexTools. The latter serve to making the remaining Celestia textures
    in highest quality on normal home computers.
  • replaced standard floor() and nint() rounding routines by much faster ones,
    using "magic numbers" based on Sree Kotay's xs_RoundToInt() and
    xs_FloorToInt(), http://www.stereopsis.com/sree/fpu2006.html
  • made it work also for Linux, using the fix from
    http://www.wrcad.com/linux_numerics.txt
  • replaced the original single pass resize_to_power_of_two algorithm with a
    faster double pass one.
  • the overall speedup amounts to about a factor of TWO!
  • In all cases the tool nvimgdiff from the new nvidia-texture tools was
    instrumental to assert that the generated images were /identical/ to the
    original ones after implementation of the speed-up code.
  • the VT-tiles generation tool now directly produces PNG formatted tiles
    (instead of PPM format)
    ! This allows their immediate use in Celestia or
    further packing into the high-quality DXT5nm formatted tiles by means of
    the new OpenSource nvidia-texture-tools.
  • overhauled considerably the output logging during operation of the tools.
For new users I STRONGLY recommend my detailed tutorial, where all pecularities about installation, endedness and command-line syntax are explained step-by-step with many examples. Don't forget the renaming of the tools in this release, however.

Let me know about
  • how it goes...
  • your individual speed increase, please!


Throughout, I want to cordially acknowledge active help and good ideas by

Da Woon Jung <dirkpitt2050@users.sf.net> aka dirkpitt aka DW
Christophe Teyssier <chris@teyssier.org>

See you at Celestial Matters,
Bye Fridger
Last edited by t00fri on 02.10.2007, 19:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #20by t00fri » 02.10.2007, 19:03

Hi all,

I am pleased to announce the third update of my F-TexTools (F-TexTools-1.0pre3), for making the greatest monster textures for Celestia, directly from the scientific imaging data. You can download it in

CelestialMatters -> Texture Tools

along with a binary installer version for Windows users.

At Celestial Matters you can also find many application reports, examples and a lot of dev-talking about the tools.

The full archive contains besides the sources, Makefiles and VS-2003.net project files all the binaries for Windows, MAC-OSX-Universal (PPC and Intel) and Linux!

Here are the release highlights from the ChangeLog file
  • replaced standard floor() and nint() rounding routines by much faster ones,
    using "magic numbers" based on Sree Kotay's xs_RoundToInt() and xs_FloorToInt(), http://www.stereopsis.com/sree/fpu2006.html
  • made fast rounding work also for Linux, using the fix from http://www.wrcad.com/linux_numerics.txt
  • replaced the original single pass resize_to_power_of_two algorithm with a faster double pass one.
  • the overall speedup amounts to about a factor of TWO compared to the previous release F-TexTools-1.0pre2!
  • In all cases the tool nvimgdiff from the new nvidia-texture tools was
    instrumental to assert that the generated images were /identical/ to the original ones after implementation of the speed-up code.
  • overhauled considerably the output logging during operation of the tools.

Let me know about
  • how it goes...
  • your individual speed increase, please!


Throughout, I want to cordially acknowledge active help and good ideas by

Da Woon Jung <dirkpitt2050@users.sf.net> aka dirkpitt aka DW

See you at Celestial Matters,
Bye Fridger
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