Celestia - then vs. now

General discussion about Celestia that doesn't fit into other forums.
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FarGetaNik M
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Celestia - then vs. now

Post #1by FarGetaNik » 03.05.2018, 16:29

I've recently rebooted my old compter I haven't used in about 4 years. I thought it would be fun to launch Celestia and see how it looked before I started with my Project Echoes (that I still haven't finished argh!). I was really impressed by how much has changed despite Celestia not having seen any new official release in that period. I want to give a visual overview on how my Celestia installation evolved in the last couple of years.

The screenshots show old renders on the left and the new one on the right. I just chose random views of the objects, not considering having the exact same face in the picture. Generally I replaced all te textures I had from addons with ones I made myself with my standards of visual accuracy.

Part 1: Stars
sun.jpg

I was using an addon that showed various effects on the sun like protuberances and the chromosphere. Now I have a high-res texture and the 1.7 engine has a much more realistic color corresponding to the black-body spectrum.

proxima.jpg

The change in color is even more apparent on M-type stars, Proxima serving as an example. The ugly pink got replaced with a warm orange. The texture also looks much more stunning.

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Post #2by FarGetaNik » 03.05.2018, 16:46

Part 2: Inner solar system

mercury.jpg

Mercury has changed a lot. From an early Messenger mapping in greyscale to a true color texture that is much daker due to Mercury's low albedo. Also, like for most solid objects, I adapted the lunar lambert parameter making for a more accurate light scattering effect that closes the visual gap between a render and a photograph. Also a normal map provides some realistic shading now.

venus.jpg

Vens hasn't changed much... despite a new texture Venus' clouds are just structureless in visible light. But a new more defined atmosphere definition turns a grey blob into a white marble.

earth.jpg

Earth's textures changed a lot, even if this high resolution view isn't calibrated yet. The colors are toned down quite a bit.

moon.jpg

The moon also hasn't changed much apart from slight changes in contrast.

mars.jpg

The new texture for Mars is color calibrated, but I'm still not sure if the hue is off. Even back then I knew Mars wasn't that firery red ball Celestia lets us think. The normal map is now calibrated and thus more subtle.

phobos.jpg

Back then I only had a cmod model from the forum for Phobos, now I know how to make them myself and how to be able to render a texture on it.

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Post #3by FarGetaNik » 03.05.2018, 16:57

Part 3: Jovian System

jupiter.jpg

At some point I realized that high-contrast render of Jupiter is very far from reality. I am still struggling to get a calibrated texture of Jupiter and this does it for now. Also note the changes in ring system and aurora.

io.jpg

Very apparent change in color, saturation, brightness and light distribution as well as relief shading. Subtle atmophere and vulcanic ejecta add to the view.

europa.jpg

Probably the most apparent change in the lunar lambert light distribution. The value on Europa is so high, that Celestia produces some unwanted effects at the terminator...

ganymede.jpg

Ganymede was toned down a bit.

callisto.jpg

I still want to redo the Callisto texture, but for now at least it's somewhat color corrected.

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Post #4by FarGetaNik » 03.05.2018, 17:15

Part 4: Saturnian system

saturn.jpg

I was especially shocked with Saturn on my old installation. My new render features more realistic hues and Celestia's engine allows for realistic rendering of light scattered through the rings.

mimas.jpg

From a textureless model to a textured model. Mimas mapping is poor and I still dislike the shading in the texture that interferes with the shading of the mesh.

enceladus.jpg

Enceladus now really shines as the most reflective object in the solar system.

tethys.jpg

Tethys looked really ugly back then. New texture, but I'm still annoyed by the shading that I could not remove. At least the mesh makes up for it.

dione.jpg

Dione benefitted from the 2014 color texture releases by NASA.

rhea.jpg

Rhea has probably the most realistic render of all solar system objects now, as I have shadeless albedo texture coupled with a normal map.

titan.jpg

Titan has now a much more realistic color and atmoshphere definition.

iapetus.jpg

Iaptetus benefits from a new mesh.

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Post #5by CM1215 » 03.05.2018, 17:18

For Tethys, you could always do what I did: not use a texture at all. I honestly thought it looked better without a texture, since I had the ver_512q mesh for it.
CM1215: Celestial master in learning.

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Post #6by FarGetaNik » 03.05.2018, 18:28

Part 5: Uranian System

uranus.jpg

Uranus' ring system looked quite nice, but is now much more toned down. The new atmophere definition makes for a more photorealistic view.

miranda.jpg

My hand-painted Miranda bumb map actually still holds up, but was replaced with Snowfall's textures.

ariel.jpg

Ariel had the highest-resolution map for the uranian satellites but Snowfall's texture is still in better resolution

umbriel.jpg

Umbriel was a mess. The new texture was necessary!

titania.jpg

Titania's texture also was ok at certain angles, but still a big improvement here.

oberon.jpg

Oberon also really benefitted from Snowfall's global coverage texture.

Added after 4 minutes 12 seconds:
Part 6: Neptunian System

neptune.jpg

Neptune also had a way more visible ring system back then. While I calibrated his colors, I still need to add the higher resolution cloud texture.

triton.jpg

Triton always seemed to be the most colorfull moon after Io. Actually his color palette is more subtle.

Added after 8 minutes 52 seconds:
Part 7: Dwarf Planets

vesta.jpg

While I had a good model for Vesta back then, the right image might as well be a photograph by Dawn if you don't look to closely on color errors and texture misalignement.

ceres.jpg

Nothing much to say here. Dawn didn't visit Ceres yet in 2014.

pluto.jpg

I was surprised to find Pluto textured though. I must have tested an addon after moving on to my newer computer. But notice the high albedo of this world.

charon.jpg

Like Pluto, Charon is now complete with a hih resolution normal map.

Added after 1 minute 46 seconds:
CM1215, I really want at least the color and albedo variance visible on the mesh. I created a very low-res copy of my Tethys texture for this but was disappointed in how low-quality it looked.

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Post #7by Gurren Lagann » 03.05.2018, 22:25

Now do the first ever version of Celestia vs today

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Post #8by roninwolf1981 » 05.05.2018, 02:27

The version of Celestia that I have on my computer is version 1.6.1. I feel like I'm behind the times...
With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied...chains us all irrevocably.

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Post #9by FarGetaNik » 05.05.2018, 07:54

Gurren Lagann, if you can provide me the original Celestia release? :biggrin: I don't have my hands on it. I started using Celestia in 2010 with realease 1.6.0. I can do the blanc installation vs. now...

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Post #10by Gurren Lagann » 05.05.2018, 12:04

FarGetaNik wrote:Gurren Lagann, if you can provide me the original Celestia release? :biggrin: I don't have my hands on it. I started using Celestia in 2010 with realease 1.6.0. I can do the blanc installation vs. now...

If Celestia did let me use the old website, I would do it, but even with Wayback Machine, I still cant find Celestia's first version :(

EDIT: I finally found the earliest available version of Celestia on SourceForge: 1.2.4! Its right here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/celestia/files/Celestia-win32-bin/1.2.4/

Also the earliest version that has a source code is 1.08, found here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/celestia/files/Celestia-source/1.08/

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Post #11by Danny Lorraine II » 24.05.2018, 02:19

to be fair, i think i like older celestia better.
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