Celestia 1.5.1 features

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Celestia 1.5.1 features

Post #1by chris » 24.01.2008, 00:51

A list of features under consideration for Celestia 1.5.1 is available on the WikiBook:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia/151Features

This list only contains features that could potentially be completed in time for a small update. However, not all of these things will make it into 1.5.1; the scope of the next release hasn't yet been decided, but including everything on the list would make 1.5.1 take longer than that it should. The goal is to produce new releases much more often than the two year span between 1.4.1 and 1.5.0.

--Chris

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Post #2by BlindedByTheLight » 24.01.2008, 11:59

not sure if it's a bug or an as-yet unimplemented feature...but I thought I recalled someone saying that shift-G would go to a model both in space AND time...but it doesn't do that (yet...?)

:)
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Post #3by duds26 » 24.01.2008, 12:03

CHanging HUD text:
Luminosity of stars and rotation rate shouldn't be removed. Mayby relative luminosity because that depends on the observer.





Minormoons, also make a setting that planets and normal moons never be rendered as star-like discs.
Or even better that all things that aren't a star never be rendered as star like discs.

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Post #4by MKruer » 24.01.2008, 13:20

Chris, This was discussed many moons ago, but all the ability to refresh/reload textures, orbits and models, with out having to close the program and relaunch it. This would be helpful for testing of various tweaks.

Also on the object class.

Wasn't there a discussion a while back about making the classes more dynamic and adding the ability to multi or sub class objects? Pluto would be an good example, it can be classified as both a dwarf planet and a KBO. This might be too much for a simple 1.5.1 update.

-Matt-

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Post #5by phoenix » 24.01.2008, 13:41

this is probably better suitet for 1.6 and beyond:

in addition to the dynamic hiding of objects it would be great to be able to move them around in space freely or even create / delete objects without having to restart celestia.

this could be done with some sort of new dynamic objects class with no dependency on barycenters and/or reference frames.
or create a barycenter on the fly to keep compability to the current objects class.

so you could place objects in mid space at coordinates XYZ with a speed and vector value and celestia would automatically calculate its position at any given time.
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Post #6by selden » 24.01.2008, 14:16

Phoenix,

This can already be done in 1.5.0 using ScriptedOrbits.
Selden

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Post #7by Chuft-Captain » 24.01.2008, 15:06

Chris,

Just a couple of things you didn't mention...

Improve depth-sorting issues when transluscent meshes intersect with other meshes. (You know what I'm talking about! :twisted: )

and...

Shadow casting of models on other models. :wink: (this may be a 1.6 [ EDIT: or 2.0 ] feature I suspect)


CC
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Post #8by chris » 24.01.2008, 15:52

Chuft-Captain wrote:Chris,

Just a couple of things you didn't mention...

Improve depth-sorting issues when transluscent meshes intersect with other meshes. (You know what I'm talking about! :twisted: )

Yes, I have some more ideas on what to do here. However, the nature of graphics hardware today means that a perfect solution isn't practical.

and...

Shadow casting of models on other models. :wink: (this may be a 1.6 [ EDIT: or 2.0 ] feature I suspect)


This is a very important feature, and not just for making pretty pictures. CNES has expressed interest in accurate shadow rendering--solar panels don't work so well when in shadow. I left it off the list because it's too big a task for 1.5.1.

--Chris

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Post #9by chris » 24.01.2008, 15:57

BlindedByTheLight wrote:not sure if it's a bug or an as-yet unimplemented feature...but I thought I recalled someone saying that shift-G would go to a model both in space AND time...but it doesn't do that (yet...?)

:)


This was a patch that never made it in, but it's easy to add.

In the Celestia Qt4 UI, I've experimented with adding object popup menu items that give the start and end dates for spacecraft. Choosing such an item sets the simulation time to the listed date. Obviously, you can't select a spacecraft in the 3D view if it doesn't exist at the current time, but you can right-click it in the solar system browser to get the popup menu.

--Chris

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Post #10by Chuft-Captain » 24.01.2008, 16:05

chris wrote:
Chuft-Captain wrote:Chris,

Just a couple of things you didn't mention...

Improve depth-sorting issues when transluscent meshes intersect with other meshes. (You know what I'm talking about! :twisted: )

Yes, I have some more ideas on what to do here. However, the nature of graphics hardware today means that a perfect solution isn't practical.

Yes, I realize that. I have noticed as you've tweaked it in various pre-releases in the past, that if you try to solve DS problems for larger scale objects, it can worsen effects on smaller scale objects. (and visa-versa). Seems to be a bit of a balancing act (a black art :wink:).

I'm sure you'll do the best you can.


chris wrote:
Shadow casting of models on other models. :wink: (this may be a 1.6 [ EDIT: or 2.0 ] feature I suspect)
....I left it off the list because it's too big a task for 1.5.1.
That's what I thought... It'll be worth the wait though. (Also, for real-time rendering, I suspect that Mr Moores law has some catching up to do before this is practical. :wink:
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Post #11by Guckytos » 24.01.2008, 17:33

MKruer wrote:Chris, This was discussed many moons ago, but all the ability to refresh/reload textures, orbits and models, with out having to close the program and relaunch it. This would be helpful for testing of various tweaks.
-Matt-


We definitly need this feature. I just remenbered that I have already an old version of Celestia (1.3.2) on my harddisk that does exactly that.
Reloading the different catalogues while running. And you can choose what you want to reload.

But I can't remember exactly who made that version. Brendan? Because it'S called BCelestia.

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Post #12by chris » 24.01.2008, 18:07

Guckytos wrote:
MKruer wrote:Chris, This was discussed many moons ago, but all the ability to refresh/reload textures, orbits and models, with out having to close the program and relaunch it. This would be helpful for testing of various tweaks.
-Matt-

We definitly need this feature. I just remenbered that I have already an old version of Celestia (1.3.2) on my harddisk that does exactly that.
Reloading the different catalogues while running. And you can choose what you want to reload.

But I can't remember exactly who made that version. Brendan? Because it'S called BCelestia.


This sort of thing is what I had in mind for the item called 'Package system for add-ons' in the ongoing projects section.

I think it would be a mistake to add a mechanism for reloading individual files without thinking about the bigger picture of add-on management: organizing add-ons files in packages, with a user interface for loading and unloading packages.

This isn't such a hard task for solar system bodies, but the way that stars are stored in octrees for fast rendering poses a challenge for modifying stars at sometime other than startup. Not to say it's impossible, just a significant amount of work.

--Chris

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Post #13by phoenix » 24.01.2008, 18:21

selden wrote:Phoenix,

This can already be done in 1.5.0 using ScriptedOrbits.


you're talking about my last statement right?
if that's the case then it seems I'm not up to date with all the new stuff in 1.5 and I certainly didn't have a look at scripted orbits yet;)
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Post #14by selden » 24.01.2008, 18:52

Pheonix,

Sorry: I meant that one can use a ScriptedOrbit to place an SSC object anywhere and ScriptedRotation to position it in any orientation. I use both extensively in my Hale Telescope Addon to hide, move and rotate objects.
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Post #15by Brendan » 24.01.2008, 23:03

Guckytos wrote:
MKruer wrote:Chris, This was discussed many moons ago, but all the ability to refresh/reload textures, orbits and models, with out having to close the program and relaunch it. This would be helpful for testing of various tweaks.
-Matt-

We definitly need this feature. I just remenbered that I have already an old version of Celestia (1.3.2) on my harddisk that does exactly that.
Reloading the different catalogues while running. And you can choose what you want to reload.

But I can't remember exactly who made that version. Brendan? Because it'S called BCelestia.


Wow, people still have BCelestia! 8O I did that by finding the large function that does the loading of stuff and dividing it into smaller functions that could be called by selecting the entities added to the menus to load various types of files or everything with nothing for selecting which specific addon to reload.
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Post #16by MKruer » 25.01.2008, 17:32

chris wrote:
Guckytos wrote:
MKruer wrote:Chris, This was discussed many moons ago, but all the ability to refresh/reload textures, orbits and models, with out having to close the program and relaunch it. This would be helpful for testing of various tweaks.
-Matt-

We definitly need this feature. I just remenbered that I have already an old version of Celestia (1.3.2) on my harddisk that does exactly that.
Reloading the different catalogues while running. And you can choose what you want to reload.

But I can't remember exactly who made that version. Brendan? Because it'S called BCelestia.

This sort of thing is what I had in mind for the item called 'Package system for add-ons' in the ongoing projects section.

I think it would be a mistake to add a mechanism for reloading individual files without thinking about the bigger picture of add-on management: organizing add-ons files in packages, with a user interface for loading and unloading packages.

This isn't such a hard task for solar system bodies, but the way that stars are stored in octrees for fast rendering poses a challenge for modifying stars at sometime other than startup. Not to say it's impossible, just a significant amount of work.

--Chris


I think that if it is implemented, the reloading of SCC and textures would satisfy 99% of the people out there. Do don't see and immediate need to reload the star catalog, as that changes less frequently then system data.

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Post #17by Guckytos » 25.01.2008, 18:42

Hi Brendan,

well, yes I am still using your version for fast finetuning of SSCs. Having open a texteditor with the SSC making changes, reloading the SSC and looking if it is now better.

Okay back to topic:
    1. Definitly for 1.5.1, if it is not already in 1.5.0: "Modify" command for stars that can be used in STCs like the same command in the SSCs.

    2. A comparison, on load of Celestia or any Addon-Package, of all STCs with the Celastia-DB of stars for stars with same designations (names/HIP). And if there is NO MODIFY-command in the STC then an error message ON SCREEN telling you exactly which names collide and what file it is in.

    3. For the new UI probably: Giving the user better feedback when Celestia encounters problems with errors in the Addon-files, like wrong declarations etc. Opening then a window where Celestia tells the user which error it encountered in what file in what folder. And then ideally telling to change it and then clicking on a relaod button to continue.

    4. Okay, now my ideas are really running wild: What about an integrated plain text editor in the new GUI that could be called upon? So that in the above example you would be presented with the option to change the wrong file directly in Celestia and then continue.
      The changes to the files could be first stored in a local temporary file while Celestia is executed. With adding Modify/Add/Replace commands to the temp file.
      And only when you want to close Celestia are you asked if you want to permanently save the changes. Otherwise the changes will be deleted upon closing.
      And this editor could/should be enabled/disabled with a line in the cfg-file, so that children in school can't ruin the whole files if you don't want them to.


Okay now I stop, before I have even crazier ideas.

Regards,

Guckytos

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Post #18by dirkpitt » 26.01.2008, 01:18

Guckytos wrote:4. Okay, now my ideas are really running wild: What about an integrated plain text editor in the new GUI that could be called upon?


Not quite the same idea, but an "immediate mode" script interpreter might be a nice idea. Type in a script into a editor inside Celestia and the script commands execute immediately; load/unload ssc's, modify a planet's attributes, reconfigure the UI on the fly etc.

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Post #19by selden » 26.01.2008, 01:35

Dirk,

A "Lua console" CELX script is available on the Motherlode which will execute commands immediately. Some of the Celestia functions that you describe would be somewhat more complex to implement, I suspect.
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Post #20by dirkpitt » 26.01.2008, 02:34

Yes, but with the console celx, don't you have to enter text using the Celestia console? That's inconvenient - no cut/copy/paste, no autocomplete for script commands etc


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