Merry Mars-mas Celestians

Tips for creating and manipulating planet textures for Celestia.
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Don. Edwards
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Post #41by Don. Edwards » 30.12.2005, 13:04

Here is the newest version of the Mars texture, I am only posting one shot as i feel it speaks volumes on it own , at least for now, and I am quite tired so more tomorrow. Click the image for a full 1280x960 version.

Image

This texture is nearly a dead on one to one color match to Mario's new Mars texture at SpaceGraphics.com. As it should since it is based on one of them.
I am using the exaggerated normalmap in this image as well. But the detail is way up and the shadows are still more subdued than they are on his master copies. I will post a few shots comparing Mario's and my version side by side soon. No doubt some of you will prefer his over mine and that is fine. I just like to have a more natural and shadow free texture as possible.

Also the polar pinchng in this new texture is the same as the one above, so i must deduce that it has something to do with the conversion process. A shame realy, but I have seenn much worse and of course much better. I really am not sure what is causing it at this point.

Don.

UPDATE!
Here is a companion shot of Mario's Mars texute for comparison.

Image

As can be seen it is a bit darker and the shadows really make some of the detail stand out more, but it does come at a price, those same shadows do lock the texture into being viewed from a single perspective.

Don.
Last edited by Don. Edwards on 31.12.2005, 10:21, edited 1 time in total.
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

ANDREA
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Post #42by ANDREA » 30.12.2005, 15:30

Don. Edwards wrote:Here is the newest version of the Mars texture, I am only posting one shot as i feel it speaks volumes on it own , at least for now, and I am quite tired so more tomorrow. Click the image for a full 1280x960 version. This texture is nearly a dead on one to one color match to Mario's new Mars texture at SpaceGraphics.com. As it should since it is based on one of them.
I am using the exaggerated normalmap in this image as well. But the detail is way up and the shadows are still more subdued than they are on his master copies. I will post a few shots comparing Mario's and my version side by side soon. No doubt some of you will prefer his over mine and that is fine. I just like to have a more natural and shadow free texture as possible. Also the polar pinchng in this new texture is the same as the one above, so i must deduce that it has something to do with the conversion process. A shame realy, but I have seenn much worse and of course much better. I really am not sure what is causing it at this point.
Don.

Hello Don, IMO you have obtained the best image seen up to now.
It's beautiful in color, sharp and well detailed.
Very appreciated, indeed! :D
Regarding the polar pinching, I remember a topic on this matter, or (more probably) there was a couple messages on this in another topic, and Selden gave a solution to this problem, if I remember well.
I'll make a search, and inform on results. :wink:
Bye and thank you very much.

Andrea :D
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Don. Edwards
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Post #43by Don. Edwards » 31.12.2005, 10:57

Ok, as promised here are some new shots of newest texture in action, also another comparison to show the changes.

So here we go.

This is the texture as it was released on x-mas.
Image

This is the new version.
Image

And here is a comparison shot of what Mario's textures looks like untouched.
Image

As can be seen in the above picture the contrast is almost up to high, it gives the image a plastic look in many places. If you look closely you will see areas that are highlighted to much and it gives the impression of a glossy plastic like surface, not realistic. Many old Mars textures suffer from this over exposure effect. I have been able to tone this down to the point that it hardly exists. Also you can see the dramatic difference in the shadows. My little trick to lessen the shadows but keep as much detail as possible can plainly be seen here. What to some may look like a lack of detail is really the lack of or lessening of the shadows, Once a good bumpmap or normalmap is applied the detail and shadows return and when and where they should be, not locked in into the texture from the beginning. It?€™s just my opinion that it makes things look a little more real in Celestia.

On to the rest of the shots, they are in no order and are the same locations of previous screen shots so that if anyone wants to compare the new and now older texture they can in a shot by shot fashion.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Ok that covers everything for now, If the above images meet with everyone?€™s approval I will start the smaller versions of the texture and replace the previous version with this one. The texture still has the slight pinch/fanning effect at the poles, but it is reduced some. I still haven't figured out how or why they are there, but they only seem to be visible when you zoom in fairly close.

I will check back latter to see what everyone thinks. This one is in your hands folks; you make the choice, is it ready or not. Also; before anyone comments on the fact that I am using Mario's SpaceGraphics textures, I have full permission from Mario to alter and redistribute them, just so everyone is on the same page here.

Don.
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

ANDREA
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Post #44by ANDREA » 31.12.2005, 11:12

Don. Edwards wrote:Here is the newest version of the Mars texture, I am only posting one shot as i feel it speaks volumes on it own , at least for now, and I am quite tired so more tomorrow.
Don.

Don, it's wonderful. and I'm ready to download it as soon as it will be ready with its normalmap. :D
Well done!
Happy New Year!
Bye

Andrea :D
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Cham M
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Post #45by Cham » 31.12.2005, 17:39

This new texture looks perfect to me. I'm ready to download the full 16K version, in DDS please ! :-)
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Post #46by ElChristou » 31.12.2005, 18:27

Don, felicitation, this map seems to be really nice.
Tx a lot for this great work.
Image

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Post #47by Don. Edwards » 03.01.2006, 09:43

Ok, I will go with this one, I should be uploading it soon, stay tuned.

Don
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

Giorgio
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Post #48by Giorgio » 04.01.2006, 18:46

Static images of this new work by Don Edwards look very good. How do they look in motion? And in combination with the normal maps? Do they still look good or do they show incoherent lightings and shadows?
Anyway, do you also plan to make a cloud layer for Mars? That is much needed and would add the ultimate touch of realism to Mars in Celestia, I think.
Also, I see from your signature that you own a GeForce graphic card, but I can't say if there is haze activated in the pictures you posted (if so i would expect it to be more apparent and whiter). Since I have an ATI powered graphic card that can't handle haze in Celestia I was just wondering how much less realistic your textures would look on my pc, before I actually download and try them.
Last edited by Giorgio on 05.01.2006, 00:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #49by buggs_moran » 05.01.2006, 00:16

Looks great Don.
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Post #50by Giorgio » 05.01.2006, 00:40

So I finally downloaded the files to try them. As reference I'll say I normaly use John Van Vliet 32k VT and normal map for Mars.
I may be wrong, but I still feel John's texture is somewhat more realistic from a distance. Perhaps due to some telescope pictures of Mars I've seen? Perhaps just a memory I made up myself. Anyway, to me, they are more pleasing to the eye from afar.
But for close ups Don's work is far more interesting ...and perhaps realistic (I guess)?
Actually the poles are not up to the level of the rest as appointed in previous posts, but I find the overall light and contrast ecc, stuff you've been discussing, pretty satisfactory as it is.
It seems to me that the texture is already very "orangish", and doesn't need any more stress on that.
On the other hand, I think I've come up with a nice (to me) solution for the little flatness issue, or rather, lack of detailing in the dynamic lighting of the thing. I just replaced Don's Normal Map with John's, which is a VT and has a 32k detail level.
To me the result is just perfect: the very interesting colors of Don's work, coupled to the excellent dynamic lighting provided by the Normal Map by John.
Plus the two of them together are less heavy on my PC than the full set of VTs by John and just a little havier than Don's set (my pc being an Athlon 1800+ on a ECS K7S6a with 256MB DDR and a ATI 9550 128 bit with 256MB).

So, better textures for the poles and a nice cloud map would make me very happy.

Oh, I almost forgot. Don, what settings would you suggest for your Mars atmosphere colors in solarsys.scc?

My current settings are:

Color [ 1 0.75 0.7 ] (what is this setting for anyway?)

(no Haze for people with ATI graphic cards like me)
HazeColor [ 1 1 1 ]
HazeDensity 0.45
Radius 3396
Oblateness 0.0069

Atmosphere {
Height 50
Lower [ 1.0 0.85 0.71 ]
Upper [ 0.95 0.70 0.65 ]
Sky [ 1.0 0.80 0.73 ]
Sunset [ 0.7 0.7 0.8 ]

But, with your new texture they feel too yellow in contrast with the predominant orange in your work.
Thanks, and happy new year :)

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Don. Edwards
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Post #51by Don. Edwards » 05.01.2006, 02:30

Giorgio,
Please keep in mind that the textures that you downloaded are being replaced any day now, and the new ones are much more detailed than the first. Many of the issues you mention in the post will be fixed in the new texture; some will not or only improved. The shadows are still resent, but at a much less degree if you look at the above comparison shots. The northern polar ice has been fixed. The polar pinching issue will remain. It seems inherit to the DDS compression program that I use to make the 16k textures. So basically there is nothing I can do at this point until a better one is developed that is as easy to use. And please, I don?€™t need to hear from the Linux camp that they can do it, I don?€™t want to fart around with a Linux distro just too maybe, possibly fix a very small error. As for the coloring that is fixed as well. As for what it looks like from a distance, that is a matter of opinion. I don?€™t believe John's were based on the newest data, witch Mario's are, hence mine are as well. Finally, as for my settings in the solarsys.scc they are the stock settings except that I increased the haze level just a bit, I will post my settings when I release the updated textures.
Now the Mars cloud issue has been brought up in the past, I simply don?€™t have the data to create clouds beyond what?€™s been done by others. Mars has many kinds of clouds. It Has white cirrus clouds that often drift off the great volcanoes, there are morning mists that appear in Valles Marinaris and I Hellas, and few other of the large craters, it gets low pressure storms around the north pole that look much like they do on Earth, and there are the sandstorms. The problem is that many have posted pictures of these clouds, but it very difficult to take a cloud picture from the side view or a 45 degree angle and transpose it to an overhead view for use on a texture. Then there is the coloring of the clouds. Some are white, some are yellow to brown. I have tried and played with various other Mars cloud textures, and have been very disappointed in the results. So I personally stick to the white clouds I made. I don?€™t post pictures of Mars with these clouds any longer because I had a few snide remarks about them. So any pictures of Mars form me will remain cloudless. You know the saying; it only takes one bad apple to set the rest off. I have seen some very nice Mars clouds done for the space flight simulator Orbiter, but that program used a proprietary DDS texture format and that means the clouds textures can not be imported to Celestia. I have tried to contact the creators of these Mars cloudmaps and have had no response at all. I am well known over at the Orbiter camp as a few users have converted my textures to the program. But it seems the texture artist in the Orbiter world are unwilling to share with the Celestia world. I guess I may have to ban my textures from the Obiter camp to get there attention and make them take notice.


BTW, look for the textures in a separate post than this one. as they are now beyond being a x-mas present to everyone.

Don.
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

danielj
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Post #52by danielj » 05.01.2006, 11:11

Don,can you point me where is the separate topic with the updated textures?I couldn??t find it and I search in Celestia Textures,Celestia Addons e Celestia Users foruns.

Giorgio
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Post #53by Giorgio » 05.01.2006, 15:12

Thanks again Don for your great work and your attention.
I'm currently enjoying your Mars textures and will try the newer ones when (and if) you''ll release them.

I'm sorry for the problems with people at Orbiter and their attitude.

About the clouds for Mars. It's just that I think I saw a picture of Mars with a cloudmap of yours you posted some months ago as a work in progress not to be released and thought it was very interesting, much more convincing than the one by John VanVliet I'm currently using. I think I remeber some impressive cirrus around the great volcanos.

Anyway another great work of yours that goes with the textures and cloud maps and the cloud shadow maps for Earth that I take much joy in using in Celestia. Thank you.

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Don. Edwards
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Post #54by Don. Edwards » 05.01.2006, 16:44

danielj,
Hang on there, I haven't uploaded the files or started the thread yet.

Goirgio,
I think you are refering to this cloudmap? Here it is over the new texture.
Image

If you want it I will make it available to you.

Don.
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

Giorgio
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With us: 15 years 1 month

Post #55by Giorgio » 06.01.2006, 03:06

That would be so very kind of you Don. I'm thankful for John's cloudmap for Mars, but yours is just a whole different level :)

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Post #56by watersb » 29.01.2006, 23:21

Happy (lunar? Chinese?) New Year!

Any word on that wonderful Mars texture? :)

I am going to look into hosting this at work...

EDIT:
At this time I am asking that none of my textures be mirrored by anyone anywhere. I am sorry if this does not sit well with everyone but they are my textures and I want to control how they are distributed and through the portal of my choice. I do not want all of my textures dumped into a single directory without anyone knowing what texture is what or what version they may be downloading.


Oh. I understand. Well, I'll wait for the revised Mars texture. Wonder how I could help?

Giorgio
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Post #57by Giorgio » 31.01.2006, 00:44

Don, I'm really drooling over the idea of having your Mars cloudmap here on my pc making good company to your pretty mars 16k texture. Could you help me make this dream come true, or I'm really afraid I'm going to end up drowning in my own saliva, and, quite frankly, I was counting on passing away much later in my years and in a much nicer fashion :oops:

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Post #58by sas » 03.02.2006, 22:58

Oh:)

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Don. Edwards
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Post #59by Don. Edwards » 07.02.2006, 10:12

Look for the new textures in a new thread in the next day or so.

Don
I am officially a retired member.
I might answer a PM or a post if its relevant to something.

Ah, never say never!!
Past texture releases, Hmm let me think about it

Thanks for your understanding.

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Post #60by buggs_moran » 08.02.2006, 02:35

Yes!!! 8)
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