The New Mars Texture

Tips for creating and manipulating planet textures for Celestia.
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Don. Edwards
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Post #21by Don. Edwards » 14.02.2006, 03:58

Hmm, a 16k texture mght be a load on an older 128mb card but not a 9800 series ATI, unless they don't handle the DDS textures as well as nVidia based cards do. You would be amazed at what I throw at my 128mb GeForce FX 5900 XT, a bugget FX card. It can do multiple 16k textures. For my Mars i use a 16k main texture and a 16k normalmap. along with a 4k cloudmap.
For Earth I use a 16k main tex, a 16k normalmap, and and a 8k specmap, 8k cloudmap, and if i really push it an 8k cloudshadowmap. All this on a 128mb card.

VTs were designed to give these big textures use on lower memory cards, like a 32 or 64mb card. Of course they are convenient, but they have there drawbacks as well.

Let me give some though on turning over the texture and I will get back to you.

Don. Edwards
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.

jnthn
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Post #22by jnthn » 14.02.2006, 05:08

Don. Edwards wrote:Hmm, a 16k texture mght be a load on an older 128mb card but not a 9800 series ATI, unless they don't handle the DDS textures as well as nVidia based cards do.
Well, I use an exaggerated PNG normalmap, that doesn't make my poor Radeon too happy in the first place. From all I've read, ATI cards generally fare poorly in Celestia compared to Nvidia, anyhow. I can certainly believe it when I observe this card's performance. :?

Let me give some though on turning over the texture and I will get back to you.


Sounds good. Thanks.

Jonathan

ElChristou
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Post #23by ElChristou » 14.02.2006, 12:37

Don. Edwards wrote:ElChristou,
I might try, but for some the tile size may be to big. I simply haven't downloaded all the info and tools for making VT's. I do the cutting by hand in Photoshop so I keep the tiles on hte larger size. I was comforatable with cutting my 16k clouds down to 2048x2048 tiles. Still most cards should be able to handle that I think. Of course if someone else wishes to do it I could supply the the texture.


Oops, sorry Don, I thought you was also a master with VT... :oops:
Well, as Jnthn already said, the interest is to have some 512 tiles; personally I can handle the cutting (via Fridger's script) but not a dds conversion (bad tool on osX :x )...

To tell the truth, I can (!) load both 16k maps with my poor GeForce4MX (32) but it's a real pain...

Now I was wondering with your files (both color map and normal map) have an alpha channel... this make then much bigger and I cannot see the interest... (note that I know almost nothing about dds... I just saw that getting Info on your files...)
Image

Giorgio
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Post #24by Giorgio » 14.02.2006, 14:00

Don. Edwards wrote:Giorgio,
If you are familiar at all with any image editing programs you can make a haze layer and blend it with the cloudmap. I do this for my Earth clouds. I didn't bother with the Mars clouds as they are rather hazy to begin with.

I am sorry you cant get the haze setting to work on your ATI card. ATI makes a great gaming card, but they do tend to slack off when it comes to OpenGL implementation and its just going to get worse I am afraid. ATI has almost entirely bent to Microsoft's will on the OpenGL API under Windows Vista. This does not make for a rosey future for the OpenGL API on the Windows platform.

Don. Edwards


I don't have partricularly performing image editing tools, and I don't know, yet if what I have can handle such a large file as it is your cloudmap. I don't usually use these kind of software much, so I didn't develop any particular abilities on that side.
Anyway your suggestion of adding a hazing to the map may prove to be a great solution for people with ATI cards just like me. In fact as you most correctly pointed your cloudmaps for Earth are very good at creating that nice haze effect that ATI cards can't provide. Of course it doesn't create that thicker haze on the rim that nicely merges with the atmosphere color, but it still feels like the Earth is wrapped in something not completely transparent. It looks nice.
Something like that on Mars clouds could also solve the matter with excessively saturated colors with ATI cards. A problem you also pointed out in your previous Mars maps release thread. A nice slightly white layer to soften the colors and give that nice atmosphere wrapping up the planet look.

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Don. Edwards
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Post #25by Don. Edwards » 15.02.2006, 02:31

Two answers in onew post!

Giorgio,

I can plant a haze layer on those clouds in just a few minutes and have them ready for an upload. I will give it a go in a few minutes and probably have them up on the site in a few hours. I will add it to the list of downloads in the main thread entry above. I wile call it Mars Clouds for ATI cards and then you can see what you think.

ElChristou,
Ah, you caught me. I have been encoding all my textures at DXT5 level. I tend to see the textures are just a tad smoother with it and the size difference is really none existent. When I compare the size of the same texture compressed at DXT3 versus DXT5 there is about a 2 to 3mb difference if even that. Since the textures have no alpha channel there is no difference in size. I know I will probably here from the great DDS creators here at the forum that I am simply wasting space, or that there is no difference in quality between DTX3 and DXT5 but I personally think there is an ever so slight difference. But if anyone truly wants the textures at a DXT3 level I can make then and post them. But they are not going to be like half the size of the present ones. If anything they will be almost the exact same size. But I aim to please so if anyone wants to see if there is in fact a difference just let me know.

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.

ElChristou
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Post #26by ElChristou » 15.02.2006, 11:00

Don. Edwards wrote:ElChristou,
Ah, you caught me. I have been encoding all my textures at DXT5 level. I tend to see the textures are just a tad smoother with it and the size difference is really none existent. When I compare the size of the same texture compressed at DXT3 versus DXT5 there is about a 2 to 3mb difference if even that. Since the textures have no alpha channel there is no difference in size. I know I will probably here from the great DDS creators here at the forum that I am simply wasting space, or that there is no difference in quality between DTX3 and DXT5 but I personally think there is an ever so slight difference. But if anyone truly wants the textures at a DXT3 level I can make then and post them. But they are not going to be like half the size of the present ones. If anything they will be almost the exact same size. But I aim to please so if anyone wants to see if there is in fact a difference just let me know.


If the difference is just 2 or 3 mb, don't loose your time in remaking your zips...
for me it's fine.
Tx.
Image

Giorgio
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Post #27by Giorgio » 16.02.2006, 02:05

Your kindness is almost extraterrestrial Don. Taking the time to make an ATI users friendly version of your cloudmap being the ultimate example.
I tried it and it's just that touch that adds up and makes Mars more real. Thank you :)

barbarossa2
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Volcanoes are Indented...

Post #28by barbarossa2 » 16.02.2006, 16:58

I have only one problem with this Mars texture.

When looking at Olympus Mons and the three "minor" volcanoes to the SE of it, I see a major problem with shading. Even though the sun appears to be coming from the lower right of the shot, these objects almost appear to be lit from the top left.

The slopes pointed towards the sun are darker than the slopes pointed away from the sun. This makes these huge objects appear to be indented into the crust, instead of standing out.

Am I the only one who sees this? I am not saying Don has screwed something up here. I had the same problem with a texture I downloaded once. Then I tried to cover the problem with 3D models I downloaded, but the result was worse than before...as the textures (which were a slightly different hue than the rest of the surface of mars) made these mountains look like nipples.

Otherwise, great job Don. Thank God the Celestia community has someone like you contributing regularly to it. Thanks!

Johaen
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Re: Volcanoes are Indented...

Post #29by Johaen » 16.02.2006, 17:39

barbarossa2 wrote:...as the textures (which were a slightly different hue than the rest of the surface of mars) made these mountains look like nipples.


8O lol! :lol:

As for the rest of your post, I'm really not seeing it. They look like mountains to me. People normally expect light to be coming from above. In order for them to look like mountains, they should like brighter on the upper slope, atleast imo. To be quite honest, I don't see much of a difference between the northern and southern slopes.

Edit: ok, I can see what you are talking about on one of the smaller volcanoes... but they still look like mountains to me >.>

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Don. Edwards
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Post #30by Don. Edwards » 16.02.2006, 23:43

Hey Guys,
Please remember that these textures originally had heavy shadowing and I have done my best to lighten it up. If there were no shadows at all the texture would be totally flat and have no detail. It?€™s a subtle balancing act trying to maintain the detail but loose the heavy shadows.

As far as the normalmap inversions of the great volcanoes, that has something to do with the way your system is using the normalmap. Any decently made Mars normalmap should work just fine with my texture as it is oriented properly for alignment. This issue can sometimes be fixed with a driver update or to change to a different normalmap all together. Also this sometimes happens with older video cards, or simply the rendering path you are using. So there are a number of reasons why you might be seeing this effect on the mountains. It is a subject that has been beat to death with a stick. There is nothing inherent to the texture itself to cause this issue. It has to be the normalmap. If all else fails try going back and using a bumpmap instead. This might help clear up the problem. Not all video cards handle normalmaps the same way. Again older cards sometimes have issues or video cards that are only partly 3D such as an Intel based IGP solution or any IGP graphics chip for that matter. These chips were made for basic system graphics and simply because they may be able to some 3D, does not mean they truly are 3D. Allot of the rendering for these chips is done by the CPU and in software mode which is why they are teasingly called 3D decelerators by many people including me.

Let me know if you find any other issues. I thought I had missed a seam line in the texture but apparently I did remove it.

Don. Edwards
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.

alphap1us
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Post #31by alphap1us » 17.02.2006, 19:46

Don. Edwards wrote:I also still find myself a bit unhappy with the way textures are handled at the Motherload. That is why I still have a standing request that they not carry any of my newer textures. I am also seriously thinging if asking them to remove the older ones. I know it is causeing some confusion as to what texture is what. I have received a few emails on this subject from users.


Hi Don,

Could you tell us specifcally why you are unhappy with the way we display textures? If it's just that we have obsolete or ambiguous information, I'd be happy to change. If you think the format of the catalog is inappropriate, I'd also like to know why. Feel free to reply here or through PM.

Thanks,
Joe

osmium
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Post #32by osmium » 28.05.2006, 23:31

Errm ...sorry to ask.

If I download the 16k DDS do I then download the 16k normalmap as well?

Still getting the hang of this but I have to say Mars is my favourite place.
Thanks so much.

Osmium.
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osmium
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Post #33by osmium » 29.05.2006, 12:50

Hi Don,

I have moved this question from the other thread (terraformed mars)as per your request.

I have downloaded and installed your 16K.DDS from this thread and installed as my default hires as I have mentioned I have Jestr's Mars file
from the ML set as an alternative texture that is :


http://celestiamotherlode.net/creators/ ... dds_vt.zip

As I have mentioned, I am still getting the hang of all this but am still confused. in that his is a DDS AND a normal map combined with VT? thus my question as to whether I also needed to download the normal map stuff as well.

Anyhow I have been able to compare both textures now .

I find his version slightly crisper but your version with those wonderfully deeper reds coming through. very nice! :)

Thanks & best regards

Osmium
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Don. Edwards
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Post #34by Don. Edwards » 30.05.2006, 06:36

osmium,
I believe I sent you a PM (private message) with this information. If jestr has indeed somehow combined the Mars recourses, than yes you will need to also download mine or any other normalmap of Mars to use with it. But be warned, my normalmap is somewhat height exaggerated. I did this to compensate for the lack of or lessening of shadows in my texture. That is probably what you are seeing as the biggest difference between mine and jestr's textures. I try and clean up the shadows some. I do this so the textures are not locked to any one point of view. With shadows always at one end of craters and mountains the texture has a locked point of view. This sometimes makes the texture look inverted, craters look like domes instead, when you see it from the wrong angle. There have been some totally flat Mars textures made, but the total lack of shadow means that all surface detail is depended on either a very good normalmap and or a detail model of the planet itself. Unfortunately the textures that can be used on these detailed models are always low resolution so in the end they end up canceling the benefits out. Maybe when Celestia can use a detailed or mildly detailed model and a high resolution texture in VT format we have the best of both worlds.

I hope this helps.

Don Edwards
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.

osmium
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Post #35by osmium » 31.05.2006, 13:44

Don,

Thank you so much for your reply,

you wrote:
"If jestr has indeed somehow combined the Mars recourses, than yes you will need to also download mine or any other normalmap of Mars to use with it."

not quite sure what Jestr has done but it sounds so far like you are on the right track.

I am already familiar with inverted images in regard to planetary surfaces & understand the underlying causes. often from the texts I studied as a child the trick was to view the image upside down :o :wink:

it seems to me from what you are saying Celestia hasn't quite got to using both hires textures to combine with detailed normal/bump maps....but I'm sure it won't be long. :wink:

Sorry if this sounds obvious but I assume that a normal map (esp exagerated.... or otherwise) will actually cast it's own shadows on a planetary surface at the appropriate times?

Lastly, I checked the the private messages box at the top of the screen
and have never recieved a message from you. don't know if it is a glitch at this end or with the forum but thanks for going to the trouble.

cheers

Osmium
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Topic author
Don. Edwards
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Post #36by Don. Edwards » 31.05.2006, 15:57

Osmium,

No problem. It is posible that the issue was at my end. I am using a few beta pieces of software and from time to time they act up. Meaning I am using Internet Explorer 7 and it on occasion does dumb things, like not get an email or forum post through. Oh well such is the life of a beta tester.

Actualy Celestia can handle large normalmaps without any problem. I ment physical 3D model that Celestia can't use a large texture with.

Yes a normalmap is what casts shadow on the texture. Bumpmaping can do this to, but it is a given they we prefer normalmaps do to Celestia being able to use them to give mre detail than a bumpmap. Bumpmaps tend to just make bumps and dimples, at least on my system. The hieght tends to always have a vary rounded look to it. Were as a normalmap is sharp and crisp for the most part.

Hope this helps you.

Don. Edwards
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.

osmium
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Post #37by osmium » 01.06.2006, 09:48

Don,
Thanks for your reply. So as I understand it (just thinking aloud here) a (at this stage) theoretical physical 3D model of ,well any planet could be made under the right conditions (read:hardware/software and available data) with exacting details of terrain(height /slopes/etc) and then a highly detailed hi-res photo could be layered on top to, in the future, provide an (almost photo realistic Virtual environ to explore in Celestia but the files for such an experiment at this stage are just to large?

oh well , hope I'm close...

BTW LOVE the new terraformed pics.. :)

Thanks for your help & time

signing off

Osmium
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Topic author
Don. Edwards
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Post #38by Don. Edwards » 01.06.2006, 10:22

Your practicly right on the money. The amount of memory needed to load a detailed model and texture is just to great at this point. Of course it can be done in software environments like Maya, Carara, and 3Ds Max. I am sure that Celestai could also be made to use a software mode. But it would slow things way down. So we have to wait for at least a few generations of video cards to come before things like this will work. But as fast as the cards are evolving it shouldn't be more than another three years or so. I am guessing of course.

Don. Edwards
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.

osmium
Posts: 70
Joined: 16.07.2004
With us: 15 years 11 months

Post #39by osmium » 08.06.2006, 10:15

Hi,

Sorry to post on this again,

I have now downloaded the 16K-Normalmap-DDS (see previous posts in this thread ... :oops: ) but was just wondering where I should now put this new file.. :oops: :roll: :cry: I tried putting it with the other file ..i.e in the same folder.

Celestia>Textures>hires

but have a sinking feeling this is the wrong place & that this whole question should be completely obvious. I assume that with this file added I should see contours (i.e. height variations on Mars??) or maybe not...

jeam said to replace the bumpmap that comes with Celestia? but not sure about this as most of his/her post was in french & (like my German :wink: ) my French is quite appaling!

again apologies for what must seem the bleeding obvious, no sleep ....ever...but love Celestia...

Cheers

Osmium
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selden
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Post #40by selden » 08.06.2006, 12:08

That's exactly the right place to put it.

Celestia has to be told to use it, however. One way to do it is to define an Alternate Surface. Alternate Surfaces can be selected using Celestia's right-mouse-button-popup-menu.
Replace the filenames shown in this example by the correct ones, of course.

create a file named
16kmaps.ssc

Code: Select all

AltSurface "16kmaps" "Sol/Earth"
{
Texture "16K-surfacemap.*"
NormalMap "16K-Normapmap-DDS.*"
}
Selden


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