Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

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Alpha Centauri
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Alpha Centauri » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:31 pm

R2dical - just fyi - there is a morrigi hirez planet that shows its seam. I'll take a look this evening to see if can determine which one corresponds to the visual glitch. Very Minor.

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:19 pm

Thanks AC, yeah its this one little step in Photoshop I need to do to avoid this but can only easily see in game so sometimes I forget :roll:

I came across a few others but if you can post a screenie or even tell me if its atmosphere (clouds) or land texture for which planet type (perfect, good, moderate or poor) I can get it :)

Alpha Centauri
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Alpha Centauri » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:56 pm

Damn it! I forgot about this and now the save game is way beyond those battles.
However, it was the ground, not clouds / atmosphere, and it was either good or perfect (I would guess perfect).

Anyway, next time I come across it I will definitely take a sec to screenie it or actually find the texture! :googly:

--

Questions:

1. how do you make such excellent planet-textures?
1.a. where do you get the textures
1.b. how do you process them

2. Is there any way to stop the the partially dark planet-bodies from showing stars behind them (skybox planets, not the real planet)? Their dark areas become transparent, showing starlight in them...

3. I assume you have no way to fix the bug that causes the atmosphere to rotate in the wrong direction, and too slowly (the ground rotates faster than the atmosphere, which is ridiculous)

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:10 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:Damn it! I forgot about this and now the save game is way beyond those battles. However, it was the ground, not clouds / atmosphere, and it was either good or perfect (I would guess perfect).
Yeah I took a look for this, and while I found some minor seam issues with an atmosphere and a land you would really need to be looking hard to see it (these are stock textures btw!)

I have done quite a bit of cleanup since the current version, and its possible I fixed this already in my WIP, but I don't recall it (only Hiver, Zuul and Human ones). Here are the 4 mod Morrigi land textures, any look familiar? Maybe its another race?
Image
Alpha Centauri wrote:1. how do you make such excellent planet-textures?
Thanks :) Most important thing I'd say is practise, LOTS of it. Most of my mods art assets have been through many iterations before I am happy, ~8 but some of the more prominent ones or effects can be up to 15. This is a case of me doing a batch of them, later learning some new "ability" ("super power"?), then going back and redoing the lot. Another key thing is being familiar with all the technical details involved and the tools, so you can do "bottom up" creation from scratch with a picture of result in mind, instead of just tweaking and fiddling till it looks "cool" (though thats how you learn).

Alpha Centauri wrote:1.a. where do you get the textures

Alpha Centauri wrote:1.b. how do you process them
Depends on the texture:
- Asteroids and moon: Google source textures then lots of Gimp touchup.
- Racial planets (land): These are based off stock ones then I used Photoshop (CS5) with the high quality rescaling, post-processing and export plugins to "increase" the quality of stock ones. I also added 1 extra per race and some I had to make from scratch, luckily I came across what seems to be the exact plugin (LunarCell) that Kerb used to generate the stock textures so could get the same style without too much effort.
- Racial planets (atmospheres): The stock ones were pretty crap IMO so I redid most. I got a few atmosphere textures from google and made the rest in that plugin mentioned above (has a atmosphere generator function). Combining and colouring these results in the wide variety.
- Extra "Dead" planets: I spent a long time googling source material and many came from one Deviant Art source with many nice hires samples. A few, like the gas giant, took more manual work. The atmospheres were made in the same way as for the race planets.
- Skybox background planets: About half came from FreeSpace 2 mvp, and required little change and the rest came from google source textures (like NASA) and commonly just needed the background removed and resizing.
- Skybox nebulas: The current version most came from the REL eyecandy mod mentioned in the OP, but in the new WIP these have all been "remastered" to greatly improve quality and I added a large number of my own and ones modified from Freespace2 mvp, in addition to an all new lighting mechanic they look awesome.

I used Gimp alot for the "manual" work; combining source, brushing, erasing, clone brushing, blending layers, colour/hue/sat balance, contrast/brightness and much used "colour to alpha". Photoshop I am less familiar with but it is much more powerful and has excellent plugins for automation and heavy duty work, so I used it for this type of thing, its extensive layer blending and integrated NVidia .dds exporter. Currently I am doing more manual brushwork and layer blending than before so can make more original results.

If you want links and such I can provide, or if you have an example of a texture I can explain how I made it.

Alpha Centauri wrote:2. Is there any way to stop the the partially dark planet-bodies from showing stars behind them (skybox planets, not the real planet)? Their dark areas become transparent, showing starlight in them...
I did look into this but can't remember what was the findings, it was either not possible/hardcoded or complex in the shader stuff to not be worth it. A concept called Z buffering should sort this out nicely but it seems logical that it was avoided for the large number of texture instances stars have. There are 2 other ways to sidestep messing with shaders, after either disabling stars in skydefs.txt or display.cfg:
1) Drawing stars directly onto the background texture, you will see stretching at the "north" and "south" poles though (why it was done the current way actually).
2) Making another skybox sphere for stars only with special UV mapping to, import as object, "combine" with existing skybox for desired results using custom shaders (not as difficult as it sounds, I have already done something very similar with the current background planets), this could give nice results but not worth it (at least to me) currently.

If you want to try one of these methods I can explain how.

Alpha Centauri wrote:3. I assume you have no way to fix the bug that causes the atmosphere to rotate in the wrong direction, and too slowly (the ground rotates faster than the atmosphere, which is ridiculous)
Arguably an "artistic choice" since this would have been set by someone in Kerb deliberately...but anyway, another thing I investigated at some point. Yeah I think this can be changed:

- In "\Models\Planets\Multi_Planet_Surface.fx" (the shader that handles the colony/planet rendering). Written in HLSL, a C like shader scripting language.
- Lines 11 - 13:

Code: Select all

half4x4 TextureTransform_Atmosphere : TEXTURETRANSFORM0PARAM; //TextureTransform0Param;
half4x4 TextureTransform_Noise      : TEXTURETRANSFORM1PARAM;
half4x4 TextureTransform2Param      : TEXTURETRANSFORM2PARAM; // PlanetShift
These define matrices for texture transforms and AFAIK are passed in from sots engine.
- lines 116 - 118:

Code: Select all

    half4 cloudPos = half4( IN.texCoordDiffuse.x, IN.texCoordDiffuse.y, 0, 1 );
    cloudPos = mul( cloudPos, TextureTransform_Atmosphere );
    OUT.cloudTexCoord = cloudPos.xy;
Describes some code using the matrices to modify the textures' UV coordinates ("spin the planet"), OUT is the struct that is passed as return variable for the vertexOutput function, and IN is the input parameter for the function. Its hard to say what exactly is going on as shaders are part-hardcoded, part-embedded and all-confusing (unless you have source code for engine) but it looks like you can add some additional code to slow or reverse the UV spin here.
- Not sure how hot your linear algebra is but you may need some matrix transforms to get it right, this line "cloudPos = mul( cloudPos, TextureTransform_Atmosphere );" specificly. Removing will probably cancel spin, and another bit of code may get what you want. :googly:

Alpha Centauri
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Alpha Centauri » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:59 pm

Seems like it should be possible to increase the speed of the clouds if there are matrix manipulators - the ability to increase the rotational factor - though I have no idea how that would be encoded in a 3D matrix. It's not a slew, scale, or translation...

I'll play around with it and see what I find.

#3 looks the most like my memory of it - it was very green. But you're right, it could have been a Tarka planet (which can also be very green), and I'm just misremembering it as a Morrigi world.

Looking forward to seeing your changes!

Thanks, mostly I wanted a sense of what's involved for the planetary textures - but all of that sounds like more than I want to do. I'm okay with coding, and I can do the bare minimum edits with a 2D paint tool - but I'm clearly out of my depth for what you're describing. Plus - you've already made a bunch of excellent ones! :)

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:01 am

Alpha Centauri wrote:Seems like it should be possible to increase the speed of the clouds if there are matrix manipulators - the ability to increase the rotational factor - though I have no idea how that would be encoded in a 3D matrix. It's not a slew, scale, or translation...
Its a 4x4 matrix, very common in 3D apps as it is an efficient way to store and maipulate 3D position, rotation and scale (usually in the form [pos.x, pos.y, pos.z, 0, rot.x, rot.y, rot.z, 0, sca.x, sca.y, sca.z, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1]). In this specific case we only use the pos.x and pos.y for the atmosphere texture U and V coords output (see "OUT.cloudTexCoord = cloudPos.xy;"). But the matrix transform is still done using the 4x4 for convenience and consistence it seems (See "cloudPos = mul( cloudPos, TextureTransform_Atmosphere );"). My graphics card exploded last week, but I ran a quick test and seemed to reverse the spin:

Code: Select all

    half4 cloudPos = half4( -IN.texCoordDiffuse.x, IN.texCoordDiffuse.y, 0, 1 );
    cloudPos = mul( cloudPos, TextureTransform_Atmosphere );
    OUT.cloudTexCoord = cloudPos.xy;
You will need to insert some clever multipliers to increase the speed though, given any constant variables will only offset the position, not the rate of change.

Alpha Centauri wrote:#3 looks the most like my memory of it - it was very green. But you're right, it could have been a Tarka planet (which can also be very green), and I'm just misremembering it as a Morrigi world.

Looking forward to seeing your changes!
Very possible it was fixed, keep an eye out for it once the new version comes out :)

Alpha Centauri wrote:Thanks, mostly I wanted a sense of what's involved for the planetary textures - but all of that sounds like more than I want to do. I'm okay with coding, and I can do the bare minimum edits with a 2D paint tool - but I'm clearly out of my depth for what you're describing.
Out of all the skill domains for modding (modeling, coding, texturing, effects, shaders, gameplay) I found texturing the easiest and most intuitive, also the software (GIMP) the easiest to use (compared to MAX, Visual Studio, even Apollo, etc). I'm no artist by any means but its easy to get good results and do what you envision. Also the plugins help alot (for example the 2nd Morrigi texture in the set of 4 posted above was only slightly recoloured but otherwise generated completely using LunarCell. Looks quite similar to the others which are stock hey :) ). Just sayin its not as hard as it seems ;p

Thorsz
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Thorsz » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:23 pm

Trouble installing Hi Rez Planets. I can download the 7z files, rename them but I get an error on the 2nd file when trying to open with 7z. Also I can see the files of the first download, but can't extract them. Little help please? thanks.

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:47 pm

Are you not maybe running into the same issue as this guy?

Alpha Centauri
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Alpha Centauri » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:21 pm

R2ical - here's a planet texture with a seam issue:
Image
Hiver well-developed world

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:01 am

Ahh yes, the atmosphere texture had some failed seemage. Fixed and thnx!

lifehole
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by lifehole » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:52 pm

Hey uh, using this mod in COMBINED MOD (will post there too) I get purple source-esque missing textures on planets in battles? What do? I mounted it above the other files.

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R2dical
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by R2dical » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:42 pm

lifehole wrote:Hey uh, using this mod in COMBINED MOD (will post there too) I get purple source-esque missing textures on planets in battles? What do? I mounted it above the other files.
Is that the same things as this? There was a fix mentioned a few posts down.

ColonelSandersLite
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:54 am

Found a bug. When playing hiver, the poor planets are covered by a pink and black X in tactical combat.

Cause:
PlanetResources.script (and variants)
Combat_Atmosphere "Models/PlanetsHiver//Hiver_Atmosphere_Poor.dds"

Should be:
Combat_Atmosphere "Models/Planets/Hiver/Hiver_Atmosphere_Poor.dds"



Aside from this, I've been playing this lately with your retextures and I really like them.

Alpha Centauri
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Alpha Centauri » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:12 pm

Yes, many thanks for these textures! I've been playing for ages with them, and love the face-lift they offer.

Too bad that the barren worlds have to be swapped out with a batch file to rotate through the many excellent ones you've made.

Also - is there an updated download for the fixed seam issues? I don't recall ever updating from that? Or did you update your files long ago and maybe I'm just forgetting getting them?

Steel_Wind
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Re: Hi-res Skybox/Planets/Solar Systems mod

Post by Steel_Wind » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:00 am

Is it just me, or is MediaFire deliberately preventing the download of the first file (V 3.0 of the Skybox) from their server?

This is sooooooooooo frustrating.

[Finally Got it! Phew!]

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