Tau Ceti Starscape

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Tau Ceti Starscape

Post Aug 22nd '17, 16:51

I'm a real stickler for realism, so I made a starscape showing the stars as they would appear in the Tau Ceti system on July 3, 2794 at 0839 UTC.

Using data on the planets known to be orbiting Tau Ceti, I made a few tweaks within real parameters to make things more comfy for our Martian colonists and entered it into Celestia. Given the large size of Tau Ceti's planets and lack of a Jupiter, I decided to max out the size of planet E (which is in the most habitable orbit) and split it into a small ice(water?) giant with a large moon on which to put the colony. It's like Uranus, execpt smaller, warmer, and not sideways. It looks like a large green moon with rings from the Marathon's vantage point.

The huge blue planet is the colony moon, 1300 km below. I tried to put the Marathon in as high an orbit as possible while still being close enough to be an easily reached space station.

I've uploaded two versions to Simplici7y, a 2048x1080 version and a 8192x4320 version. The 2048 version has a neat texuture I made a month or two ago for the Marathon. It's actually a shot of Phobos, but Deimos photos are harder to come by. The 8192 version - and yes it does work! - has crystal-clear stars and an easily visible Sol (if you know where to look) but no cratery texture, just a badly-wrapped plasma render.

Having this now really makes me wish Aleph One could wrap landscapes only once. It's a bit weird seeing the moon out two directions, but, I still think it's worth it.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm not making huge changes to the scene, as it was an extemely time-consuming pain to stitch together the 17 Celestia screenshots with Hugin. But, I could retexture the Marathon or maybe even the moon, or play with the (already supersaturated) colours of the Milky Way. Not that I have time right now, classes started yesterday. I wanted to kick this one project out the door before I dive into study, but I might make another version at some point.

http://simplici7y.com/items/marathon-over-tau-ceti-e-i-landscape-texture-2048
http://simplici7y.com/items/marathon-over-tau-ceti-e-i-landscape-texture

EDIT
I should have put this in Artwork, sorry.
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ravenshining

Post Aug 22nd '17, 17:18

This is an awesome idea.

FYI it is possible to make Aleph One wrap landscapes only once. I used it for all the landscapes in Eternal, and I'm pretty sure I learned the trick from the Rubicon team. I don't remember how it's done off the top of my head (I think it's just some value that needs to be changed in MML, and then you make the textures twice as wide), but you could look in the Eternal files and figure it our pretty easily I bet.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 23rd '17, 02:48

Oh, I see that now! Thank you! I never noticed that in Rubicon - the only level I've played where I can remember getting a good panoramic view of the landscape is Breathing Nothing at All, and being a vacuum level I tend not to idle about enjoying the scenery. Pity, I see in the data files that they put a lot of work into creating a variety of beautiful landscapes.

Similarly, I put a lot of time and effort making a detailed 4096x2048 moon texture for the planet, only to have it come out all blurry up close after Celestia applied clouds and atmosphere.

If you'd like to visit the Marathon yourself in Celestia, the following code should work if you save it as TAU_Cet.ssc in your extras folder. I've commented out my custom textures and put in lines for generic ones where possible. With the Bianca texture under clouds, you may find that Tau Ceti E-I looks quite a lot like the terminal picture on Waterloo Waterpark.

Spoiler:
Code: Select all
"TAU Cet b" "TAU Cet"   # using lower limit of mass
{
   Class         "planet"
   Texture         "mercury.*"
   Radius         6700      
   EllipticalOrbit {
      Period      0.038235      # 13.965 days
      SemiMajorAxis   0.105
      Inclination   1
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      335.16         # tidally locked
   }
   Rings {
      Inner   8000  # lots of debris in the Tau Ceti system
      Outer   12000
      Texture "neptune_rings.png"
   }
}

"TAU Cet c" "TAU Cet"   # using lower limit of mass
{
   Class         "planet"
   Texture         "ganymede.*"
   Radius         7525      
   EllipticalOrbit {
      Period      0.96817      # 35.362 days
      SemiMajorAxis   0.195
            Inclination   2
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      848.688
   }
   Rings {
      Inner   9000  # lots of debris in the Tau Ceti system
      Outer   14000
      Texture "neptune_rings.png"
   }
}

"TAU Cet d" "TAU Cet"   # using lower limit of mass
{
   Class         "planet"
   Texture         "venuslike.*"
   NightTexture      "venuslikenight.*"
   Radius         7809      
   EllipticalOrbit {
      Period      0.25766      # 94.11 days
      SemiMajorAxis   0.374
            Inclination   3
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      1505.76
   }
      Rings {
      Inner   9000  # lots of debris in the Tau Ceti system
      Outer   14000
      Texture "neptune_rings.png"
   }
}

"TAU Cet e" "TAU Cet"   # 6 earth-mass, uranus-like
{
   Class         "planet"
   Texture         "exo-class5.*"
   Radius         18331      
   Atmosphere {
      Height   360
      Lower [ 0.44 0.53 0.51 ]
      Upper [ 0.47 0.58 0.49 ]
      Sky [ 0.53 0.62 0.61 ]
      Sunset [ 1.0 1.0 0.2 ]
   }
   HazeColor [ 0.47 0.53 0.51 ]
   HazeDensity 1
   EllipticalOrbit {
      Period      0.46665      # 170.44 days (upper limit)
      SemiMajorAxis   0.582         # (upper limit, deepest into habitable zone)
            Inclination   4
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      32         # wild guess
   }
   Rings {
      Inner   25000  # lots of debris in the Tau Ceti system
      Outer   75000
      Texture "uranus-rings.png"
   }
   Albedo         0.350
}

"TAU Cet eI" "TAU Cet/TAU Cet e"    # UESC colony 0.4 earth-mass
{
   Class         "moon"
   Texture         "bianca.*"
   #Texture         "tauceteIland.*"
   #BumpMap         "tauceteIbump.*"
   #NightTexture      "tauceteInight.*"
   #SpecularColor [ 0.75 0.8 0.85 ]
   #SpecularPower 25.0
   #SpecularTexture      "tauceteIspec.*"
   Radius         4646
   Atmosphere {
      Height 40
      Lower [ 0.43 0.52 0.65 ]
      Upper [ 0.26 0.47 0.84 ]
      Sky [ 0.40 0.6 1.0 ]
      Sunset [ 1.0 0.6 0.2 ]

      CloudHeight 7
      CloudSpeed 120
      #CloudMap "tauceteIclouds.*"
      CloudMap "earth-clouds.*"
      CloudShadowDepth 1.0

      Mie 0.001
      MieAsymmetry -0.25
      Rayleigh [ 0.001 0.0025 0.006 ]
      MieScaleHeight 12
   }
   EllipticalOrbit {
      SemiMajorAxis   448794
      Period      14.5
      Inclination   20
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      28
   }
   Albedo         0.337
}

"UESC Marathon" "TAU Cet/TAU Cet e/TAU Cet eI"
{
   Class      "spacecraft"
   #Radius 6.2       # mean radius for spheres
        Radius 7.6         # max radius for meshes
   # Mesh       "deimos.3ds"
   #Texture      "deimos_albedo.*"
   #NormapMap   "deimos_normal.*"
   MeshCenter [ -0.299 -0.284 0.369 ]
   Mesh       "deimos.cmod"
   Texture      "deimos.*"

   EllipticalOrbit
   {
      Period            0.083333    # low-medium, 2 hours
      SemiMajorAxis    5939         
      Inclination       0      
   #   AscendingNode   318.370
   #   ArgOfPericenter 358.233
   #   MeanAnomaly     158.554
   }
   
   BodyFrame { EquatorJ2000 {} }
   
   UniformRotation {
      Period      2   #tidally locked = cruising
      }
   Albedo         0.068
}
"TAU Cet f" "TAU Cet"   # 10.1 Earth-mass (upper limit) gas planet
{
   Class         "planet"
   Texture         "exo-class2.*"
   Radius         27288      
   EllipticalOrbit {
      Period      1.7577      # 642 days
      SemiMajorAxis   1.35         # a, in AU (for planets) or in km (for satellites)
            Inclination   5
   }
   UniformRotation {
      Period      18.22         #wild guess
   }
   Rings {
      Inner   33000  # lots of debris in the Tau Ceti system
      Outer   90000
      Texture "saturn-rings.png"
   }
}

Note that all the planets have rings! Tau Ceti is supposed to be a very dirty, debris-ridden system so that's my way of representing that. Also, I made Tau Ceti F a small Saturn-like planet in the hopes of diverting asteroid strikes on Tau Ceti E-I. The planets are all so close together, you can see them all in the sky of the colony in the daytime when they're aligned right.


So, for the next revision I'll have to make this a plugin with an mml file, and re-proportion the landscape accordingly. The GIMP file the DDS are derived from is (a half-gigabyte) 9498x4378, so it's been stretched in the Simplici7y DDs.
User avatar

ravenshining

Post Aug 23rd '17, 13:47

Wouldn't Celestia use our Tau Ceti (12 ly away) to show the positions of stars, rather than the one in Marathon's universe?

I mention it only because you're a stickler for realism.
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Aug 23rd '17, 21:05

treellama wrote:Wouldn't Celestia use our Tau Ceti (12 ly away)

What universe do you live in!?
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Wrkncacnter

Post Aug 23rd '17, 22:17

treellama wrote:Wouldn't Celestia use our Tau Ceti (12 ly away) to show the positions of stars, rather than the one in Marathon's universe?

I mention it only because you're a stickler for realism.


Are we trusting the word of a damaged AI whose cohorts are deceptive, manipulative, and Rampant? Making the calculation, however small, would likely have been Tycho's job. Is Leela trusting Tycho with the math? Or having to write her own code to deal with it as she is to recover Durandal's functions? Not to mention...

WARNING: CORE OS (AF44+2DEB) MOD DATE LATER THAN CURRENT
DATE/TIME


ff~~x~f~sx~~
%%%here was nothing to be gained from hesitation
now%&^)}:>?~~~~~~~fxf~~~~~~~~~~f~~~~
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ravenshining

Post Sep 10th '17, 06:45

Version 2.0 released!

G4Sunbathing_0004.png


Changes:

- Now a plugin for Marathon 1
- Wraps around 360° only once!
- Retextured colony moon
- Ice giant now sports a texture lifted and enhanced from The Pfhor chapter screen
- One new moon visible high in the sky
- Low-resolution version bumped up to 4096 x 1536. At this resolution, it will not have to scale if you are playing at 1024x768. If you play in high resolution consider the 8096x3072 version.
- 8096x3072 version now sports the phobos texture.
- Fixed the bad stretching effect
- Separate backdrops for Marathon and Pfhor scoutship vantage points. The surface appears much further below when you are on the Pfhor ship.
- Many miscellaneous tweaks
- Pfhor scoutship moved to the Marathon backdrop, and it's sprite replaced with the slave transport.
- Marathon moved to the backdrop, and it's sprite replaced with a translucent Marathon logo.

About that last one. Because these backdrops show the Marathon's surface, it doesn't make sense to also see the Marathon floating above itself. Because it's location outside the Pfhor scoutship is consistently north-north-west, at first I tired mounting it's dish on the landscape, so the player would look for a view with the dish to exit. However, this is also visible from some windows that aren't exits, so I decided to create a sort of HUD-like object, a transluscent Marathon logo that would only be visible when Durandal is able to teleport you. This stays consistent with his instruction to look for a window from which you can see the Marathon.

A more consistent solution would be to create a whole new backdrop that's just stars, but I don't have the time to do that right now. Taking this from a bare texture to a playable plugin will have to do for now. Hope you enjoy!

http://simplici7y.com/items/marathon-over-tau-ceti-e-i-landscape-texture
http://simplici7y.com/items/marathon-over-tau-ceti-e-i-landscape-texture-2048
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ravenshining

Post Sep 10th '17, 13:51

Looking good! I'll give these a shot next time I can get M1 to cooperate.
welcome to the scene of the crash
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General-RADIX

Post Sep 11th '17, 02:21

Thanks! I'd love for this to work with M1A1, too, but M1A1 uses the same texture for both Marathon and Pfhor levels, and I'm not sure if it's possible to do a per-level replacement with an external script?

When I get around to rendering a new starfield that does not include the Marathon for the Pfhor levels, I'll use that for M1A1. Maybe next weekend I'll cheat and put a generic starfield in place of Deimos for that purpose until I have time to do it properly. I've already cheated it by altering the perspective: because you cannot look all the way up or down, I just cropped the panorama higher for the Pfhor texture than the properly centred Marathon texture.

If anyone knows of or wants to make a better Deimos texture at these resolutions, or has a better idea than using a floating transparent Marathon logo to indicate when Durandal can teleport you, do chime in.
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ravenshining

Post Sep 17th '17, 05:36

Version 3.0 released!

Pfhoraphobia_0002.png


Now there's a crude but unique surface landscape for Pfhor levels instead of a translated Marathon. Also, I've rotated the stars 180° for Pfhor levels (and fixed their vertical orientation) for better continuity with Marathon levels. Now that there's a Pfhor ship texture, I've removed the floating Marathon logo and put the Marathon sprite back. Since the MML code is already in there, I decided to double the sprite's resolution with a few filters while I was at it.

Importantly for Windows users there is no longer an "&" symbol in the name and the plugin UI name has been shortened. It also now starts with the word "Very" in your plugins list, so it both override's TTEP's starscape and doesn't look silly in the list.
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ravenshining


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