Blue shadows on planets

Freeform discussion about anything related to modding Transcendence.
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alterecco
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Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:02 pm

Throw it up on some sharing service. Dropbox is a good one.
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LordSutekh
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Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:40 pm

Yeah... now that it's not so late at night I realized that. :oops:

Here's the 1-bit mask
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And here's the 8-bit
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Which, apparently, imageshack decided to convert to a .png

george moromisato
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Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:45 pm

Thanks. I believe I've fixed the problem in 1.08e (available now).

As I said, the engine uses black (0x0000) to tell when to make an image transparent. This is an optimization so the engine doesn't have to carry around the mask after load time. Of course, if the image needs to use black, the engine changes the color to a slightly different color (0x0001).

Unfortunately, though this is a subtle difference, on some monitors (including mine) the difference between black and slightly blue is very noticeable.

I've changed the code so that the engine now uses a different color, a bright shade of purple (0xfc1f), as the "transparent color". This means that black can be painted as black. If you ever use 0xfc1f in your image, it will be transmuted to a slightly different value, but this will be unnoticeable.

Try it and let me know.

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LordSutekh
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:35 am

I can't help but feel that changing the game code is somehow cheating :D . Seriously though, thank you George.

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alterecco
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:43 pm

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Wolfy
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Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:51 pm

I usually render with another light above the model, where the camera is; its dim, and so still results in a nice contrast for the space env., but it prevents pure-black in the shadows of the model which look bad (as you can't tell where the ship ends and space begins) - with the extremely dim but still present lighting of the stars, galaxies and local system bodies, there is going to be some small amount of light; just look at earth's moon; it isn't pure black on the side in shadow; you can still see a pretty visible outline that is just a very dark grey.

(interestingly, the moon's average albedo is 8% iirc, making it one of the darkest bodies in the solar system to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium)
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LordSutekh
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:32 am

I usually render with at least two lights as well. And I absolutely agree with you about the black for items, ships, forums, and San Francisco streets. But for planets I have to disagree. Space is extreme. Extreme temperatures, extreme radiation, and, yes, extreme darkness. One look at the night sky should establish that this:

Image

is more realistic than this:

Image

Starlight from distant stars just isn't that bright. It also depends on a planets albedo. A gas giant with a thick atmosphere usually has more albedo than an airless rock. Gas giants I render with little to no shadow. Cratered airless moons not so much.

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christian
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:01 pm

and about habited planets?
...Lights from cities could be viewed from space...Did you make any planet such as our own Earth? (with great cities...and nuclear explosion to illuminate the sky...)

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Atarlost
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:32 pm

LordSutekh wrote:I usually render with at least two lights as well. And I absolutely agree with you about the black for items, ships, forums, and San Francisco streets. But for planets I have to disagree. Space is extreme. Extreme temperatures, extreme radiation, and, yes, extreme darkness. One look at the night sky should establish that this:

Image

is more realistic than this:

Image

Starlight from distant stars just isn't that bright. It also depends on a planets albedo. A gas giant with a thick atmosphere usually has more albedo than an airless rock. Gas giants I render with little to no shadow. Cratered airless moons not so much.
Look up at our own cratered, airless moon some time. It looks more like the latter. I think it's more grey than blue, but it's not black.
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digdug
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:34 pm

Shadowed parts of our Moon are actually illuminated a little, as Atarlost said. Light reflected from the Moon reaches Earth, then part of it is reflected back to the Moon, illuminating the part in shadows that would be otherwise pitch black.

However reality is reality, and graphics art in a 2D game is something different. I much more prefer the pitch back rendered moon.
Vanilla planets and moons are actually nearly completely black in the bottom right corner of the image. I would like to see that moon with the right illumination angle to decide :D

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Wolfy
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Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:48 pm

I prefer the pitch black to the pitch blue, but would have just rendered it with extra lighting.
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alterecco
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Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:51 pm

Yeah, the pitch black one does look better. But perhaps that is because the blue one just looks weird :)
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Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:54 pm

I have to say, and I don't think I will get a whole lot of disagreement, that you should be able to see the whole outline of the moon or planet as long as there is something orbiting it. As you should probably know, George takes astral photograhy and lo he's also taken shots of the moon.
Here's what it does look like.
http://neurohack.com/Astrophotography/TheMoon.html
You can clearly see the outline. I took a sample of the "black" area in paint and it came up with a really dark blue.
hue 160, lum 11, red 12, green 12, blue 12.
Of course the color can merely be arbitrary since it's an image created from a machine but it's obvious that you can see it no matter the color.
Although it's a composit image and the dark side is significantly brighter than the image should be, the human eye can still see the dark area on a clear night.
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