Clouds

A quieter space for design discussion of long-term projects
nozmajner
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Re: Clouds

Post by nozmajner » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:42 pm

Looks very nice!

DraQ
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Re: Clouds

Post by DraQ » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:50 pm

Could we borrow a page from Space Engine and go for wrinkled/multiple layers? Maybe even rotating cloud vortices?
Wrinkly sheet is massive improvement over flat one and looks pretty suggestive up until you're actually crossing it.

(Actually, we could borrow a lot of pages from SE because it does a lot of immensely cool things with procedural generation Pioneer doesn't, but could.)

FluffyFreak
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Re: Clouds

Post by FluffyFreak » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:11 pm

That is pretty much the first working image I got out of it using a hacked Gas Giant shader.

So it's not final, it's a "first triangle" moment ;)

There's still lighting (day/night), shading (some kind of BDRF function?), fading (don't draw it when you're close/in it), layers (draw multiple layers of clouds)... and of course generating it procedurally from the planet data itself and then updating it in realtime... which might be tricky.

DraQ
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Re: Clouds

Post by DraQ » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:04 pm

FluffyFreak wrote:That is pretty much the first working image I got out of it using a hacked Gas Giant shader.

So it's not final, it's a "first triangle" moment ;)

There's still lighting (day/night), shading (some kind of BDRF function?), fading (don't draw it when you're close/in it), layers (draw multiple layers of clouds)... and of course generating it procedurally from the planet data itself and then updating it in realtime... which might be tricky.
Sure, I'm just trying to sketch out how it might go.

It would be interesting to partially tie cloud generation to geographical features, like mountains and landmasses.
Also, another page to borrow from SE - climate system being affected by tidal lock - SE has cloud pattern and icecaps dependent on tidal lock - on locked planets you have a massive sunward storm system and an icecap occupying the dark side, it also seems to have Venus-like cloud pattern on slowly rotating planets.

Seriously, SE should be pretty much mandatory "reading material" when it comes to Pioneer development - apart from it's impressive planetary surfaces which will be difficult to match without having a peek at the actual code there are many features it does much better than Pioneer that are pretty obvious once you see them in game.

impaktor
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Re: Clouds

Post by impaktor » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:11 pm

Perhaps worth pointing out at this time that there is exactly one single person working on cloud generation on his free time.

FluffyFreak
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Re: Clouds

Post by FluffyFreak » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:53 pm

I do look at SpaceEngine for inspiration sometimes, as well as Infinity, No Man's Sky and many others.
However, there is a bit of a talent & resource gap, i.e. They have more talent and/or more developers!

I'll do my best but what I really like is when I reach my limit, then someone comes along and takes it a bit further. I don't mind having my work superceded like that! ;)

DraQ
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Re: Clouds

Post by DraQ » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't SE developed by one (if immensely talented) guy?

FluffyFreak
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Re: Clouds

Post by FluffyFreak » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:29 pm

Yup, that's the "talent" gap ;)

Seriously have you read some of his blog posts?
A) He finds time to code AND blog!?!
B) I can't understand half of what he's one about even when he's not discussing maths!

Don't get me wrong I would very much like to implement some of the things he does, and I do try, but that guy is a lot better at it than I am.

impaktor
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Re: Clouds

Post by impaktor » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:32 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't SE developed by one (if immensely talented) guy?
Yeah, and Limit Theory is also a one man show of blazing talent.

DraQ
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Re: Clouds

Post by DraQ » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:49 pm

The thing with SE is that while extremely impressive in many places it's just a case of approaching things from the right direction.

Take universe generation, for example. Pioneer seems to be doing it mostly flat - we seem to just be generating galaxy sector by sector.
Meanwhile SE seems to opt for more layered, hierarchical approach which makes more sense, allowing for more structured universe and making a lot of stuff much easier.

Say we change our generation so that we have a number of layers of overlapping sectors, with different granularity, each covering a subset of objects. We could have fine grained sectors containing only faint red and brown dwarfs and other such stuff, coarser ones with more Sun-like stars overlapping them, Really coarse ones with all those supergiants and large scale structures like nebulae and clusters and so on.

What's the benefit? We could for example selectively disallow procedural bright stars in Sol's neighbourhood, while at the same time allowing procedural brown dwarfs to occur pretty close.
We could have star chart hide less important objects when zooming out.
We could have a sane way of generating backdrop when jumping into a system.

(coarse sectors should have some probability of generating faint system that is politically/economically/culturally or scientifically important).

Hierarchical generation could also be a thing for planets - generate a number of large cells covering planet's surface and dropping a number of contextually appropriate increasingly finer details on top. This includes starports and other settlements. Some multi-pass process could also be nice, for example you can have a large crater wrecking some pre-existing geography IRL.

Some of the remaining stuff IE does much better is just eyecandy we could (and should) have like gravitational lensing visuals or corona effect around bright sources of light.

In many ways we have much easier job - for example we don't really need contiguous space spanning the entire galaxy.

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