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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:06 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Core of the example below is not animated yet, just the corona.
Much better again. That's pretty much what I have in mind. Definitely like this best so far. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:24 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
...with speed halfed once again?
Sorry Vezzra, I misread your post. The example above was 1/2 speed. This one is 1/4 (too slow if you ask me):


Attachments:
yellow01_animation_black_very_slow.gif
yellow01_animation_black_very_slow.gif [ 982.87 KiB | Viewed 457 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:09 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
can you provide another example with speed halfed once again? If it's not too much work, just curious.
Core of the example below is not animated yet, just the corona.

<yellow2_black_small_slow.gif>


Outstanding work. 8)

I don't know what the other guys think about it, but if I find this one (only corona animation, no details in the core) is the most realistic rendering (yellow2_black_small_slow.gif). Animation speed is perfect.

On the other versions, the ripples in the core are little bit weird IMO, not looking like a star photosphere (even if it supposed to be seen through a spectral filter).

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:36 pm 
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I am liking these.

Another observation: if we're going to have some really nice art for the suns, can we move the default planet position down a bit? They're too high on unclaimed systems, with the extra info on production etc in a colonised system you can't see the sun thus this would all be pointless. You'd still need to be able to scroll them up a bit if there are a lot, obviously, but starting lower would be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Ouaz wrote:
On the other versions, the ripples in the core are little bit weird IMO, not looking like a star photosphere (even if it supposed to be seen through a spectral filter).
I don't think the suns need to look realistic. I think star = hot, powerful, mysterious and I try to convey that somehow. ;)

MatGB wrote:
... can we move the default planet position down a bit?
I think I have brought this up before, but (at some point in the future) I'd really like to see a redesign of the system panel / top portion of the sidepanel, so that the star is aligned with the planets.
Also, we have plenty information that could be shown there, as (sorted by empire) total of shields, defense, mines damage level; total of population, production, research (and later influence balance).


Attachments:
sidepanel system panel.jpg
sidepanel system panel.jpg [ 193.27 KiB | Viewed 428 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Seconding Ouaz in that I like the one on the bottom of the previous page the most. I think the animation speed is just right. Personally I don't care about how realistic it looks either, but I find the animated core to be too distracting. Since there aren't distinct moving shapes in the corona, there the animation is relaxing instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:27 pm 
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I'd be very reluctant to implement any sort of animated star image effect if it requires essentially playing a video with a substantial number of fairly-large animation frames. Better would be a relatively small number of component images / textures that can be rendered to appear to animate using rotations and variable transparency.


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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:59 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Better would be a relatively small number of component images / textures that can be rendered to appear to animate using rotations and variable transparency.
That sounds very elegant, but I have no clue how it would be achieved. Probably we'd need someone experienced with shader programming?
What I could do is provide a static core image and an animated corona that can be combined in game, which would probably decrease the file size somewhat.

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:03 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Probably we'd need someone experienced with shader programming?
Probably not necessary, but probably also not overly difficult if needed or preferable.


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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:51 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
The example above was 1/2 speed. This one is 1/4 (too slow if you ask me):
Ah, ok. Well, I like the 1/4 speed one better than the 1/2 speed one. But the example I still like best is the one where only the corona has been animated, I've to admit I share Ouaz' and wheals' sentiments in that regard. These slightly "flickering" animation of the star body just looks a bit weird (which, btw, has nothing to do with how "realistic" I feel it is, it's just weird and distracting to look at). I don't know how to get that right - if the effect is strong enough to be clearly noticed, it's kind of weird and distracting, if you reduce the effect to the point that it's barely noticable, why have it in the first place?

But that's of course a matter of personal preference.


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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:53 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
MatGB wrote:
... can we move the default planet position down a bit?
I think I have brought this up before, but (at some point in the future) I'd really like to see a redesign of the system panel / top portion of the sidepanel, so that the star is aligned with the planets.
Also, we have plenty information that could be shown there, as (sorted by empire) total of shields, defense, mines damage level; total of population, production, research (and later influence balance).
Sounds like a good idea, and I also like your mockup. I too always thought it's a pity we currently see so little of the star images.


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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
These slightly "flickering" animation of the star body just looks a bit weird (which, btw, has nothing to do with how "realistic" I feel it is, it's just weird and distracting to look at).
I'm good with having only the corona animated; I thought the animated core looked like hot, flickering air, but I agree that it also makes the whole image fidgety.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
I'd be very reluctant to implement any sort of animated star image effect if it requires essentially playing a video with a substantial number of fairly-large animation frames. Better would be a relatively small number of component images / textures that can be rendered to appear to animate using rotations and variable transparency.
I achieved the corona animation using an animated layer mask (with 20 frames) on the static corona image. If we apply the layer mask to the corona images in game, and use the same layer mask frames for all the stars, that would mean 20 layer images + no. of suns * 2 (corona image, core image). Would you find that elegant/efficient enough?
Alternatively, I can try to experiment with "rotations and variable transparency". (Maybe a rotating spiral image as layer mask.) But I quite like how coronas look now.

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:39 am 
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The Silent One wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
I'd be very reluctant to implement any sort of animated star image effect if it requires essentially playing a video with a substantial number of fairly-large animation frames. Better would be a relatively small number of component images / textures that can be rendered to appear to animate using rotations and variable transparency.
I achieved the corona animation using an animated layer mask (with 20 frames) on the static corona image. If we apply the layer mask to the corona images in game, and use the same layer mask frames for all the stars, that would mean 20 layer images + no. of suns * 2 (corona image, core image). Would you find that elegant/efficient enough?
Alternatively, I can try to experiment with "rotations and variable transparency". (Maybe a rotating spiral image as layer mask.) But I quite like how coronas look now.


I agree with Geoff here, loading more textures will be problematic. Even if I like the idea of an animated sun I think we should focus for now just on a static image. I think the best we can do is to implement the the heat haze inside a post processing refraction shader, that does essentially the same as this radial wave filter of gimp in real time. Then there would be no need for additional resources beside the base sun texture.


Edit: For future reference (primarily for myself): http://vfxmike.blogspot.de/2015/02/25d-sun.html

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Better would be a relatively small number of component images / textures that can be rendered to appear to animate using rotations and variable transparency.
Below is an example of a combination of core and a corona image, using two layer masks on the corona with one being rotated CW and the other CCW. Rotation is ofc too fast, (and the jump wouldn't be there in game,) just to show the idea.

adrian_broher wrote:
I agree with Geoff here, loading more textures will be problematic. Even if I like the idea of an animated sun I think we should focus for now just on a static image.
Fine by me. Weren't you the one encouraging me to try out animated suns in the first place? :wink:

adrian_broher wrote:
Edit: For future reference (primarily for myself): http://vfxmike.blogspot.de/2015/02/25d-sun.html
That looks totally awesome...!


Attachments:
animation01d.gif
animation01d.gif [ 656.98 KiB | Viewed 336 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sidepanel stars
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:03 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Fine by me. Weren't you the one encouraging me to try out animated suns in the first place? :wink:


Yeah, in a spur of a moment. Sorry for wasting your time with the request but think of the whole idea as prototyping and brainstorming. People now have some general idea how things can look like, what are the possible implementation limitations and ways to implement this and also there is some consensus on how things should not look like.

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