I didn't mean to imply that the previous sets are flawless. They are fast modifications of your initial set, just trying to play with different color harmonies. I had a closer look at the new ones in-game and they seem much brighter than in your screenshots for some reason, which I like.
The galaxy i used for the screenshots is a 300 star, irregular, young galaxy. There's a lot of space between the stars, and so the overall effect is less bright than the center of a large spiral galaxy for instance.
The aqua one to some degree, but especially the red set tends to fight with, and even wash out the empire colors and/or star colors.
Those are valid points in theory, but I don't think they aply. I never had the feeling that the gas backgrounds fight with any forground elements. Could you provide examples, perhaps?
This is what i'm talking about, and am trying to avoid. In dense parts of the galaxy the red is approximately as bright and as saturated as an empire color of medium brightness.
red.jpg [ 84.36 KiB | Viewed 1221 times ]
Though in fairness, my new color sets don't work well as i want with the darkest empire colors. Something needs to be adjusted.
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There is one highly convoluted sprite, and three highly blurred blobs with absolutely no internal detail. They don't mesh well, and there's no intermediate levels of detail.
Because it's not a necessity. The game does the blending and mixing for us.
Only when the stars are close together. In the red screenshot in my previous post there's little "blending and mixing" happening, just two rather different types of gas graphics jumbled together.
What i'd like to experiment with next is the inclusion of sprites that combine very convoluted areas and large "smooth" areas.
Let's see how everything looks with the changes Geoff made lately.
Certainly tweaking the minimum star distance and the way gas sprites are sized will change what works and what doesn't.