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Planetary textures, website, bump maps, SDD..

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On the website:

As you have noticed, yesterday the website has been moved to a new server with a VPS ( virtual private server ). This will allow me to monitor resource usage ( cpu usage, memory usage, etc.. ) and should hopefully give a slight performance boost ( website should be more responsive ). Time will tell if it makes a real difference.

On the SDD:

The new Ships Design Doc ( which should really be renamed to something else, as it's no longer specific to ships ) is still in the works. It takes a lot of time, but i usually write 1 or 2 pages every day. With a bit of luck, it should be done "soon".

Bump maps:

A few days ago I released a new version of the ASEToBin tool, to visualize models in the I-Novae engine. The GUI has been changed for a new panel interface; it is now possible to put the viewport in full screen, and it now works with wide fonts.

I noticed something strange when playing with Betelgeuze's planetary textures and the new Istari textures. There was a lot of "blocky" artifacts similar to jpeg artifacts, especially with specular lighting shaders, but the original textures were perfect. I spent a few hours to track the "problem", only to realize that the artifacts were coming from normal maps automatic compression, that was left enabled in the shaders. Changing a value from "true" to "false" fixed the quality problem. See this thread to compare screenshots before/after.

Planetary textures:

Betelgeuze is working on improving his textures for the planetary terrain engine. With the "fixed" bump mapping, it's looking pretty nice.. here are some examples:

From top to bottom:
Hephaestian1 (note: there's already a new version of this texture, but i lost it)

Just keep in mind that those are the "base" textures, that later get combined with procedural noise by the terrain engine. A single pixel of the terrain can be a combination of 6 of those "base" textures.
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So these textures are not generate proceduraly? whats the point about having base textures instead of proceduraly generates base textures (like in 4kbs demos)?

Glad to see so many new updates :)

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tamat: Well, the procedural stuff has got to be based on *something* :)
No matter how appealing it might seem to procedurally generate absolutely everything, there has to be a level of detail where you have to stop. And remember that these textures will all be combined into one, so there you have your "procedural" :P

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