Ultimate space simulation software

 
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Gnargenox
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

10 Jan 2017 14:14

Before falling asleep last night I had a great idea, or so it seemed at the time. I was thinking about the ages of planets and how plate tectonics evolve over huge lengths of time, just like Pangea evolved to the continents on Earth today. I might visit a certain rocky planet again, years later, yet it has not developed as it would have in the natural world. Since I've been playing around with converting videos to gifs, I thought it would be cool if the texture maps for the planets were actually moving pictures rather than static, that could be used to create the 3D mountains and rivers and such, but over millions of years they would spread apart or sublimate under one another just like on Earth. Of course you'd need data about how plate tectonics create the surface of a globe, how that relates to mountain formation, where they spread apart as great cracks in the globe, etc. It would be hyper-realistic and would add a large amount of realism to an near perfect program already. However, I realized since you're able to land on every object in the game, using anything but static pictures would require re-writing the entire engine. Or it could be as easy as generating a gif rather than a jpg. The gif wouldn't be actually used directly as the texture map, it would be to the side and based on the year a certain frame from the gif would be used to substitute the jpg texture map. Just a random sleepy thought.

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DoctorOfSpace
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

10 Jan 2017 16:41

The amount of VRAM required to load all those frames would be absurdly huge.  Even if it isn't a gif being loaded for the terrain map, simply applying what you suggest would still be outside the scope of feasibility.
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Destructor1701
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

10 Jan 2017 16:46

Nifty gifs, though.
 
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spaceguy
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

10 Jan 2017 22:28

Gnargenox wrote:
Before falling asleep last night I had a great idea, or so it seemed at the time. I was thinking about the ages of planets and how plate tectonics evolve over huge lengths of time, just like Pangea evolved to the continents on Earth today. I might visit a certain rocky planet again, years later, yet it has not developed as it would have in the natural world. Since I've been playing around with converting videos to gifs, I thought it would be cool if the texture maps for the planets were actually moving pictures rather than static, that could be used to create the 3D mountains and rivers and such, but over millions of years they would spread apart or sublimate under one another just like on Earth. Of course you'd need data about how plate tectonics create the surface of a globe, how that relates to mountain formation, where they spread apart as great cracks in the globe, etc. It would be hyper-realistic and would add a large amount of realism to an near perfect program already. However, I realized since you're able to land on every object in the game, using anything but static pictures would require re-writing the entire engine. Or it could be as easy as generating a gif rather than a jpg. The gif wouldn't be actually used directly as the texture map, it would be to the side and based on the year a certain frame from the gif would be used to substitute the jpg texture map. Just a random sleepy thought.

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Found a very good simulation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi4b45tMEPE
 
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Gnargenox
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

11 Jan 2017 15:17

I can imagine accessing a file every time you move the mouse to compare the age of a planet to which frame from a gif to use in a certain map texture can compound access and computation time to a point it becomes too sluggish for use.

I've seen "Bump" maps used to create the illusion of shadows from mountains on a flat texture stretched on a globe in another space simulation program called Celestia. They are simply grey-scale bitmaps. Even smaller file sizes using a grey bmp wouldn't help enough with speed. Clouds in Space Engine are a whole-nother image but they don't seem static at all. I'm not sure how that works and if it could be used in a similar fashion as I suggested in the OP.

Either way, there are plenty of other things to explore in Space Engine!

Thanks Destructor1701, I made them all on my phone!

Cool spaceguy! That's the realism I'm talking about!
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

12 Feb 2017 07:37

I planning to implement plate tectonics simulation in future. Obviously, full planet must be simulated, so resolution of that simulation must be limited. Then terrain engine must take the simulated map as a base level and generate procedural hi-resolution elevation maps, post-process them with an erosion argorithms, then generate a color texture based on elevation, surface material and local climate, taken from a global model. All this are fairly complex system, and implementation of this will take years (probably). But it is possible to keep all these in real-time, at least planet loading time will be not much greater than in current version of SE.
 
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Gnargenox
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

14 Feb 2017 17:09

I love how you always have a solution to making my dreams a reality! I can't think of a better reason to help fund this project!
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spaceguy
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Plate Tectonics as Gifs

02 Mar 2017 15:55

here's an active simulation for the browser
http://davidson16807.github.io/tectonics.js/

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