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Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Questions and discussion about enhancing and populating the FlightGear world.

Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:07 pm

We can see stars up to mag 6-7, let's put them there.


To say this bluntly, to just add visible stars into the sky without modeling perception effects will make the visuals of FG worse 95% of the time because you can't see that many stars from a normal cockpit with instrument lighting. So I will speak against any such patch, sorry.

It will improve realism for visuals in external views in space (which is what you are primarily interested in) - but that's a minority use case in FG.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby eatdirt » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:17 pm

So I will speak against any such patch, sorry


Although I do not share your opinion on this, no pb for me, the patch is anyway available for those interested!

Let me mention however, that the effect you mention is somehow there already, the very faint stars are displayed with almost 0 luminosity, so if you look on a bright parts of your computer screen, and then to the sky part of your computer screen just after, you won't immediately see those stars. Maybe one day the screens will be bright enough to properly render contrasts, but we will need sun-cream then ;)
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby abassign » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:29 pm

eatdirt wrote in Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:17 pm:Although I do not share your opinion on this, no pb for me, the patch is anyway available for those interested!


I would like to try the patch, not only but I would like even more to allow anyone who wants to be able to use it for their personal tastes! It seems irrational to deny this for a model of personal judgment of those who have the keys to be able to integrate the patch.
I recommend inserting a system that selects the level of visibility of the stars according to their personal tastes (someone 0 ... someone 6.2 ...). I see nothing wrong with the desire to insert something surely true! Instead of flaming but monotonous "aurora borealis" also visible at the equator or volcanoes that spew out hell .. cute sure ... but I would rather see the stars that look at us from the sky with their splendor and maybe with a little bit of flicker if we are at low altitudes ... I would like to see the planets that guide the navigator on sight as I would like not to see the Moon below the horizon ... So what's wrong with all this? Maybe even a milky way would not be bad ... And then there are those who almost always pilot from outside and there are those who almost always drive from inside ... I would say that observing the average low quality of the interior .. I suppose that the majority users of FGFS pilot the plane from the outside and then the stars see it and how he sees them!
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby curt » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:00 pm

The original star settings were determined based on performance vs. how the scene looked on some single person's monitor at the time. There was not really any perceptual modeling taken into consideration other than one guy saying "... well that looks cool." So I would suggest that increasing the number of stars potentially visible in the sky in no way diminishes the original perceptual model, because there never was one. In fact, now that I have a much higher resolution monitor on my home computer, I barely see any stars ever ... it would actually be nice to consider rendering the brighter stars and planets as multiple pixels, not just single pixel points of light.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:13 pm

Just to recap the discussion on the mailing list:

The star code takes the daylight level to determine what magnitude of objects to show. At that point, a simple bias property can be inserted ('show me the default level +1 mag or default level -2 mag,...). That property can default to 0, but be changed by the airplane based on however the plane computes how dark the cockpit is. If the plane doesn't access the property, the user can always set it (via commandline or property browser, maybe even via a dialog, (?)).

This doesn't look an outrageously difficult addition to the patch (I believe I can even point out where to insert the bias if that is needed) and would basically solve all of my issues and allow for easy future extension (once it is property driven, we can use an arbitrary set of property rules to include all sorts of effects).

How about that?

So I would suggest that increasing the number of stars potentially visible in the sky in no way diminishes the original perceptual model, because there never was one.


It happens to be good in many cases by accident. Whether this was originally intended or not in no way influences the level of realism it displays.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby abassign » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:39 pm

Thorsten wrote in Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:13 pm:This doesn't look an outrageously difficult addition to the patch (I believe I can even point out where to insert the bias if that is needed) and would basically solve all of my issues and allow for easy future extension (once it is property driven, we can use an arbitrary set of property rules to include all sorts of effects).


It seems like a good starting point for the work because it takes into account the apparent brightness depending on the sky. For the cockpit view you should be able to act on a parameter (but I think it is part of what you propose) that can be managed by those who work on the construction of the aircraft. For example, in our G91 inside the brightness can vary a lot and reach zero (as is typical for the 50-60s fighter-bombers who have to see the target at night). In this case it would be natural to manage the increase in visibility of the stars to give the perception of the external situation.
It is also possible to use the average brightness of the scene to determine the level of pupil closure and therefore the limit visibility of the stars.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby V12 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:07 pm

This is FSX sky with stars :

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Stars are better visible, when You enlarge picture to 1:1 (RMB and display image)
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby legoboyvdlp » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:21 pm

Not sure we want to compare to FSX. Flight gear currently has too few stars. FSX currently has too many. Somewhere in between might be better; allowing it to be runtime configurable based on ambient level would be even better.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby Thorsten » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:50 am

Well, FSX clearly seems wrong to me given the bright foreground. So let's not compare with that.
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby bugman » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:15 am

@V12: Well, Star Wars beats the pants off FSX ;)

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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby V12 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:44 pm

Star Wars are in the vacuum, stars must be brighter than in FG :wink:
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Re: Would you want more stars in the night sky?

Postby Johan G » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:15 pm

Looks like the patch got adjusted and merged and that the amount of visible stars can be changed with a property called "star-magnitude-cutoff" (see ticket 2106 and commits 10a701 and 7e969f). :)
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