Celestia texture bug question and plugin recommendations
May 11, 2004 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Hey, Celestia users. I have a couple of questions about buggy textures, and I want your recommendations for plugins. I am on Celestia for OS X. More inside.

1.) Whenever I view the moon, Mercury, or Mars at low-res or med-res (no high-res textures on this), they seem to have been overlaid with rainbow colors, as though viewed through polarized Ray Bans. The actual texture JPGs show normal colors, so where's that rainbow coming from? I want to look at these planets as they would appear in real life.

2.) Earth goes crazy when I switch to med-res! The texture map breaks completely, with miniature versions of night lights, clouds, and what seems to be an alpha channel appearing in a neat little rectangle on one side of the planet, and a mirror of my OS X desktop on the other; and it's a fairly amazing mirror, too. It's animated. I can see my mouse cursor floating across the surface of the planet, and the huge Dock over the Equator even mimics the Magnify Effect. Fun at first, but I want to see Terra in all its glory.

3.) What plugins do you have installed? I threw in the full Cassini orbital set and gave the comet NEAT a little spin, and I want Voyager 1 and 2, but Selden's Voyager probe orbit files are a bit hard to figure out. Anyone else have recommendations?
posted by brownpau to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
1) Celestia's OS X port still has a few rough spots; it's still considered alpha software by shatters.net, and hasn't been updated in over a year. Voodoo cards and 16MB/- accellerators are known to cause blurry texture maps.

While the conversion's faithful to the Windows version in a number of ways, it's not entirely there, IMHO. Hopefully, the project hasn't been abandoned.

2) Earth's a tempermental world, alright; even the earlier Windows builds were taxing on processor/graphics resources.
Sadly, the best way around this is to lower the number of visible stars,
and to shut off asteroid labelling, etc., while viewing the blue pearl
from a more distant orbit.

3) Running Celestia on both platforms, I've been having a blast
with the minor/numbered moons add-ons. I would love to see other peoples' interpetations of a neutron star, with bluish hues and accretion discs.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:27 PM on May 11, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, Dalek. Would getting another Earth texture map help any? I fully expect a performance hit with higher resolution textures, of course, but to have my desktop sprawled all over the planet, well...

^ Planet Metafilter.
posted by brownpau at 8:14 PM on May 11, 2004

Hey, I can see my user page from up here!

brownpau, a different map would help to a minimal degree;
the problem's with the 3D engine as a whole.

As in the picture, Celestia's attempting to render atop of X's aqua layer. Given how both depend upon java, it's easy to see how the astronomy program would get confused with the desktop!

Until the update(s) arrive, you may have to stick with viewing Earth
in a lower setting through Celestia, while using Image Browser
for detailled (yet non-3D) studies of the seas and landscape.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:34 AM on May 12, 2004

Response by poster: Okay, I tried Celestia for OS X on my girlfriend's G4, and the higher-resolution Earth texture came out fine. I guess it's low res on my old iBook for now.
posted by brownpau at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2004

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