Author Topic: Planetary rings from default shader?  (Read 1481 times)

Offline N-drju

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Planetary rings from default shader?
« on: January 30, 2017, 04:04:16 PM »
I keep wondering what is the best method of creating planetary rings of debris around the planets. This has been asked many times through but now that there is TG3... well, even 4, perhaps we should re-explore this topic?

One thing that you most probably can't do is to use regular objects put in orbit around the planet. That is, unless you are running NASA supercomputer. :P Populating a planetary ring with simple objects like rocks will literally render trillions of them which no computer can handle... That's pretty disappointing though given there is a nice option that allows you to create "free-floating" objects. :( Pity that is not too memory-friendly.

For now, I have explored the possibility of creating planetary rings with disks with default shaders. It's very simple and all you need is a default shader with PF as an opacity mask. Then, you can get something that resembles a disk of debris around the planet:

71258-0

The trouble though is that from a greater distance (suppose, if you look at a ringed planet from the surface of another) you can see only the part of the ring that crosses the planet's surface. The rest is covered in the background's darkness.

I'm wondering what else I can find to make real nice planetary rings. That's the first time I even try to use it! Seems fun, so I'll be looking into this.

_________________________________________________

Hm, just tried the in-built rock object and you actually can have a manageable population made this way. The distance between instances just needs to be considerably higher. I'll see how it plays out.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 05:03:43 PM by N-drju »
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Offline luvsmuzik

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 05:49:38 PM »
I have a "planet with asteroid rings" preset file share from TG3 that was free a long time ago on TG download site. Would it be okay to share this in File Sharing? Or do you want to explore this all by your ownself?

Oh well, here it is either way.

Offline N-drju

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 06:11:17 PM »
One doesn't exclude another. :) I'm just interested how such mega-features are handled by the program. There have been numerous topics about this feature but none of them really has any definite answers to be perfectly honest...
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Offline cyphyr

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2017, 06:50:36 PM »
I created a bunch of ringed worlds last year using the native rock object and Very large (I mean massive!) cloud layers.
Ring-03 to Ring-07 use cloud layers and Ring-10 to 14 use native rock populations Ring 17 uses both.
I'll upload the source files to the file shareing section so people can play.
I don't thing they took that long to render, maybe half an hour or so.

Link in the file sharing section to drop box
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,22772.new.html#new
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 07:06:03 PM by cyphyr »
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Offline N-drju

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2017, 08:16:59 PM »
Wow, clouds? That's an approach you don't see everyday. :) But... can you actually tilt the cloud layers like you can with discs or SSS, or do you need to roll the camera to have those rings at an angle? You know, sometimes you need the camera to stay put. Especially when the ringed planet is just a background to the scene and not it's center part...

I for that matter require a planetary ring that can be tilted itself as I plan for a planet in a background of an already prepared scene. Planetary rings that work only horizontally are not suitable for such a purpose.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 08:27:22 PM by N-drju »
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Offline cyphyr

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 08:32:57 PM »
I hadn't thought about that and it appears you can not tilt the "cloud rings". They are restricted in the y axis which I guess can't be changed ...
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Offline N-drju

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 09:01:41 PM »
No problem! I have just found a different approach that effectively solves this issue. :)

Instead of rolling and tilting your camera you can use the Terragen in-built disc object as an "anchor" for the rocks and level the camera!

Disc object is very versatile - you can set its radius and also its thickness without even using any masks. Disc object's center coordinates need to be in the center of the planet of course (well, duuuh... ::) .)

All that you need to do is to tilt discs to your own liking. This might be tricky given the fact that discs use axis settings rather than standard XYZ modifiers. With a little bit of trial-and-error it is easily set though. Once you have that in place, all that remains is to remember about the settings that I have marked in red in that, rather crude I guess, test image I have made. I just might improve it later, but you can have a look at a "beta" version:

71285-0

And the camera has 0 degree roll and 0 degree pitch! :)
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Offline Kadri

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 09:29:39 PM »
I hadn't thought about that and it appears you can not tilt the "cloud rings". They are restricted in the y axis which I guess can't be changed ...

Martin (Dandelo) had a method for that i think. It is somewhere here around in the forum.

Edit: This thread i think: http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,8989.msg96996.html#msg96996
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:33:55 PM by Kadri »

Offline cyphyr

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 10:08:50 PM »
No problem! I have just found a different approach that effectively solves this issue. :)

Instead of rolling and tilting your camera you can use the Terragen in-built disc object as an "anchor" for the rocks and level the camera!

Disc object is very versatile - you can set its radius and also its thickness without even using any masks. Disc object's center coordinates need to be in the center of the planet of course (well, duuuh... ::) .)

All that you need to do is to tilt discs to your own liking. This might be tricky given the fact that discs use axis settings rather than standard XYZ modifiers. With a little bit of trial-and-error it is easily set though. Once you have that in place, all that remains is to remember about the settings that I have marked in red in that, rather crude I guess, test image I have made. I just might improve it later, but you can have a look at a "beta" version:

(Attachment Link)


And the camera has 0 degree roll and 0 degree pitch! :)


I think when I was making these experiments the goal was to have something I could fly through. Althoiugh as you say the disk is very versitile I don't think it will look so good "up close and personal" as it were ...

Of course the rock object versions sit on a displaced plane (could equally be a disk) and can hence be rotated to suite.
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Offline Dune

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2017, 06:33:02 AM »
How about a huge displacable cube, flattened to almost zero, and 'populated' with fake stones masked by rings and an opacity mask to mask out the no-stone areas? Just an idea. I don't know how large you can make the cube to remain workable, and if you can make it workable.
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Offline cyphyr

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 08:24:51 AM »
It should work with a cube just as well as with a plane, any displaceable object should work as a surface for the rock objects to sit on.
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Offline Dune

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 10:41:54 AM »
Of course, I wasn't thinking; plane is displacable too.  :-[
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Offline TheBadger

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2017, 12:15:35 AM »
I hadn't thought about that and it appears you can not tilt the "cloud rings". They are restricted in the y axis which I guess can't be changed ...

Martin (Dandelo) had a method for that i think. It is somewhere here around in the forum.

Edit: This thread i think: http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,8989.msg96996.html#msg96996

Didn't you make a control set up for me that made moving the rings easy, Kadri? pretty sure you fixed a problem for me on that  ;) Anyway its way harder than in should be.
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Offline Kadri

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2017, 12:43:58 AM »
I hadn't thought about that and it appears you can not tilt the "cloud rings". They are restricted in the y axis which I guess can't be changed ...

Martin (Dandelo) had a method for that i think. It is somewhere here around in the forum.

Edit: This thread i think: http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,8989.msg96996.html#msg96996

Didn't you make a control set up for me that made moving the rings easy, Kadri? pretty sure you fixed a problem for me on that  ;) Anyway its way harder than in should be.

This thread? I just had a quick look.
Only 3 years ago but i don't remember what the problem and the solution was :) Have to read it later ones again.
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,17502.0.html

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Planetary rings from default shader?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 12:57:08 AM »
yeah, that project anyway, not sure if you posted the answer there or in another ring thread though.

I just remember that it was very much more complex than I thought something like that should be. Your solution did work perfectly though.

I downloaded Richard's files in sharing because he did something in them that I can use to finally finish that project now. ;D 8)

Ha! only 3 years to finish. Thats an improvement for me!
It has been eaten.