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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 1:07 GMT 
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Sorry if I'm in the wrong place but I can't get any page at www.shatters.net to load so I couldn't start there.

I've downloaded Celestia and been stunned by what it can do, but I'm making little progress with add-ons. I've found the CelestiaResources folder by ctrl-clicking on the application to reveal "show package contents". And I've made an "extras" folder there. I've sucessfully downloaded a few folders of things like fictional objects from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I can't get anywhere with textures like earth night textures or moon textures, which I assume will let me zoom right down to the moon's surface? Placing unzipped add-on folders from http://www.celestiamotherlode.net into my new "extras" folder seems to do nothing. If I re-open Celestia and ctrl-click on earth or moon, no new alternate textures appear.

(Btw, I get no nightside lights on earth in the basic Celestia.)

Are there any super-dumb tutorials on Celestia add-ons in mac osx? Everything I can find seems way beyond my PhD and/or assumes Windows.

All help gratefully received.


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 1:47 GMT 
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Hi & welcome to CelesltialMatters!

12tonelizzie wrote:
Sorry if I'm in the wrong place but I can't get any page at www.shatters.net to load so I couldn't start there.

The problem at shatters seems to be a holiday related effect. The site had lots of performance problems until recently. After a week of smooth and notably fast operations, shatters.net seems to have crashed again, while Chris Laurel is presumably travelling. Indeed there is plenty of help for "Celestia beginners" at shatters.
Quote:
I've downloaded Celestia and been stunned by what it can do, but I'm making little progress with add-ons.

One word of warning. Add-ons are NOT in the responsability of the Celestia developer team. Rather they are creations by Celestia users, whose abilities vary a lot. There are excellent ones and also plenty of bad ones. For beginners it may be hard to find the good ones. I never use add-ons from the Motherlode and unfortunately, I have little know how about Mac OSX specifics.

Quote:
I've found the CelestiaResources folder by ctrl-clicking on the application to reveal "show package contents". And I've made an "extras" folder there. I've sucessfully downloaded a few folders of things like fictional objects from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I can't get anywhere with textures like earth night textures or moon textures, which I assume will let me zoom right down to the moon's surface? Placing unzipped add-on folders from http://www.celestiamotherlode.net into my new "extras" folder seems to do nothing. If I re-open Celestia and ctrl-click on earth or moon, no new alternate textures appear.

(Btw, I get no nightside lights on earth in the basic Celestia.)

The nightside lights may simply be switched off. Did you check in the menu whether they are on!? You may also toggle the nightlights by pressing the CTRL+L key.
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Are there any super-dumb tutorials on Celestia add-ons in mac osx? Everything I can find seems way beyond my PhD and/or assumes Windows.

All help gratefully received.

Sorry, I don't know of any such tutorials. Do you know about the official Celestia docs

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia

or Selden's docs about Textures in Celestia:

http://www.lns.cornell.edu/~seb/celesti ... s.html#2.5

Many aspects of Celestia operation are independent of the specific OS.


Good luck,
Fridger


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 2:00 GMT 
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Thanks for replying so fast.
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Indeed there is plenty of help for "Celestia beginners" at shatters.

Okay, I'd better wait for the site to recover.
Quote:
There are excellent ones and also plenty of bad ones.

The textures I've downloaded are highly rated.
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The nightside lights may simply be switched off. Did you check in the menu whether they are on!?

Yes I did. They aren't. They won't show up, despite the fact that I can see a jpg of them in the appropriate folder.
Quote:
Do you know about the official Celestia docs

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia

or Selden's docs about Textures in Celestia:

http://www.lns.cornell.edu/~seb/celesti ... s.html#2.5

Yes, I've been using them, and they aren't getting me anywhere. Hopefully the shatters forum can help when it works again. So frustrating!


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 10:53 GMT 
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As to the nightlights:

did you make sure that your graphics card (which brand?) is properly supported by a recent driver?
Hardware support of the display is crucial for rendering Celestia!

We never got any complaints about non-functioning nightlights. Can you make out the bright specular spot in oceans from the reflection of the sun, if you look at Earth from a distance? That would be another check that your rendering works OK.

While I am not specializing on help for beginners, I am a longstanding Celestia developer and co-author. So don't hesitate to ask me more advanced questions (possibly at a later stage) ;-)

Wait a moment, I think I now remember the reason for your problem with add-on rendering!

+++++++++++++++++++
End of 2008 we had a somewhat emotional discussion in our mailing list for Celestia developers about the new Mac-specific placement of the extras folder! Thus, I suppose you simply placed the extras directory in the wrong place, where it is not recognized as such. Notably if you were reading a manual for NON-Mac users. The new directory structure for Celestia on MACs was introduced with version 1.6.0.
It was argued by our Mac-osx maintainer and Chris Laurel that the new placement is in accord with the general philosophy about placing resources for applications on MACs, Most Mac-users in our community protested vividly, however ;-)

I noted that there is a quite precise description in the Help section on the Motherlode:
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/install_howto.html

The Mac-specific placement of add-ons is described there in some detail.
+++++++++++++++++++

Unfortunately, I don't know about the Mac-specific directory hierarchy. But the point was that it was decided to place the extras dir and other stuff in some Library/App folder if I correctly remember...

Perhaps this helps a bit...I could even pull out the respective mails for you if you want.

Fridger


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 14:13 GMT 
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Quote:
As to the nightlights:

did you make sure that your graphics card (which brand?) is properly supported by a recent driver?

I have no idea how to check this. But aren't fairly recent macs meant to be pretty good on this?

Quote:
Can you make out the bright specular spot in oceans from the reflection of the sun, if you look at Earth from a distance?


Nope, at least I don't think so. Btw Saturn doesn't cast a shadow on its rings either.

Quote:
I noted that there is a quite precise description in the Help section on the Motherlode:
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/install_howto.html

The Mac-specific placement of add-ons is described there in some detail.

Yes, I've been following that description. I discovered the CelestiaResources folder by ctrl-clicking the application icon to show package contents, which is something I've never ever done in a quarter-century of exclusive mac ownership, so no wonder the mac community complained about being asked to do so :-).

Sadly, it doesn't help much. As I said, I've successfully added some scifi spacecraft (they look pretty low quality, btw, so I wonder if their textures are being rendered correctly). And I've managed to get Bob Hedgwood's alternate mars texture to show up. But after spending ages on a zillion permutations, I can't get earth nightlights or JohnVV's MoonNormal textures to show up. I see 'MoonNormal' fleetingly in the Celestia startup window, so it's reading something, but it has no effect on the appearance of the program that I can find.

I'll have to wait for shatters to start working. Btw, why would a website just shut down like that?

Anyway, thanks for trying to help!


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 14:46 GMT 
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12tonelizzie wrote:
Nope, at least I don't think so. Btw Saturn doesn't cast a shadow on its rings either.

Weird. Then you either do not have the best rendering active, or your computer does not support it. I am not a Mac expert also, but I suspect that a new Mac should support better rendering paths. While looking at Saturn, change the rendering options. This is done with ctrl+v in other systems. Try some modifier+v on the Mac. It will change cyclically, from Basic to OpenGL 2, with various intermediate ones. It will report with a line of text. No shadow on rings means you are at Basic. Choose the one just before Basic. That's the best your hardware can support.

Good luck and good year!

Guillermo


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 15:03 GMT 
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12tonelizzie wrote:
Quote:
As to the nightlights:

did you make sure that your graphics card (which brand?) is properly supported by a recent driver?

I have no idea how to check this. But aren't fairly recent macs meant to be pretty good on this?


In principle yes, but Celestia really challenges the opengl (3d) drivers of your card quite a lot. Yet, if you get a decent display rate of > 20 fps, say, the basic hardware support is functioning (hit the ' key to see the fps displayed at the bottom left). Yet many drivers have nasty opengl bugs. Older ATI drivers are definitely leading here. NVIDIA drivers are much more reliable in general.

Quote:
Quote:
Can you make out the bright specular spot in oceans from the reflection of the sun, if you look at Earth from a distance?


Nope, at least I don't think so. Btw Saturn doesn't cast a shadow on its rings either.

Note that ring shadows and eclipse shadows must also be activated in the display menu! But lacking shadows may also be a signature of a buggy driver.

Here is a view of the specular reflection spot on Earth, after I deactivated the cloud layer:
Image

All these different display features: nightlights, specular reflection, clouds, normalmaps... are located on separate texture layers that Celestia's engine loads and then blends together.
Quote:
Quote:
I noted that there is a quite precise description in the Help section on the Motherlode:
http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/install_howto.html

The Mac-specific placement of add-ons is described there in some detail.

Yes, I've been following that description. I discovered the CelestiaResources folder by ctrl-clicking the application icon to show package contents, which is something I've never ever done in a quarter-century of exclusive mac ownership, so no wonder the mac community complained about being asked to do so :-).

Sadly, it doesn't help much. As I said, I've successfully added some scifi spacecraft (they look pretty low quality, btw, so I wonder if their textures are being rendered correctly). And I've managed to get Bob Hedgwood's alternate mars texture to show up. But after spending ages on a zillion permutations, I can't get earth nightlights or JohnVV's MoonNormal textures to show up. I see 'MoonNormal' fleetingly in the Celestia startup window, so it's reading something, but it has no effect on the appearance of the program that I can find.

But did you really make sure that your created extras folder has been placed in the correct directory? From the lack of many crucial features, I am almost convinced that your extras folder is not recognized by Celestia.
Quote:
I'll have to wait for shatters to start working. Btw, why would a website just shut down like that?

Chris Laurel was getting an incredibly slow performance of his internet line from his local provider in Seattle. After he switched to a much faster ADSL+ line from another provider ~2 weeks ago, things had improved tremendously. Shatters.net actually runs on a MAC OSX machine ;-) . The present breakdown of the forum could have many reasons, from sudden hardware failure (hd?) to line issues. Since Chris is presumably not at home (mountains?) and without internet connection, the forum stays broken until he'll be back. Can't be long though...

Fridger


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PostPosted: Sun, 02-01-11, 16:54 GMT 
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Hi Lizzie (?)... I'm on OSX and have trouble with nightlights. They either don't show at all or flicker, so I've turned them off.

I'm on a fairly low spec mac, a mini with a GMA 950 graphic card.


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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 1:31 GMT 
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abramson wrote:
While looking at Saturn, change the rendering options. This is done with ctrl+v in other systems. Try some modifier+v on the Mac. It will change cyclically, from Basic to OpenGL 2, with various intermediate ones. It will report with a line of text. No shadow on rings means you are at Basic. Choose the one just before Basic. That's the best your hardware can support.

Yes, ctrl-v changes the rendering options. The one before Basic is OpnGL 2.0. None of the options gives shadows on Saturn's rings.

Btw I looked up the info about my mac and it under Graphics/Displays it says:

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Type: Display
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0863
Revision ID: 0x00b1
ROM Revision: 3437
gMux Version: 1.7.3
Displays:
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Depth: 32-Bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Built-In: Yes
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GTNVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT
Type: Display
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 512 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0647
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3437
gMux Version: 1.7.3
Displays:
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected

This is all Greek to me, but it might explain something to you gurus...


Last edited by 12tonelizzie on Mon, 03-01-11, 1:59 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 1:48 GMT 
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t00fri wrote:
Celestia really challenges the opengl (3d) drivers of your card quite a lot. Yet, if you get a decent display rate of > 20 fps, say, the basic hardware support is functioning (hit the ' key to see the fps displayed at the bottom left).

The fps key on my mac is the ` (grave accent) key. It says 59.9, which seems considerably >20.

Quote:
All these different display features: nightlights, specular reflection, clouds, normalmaps... are located on separate texture layers that Celestia's engine loads and then blends together.

Thanks for showing me the specular reflection. I don't have any specular reflection or ring shadow options under Display>Features. My total list is:

Clouds, Atmospheres, Nightside Lights, Eclipse Shadows, Comet Tails, Galaxies, Globulars, Nebulae

Clouds and Atmospheres seem to work, but not Nightside Lights.

Quote:
But did you really make sure that your created extras folder has been placed in the correct directory? From the lack of many crucial features, I am almost convinced that your extras folder is not recognized by Celestia.

I've put my "extras" folder inside "CelestiaResources". If this is the wrong place, how can it be that e.g. some scifi spacecraft (2001 space station etc.) that I downloaded and put there ARE showing up in my Celestia?

However, to be blunt, I don't think http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia/Add-Ons is at all clear about where exactly things are meant to go. Specifically, if I download a zipped folder of extras from e.g. motherlode, it isn't clear to me whether A. I simply put the downloaded unzipped folder into a folder "extras" inside "CelestiaResources", or B. I sort through the downloaded unzipped folder and laboriously allocate its contents to different subfolders of CelestiaResources such as "textures", "models" etc.

Lastly, it seems that shatters is working again, so I can register there and stop bothering you kind people.


Last edited by 12tonelizzie on Mon, 03-01-11, 1:58 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 1:55 GMT 
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bh wrote:
Hi Lizzie (?)... I'm on OSX and have trouble with nightlights. They either don't show at all or flicker, so I've turned them off.

I'm on a fairly low spec mac, a mini with a GMA 950 graphic card.


And are you getting shadows on Saturn's rings? Are you getting specular reflections? Can you use downloaded add-ons?


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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 7:44 GMT 
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Is the NightTexture directive correctly specified within the solarsys.ssc? The solarsys.ssc is a text file in which are parsed the planetary parameters. It should be inside the ../data folder. Maybe the texture's name associated with the NightTexture directive is not the same of you actual texture on disk. If were so, you can change the text.

_________________
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Massimo


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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 9:56 GMT 
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12tonelizzie wrote:
bh wrote:
Hi Lizzie (?)... I'm on OSX and have trouble with nightlights. They either don't show at all or flicker, so I've turned them off.

I'm on a fairly low spec mac, a mini with a GMA 950 graphic card.


And are you getting shadows on Saturn's rings? Are you getting specular reflections? Can you use downloaded add-ons?


Yes... all of those, just nightlights is a no go... doesn't bother me too much. :)


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PostPosted: Mon, 03-01-11, 14:43 GMT 
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12tonelizzie wrote:
t00fri wrote:
Celestia really challenges the opengl (3d) drivers of your card quite a lot. Yet, if you get a decent display rate of > 20 fps, say, the basic hardware support is functioning (hit the ' key to see the fps displayed at the bottom left).

The fps key on my mac is the ` (grave accent) key. It says 59.9, which seems considerably >20.

Quote:
All these different display features: nightlights, specular reflection, clouds, normalmaps... are located on separate texture layers that Celestia's engine loads and then blends together.

Thanks for showing me the specular reflection. I don't have any specular reflection or ring shadow options under Display>Features. My total list is:

Clouds, Atmospheres, Nightside Lights, Eclipse Shadows, Comet Tails, Galaxies, Globulars, Nebulae

Clouds and Atmospheres seem to work, but not Nightside Lights.

Quote:
But did you really make sure that your created extras folder has been placed in the correct directory? From the lack of many crucial features, I am almost convinced that your extras folder is not recognized by Celestia.

I've put my "extras" folder inside "CelestiaResources". If this is the wrong place, how can it be that e.g. some scifi spacecraft (2001 space station etc.) that I downloaded and put there ARE showing up in my Celestia?

However, to be blunt, I don't think http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia/Add-Ons is at all clear about where exactly things are meant to go. Specifically, if I download a zipped folder of extras from e.g. motherlode, it isn't clear to me whether A. I simply put the downloaded unzipped folder into a folder "extras" inside "CelestiaResources", or B. I sort through the downloaded unzipped folder and laboriously allocate its contents to different subfolders of CelestiaResources such as "textures", "models" etc.

Lastly, it seems that shatters is working again, so I can register there and stop bothering you kind people.


OK, you have a decent NVIDIA card and the performance is adequate. (Actually I gave 20 fps as a conservative lower limit). So hardware support is working. In addition, since you have an NVIDIA card & driver, I suppose your driver is also mostly bugfree. You should always use the OpenGL 2.0 path ( CTRL+V).

Of course the fps display is toggled via the accent grave. I was in a hurry and just mistyped.

At shatters.net you will mostly meet the same people again ;-) . All of those who communicated with you here are also longstanding shatters,net members...

Fridger


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PostPosted: Tue, 04-01-11, 0:55 GMT 
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Okay, some progress! I downloaded an EarthNight add-on. I put BOTH EarthNight.ctx AND an EarthNight folder containing levels 0 to 4 into CelestiaResources\textures\hires, ignoring the extras folder which I previously put inside CelestiaResources. This finally gives me nightside lights which I can turn on and off with ctrl-L! I assume that these are the new ones I've downloaded -- no idea how to activate the default ones that came with the program.

By the way, there is now a specular reflection in the dayside ocean which I could have sworn wasn't there before.

However, still no shadow on Saturn's rings. Is there a download add-on that will add this shadow? My guess is not, i.e. that the shadow is calculated by the program.

Now I've tried downloading some add-on nebulae, but these just turn up as big 2D rectangular photos, hovering in space, which I can fly around. Does that sound right? Are there any nebula add-ons which are 3D objects fully integrated into the Celestia universe?

And what is a bump map? Is it possible to fly low over planets' surfaces?

(I can take these annoying questions to shatters once they've activated my registration...)


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