2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Details about updates to Shores of Hazeron

2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Haxus » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:19 am

Surface Effects
The visual effect of functioning systems can now be applied to faces.
  • Capacitor shows when capacitor has power.
  • FTL Drive shows dim when FTL is on, bright when FTL is hot.
  • Life Support shows when life support system is functioning.
  • Maneuver Drive shows bright when drive is on, dim when holding.
  • Power Plant shows when power plant is functioning.
  • Sensor shows when sensors are functioning.
  • Shield shows when shields are functioning.
  • Transporter shows dim when a transporter is on, bright when actively transporting.
  • Weapon shows when weapon is firing.
Multiples of some systems can exist, such as FTL drives, transporters, and weapon systems.
  • The station that defines the system has a setting to choose which surface effect is animated when the system is active. This setting appears on the dialog box when placing the station.
  • It is ok for more than one station to animate the same surface texture.
  • Existing designs will use the first of the choices.
  • The number shows next to the name of the part. e.g. Transporter Station 2.
The menu item stubs for adding surface effects were removed. They were place holders that were not needed. No items remain on the menu that do nothing.

A combo box was added to the texture wrapper, to choose texture layer.
  • Base layer provides the primary appearance of the surface. Textures from the palette are applied to the base layer.
  • Effect layer optionally provides the appearance of an effect. Effect textures are applied to the effect layer.
Effects appear as a bright animated texture blended on top of the base texture. Effects are bright and visible, regardless of the transparency of the face. To create an effect in clear air, apply the effect to a face that is 100% transparent.

Effects are entirely optional. You don't have to use them at all.

In the designer, effect textures will oscillate between dim and bright states, if they have two states, so you can observe the appearance.

Surface effects took a surprising amount of work, all the way from the user interfaces at the top to the shaders at the bottom. Lots of code was affected. My video board died in the midst of this work, adding delays. Excuses excuses; there could be bugs, right?

Next is the scene rendering. At present, new ships do not light interior spaces in response to room light switches. Some optimization of the rendering data would be helpful too.

Room lighting and other render improvements are the final step to creating these new ship designs, at least in terms of the data in the design itself. After the rendering work, the .SoH files and finalized designs should stabilize.

To stabilizing the designs, time will be devoted to fixing bugs and tying up loose ends. There's a bunch of them. I'm looking forward to that phase. It is rewarding work and I get to spend more time in the game.

Further work will be put on hold for a week. We are taking some time off to spend with our family. I'll be back hard at work the following week.

We aren't going anywhere. I'll be monitoring the status of the servers to keep things chugging along.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby AnrDaemon » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:06 am

Haxus wrote:To create an effect in clear air, apply the effect to a face that is 100% transparent.

Star Core generators anybody?
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Quellix » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:21 pm

So going to use those effects on one of my designer ships, But... I keep getting Failed to Overwrite Local file.. :)

Fixed it, Restart of computer was Required.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby AnrDaemon » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:53 pm

Quellix wrote:I keep getting Failed to Overwrite Local file.

This usually indicates that a process was stuck in the background and not completely exit.
You can try using task manager to force kill it, or just relog your session, which is usually faster than restarting entire system.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Celarious » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:14 pm

I hate to say this, but the latest update broke my designs. On attempting to load them, the game crashes. I've noticed that my designs with no interior elements don't crash it, but designs that do have interiors immediately crash the designer, any idea?

Additionally, attempting to apply the capacitor surface effect to the non-crashing design crashes the game, such as capacitor, but not any other surface effects
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Onepercent » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:59 am

Can confirm, my design can't be loaded and makes the designer crash :!: :!: though there isn't anything other than hull and sketches in the design file?
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Phenoix12 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:17 pm

Can double confirm that attempting to load a design causes the designer to crash.

Also attempting to import a 3ds File also causes it to crash.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Haxus » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:46 pm

Sorry for letting this bug go so long without fixing it. I will find/fix the file load error ASAP. I have a lot of old files that I can test with. Take care of the files. They will load again once the error is fixed.

As I posted on the status page, I will be traveling to Denver tomorrow to get those servers back on line. Some configuration is needed to get them talking on the network and running SoH servers. Several whole minutes of work will be needed, plus seven hours of travel time. :roll:

The whole disaster with the servers was caused by a mistake I made when changing the configuration on one of the servers. A change was needed after our ISP changed my home IP address unexpectedly. To fix my error, I had to update the OS on that computer.

That had a domino effect, forcing me to update the OS on all the rack servers. Of the seventeen computers involved, two of them didn't make it through the update process cleanly.

The remote hands team at the computer center reloaded the OS on those two computers for me. Unfortunately, something isn't right about their configuration and they are not on the network. At this point, it is beyond the remote hands team's ability to fix the problem. To their credit, they are excellent at what they do and they were a pleasure to work with; they just have their limits.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Deantwo » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:56 pm

Haxus wrote:I will be traveling to Denver tomorrow to get those servers back on line.

Have a safe trip. ^^

I am still on vacation in Toronto.

Haxus wrote:A change was needed after our ISP changed my home IP address unexpectedly.

ISP changing a static IP address without warning... there is nothing worse. >_>

Haxus wrote:Unfortunately, something isn't right about their configuration and they are not on the network.

Ooh, network problems are fun. But they are indeed hard to fix remotely.
Good luck with that. If you need help with it, just ask. We seem to have quite a few network administrators in our community.
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Re: 2017-07-21 Surface Effects

Postby Haxus » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:00 pm

they are indeed hard to fix remotely

Yes. :/

Any other configuration change could be handled from here.
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