SpaceFace545

Completely Black Skybox

Change KSP2's Skybox to Pitch Black  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. KSP2 invites us into a new envirment with overhauled everything but one thing, the ugly old poopy skybox, Instead it should push to be a completely pitch black box like real space what would highlight the planets and your spacecraft in a dramatic and realistic way.

    • Old KSP1 Skybox (the original)
      16
    • Completely Pitch black sky with almost invisible stars poking through
      11
    • A choice between the two in settings
      35


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On 8/25/2019 at 10:04 PM, SpaceFace545 said:

It is way to big and bright in KSP I would like to see it as space really is, a cold dark void with scattered stars no big splotches

 thats not what space is like though ... there are a ton of stars in the sky easily visible if the sun or moon arent out. the only reason stars ever look few and scattered is because of light pollution

 

if you want realism you would have the night sky fade to black as you look towards bright objects and bloom with 1000s of stars as you look away.

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The skybox should look relatively black and starless when in full view of sunlight, since it will drown out the light of the stars.

When not in sunlight, you should be able to see the stars and other features in their full glory.

 

That seems the most realistic/pretty option. I personally think the pitch black looks pretty amazing.

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Posted (edited)

Dynamic skybox would be awesome. When you orbit a planet, on day side the sky is pitch black, on night side the planet is pitch black, but the galaxy is visible. 

Edited by nejc
was unclear

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https://imgur.com/a/laM3O6r

“The sky is empty!!” 

To OP’s credit- when there was a power outage in LA (or was it New York?)- residents phoned in to the police reporting a bright white blob in the night sky- that ‘blob’ in fact being the Milky Way. Something those residents had never had the chance to see before despite being fully grown adults. So some people’s misunderstanding of the nights sky is understandable. 

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This fire seems to need a bit more fuel so let me just add that the human eye has an extremely much better range of light detection than the average camera, we can still see a faint light a few degrees off from a light that is thousands of times stronger because our sight isn't a simple linear thing with a sharp start and stop point - in the context of space we ought to be able to see plenty of stars as long as we don't have the sun right in our field of view or a huge section of our field of view is covered by something reflecting a really nasty load of sunlight. Basically if a game actually 100% matches what we see in regular photos taken by regular cameras in regular situations, that's actually very noticeably unrealistic and will look wrong to human eyes in most cases.

All that said, I'm totally for significantly darkening the skybox when looking directly at the sun, in other cases though I deem it a waste of CPU cycles to keep track of how many bright objects are covering how much of the screen and micro adjust the skybox to every situation. I'm no 1337 programmer though so if it can be done with less than 1% performance hit to the game sure go ahead, but I'm not expecting anything. Space is beautiful, I don't want to play Kerbal Black Backgrounds Program.

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If you can mess with the renderer, and the renderer does any kind of statistics with screen brightness, then that is your answer right there, tie it to that. Any source of light (including from your craft) will tie into this. If your renderer auto-adjusts the amount of light your screen sees because things are suddenly much more bright/much less bright, then great, because it has to do some brightness statistics.

 

Ahh but what about light that is coming from outside the camera view. If you stand on a atmosphereless body will light reflected from that body mess it up, it doesn't with this model. Darn. Also, I have no clue how renderers work, especially of KSP, so I really shouldn't be talking about this. A well, these are my two cents.

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25 minutes ago, Rejected Spawn said:

All that said, I'm totally for significantly darkening the skybox when looking directly at the sun, in other cases though I deem it a waste of CPU cycles to keep track of how many bright objects are covering how much of the screen and micro adjust the skybox to every situation. I'm no 1337 programmer though so if it can be done with less than 1% performance hit to the game sure go ahead, but I'm not expecting anything. Space is beautiful, I don't want to play Kerbal Black Backgrounds Program.

A simple solution is to just check where the viewer is. If you're in the shaddow of a planet, brighten the skybox, if not, dimm it. Not fully accurate, but in my opinion definately better than nothing. Especially for the visuals.

If this gets implemented, another thing to think about is what happens on a day side of a planet far from the sun. On Pluto a day is said to only be as bright as dawn on Earth. If the developers want to keep the daytime brightness of distant planets the same as on Earth, they can keep the skybox lit during the day to simulate as if our eyes have adjusted to lower daytime brightness. Just a suggestion.

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I'd rather not have a skybox at all. Mostly because it will look pixelated unless you use a ridiculously huge texture for it, and even then banding will probably ruin it anyway. Pitch black background with procedural star field (shimmering, fading when there are other sources or lit surfaces visible, etc) should be possible.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, J.Random said:

I'd rather not have a skybox at all. Mostly because it will look pixelated unless you use a ridiculously huge texture for it, and even then banding will probably ruin it anyway. Pitch black background with procedural star field (shimmering, fading when there are other sources or lit surfaces visible, etc) should be possible.

Or maybe you have textures of objects (stars. galaxies, nebula's etc), that you place in the pitch black background at preset coordinates. You have to make a handful of object textures,  generate a nice galaxy skybox once and make everything into a coordinate list.

  • also sharp textures
  • coordinate system can be abused for the doppler effect, ince it needs the positions of stars to change. That is, if players will even see portions of the speed of light.
  • easy moddablilty of the skybox by manipulating the coordinate list.
  • modders can hook onto these objects for things like telescopes.
20 hours ago, nejc said:

A simple solution is to just check where the viewer is. If you're in the shaddow of a planet, brighten the skybox, if not, dimm it. Not fully accurate, but in my opinion definately better than nothing. Especially for the visuals.

If this gets implemented, another thing to think about is what happens on a day side of a planet far from the sun. On Pluto a day is said to only be as bright as dawn on Earth. If the developers want to keep the daytime brightness of distant planets the same as on Earth, they can keep the skybox lit during the day to simulate as if our eyes have adjusted to lower daytime brightness. Just a suggestion.

Good idea, you can get pretty accurate with this. Assuming that camera-body geometry is relatively light on the PC (I dunno), you can make a pretty light model, since it's mostly simple equations of variables we already know, such as tweaking variables and radius of different bodies and the like. This model has star-dimming and body-dimming, but no vessel-dimming, that is the only important factor I can think of that's missing. Enfin, this can give people an idea of how heavy this system will be if you do it this accurately.

Spoiler

First you need to know all bodies that dim the skybox, these are either

  1. All stars of the star system and all bodies of the planetary system one is currently residing at.
  2. All stars and all loaded/rendered bodies

Then a simple model can be made, checking for each whether the body is being blocked by another body as seen by the camera.

  • You have your skybox, with brightness B_0. The skybox will be displayed with brightness B=%*B_0, where %=100%-sum of effects a number between 0 and 1
  • For every star, remove the effect term = (1/r^2) * a*L r= distance to star, a=tweaking variable, L= star luminosity or convenient stand-in variable
  • For every other body, remove the effect term = (R^2/(r_b^2*r^2)) *a*L*A*f R=radius of body, r_b = distance to body, A = albedo, f= phase factor or alternatively effect term = (R^2/(r_b^2*r^2)) *b*L*f b=tweaking variable

You need some extra functionality

  • You build in some transition code, this handles edge caes like sunrises/sunsets
  • Use existing atmospheric effects to get the twilight effects of the skybox in atmosphereed planets. if this is not possible, a atmo-dimming term needs to be devised.
  • Kerbals in vessels in IVA: lights are on = dark skybox, lights are off = skybox = properly dimmed
  • You update the brightness of the skybox every X seconds/frame/whatever.

Remarks

The phase factor might a little hard to obtain. But it is useful for the code. For the body you are landed on/near to, you could ignore its dimming effect at night, but then again are you always "near a body", what does that mean exactly. It makes it so much simpler to take the phase of the body into acount.  And at night, at the body you landed on (which is by definition not blocked), the phase factor of that body will be 0, so it will not contribute to dimming.  The phase factor is also dependent on geometry with the camera and the bodies.

If there are multiple stars, the r in the body-dimming terms do longer make sense. The distance towhich star do you pick. I have found no solution for this.

Maybe you encounter problems of scale, in the sense that 99% brightness has almost no dimming, while in reality 1%  dimming means that the faintest of stars are already not visble anymore.

 

Edited by nikokespprfan

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On 8/27/2019 at 10:39 PM, J.Random said:

I'd rather not have a skybox at all. Mostly because it will look pixelated unless you use a ridiculously huge texture for it, and even then banding will probably ruin it anyway. Pitch black background with procedural star field (shimmering, fading when there are other sources or lit surfaces visible, etc) should be possible.

They could just take the skybox from a program called stellarium

StellariumPortable.png

 

Then we could learn rocket science/orbital mechanics AND how to accurately navigate a real sky

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I havn't read all the posts in this thread, just because I was shocked by the enormous illiteracy of the first few posts....

We don't see stars during the day, because, well, sun and its scattered light in the atmosphere is too bright compared with the stars.
We see fewer stars in or around cities at night, because the sky is illuminated (scattered) by the artificial light sources so much that it is way brighter than some of the stars, so only very bright stars are visible. 
We don't see stars on pictures in space or pointing at the space with relatively bright objects compared to starlight, because they are too bright! (pictures of the moon etc.)
We see the full glory of our galaxy if your eyes or camera can adjust to it, this is the case if there are no bright objects in sight. 

In KSP:
We see stars as soon as the sun has set or at any time in space, no matter how bright objects are. 
This only works, if:
- you have magic eyes adjusting instantaneously and on different brigthness levels within sight
- you have some sort of hdr camera set up accordingly to be differently sensitive on the sensor (or special photography methods which include taking multiple photos; or multiple cameras with different settings put tightly together to get video footage) 
- the other stars in the KSP universe are ultra bright (good luck visiting one in KSP2) and have some sense of "day-night-cylce-on-Kerbin" to adjust their brightness

So: its not about "making the skybox darker" or "option to adjust brightness of skybox", not at all! Its about HDR.
If you want to have a physically correct game, you must not see stars in the background if there is any bright object in the foreground. No matter if you simulate human(/kerbal?) vision or a camera taking the footage you are seeing, it is hardly possible to capture objects of such imense different brigthness levels.
Having such a HDR approach would make the game feel much better and it would be some kind of reward to see the full glory of the ksp galaxies

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:38 AM, mcwaffles2003 said:

They could just take the skybox from a program called stellarium

I've got Stellarium installed on my nifty Asus Transformer netbook/tablet.

It's perfect when out stargazing on clear nights.

 

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On 9/12/2019 at 3:27 AM, Curveball Anders said:

I've got Stellarium installed on my nifty Asus Transformer netbook/tablet.

It's perfect when out stargazing on clear nights.

 

Same, I use it to guide my scope when doing astrophotography. But the sky box in it is very detailed and is not too hard on a computer, I see no reason why a fair bit  of definition could not be implemented into KSP if stellarium isnt at all taxing once the image is loaded. 

I fail to see why the only 3 options are black skybox (nothing), KSP 1 skybox (fairly cartoonish), and something in the middle. I hope when we first break through kerbins atmosphere we are greeted with a beautiful sky to gaze at. With nothing out there I would find that a bit depressing and cold.

I dont see it happening but I honestly would like to see something like a hubble/kepler/JWST program implemented where not only are we supposed to put a satellite into orbit (with a telescope), but also point it to a specific region of the sky to take pictures of a region. This could be a great entry to the game giving us a way to find nearby stars, discover if they have planets, and then continue to go to them once we know where they are and where to go. To me this just seems like a natural progression to bridge the gap between intrastellar and interstellar travel

Hell, why not have multiple hidden skyboxes for different wavelengths to probe areas of the sky in different ways based on the type of telescope put into orbit?

And if you could receive the picture with a higher resolution of the area pictured after running the mission... all the better.

 

In no way do I expect a mechanic of this type to be implemented, but if it were I would be so happy and it would vastly increase the scope of this already gigantic game

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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It's filmed by Kubrick in a studio. That's why no stars.
KSP-2 is not a real space, it's a fake!

Edited by kerbiloid

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On 8/26/2019 at 3:47 AM, SpaceFace545 said:

What it should look like https://imgur.com/Ml2O3zz

 

Out of interest, do you live in a big city? Because the sky is not black in the night, away from the city lights.

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24 minutes ago, Corw said:

Out of interest, do you live in a big city? Because the sky is not black in the night, away from the city lights.

This is soo very true.

I live in a big city and the "skybox" only shows the moon and some very bright stars (and planets).

But when visiting a friend's summer house I often go out in the garden at midnight just to enjoy the brilliant sky, including the Milky way streak across it.

Esp late autumn (Swedish summer doesn't really have any dark nights, you can effing read a book without artificial light... ).

 

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2011_04_02-03_360degDruckmuller.jpg

39 minutes ago, Corw said:

Out of interest, do you live in a big city? Because the sky is not black in the night, away from the city lights.

Yes it is, unless youre talking about moonlight, zodiacal light, night glow, or Gegenschein but those are still an atmosperic effect

 

out of curiosity , what bortle levels have you been to or live in?

Edited by mcwaffles2003
correction

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10 hours ago, Corw said:

Out of interest, do you live in a big city? Because the sky is not black in the night, away from the city lights.

Sadly I do

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On 9/15/2019 at 12:28 PM, SpaceFace545 said:

Sadly I do

Drive out to a nearby desert or country side at night. Get as far from city lights as possible.

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4 minutes ago, GoldForest said:

Drive out to a nearby desert or country side at night. Get as far from city lights as possible.

I live in rhode island and the nearest country side or desert is in the midwest

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36 minutes ago, SpaceFace545 said:

I live in rhode island and the nearest country side or desert is in the midwest

Get in a boat and go the other direction.  ;)

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I voted for the second option, but ideally it should be dynamic response. No stars in daylight conditions and let's say ten seconds of gradual reveal of the sky in night conditions.

However, the skybox itself, even in KSP after the skybox was apparently redesigned, is still quite ugly. Poopy color, I call it "London fog". Quite horrible looking, and it's something really ugly when visible in daylight.

Sadly, KSP 2 trailer showed this ugly thing is still there.

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2 hours ago, SpaceFace545 said:

I live in rhode island and the nearest country side or desert is in the midwest

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/

 

upstate new york and maine seem to be the closest places you have to leave most city light. maybe youre due for a camping trip in the Adirondacks 

Edited by mcwaffles2003
spelling

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2 hours ago, DStaal said:

Get in a boat and go the other direction.  ;)

Wish I could do that 

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