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Weird ghost satellite dish at KSC


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I didn't want to post this as a bug report since I know how overwhelmed Squad must be right now, but this was curious enough that I had to share. Since 0.21 I've been getting some really strange flickering shadow effects all over the space center. Then tonight I was playing around to see if I could improve my frame rates any.

In a fresh install of 0.21.1 from Steam with only MechJeb installed, I used MechJeb to just take the Kerbal X to orbit and then land at the space center. It tried to put down in the middle of the tracks from the VAB out to the launchpad and tipped over. No biggie. I was just playing.

However, here's where it gets weird. I EVA'ed my Kerbals and I was seeing the same strange flickering shadows. But then I noticed what appears to be a perfect shadow of a rotating satellite dish falling across the toppled top of the fuel tank.

You can see from the video though that the tracking station is behind the Kerbals and debris of my Kerbal X. You should in no way be able to see a shadow of the tracking station from this angle! And since this is at 1X time warp, there's no way the dishes should be rotating so fast, even if you could see their shadows.

Here's the 48 second video showing off the ghost satellite dish, as well as the weird shadows it's casting.

Edited by lincourtl
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Hold on a minute, that's the shadow from the old tracking station!

Yup there is a bug in the space center, causing the loooong load times. It seems that parts of the old space center have been left behind.

Lazy Kerbal engineers..

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Yup there is a bug in the space center, causing the loooong load times. It seems that parts of the old space center have been left behind.

Lazy Kerbal engineers..

Excellent, we have a possible cause now for the KSP.log spam, there's probably other old shadows as well such as from the old VAB and SPH overlayed on the new ones.

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Hold on a minute, that's the shadow from the old tracking station!

Hah! It's like that TOS Star Trek episode "The Tholian Web" where Kirk slips into interstitial space and then haunts the Enterprise. Damn those interdimensional rifts. Must be what's causing ships to randomly explode on the launchpad too.

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You son of a kitch! You moved the old scenery, but you left the buildings, didn't you? You son of a kitch, you left the buildings and you only moved the models! You-only-moved-the-models!

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I'm not so sure about the old tracking station, honestly. To me it simply looks like shadowmap granular noise moving across the model due to the rising sun. It's the shadow cast from the decoupler in that case. Somebody make a giant platemobile and see if it catches any odd shadows where there's no other parts to cast shadows on them.

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I'm not so sure about the old tracking station, honestly. To me it simply looks like shadowmap granular noise moving across the model due to the rising sun. It's the shadow cast from the decoupler in that case. Somebody make a giant platemobile and see if it catches any odd shadows where there's no other parts to cast shadows on them.

I'm open to it being noise, but the game is running at 1X time. The sun doesn't rise that fast. Also, the shadow that I think looks like the old tracking station dish falls on the top of the fuel tank in a way that it shouldn't if it were being cast by the sun. To me it looks like that particular shadow is being cast from an object to the South.

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And I'm open to it being the shadow of a ghost tower, but until there's a more definitive proof of either, I am leaning towards the noise theory. Because shadowmaps usually do create patterns like that, and the motion speed looks about right for a slowly moving lightsource and a shadow cast at a very flat angle. Like I said, somebody needs to build a huge roving array of panels and try to catch that shadow if it exists.

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...shadowmaps usually do create patterns like that, and the motion speed looks about right for a slowly moving lightsource and a shadow cast at a very flat angle.

Well, my knowledge of computer graphics was last current in the late 1980s so I'm sure almost everyone knows more than me. :)

Like I said, somebody needs to build a huge roving array of panels and try to catch that shadow if it exists.

Resisting urge to open KSP right now and blow off the morning's work... :D

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Resisting urge to open KSP right now and blow off the morning's work... :D
Thankfully it's long past morning here, and I can blow off work as much as I like.

I've just now taken a contraption of wheels and metal panels out for a stroll in the morning sun near KSC. Sad to report that I see no anomalous shadows, at any angle. Besides, I think any shadow that would be cast onto a part would be cast onto the ground as well.

I'm going to try a fuel tank with a decoupler attached next and see if I can't recreate the effect you've gotten.

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Well, I couldn't recreate the effect you had (because apparently my decouplers are flush with the tanks), but I got a little clip of a similar effect of an RTG creating a pulsing, wavering shadow on the tank. It's really just shadowmap granularity and the motion of the lightsource.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cmllk2x8lqbk6qe/KSP%202013-07-29%2019-26-34-871.avi

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You son of a kitch! You moved the old scenery, but you left the buildings, didn't you? You son of a kitch, you left the buildings and you only moved the models! You-only-moved-the-models!

Is that a reference to the original Poltergeist?

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Well, I couldn't recreate the effect you had (because apparently my decouplers are flush with the tanks), but I got a little clip of a similar effect of an RTG creating a pulsing, wavering shadow on the tank. It's really just shadowmap granularity and the motion of the lightsource.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cmllk2x8lqbk6qe/KSP%202013-07-29%2019-26-34-871.avi

I think you must be right, because I threw together this monstrosity over lunch. While I got plenty of weird shadow effects, and speculars too, I couldn't get anything similar to what I saw last night. So unless the phantom tracking station has faded back into interstitial space, it must be just due to granularity, although I still don't see how the light source could be moving that fast.

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Awwww, I'm kind of bummed that it's just an effect of the in-game shadows... I was hoping for it to be some mysterious ghostly shadow of an already demolished building... That is definitely much more cool than 'granularity' :( lol

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