I uploaded a longer video showing how my colony ship model has evolved over the years, starting with the original CityGen script (created by Chris Colefax). The model is nearly completely procedurally-generated from intersections, differences and unions of spheres, cylinders and boxes. There are a few mesh-based models, but not very many. I can change everything on-the-fly just by editing a handful of configuration settings. If you zoom in really close, everything is pretty low-res, though. People are made from ellipsoids; train cars are made from superellipsoids.
I also created a video showing how the city is able to collapse from a flat plane into a narrow tube. The buildings themselves are cylindrical, and are able to shrink or grow to fit whatever radius I specify for the spacecraft. The very first and last frames of the animation are a little wonky: the city does not like to lie completely flat, and there are several trigonometry-related divide-by-zero errors. I’ve tried implementing workarounds, but you’ll notice how some of the textures still disappear or render improperly. A proper fix is probably not worth the effort, since I don’t really need the city to lie flat, anyway, except in the animation.
I have spent the last few weeks moving most of my geometry activities from this site to the online collection at the GeoGebra website. I plan to do the same for my LDraw models, either at Brickshelf, MOCpages or Rebrickable. I’ve also written a new tutorial for the POV-Ray wiki, and created a new solar system scene for the POV-Ray Object Collection and Wikipedia.
I have been busy creating illustrations for Wikipedia. They can be seen on my user page at Wikimedia Commons. Most of them involve the spherical or elliptical coordinate systems somehow.
I also created a series of sectional drawings comparing the internal geometries of the various “Color Spheres” of (from left to right) Johannes Itten, Albert H. Munsell, and Philipp Otto Runge; as well as a fourth sphere created for comparison based on the spherical coordinate system. It is amazing how many ways there are to draw a sphere!
And I updated a couple of existing images that show how the color-making attribute saturation can be determined from the chroma and value parameters of the Munsell Color System. (Though this definition of saturation is a bit different than the one used in the HSL color space I am accustomed to.)
Lastly, I finished an old scene featuring my interpretation of Larry Niven’s Ringworld. It is a giant ring encircling a far away sun, with oceans, continents and Earth-like weather embedded into it. Here’s the latest render:
The source code for these images can be found in my new GitHub repository which I just created for this purpose.
I decided to open an Microsoft Azure account, and use the $200 in free points for new members to render a better version of my colony ship panoramic scene[edit: click here for an external view]. I was still unable to add atmospheric media and radiosity inside the station habitat. They simply take too long to render, even with dual 8-core CPUs and 32GiB of RAM. If I could afford several virtual machines linked together to form a render farm, maybe it would be feasible to enable them. But that would cost a lot more than the points I have available, I think.
Google Cloud has a similar offer for new customers, but limit you to a single CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads until you “upgrade” your subscription. So I did not find it very useful.
I noticed this week that some links to tutorials I had written a long time ago had gone dead, either because the websites they were hosted at went down, or because the websites they were hosted at transitioned to a new content management system or wiki. I fixed these links where I could, and re-wrote them and incorporated them into my website where I couldn’t. See my POV-Ray, Lego, GearHead and Geometry pages.
Today I also started working on a new panoramic scene for GearHead (now abandoned by its creator, judging by the game’s website) based on my previous Spinner Colony scene. Since I bought a new computer I am able to render them much faster in POV-Ray. Here’s a sneak peek:
Here are my latest two renders. I tried to render at a higher quality level, including atmospheric media and a nice area light, but it was simply taking too long. The source code can be found on my GearHead page.