Project VEAR

The only place for all Non Celestia Discussion/Stuff
Topic author
Posts: 38
Joined: 28.09.2020
With us: 3 years 2 months

Project VEAR

Post #1by ILikeSaturn » 26.07.2023, 17:10

Project VEAR (Voyager Encounter Animations Remake) is where I aim to recreate the Voyager animations by Jim Blinn and the JPL Computer Graphics Lab team in Celestia, but with new visuals while preserving the classic look. This means using 512x256 texture maps and using a simple yet detailed model of the Voyager spacecraft.

Once this project is done, I will release the source code and the data used in the project under the GPLv2 license. The animations posted for this project will be licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Since I will be posting a lot of updates, they will be posted under here so this post wouldn't pop up frequently in the forum's active topics section.

In April 2021, Jim Blinn recovered some of his texture maps on his website. Using these texture maps, I recreated his Voyager 2 Jupiter animation in Celestia and began a project to recreate the animations. Initially, I thought that other valuable data used in the animations would be recovered, but I later found out that it would take a long time because of a lack of funding for the data recovery equipment. After several pauses on the project, I decided to start a new project similar to the previous one where I could create my own data.

The project uses .celx scripts that require a Lua module named CELSPACE, which is based on Jim Blinn’s SPACE mission simulation program. The module uses functions that are capitalized, such as AT and FROM, which is also based on the program. As of right now, it is not possible to recreate the camera movement seen in the original animations when Voyager flies by a body.

Due to how Celestia orients the observer, I created a loop that keeps the observer's roll axis fixed at 0. This prevents it from rotating upside down when locked onto a planet during a close flyby, specifically near the poles. However, this approach and other functions involving rotation requires converting between quaternions and Euler angles, which could be computationally expensive.

Texturing, Modelling, and Animation
For the texture maps, I will use the texture maps available in Jim Blinn’s website and the texture maps that I made for my previous project. When I improve on painting textures, I will paint the texture maps based on reference imagery while using tools similar to the ones in Jim Blinn’s texture painting program.

Currently, I am using a model of Voyager from NASA 3D Resources as a placeholder, split into two parts for animation. Rather than writing a function to animate these parts like Jim Blinn did, I used SPICE C Kernels instead. I plan to create a detailed model of Voyager that uses flat colors instead of textures, just like in the original animations. However, the blueprint that I downloaded seems to be distorted.
ILikeSaturn Image
Currently working on Project VEAR.
My website:

Return to “Petit Bistro Entropy”

Who is online