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Author Topic: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes  (Read 664 times)

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WxTech

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UPDATE, Dec 7, 2021: I now include the remaining sets of textures, making 5 in all, for latitudes of 10N, 30N, 45N, 60N and 90N. This fully replaces the previous, first version.


This replaces my older Moon mod of 2019, which included only the one set of non rotated textures (like the stock treatment).


Over Vella Lavella (in the Solomons), and hence using a texture in the new Moon_10 folder.




Get it here:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/orl5v5vc2cih5tw/Moon_textures_rotated.7z/file


From the included readme file:



Moon textures rotated so as to look better in orientation on the sky, by WxTech

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This mod is a simple, sorta-kinda fix that is the quickest and easiest to undertake. It involves no classfile code, and requires only that you alter one line in a map's load.ini--if you want to. If you're lazy, you can simply use the new 'default' textures in the "Moon" folder for all game maps, and not have to edit anything. For the vast majority of maps you fly on, other that the Arctic maps, this will be an improvement.

In this mod includes the following 5 folders of Moon textures:

  Moon_10  (Centered on 10N latitude, for the tropical maps. OK for more southerly maps, for now at least.)
  Moon_30  (Centered on 30N latitude, for the sub-tropics.)
  Moon     (Centered on 45N latitude, and acting as the default for any load.ini not edited.)
  Moon_60  (Centered on 60N latitude, for the sub-Arctic/Arctic.)
  Moon_90  (For polar latitudes > ~75N. These are the non rotated textures formerly used.)

If you want to use only one set, then the "Moon" set, for 45N latitude, is the best overall compromise. Even if no other sets were to be utilized, this one 'default' set alone would be better in almost every setting than the stock treatment. Which is why I leave the folder name unchanged, as "Moon"; you don't have to alter a whole bunch of load.ini files!

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Some maps/regions applicable to the Moon folders:

Moon_10: Many Pacific maps, Hawaii, Wake, the Phillipines, Singapore, Vietnam, Ceylon.

Moon_30: North Africa, the Mideast, Burma, China, Kyushu, Pensacola.

Moon: Southern and central Europe, the English Channel, Tokyo/Northern Japan, Korea, Khalkin Gol.

Moon_60: Finland, Moscow, Kurland, Norway, the Aleutians.

Moon_90 is simply the non-rotated original textures, which might be appropriate for Murmansk and a couple or few other far north maps.

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Why do this Moon rotation thing?

The stock Moon textures all have lunar north toward the top. The game engine displays the Moon image so that the top of the texture is always facing up. This wouldn't be so bad for a map in Arctic latitudes, where the load.ini Declin value is > ~70 degrees. But at lower latitudes the tilt of the ecliptic plane causes the Moon to be rotated accordingly, this angle getting steeper as the equator is approached.

The visual discrepancy is seen most strongly during the crescent phases, where the Moon is not far from the horizon and hence where the ecliptic is most tilted with respect to the horizon.

These sets of textures have been rotated so as to be suitable for a certain range of map latitudes. For maps having load.ini Declin values near the design latitude, these images will be much better than the non-rotated stock ones. Indeed, at ANY latitude other than the Arctic/sub_Arctic this is better than stock!

For each set, the greatest rotation has been applied to the thinnest crescents. From there toward full phase the rotation has been reduced, going down to zero at and near full Moon. While not a proper solution to the game's displaying of the Moon texture as always fixed with respect to the screen, it's nonetheless a significant improvement. Particularly for the crescent phases to around the quarter phase or so.

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To use a Moon set other than "Moon" (again, for mid-northern latitudes around 45N), open a suitable map's load.ini, confirm the Declin value, and change
  Moon = Moon\Moon0000.tga
to
  Moon = Moon_10\Moon0000.tga
or to
  Moon = Moon_60\Moon0000.tga
etc.

That's it!

All other maps not having their load.ini so edited will use the new 'default' of textures from "Moon".

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Note also that these textures are my smaller (but still good resolution, photographic) textures that create a Moon much nearer to its true size. The old stock textures made the Moon far too large.

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As for all my mods, this work is offered for use by any and all, for any purpose, without restriction.



WxTech
Dec 7, 2021
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WxTech

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2021, 10:31:58 AM »

As a keen amateur astronomer, stuff like this has some significance. I realize most folk could barely care a jot, but for those few for whom greater fidelity is meaningful, this is one more little tidbit toward that end.  ;)

I'll stress again that this is not a definitive solution! The ecliptic tilt varies by season (and time of night), over a range of 47 degrees. The texture sets here are representative of the mean tilt, and based on 'typical' placement on the sky as a function of hour angle. Compromises, to be sure, but a notable improvement on the often wildly disparate rotational orientations as stock.
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WxTech

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2021, 04:47:26 PM »

In case anyone is sufficiently curious to try this, and commence to start 'Moon gazing', be aware of an annoying game quirk. Which I have written about a couple times or three over the past few years.

Once you load a mission for a particular map, the Moon phase graphic first chosen remains I effect for ALL subsequent mission loads while on that same map.

In the FMB, if you want to explore where the Moon will be on a variety of dates, as you advance time the Moon will properly move on its orbit and vary in illumination based on the phase, but the Moon texture will never alter. If the first look had the Moon as a crescent (like in my screen shot in the top post), even if the Moon should be full it will still exhibit the same crescent texture.

Similarly, if you are playing a campaign that has a spell of missions over a few weeks on the same map, whatever was the Moon texture first used will remain as such forever after.

The only way to 'reset' the Moon phase graphic so that it loads the correct one is to either restart the game or load a mission for a different map.

OR!!! Load a different load.ini for the same map! This suggests a viable strategy for mission makers, particularly for night ops. Supply TWO (or more) load.ini files with the campaign, to be dropped into the map folder. They could be called, say, WxTech_1.ini and WxTech_2.ini. the missions would be structured so as to load from these .ini's alternatively. In this way the Moon phase would always be correct for every mission.

Ultimately, the better solution would be to figure out how to force a loading as though doing so for a new map every time, even if it's the same map.
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agracier

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2021, 05:30:31 PM »

In all my years of flying in Il-2 I don't think I have ever seen the moon ... what a surprise ..
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SAS~vampire_pilot

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2021, 09:42:35 AM »



(a random moon to admire)

WxTech

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2021, 10:51:17 AM »

Vamps,
That's the stock Moon in your screenie. It's not realistic, it's too greenish, it's on the dim side and it's likely still much oversized.

My Moon images are actual photos, with the texture sized so as to be not nearly so much larger than the real thing. They also are brighter and have a more neutral color cast. You might want to give them a try...  ;)
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SAS~vampire_pilot

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 12:40:12 AM »

I will

WxTech

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Re: Moon textures rotated for more proper appearance at different latitudes
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 08:22:23 AM »

UPDATE, Dec 7, 2021: I now include the remaining sets of textures, making 5 in all, for latitudes of 10N, 30N, 45N, 60N and 90N.

Fully replaces the first version. Same d/l link in the top post.
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