I have started a change so you can specify the size of texture you want in planetinfo.plist, but it isn't working yet. It should be a simple change but something has gone wrong... I tried it with 1024x768 textures earlier today and the desert planet looked great. It didn't make that much difference for the earth-like one.
1024x768? I’m assuming you meant 1024x512?
It ends up I did mean 1024 x 768, which is what the problem was. Me and the 2yo are both sick at present so I'm not thinking too well. I wasted about an hour on that last night before giving up. Tried using texture sizes that were both powers of 2 and twice as wide as they are high and it worked fine. When I say the desert planet looked good it was a test I did before the user sizing code where I must have got the texture sizing correct.
Have you considered detail textures? Just a bit of noise mapped over the main textures to hide the pixelation.
I haven't. I don't know how I'd generate them in or out of libnoise.
cities. they shine in the dark!
Sensible positioning of the cities is probably the hardest bit there. (Incidentally, Giles mentioned implementing glow maps with shaders, but they can be done without.)
Yes, the positioning is a problem. The earth-like planets don't have rivers which is where their cities would most likely be (either coastal or inland). The mars-like planets could have them scattered about due to "mining" or something. But in either case it isn't something I'm looking at. For my interest, how would you make cities on the dark side of the planet visible with the current rendering code? I don't know enough about OpenGL or texturing to know.
As for the sun, I think the current look is pretty good for the main disc. You can’t pick out sunspots on the sun. :-) (A more realistic corona is possible, though. And maybe full-screen bloom effects…)
Well, given the fiction of Elite says all views are through cameras you can imagine you'd see more detail of the sun surfaces than you would through a window. It also means lens-flares are actually a valid artifact in the Oolite views! Unless there is technology to get rid of them.
Anyway, I've checked in the changes to allow user selected texture sizes, with the defaults still being 512 x 256.
I've also posted a new exe wrapped in a zip
with an example planetinfo.plist file). If you want to use the planetinfo.plist file, it goes in your AddOns/Config directory - note it isn't in any specific OXP.