Density Maps

Complain about the nerfs here
User avatar
User

ForumBot

Rank

Captain

Captain
Posts

976

Joined

Thu May 08, 2014 1:39 am

Density Maps

Postby ForumBot » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:49 am

Recently while messing around with some things, I figured out a more effective thing to create more accurate density maps in the game by compressing the density of an entire sector into a pixel. This thread will go over how to make them and what their purpose is, along with an introduction.

For starters, there's plenty of other ways to create so-called maps of the galaxy in PNG files, but most of these are either hard, inaccurate or unreliable. One of these I tried was plotting out all the systems from each sector on the map from a birds-eye view onto an image, but this proves inaccurate, since i often found myself plotting stars from nearby sectors instead, plus sectors below the intended one. This problem can't be completely avoided but was very apparent with doing this. Another idea was counting stars in a sector. I don't even know why I thought this would be a good idea, but then I came up with another idea, which after some testing, seems to actually work.

Instead of doing any tedious ingame busywork, such as counting, I just had an image-editing software do the work for me. I found it to be pretty accurate as well. Obviously the stars below the sector still have an impact on what it looks like in the map, but this can't really be avoided in any way, and it doesn't have any obnoxious effects like it did when manually plotting star locations. After getting used to it, it takes about a minute or less per sector, which is great compared to what else I tried. Anyways, the idea is basically using Paint.NET to edit a screenshot in such a way as to create a heat map out of the sector. Things like star system names and the coordinate plane labels also are intrusive, but neither have too significant of an impact and the coordinate plane labels exist in every sector, therefore it creates an accurate representation of how dense the sector is.

These are some examples, the following being the Apollo system and the second being the sector around nexus, where everything is about as crowded and bright as sectors can get. Both are just pixels, but each pixel represents a sector and combining these together should in theory create an accurate heat map of the galaxy:

Apollo sector (purple is likely due to abundance of jumpgates)
Image
Now here is an image of the same size of the Apollo sector:
Image

Nexus sector
Image
Now for another image of the sector, but in the same size as the above picture:
Image
Those ones were colored, which after some more experimentation, I encountered a few problems with this related to this, which caused sectors to sometimes appear brown when pixelating them. Blurring them with the unfocusing effect seemed to be a decent workaround though, and also doesn't require you to scale down the image.

Anyways, there's multiple reasons why construction one of these on a larger scale would be useful. For starters. if and when earth is added, this could be a huge bonus as to where it is. Even with that aside, it allows us to create a formal map of the galaxy, which could point us to where the center is and where the edge is, or where the different spirals are. It could also help us figure out other possibilities, such as if different types of stars are more common in another part of the galaxy, and help us find other interesting things. With this, we could also possibly one day, reach the very center of the galaxy.

Lastly, I'm going to include a tutorial on creating these. It's pretty simple, and even if it's not done perfectly, there's a little more room for error without creating any big misconceptions. All you will need is Paint.NET. I don't think simpler paint programs will do the job as well, but Paint.NET is free and quite simple to use, so if you don't already have it, I'd recommend getting it and getpaint.net. the name of the software, paint.net is NOT the right URL so if you go there you will end up on some random paint company's website.

For the tutorial, I'll be using the sector where Nexus is as an example.
To start, just get to a fully zoomed out birds-eye view of the sector. the way the camera is faced should have little to no impact on how it turns out. Just make sure the sector (aka the part where the grid goes over) is aligned with your screen. Try to be as accurate as possible, but there's also a little wiggle room here and it shouldn't matter too much. Hide as much of the UI as possible so you have a clear view. It should look something like this:
Image

Next, crop it to just the grid. It should look like this:
Image

Now, keeping the aspect ratio (which should be enabled by default), resize the width to 100, and the high will resize accordingly*. It should just look like a more blurry image of the above image. The reason for downsizing it is so the end result is one single pixel instead of several. After that, go adjustments > hue/saturation and increase the saturation all the way to 200 and increase the lightness to 10. Leave the hue alone. The result should be a bright and blurry image of the above picture:
Image
*After more experimentation, I concluded that this step no longer was necessary, so feel free to skip it.

Now, finally, just go to Effects>Blurs>Unfocus and unfocus it as much as possible, until it is a single pixel, and there you have the heatmap for a single sector. Most likely you will either get a red, blackish or purple pixel, depending on where you did it. You can leave it here, but to make it easier to understand when it's put onto a larger map, I just go to Adjustments > Black and White which will automatically make the picture becoming black and white, which then displays only the brightness, aka density of the sector. My result for this sector was a light grey pixel, and Apollo turns out to be a darker grey pixel:

Pixel representing the density of the nexus sector:
Image

Obviously this is much larger than a pixel, but as it is just one solid color, it can easily be put in as a pixel on a much larger map.
Joined on May 6, 2014
Formerly known as newuser12980
Discoverer of Nexus
User avatar
User

delfromanc

Rank

2nd Lieutenant

2nd Lieutenant
Posts

51

Joined

Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:13 pm

Location

Georgia, USA

Re: Density Maps

Postby delfromanc » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:11 am

interesting idea.

Delf Romanc
Romanc Mining Company
======================
M*&@#!$*
Just Keep Pounding away.
User avatar
User

ForumBot

Rank

Captain

Captain
Posts

976

Joined

Thu May 08, 2014 1:39 am

Re: Density Maps

Postby ForumBot » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:02 am

Nearly 500 views, only 1 reply.

Looks like about 90% of people just tl;dr this thread then
Joined on May 6, 2014
Formerly known as newuser12980
Discoverer of Nexus
User avatar
User

Moneyman

Rank

Captain

Captain
Posts

749

Joined

Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:53 pm

Location

Massachusetts

Re: Density Maps

Postby Moneyman » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:05 pm

:mrgreen: OpenOffice-Draw is also free and can do atleast what Paint.net can do.

:!: OpenOffice is a fully integrated, free program suite: See Mischief's first post.

:arrow: With OpenOffice-Writer, this thread's first post could have had images and text in an easier to understand form. :)

--- :idea: Paint.net doesn't have table cells into which images, videos and text can be inserted. Check it out. :?:

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | Style by KomiDesign | Modified by Chris Valleriani
cron