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[Android] Exoplanet Explorer

Final work

[Android] Exoplanet Explorer

Postby neilb » 01 Dec 2011, 02:06

Always keen to recycle, I took the code base for Solar Explorer and adapted it into a related app I call Exoplanet Explorer.

The purpose of the app is to visualise solar systems outside our own, based on exoplanet data that has been accumulated since the first planet was discovered in 1989.

All up, there are currently 704 planets and planet candidates identified in nearly 600 solar systems beyond ours.

The app uses regularly updated data from Exoplanet.eu to create a 3D model of the exosystems, including an "artistic interpretation" of the system that the user can zoom in to, based on a combination of the planet mass and planet temperature caused by the proximity to it's parent star, resulting in each planet given a unique category and appearance based on one of 18 different textures.

Additional features include the ability to filter and sort the planet data by star and planet type, mass, discovery date, and others etc.

My current focus is on making the app as visually interesting as possible using such things as normal mapping for the planets and other effects. Recent updates to the UAT are making this job easy as OpenGL 2.0 runs incredibly fast, even on relatively poor hardware like my old HTC Desire.

I used to spend a lot of time with Solar Explorer trying to squeeze out every fps... now I can focus on making it and my new app pretty :D

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neilb
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Re: [Android] Exoplanet Explorer

Postby giggsy » 01 Dec 2011, 11:35

Looks well done!

Are those labels actually moving with the objects?
Would be interesting how you solved that (to mount a HUD to an objects position).
For our current project I had to write an AI which connects a model with a HUD and calculates the world space pos into screen space ... which is a bit laggy when quickly moving through the scene ;)
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Re: [Android] Exoplanet Explorer

Postby neilb » 01 Dec 2011, 12:04

Yes, the tags follow the objects.

By laggy, do you mean that the tags appear to get left behind for a fraction of a second when the camera moves quickly?

If so, then I have that problem on Solar Explorer, but the tags keep up perfectly with objects in this one. I did what you described, created an AI which that updates the tags using a table containing a list of objects. The lag is caused by the tags being updated in the wrong order when object positions are being updated.

I suspect it might work in Exoplanet Explorer because a state in the main AI updates the objects, then the tags are updated by a state in the tag AI, but I haven't had time to test the theory...
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