View Full Version : Regina, Jewel of the Spinward Main

02-25-2008, 08:09 PM
This is an initial proof of concept render of my uv-mapping for icomaps. What do you folks think?

EDIT: The map image is the Regina map from the map at the back of the MegaTraveller World Builder's Handbook. ©Digest Group Productions.

02-25-2008, 08:23 PM
Looks interesting... you might need to explain a little more about what your doing and what the aim of it is. Why the hexes and is this sphere mapping or something more ?

02-25-2008, 10:46 PM
oh my word...finally! Another traveller player!

02-25-2008, 11:15 PM
I think I understand, as a 3d guy...

I'm pretty sure he's using an icosahedral geosphere as opposed to a polar oriented sphere. The problem with polar oriented spheres is that your textures WILL end up as a pinch at each pole...Whereas with an icosahedral geosphere, the shape is made up of many equal sized triangles...With a slightly different style of projection (or UVW unwrap as they call it in 3d land) you can texture this sphere with little to no distortion as long as each triangle is undistorted in the projection.

Pretty smart stuff. I'd love to here your take on it tho su

02-26-2008, 01:00 PM
That's about right. I actually start with an icosahedron(in Blender make an icosphere with 1 subdivision, in Wings, an icosahedron :roll:).

Then you take your shiny icosahedron into your uvmapping environment. I did this in Wings, originally, because I wasn't sure how to do it in Blender. Turns out the Blender method isn't all that hard, either. By, you know, Blender standards :roll:. First select all of the five edges around the north pole and mark them as seams. Go to the south pole and also mark the five edges around that as seams. Now, pick a single edge across the midsection and mark that as a seam. Finally, unwrap the icosahedron. With both Blender and Wings, you wind up with a fairly classic icomap, only it's at a strange angle. It's a good idea to use your transform tools to straighten and center the icomap. I usually stretch my map to fit the square space. Wasted pixels are wasted, and I have enough Scottish in me to be frugal about those. I used a fairly low resolution for my uvmap anyway, so I didn't have a whole lot of pixels to spare... Now export the map with lines. You can use these in your favorite image editor to act as a guide when you arrange and stretch your source image to fit the icosphere.

I scanned the map of Regina(rhymes with... er, anyway...) from my copy of the MT World Builders Handbook. Did I mention that I love that planet. Two planet names show up in all of my universes: Regina, and to an even greater degree, Persephone. God bless Joss Whedon. But I digress...

Using Photoshop, I stretched and moved and slightly rotated(I guess it wasn't straight on the scanner :| ) my scan of a copyrighted image. I claim fair use. It was also a bit large for my low-res UV. Who knew my scanner was set to 2400 dpi? !?!

Once I got my image properly arranged on my obviously d20-shaped planet, which took awhile rendering with Bryce, I could go onto my next stage. My increasing frustration with Bryce is a major reason why I'm trying to learn Blender. Yeah, I know, "Out of the frying pan..." At this point, I went back to Wings and smoothed my icosahedron mesh a few times. I went a little overboard and ended up with about 4500 polys. Smoooooth! Now, I have a sphere ready to take an icomap as input. Yay!!!

My next stage is to use my fair use Regina map as a guide to build diffuse and ambient reflection maps, a specular map(mostly differentiates between rock, water, ice and vegetation), and a bumpmap(I thought about making an actual displacement map on a sphere with Blender. It's possible, but to show an entire planet would either involve ridiculously large blunt caricatures of mountains, or incredibly high polygon counts for invisible geometry. So, hey, never mind).

My real desire is to find an easy way to map icomap projections to plate carée, with which, then, I can have my way! I think that will require coding on my part. Never a good thing with my programming skills. Lately, every significant programming project I do is giving me flashbacks to my repeated failure at two-four trees in school... <sigh>

EDIT: Added images. I'm not going to put up the Regina map, because it is a scan of a © work. I only feel comfortable with derivative works, not the original.

02-26-2008, 09:54 PM
oh my word...finally! Another traveller player!

I play Traveller! Occasionally, anyway, and I haven't had the opportunity to play in quite some time. But still, I play it!