View Full Version : Creating 3d star maps

07-09-2009, 02:46 PM
As asked, ive produced a small tutorial explaining how to create 3d stsr maps like the one i used in a map i made:

07-09-2009, 02:59 PM
That's cool.

You know what would be awesome, if you had a table of distances between each star. Unless you have teleportation (in which case they probably don't care about a 3D map anyway), then travel distance is a factor even for FTL.

It'd be even awesomer if you could represent those distances between the star points themselves, even better than a separate table. But it'd get cluttered quick, huh. Maybe just the major routes?

07-09-2009, 03:05 PM
Well thats fairly easy to do, i can sow how to do it, but its just using pytagoras if you know the distance to the star you want in X and the height from x for y.

A table would be the best option IMHO, otherwise theyd be too many lines (specially if its a large map), though you could provide the y distance and the x distance to reference next to each star plus the equation in the map key.

07-09-2009, 03:09 PM
Does anybody have the formula handy for Δx Δy Δz?

07-09-2009, 03:25 PM
you mean x2-x1, y2-y1, z2-z1?

Distance in 3D works the same as in 2D, you just tack the Z in on the end of Pythagorean to get the distance. Rather than Sqrt( (dX)^2 + (dY)^2) you get Sqrt( (dX)^2 + (dY)^2 (dZ)^2)

07-09-2009, 03:38 PM
Cool. So write a star database in Flash and have it place all the points like zhar2 did in his tute, and then draw distance-labelled routes. w00t!

... edit ... sorry, I was in coding mode ... I get coding & cartography confused sometimes ...

07-09-2009, 03:48 PM
Well something in doce for flash is a bit beyond me lol.

08-05-2009, 06:16 PM
Are you folks aware of Celestia?
It's a free 3D astronomy program which includes a database of about 100,000 nearby stars.


When your viewpoint is at one star, one of its menus shows the distances to other stars.
http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/images/star_distances.jpeg (http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/images/star_distances.png)

It can draw lines between stars (in 3D), either by (mis)using its constellation file (shown above) or by creating an appropriate model, as I did to show the traderoutes of C.J.Cherryh's Alliance-Union stories.

http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/images/trade_routes.jpeg (http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/images/trade_routes.png)

But of course, Zhar2 knows all about Celestia :)