What DO you call a tutorial that's not good for anything except how to make one specific map?
I would call it "a tutorial to make this map" and let others decide if they can use it for other things.
Bill Stickers is innocent! It isn't Bill's fault that he was hanging out in the wrong place.
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I'm in the initial brainstorming stages of this map. (Although I can already see the finished product in my head, I know damn well that such a project changes considerably as it grows.)
I'm thinking, I'll just use this thread as a Project Blog, and maybe at the end I'll post over in the Finished Maps area. We'll sort out whether to call it a "tutorial" later. Maybe others can pick up a few techniques here & there but I don't think it'll be much as a tutorial per se. Bah, giddy on my Featured Map scroll, maybe I was just hoping to get a Tute badge also. Hah.
The first thing I am concerned about is scale. Scale, in astronomy, is very difficult to deal with. If you get the orbit of Pluto into scale, you can't see Mercury and Venus. I am intending to abstract the scale completely. But, that leads to a parallax problem between planets. If I get all the planets into the proper zodiacal locations for 15605/09, but I discard the proprotionality of the orbits, then this graphic will only function accurately from the viewpoint of the sun; the angles and distances between any two planets will be utterly wonked.
Oooh, idea: maybe I can rig some sort of abstract logarithmic graphic element to represent the scale quantities that are lost by giving up the realworld orbital radii. Hmm! I have no idea what it would look like. That concept needs to cook for a while in the back of my head.
Another thing I am considering is artistic style. I want a semi-medieval, celestial spheres sort of thing, Copernican with a taste of Flammarion. This ought to be a lot of fun and I hope I can balance antiquity with futuristic scientificality. The one could easily overwhelm the other. Me wants both.
Ooh, it's clicking! I can feel it note to self: nonconcentric arcs! (Will I have any idea what that means a month from now? Even if I do, will it work? Stayed tuned, same bat channel.)some sort of abstract logarithmic graphic element to represent the scale quantities that are lost by giving up the realworld orbital radii. Hmm! I have no idea what it would look like.
I like the way you think, it sounds very spontaneous. SeerBlue
LOL, thanks, you make it sound like a good thing
A grid of sorts has manifested itself in the plan. Granted, it's a round grid, but a grid nonetheless. The X dimension is the planetary orbits, from 0 @ the sun to 100% @ the Oort Cloud. The Y dimension, which sadly enough begins with Z, is the Zodiac, from, well, hell I dunno where it starts, Sagittarius is at the galactic center so maybe I'll start there, but anyway it's a circle .. but if you unroll that circle, you'd get a 12-point line for Y, to go with the X orbits.
Now, I am a big one for using color to distinguish visual elements. I dunno what kind of color I will use across these two dimensions. I could alternate two colors across the Zodiac, making a stripey thing, purple-orange-purple-orange ... or maybe I can use yellow-orange for the summer signs and blues for the winter -- no that won't work, summer & winter are complements at the poles, there's no such thing as a winter month for the whole planet, hmm. I might start with white at the sun and work out through yellow and red and purple to blue at the fringe. That sounds good. But that takes the whole spectrum! What's left for the Zodiac?
Are you sure spontaneous thinking is the way to go?
I think what I will do is make names for boatloads of Kuiper & Oort & Transneptune objects. If "Makemake" was previously 2005 FY9 (or whatever), then ya gotta figure by the 16th millennium they'll probably have named all the objects I am gonna show on my map. Some of them might even be gone by then. This will let me escape from worrying too much about the objects that exist right now, or in the near future.
Meanwhile ... new render attached ... Thanks for the panorama link but it's not the seams I worry about, it's the pinched poles ... and I think by adjusting the sun I've made it irrelevant.
Argh, what did I do to poor Pluto's map? LOL! First he's bumped out of planethood, and then I mirrored a third of his terrain. Poor guy. You'd think the Lord Of The Underworld would deserve better.
First, modelling the planets has turned into one of those time-sucking subprojects, especially the ring systems. I have a proven, workable procedure, though, so it's just a matter of processing all the numerical data and various image maps. If I can, I'll step through Uranus or Neptune, for blog/tute purposes. I did Saturn, though, as I think you've seen. Working Jupiter now.
Second, I have decided that I've just about had enough of trying to procure real-world object rosters and ephemera. It's the far future, so (a) mankind will have exerted a lot of energy into naming or even removing some existing objects, and making new objects; and (b) nature herself does horrible things to planetary rosters, so if (when) somebody next finds some new dirty snowball behind Sedna, I really won't care that it's not on my map, because it can just be assumed that the snowball was melted down for minerals, or got hit by an Armageddon asteroid, or whatever. It is time to FICTIONALIZE! which is both easier than research and far more fun. So there.