Starfall: planet rendering

I just posted a quick youtube video to demonstrate the current state of the planet renderer. This is early development stuff, and the eye candy is minimal, but it should give you some idea of the scope.

I will follow up with a more technical blog post in the next few days, explaining all that is going on behind the scenes, and can’t be seen in a video.

Part of the rationale behind this video is to stremline the whole video capture and posting process. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been entirely straightforward so far. I went through a number of video capture tools before settling on FRAPS, which works well enough (though I would have prefered a free tool).

I also have had a terrible time converting the video for youtube – ATI’s Avivo video converter is blazingly fast, but apparently produces an incompatibe audio codec in any of the high-quality settings. I was forced to fall back to the CPU-based Auto Gordian Knot, which both does a worse job, is very slow on my little Athalon 64 x2.

I am now experimenting with ffmpeg, but the command line options are confusing to say the least. If anyone has any clues/tips/tricks for getting FRAPS encoded video (and audio) into a suitable format for youtube HD, please let me know.


  1. I’ve used MediaCoder to encode FRAPS captured video into something that youtube can take. I can’t remember the exact options (may be xvid encoder) but it offers enough choices that you should be able to find one easily. Luckily MediaCoder is totally free.

  2. I use virtual dub with fraps. It gives you full control over your video and it’s free! You can use any compression, xvid is want I normally use but not sure if youtube supports it.

    Nice vid btw and thanks for helping me ages ago with atmospheric scattering šŸ™‚

  3. Wow! That is pretty cool =)

    Are you using just Python and Pyglet for that?
    I’ve just recently started playing around with Pyglet and stumbled here and was amazed.
    Great work!

  4. hey looking great! hope you keep working on it!
    BTW ever tryed JING for video capture? is a nifty little app which uploads your vids directly (if you want) to screencast after recording, so you can post it almost everywhere.

    • Jing is a pretty nice general screen-capture app, but unfortunately doesn’t allow one to exclude the window borders while capturing. For a pure 720p/1080p capture, I need to capture just the opengl context itself.

  5. Hello!

    Looking impressive:)

    Is this part of a commercial/opensource space sim game project(if so is there a forum..)?

    Are the mountains possibly too high ect. with respect to planet radius?..(about 0.1% for earth), or is that a smallish planet..

    Stronger scattering in air might make dawns more effective..

    Have you heard of open source Pioneer?, like Infinity,using lua/c++, but already released (alpha) recently (devs very welcome, i imagine)..

    Good luck!

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