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An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

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Messages - selden

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General Anim8or Forum / Re: Adding Text to a model
« on: February 06, 2016, 02:14:31 pm »
For an example, you can inspect the textures and modelling to see how the lettering was done for the craft's designation at the rear of the fuselage.

A potential problem with the Lambert Cylindrical Equal Area projection is that it greatly reduces the resolution in latitude near the poles although the resolution in longitude is the same as for an equirectangular projection.  In most cases, where the camera is not looking directly up or down, that loss of resolution probably is OK.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A One Sided Issue???
« on: November 02, 2015, 11:14:11 am »
You're very welcome. Please share some of the scenes you develop.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A Matter of Proportion?
« on: October 30, 2015, 04:45:32 am »

I was wondering why you were not going
twice through all the shapes.
The first time to extract all the materials.
The second  time to extract all the meshes.

Maybe I'm missing something.


I'm sure you'll be glad to know that I finally managed to modify the export script to do two passes so that now only a single CMOD model file is exported. There's no longer any need to concatenate two files together.   The revised script is available and described at

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A One Sided Issue???
« on: October 29, 2015, 09:57:28 pm »
Close inspection of the original 3ds that you provided (containing three copies of the Viper model) revealed that the Viper's model was damaged. Materials were missing, for example, the model was slightly out-of-kilter, and somehow the glass panes of the canopy had gotten out of registration with one another even though they're a single object.

I fixed a very few of the problems so the model superficially looks OK, but I didn't fix the more difficult ones. EG I didn't fix the canopy's glass, although I did make it transparent again.

Below is the 7zipped .an8 model of a single Viper, aligned with Anim8or's axes. and with its stripes restored. I've included the textures that it needs, the ones that I added back into it, which are only a few of the textures that it presumably started with. Below that are screengrabs showing how it looks in Anim8or and Celestia.

p.s. Applying the textures to provide the stripes actually was relatively straight forward.

Part of the damage to the model was the way the textures were mapped onto the right-side engine, the right-side upper and lower wing parts and the right side of the vertical fin. I deleted the damaged objects, selected their left-side counterparts (one at a time), and did a "build -> mirror image... x" to create their replacements.

I created materials names "engine_striped" and "fin" and selected the appropriate texture images in their material definitions. I was pleasantly surprised that simply selecting the appropriate parts of the model and "Apply" drew the images on the parts correctly. Apparently the texture mappings had been preserved on those parts even though the associated materials had been un-defined.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A One Sided Issue???
« on: October 29, 2015, 02:00:42 pm »
I won't have time to look at it in detail until this evening, but briefly, this is what I'd try to do:

ungroup the model
copy the tail to two new objects
in point-edit mode,
delete all of the points from the left half of one the new tail objects
delete all of the points from the right half of the other new tail object
  be sure to leave a one-point-wide border overlap in both halves.
fix the broken half
copy the repaired half into the object containing the previously OK half-tail object
merge the two halves into one  solid
replace the messed up tail in the original object with this repaired tail

ASL Scripts / Re: How to retrieve a texture's BlendMode ?
« on: October 29, 2015, 03:42:43 am »

Thanks, a lot! That did exactly what I wanted. I was able implement "decal" and "darken". Unfortunately, Celestia does not provide a way to add colors, only multiply, so I was unable to implement "lighten".

The revised CMOD exporter is now available at

ASL Scripts / How to retrieve a texture's BlendMode ?
« on: October 28, 2015, 11:05:33 pm »
How can I retrieve the BlendMode associated with a Texture in the export script that I'm working on?
(I'm trying to improve the functionality of my CMOD export script.)

The documentation at shows "int GetBlendMode(int mode);" to be an element of  "struct material" except that can't be right. That would allow only one BlendMode per material, while there actually can be many BlendModes in a material, one associated with each of a Material's Textures. Unfortunately, my attempts to retrieve it as if it were an element of a texture structure don't work. :(

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Texture Problems ???
« on: October 27, 2015, 03:43:55 pm »
Here's a very simple example.

I created a directory within Celestia's extras directory named "example" containing subdirectories

I created an empty file in an8 named example.an8
then opened it in anim8or and created a cube
I then created a jpg surface texture image in that same directory named "surface_512.jpg" (and copied it to textures\medres)
loaded the copy of "surface_512.jpg" that's in the same directory with the .an8 model into a material and applied it to the cube.
(See the upper left Anim8or window in the screengrab below)

I did a "save" in Anim8or, then exported the cube as "example.3ds" and moved that file into the "models" subdirectory.

I created a simple example.ssc which orbits the example cube around the Sun. See the editor window at the upper right of the screengrab.

I then ran Celestia and did a "goto example" See the Celestia window at the lower left. It's using the "surface_512.jpg"  that's in the medres directory.

I've appended a zip containing the resulting directory structure, an8 and 3ds models, and their textures. You can extract that Zip into your Celestia extras directory and should get the same results that I got.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A One Sided Issue???
« on: October 27, 2015, 02:53:28 pm »
The 3DS model that was uploaded contained multiple spacecraft at a random orientation within the coordinate system. When working on a model, you should limit the work to a single model which is carefully aligned with the coordinate system. Then, as the very last step, when it has been modified to be as you want it, you can use it to create an entirely new model consisting of multiple copies of the original.

I deleted two of the models and aligned the remaining one with Anim8or's coordinate system. I then un-grouped the model, deleted the messed up wing and mirrored the one that was OK. (Since you didn't include any surface texture images, I made my own with arrows on it so I could judge its alignment.)

I've attached a zip of the resulting .an8 model. Like the 3DS, it requires two textures: "wing.jpg" and "engine thing.jpg"

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Texture Problems ???
« on: October 26, 2015, 10:21:15 pm »
It works best for me to have two copies of the textures: one in the directory where I work on the Anim8or model, the other in Celestia's directory textures\medres for when I want to display the model in Celestia. I often do the model work in a completely separate directory tree, not in Celestia's. It's a little awkward, but produces the necessary results.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A One Sided Issue???
« on: October 26, 2015, 12:23:25 pm »
I agree with lppena: I'd delete the wing that's messed up and replace it by a mirror image of the other wing.

When an object is perfectly symmetrical, it sometimes can be easiest to create only half of it and combine that half with its mirror image.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Texture Problems ???
« on: October 26, 2015, 12:13:19 pm »
I suspect the model and its textures weren't imported into Anim8or correctly. Make sure you have all of the texture images in the same directory with the model when you first load it into Anim8or. That way Anim8or is guaranteed to find all of the necessary texture images.

When I loaded your model into Anim8or with no texture images available, it complained about only one texture image.  In other words, Anim8or is only looking for the one texture image, so that's the only texture that Celestia will try to load, too.

I made a  white jpg with arrows to show the texture image's orientation, and they point in the same directions on both the Anim8or model and the 3DS model exported from it as seen in Celestia. See below.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: A Matter of Proportion?
« on: October 25, 2015, 03:56:53 pm »
It's because you've got them on an orbit which is very tiny, orbiting rapidly, and inside the star.  An orbit which is appropriate for going around the Earth doesn't work well for going around a star. If you specify a larger orbit, one which places the spacecraft outside the star, they won't jump around.  e.g.

    EllipticalOrbit {
    Period 1
    SemiMajorAxis 1

This is just an example to make it display well. A period of 1 (year) at a distance of 1 (AU) is only correct for orbits around our own Sun.  Rigel is a much more massive star, so orbits around it have much shorter orbital periods for orbits with a given semimajor axis.  If you want it to be more realistic, you'll need to do some research and a little algebra to define an orbit which has more appropriate parameters for this star (at a larger SMA so the pilots don't cook, for example :) ) and with the correct period for that SMA.

However, this isn't a topic directly related to Anim8or, so it might be more appropriate to discuss it in a PM (Private Message).

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Back home and working on next release
« on: October 23, 2015, 10:30:40 am »
Yup. That's why doing backups frequently is essential, especially when you're working on an important project.

FWIW, Western Digital disks currently come with access to a limited-function version of Acronis. It takes about half an hour to backup 150 GB on my Windows computer, going from an internal SSD to an external 3TB disk.

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