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Submitted by Vander Nunes, posted on April 01, 2002

Image Description, by Vander Nunes

These are some shots from my last little project, called WorldMap 3D. This started just as a simple test of my game system, but I got excited and decided to finish something more usable.

The main features are:
  • Correct Earth orbit around the Sun;
  • Based on some orbit predictions, "correct" Moon orbit around the Earth;
  • Real clouds (yes, REAL), updated automatically from satellites;
  • Shows any of 1300+ pre-included locations around the world;
  • Built-in locations manager that can add/modify/remove locations;
  • Shows the approximated time of any location;
  • 6 pre-defined, configurable cameras plus 1 draggable user camera;
  • Sun causes overbrights, glowing and lens flares;
  • Many items are configurable both inside the application itself and an external configurator;
  • Can run as a normal application (windowed or fullscreen) and/or as a screensaver;
  • Runs theoretically under Win98/Me/2K/XP, DirectX 6.1, 3D card required.
  • Direct download from

    Please visit my site at and send me your comments, suggestions and flames! =)

    I want to thank DooMWiz here because this guy alpha-tested the WorldMap after some insistence from my part in the IRC, heh. =) Hey, Doom, thank you after all!


    Vander Nunes

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    April 01, 2002, 09:06 PM

    Here's the log


    ------[ LOG worldmap.log STARTED AT Tue Apr 02 02:54:11 2002 ]--------------------------------------------------------------

    [02:54:11] WORLDMAP Firing Up
    [02:54:11] Copyrightę 2002, Vander Nunes -

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 09:52 PM

    The log shouldn't be just these lines. Unless it is generating an exception before entering the main program. I will re-check the initialization code anyway, thanks.

    BTW, did you check the "Flipping" option? Someone told me it gave him black screen. If you did, please try unchecking then. Use the external configurator, and "Reset" to defaults.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 09:56 PM

    Please try the version update 1.0.2, hopefully this problem is fixed now.

    Vander Nunes

    April 01, 2002, 09:59 PM

    Thinking again after the last fix (v1.0.2), the daylight-saving is supported, unless you're referring to daylight-saving all over the world.


    April 02, 2002, 12:33 AM

    Is it just me, or do any of the rest of you remeber Mean Fox's product? :)
    Good work, and I really like the idea of real-time clouds.
    I had actually thought about how cool it would be to have real clouds when I looked at Mean Fox's World-Saver, but I never really considered anyone actually doing it in a demo. A full retail program maybe, but not a demo...
    It would be really interesting if it could plot the relative position of the moon also, and maybe other planitary bodies and stars - Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Sirius, Betelgeuse... (hey, you could be well on you way to creating a decent astronomy program!)
    On the other side of the coin, you could use the 5km and 1m scans from NASA and the USGS to do super-hi-res mapping. You could set up some L.O.D. code to keep the video card from barfing, and allow the user to zoom in and view cities up close (look! there's my house!!!), maybe even include topographical data so you can drop down onto the surface and look horizontally and see landscapes...
    Of course, that's way more work than anyone would actually put into a demo, but I can dream... (or I can get off my lazy ass and write my own, or would that be "get on my lazy ass", as I usually code sitting down... whatever. catch you all l8r)


    April 02, 2002, 12:46 AM

    Oh, wait, you do have the moon in there. never mind about that then...


    April 02, 2002, 02:13 AM

    Strange....after rebooting it works fine now.


    April 02, 2002, 02:14 AM

    Now it works fine ;)
    It's very dark here 11:21 PM Oakland and on your worldmap too.


    April 02, 2002, 02:18 AM

    Oops, I spoke too soon. The standalone exe works fine, the screensaver still gives just a black screen, clicking on the settings button does nothing. The log file for the screen saver is the same as what I posted previously i.e. it never gets to "creating application window".

    Johan Hammes

    April 02, 2002, 02:42 AM

    since someone commented on the lighting of the moon and the earth....

    the explanation that I have heard for the moon (remember there is no atmosphere), is that it is mainly due to all the jagged rocks on the moon. At full moon , when looking at it, at the sides, rather than seeing a surface almost paralel with your view (as you would with a ball), you see the front (perpendicular to you) of millions of rocks and protrusions, that is as bright as the center of the moon.

    the moon has very difficult lighting to replicate. At full moon, the sides are exactly (well relative to the precision of computer displays) the same brightness as the center. However, when viewed from the side at half moon a gradient is visible.

    for the earth, I can imagine that the atmosphere helps to bend light around it, and actually lights up a few degrees of the dark side as well.


    April 02, 2002, 03:20 AM

    I just wanted to mension another thing wich I beleave is important to explain the gradient/no gradient in the half/full moon.

    The sun is further away from the moon than we are. This means the light coming from the sun to the moon is "paralel" (the quotes here are the error metrics :) and the light reflected on the moon coming to us is "conic".. being the moon spheric, we see less lunar surface than the sun does.. Also the sun is a bit bigger than our eye.. wich means it iluminates more than we can see. Namelly, if you think of an eclipse, the sun if big enouth for some of its iluminating corona to be seen overflowing the moon. So basically, at full moon, we don't see part of the "gradiented" surface of the moon. And voila, in stead of doing a gradient from RGB(1, 1, 1) to RGB(0, 0, 0), you get a non-linear gradient from RGB(1, 1, 1) to RGB(.7, .7, .7)



    April 02, 2002, 03:48 AM

    Many rendering programs have a setting called "specularity" or "roughness", which can be used to create just this effect. Basically it describes the amplitude of the random deviation of the texture normal from the surface normal at a resolution assumed to be too high to render explicitly. You can use this setting to get interesting results, like velvet, the moon, etc.


    April 02, 2002, 03:57 AM

    oh, right.. I was explaining the physics part.. not the realistic render simulation part... :-)



    April 02, 2002, 04:13 AM

    I know. That's why I replied to Johan's post, not yours. :)
    In response to yours, yes the light from the sun should be cast as parralel rays... (almost)
    If you wanted to get really complicated, you would calculate the portion of the surface of the sun to which each point on the moon is exposed first to get your initial illumination (direct raycasting from all poins on the surface of the sun instead of assumed parralel rays), then you would calculate all sorts of odd things like the portion of the surface obscured by the surrounding 'roughness', and the brighness of the light incident on the sides/surfaces of this 'roughness', and finally the general distribution of the normals of the 'roughness' and the resulting apparent brightness of a given porion of the surface.
    Or, you could just use mathematical/asthetic shortcuts. It all depends on if you want to make something that runs in real-time on a personal computer just to look cool, or something that takes hours to calculate over a distributed cluster to be used in scientific research and government work where tolerences are < 0.01%.
    :) If it looks close enough that you can't tell, it's good enough for a demo...


    April 02, 2002, 05:09 AM

    oops, I didn't notice you were replying to someone else.. got confused with the cascading links..

    yeah.. your rigth... Its the problem with us perfectionists... we never get satisfied with what we have :-)



    April 02, 2002, 07:02 AM

    There still seems to be a bug in your program. If i change the date on my computer, to say midnight dec 19, it thinks that i have broad daylight (in northern europe). That's incorrect. Where i live the sun never even rises on dec 19.

    Johan Hammes

    April 02, 2002, 09:45 AM

    it might be interesting to speak to someone who knows this for sure. I talk under a bit of correction, but if you measure the brightness of the full moon, the outside rim is about 0.98 as bright as the center, and that is almost nothing at all. Understanding thy science might help to come up with a good aproximation, Fil, I dont know how close you are to this already.

    horrible assci art

    | |

    | |
    -| |-

    if you look at the top sphere (well half) from the bottom, you generally see less and less of the surface sin(theta). However, the one at the bottom which is bumpy, at the sides you see full on some surface which is as bright as the bit in the center, and the part of the surface that is dark is not seen by the viewer at all.

    This may make a nice demo to post here if someone impliments it nicely.... will see if I have time


    April 02, 2002, 09:54 AM

    How 'northern' is that? Heheheh.

    Vander Nunes

    April 02, 2002, 10:00 AM

    At this moment I don't know what is happening to you, but I'll be checking in some different hardware configurations, any update will be announced in the Virtware's site remarking the fixes.

    Thank you for reporting!


    April 02, 2002, 11:06 AM

    As I said earlier, I approximated this by using a power function on the result of the dot product between the surface normal and the light (as in the standard diffuse model). It looks fine if you're using this to create a lightmap but it looks pretty awful on low resolution meshes. Also, you'll have to either use Dx8/OpenGl+extensions and write a vertex shader for this or, if you have to use lesser hardware, you'll have to shade the vertices yourself which is much slower than using hardware T&L.


    Vander Nunes

    April 02, 2002, 11:52 AM

    I am glad to hear it. =)

    Vander Nunes

    April 02, 2002, 11:53 AM

    Heh, but then, it is better to write a war game.

    Vander Nunes

    April 02, 2002, 11:55 AM

    Although not directly related to your post, every time I see Clayworks, I see how nice is its interface skin. Very cute, indeed.

    Chris Blodgett

    April 02, 2002, 01:12 PM

    great job on the program..

    I saw a book on which had a colleciton of some of the most signifigant papers from SIGGRAPH but it was out of print. Anyone know where I can buy such a book? If so please email me Thanks..

    Clint Brewer

    April 02, 2002, 02:02 PM

    Hey Johan,

    speaking of lighting....

    when are you gonna release a demo of your adaptive eye model? I've been drooling over seeing that work for a long time now :)

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