Well, Seeker for Windows has finally shipped! I've been a little quiet here lately. I've been diverted to The Sky X for a little while, incorporating some Seeker "technology" there. We're pressing hard to have The Sky X ready by NEAF... it might not "ship" by then, but it's getting very very close. I can tell you this too, somebody's going to have to stop saying "they" have the worlds most realistic astronomy software soon... ;-)
Back to seeker, I have been doing some experimenting with dome rendering. As it turns out, my approach for the engine makes this extremely easy to do... sort-of. Turns out dome rendering is really weird. Looking at it on a 2D screen is really counter-intuitive. A lot of things are just falling out quite naturally, other things like text and 2D images are going to take a little more finessing. We've already been talking to some people in the planetarium business, and we are steadily heading that way. The tours also need to be reworked a bit for a dome environment. For example, now when you fly past a planet, or under Saturn's rings, I tilt the camera somewhat to convey the feeling of size and scale. On the dome, the rings literally pass right overhead... awesome. You can't beat a real planetarium experience.
As for the shipping version the first Mac patch will be available very soon. It's all ready to go, we are just testing it to make sure it works, then we'll make it public. It should be up by early next week I think. This patch will fix movie rendering on PPC Macs and has some new content that is already in the Windows version. Check out the new and improved Pluto and Sedna models, and the new Dwarf planet tours. We also have updated the Halley's comet tour. As it turns out, my comet calculations weren't quite there. I added a comet with a Hyperbolic orbit, and it just blew up. Fixing it, I found that the elliptical orbits were also off just a bit. Turns out fixing the orbit calculations, broke the Halley's comet script because Halley's comet wasn't quite in the right place at the time the script starts. The new tour has some music too, and I actually like it quite a bit better.
Well, NEAF is right around the corner, back to the grindstone....
03-29-2007 7:47 PM