Hello everyone, we finally have a new update for you! But before we talk about it, we would like to apologize for how long it has been since the last update. Though the delay was unavoidable, we still could have done a better job about finding ways to issue at least minor updates for you during that time. We are currently working on creating a firm release schedule, so that releases will come regularly, and you will know what kinds of changes to expect in each one. We will make an announcement about that as soon as the schedule is finalized.

But back to the update! Initially being released to the public beta branch, it includes some important and much-requested overhauls to autoexposure and video recording, as well as additional fixes and improvements. The major features are described below.

NEW AUTOEXPOSURE

The old and rather buggy autoexposure system has been overhauled. Watch the video below to see it in action.

The new system is histogram-based.The histogram samples points around the entire image and analyzes their brightness distribution. Large areas of a given brightness will generally be selected as the exposure target over smaller areas of a different brightness. Areas near the center of the screen will also generally be given priority over areas near the edge. The system has many values that can be adjusted in the config file and the console to change its behavior.

NEW VIDEO RECORDER

The old and very limited AVI video recording system has been removed and replaced with a much better ffmpeg-based system. The following output formats are available:

  • H.264 hardware encoding, MP4 container
  • H.265 hardware encoding, MP4 container
  • VP9 software encoding, WEBM container

The H.264/5 encoders use hardware acceleration and are very fast. If you have a supported GPU, it will significantly improve your video capture times. If you don’t have a supported GPU, you can still use the VP9 encoder. It’s too slow to use for real-time interactive capture, but SpaceEngine’s video recording tools aren’t meant for that anyway.

NEW TEAM MEMBER

We are excited to announce the addition of a new team member! Andrew is a programmer, and he has already contributed a lot to development; the new video recording system was his work! He also helped to optimize the engine by implementing uniform buffer objects. He is continuing to work on new and great features, and we will no doubt be sharing many exciting new developments in the future thanks to him!

CHANGELOG

Build 0.990.40.1805
– Histogram-based auto exposure
– Replaced AVI video capture with new built-in ffmpeg video capture
– Optimization of the engine (implemented uniform buffer objects)
– Changed orbital lines rendering to a new method (artifact-free)
– Fixed black body colouration options
– Ability to define a state vector instead of a planet orbit in the catalog and export it (WIP)
– Debugging menu
– Updated localizations
– Added Ukrainian and Romanian localizations
– Some fixes in catalogs
– Fixed bug with first upload of an addon project in LaunchPad
– Fixed SE window not appearing when launched from LaunchPad
– Fixed discontinuty bug in quaternion interpolation