Public beta update 0.990.43.1850
Build 1850 is a small update focused on completing the current iteration of the 3D rings system and fixing bugs detected during the public beta. By "current iteration" I mean that 3D rings will be updated in the future, but for now I must move on to other tasks. This build (maybe with a few updates) will be released to the main public branch as soon as possible.
I would also like to address a few common feedback items, some of which were already addressed in more detail in the previous blog post:
Rings are VERY thin, generally a few tens of meters at most. You must fly into them at a very low speed (like 10-100 m/s, depending on the angle) or else you will fly right through them without ever seeing the inside. In every case where someone joined the public beta and reported that they did not see 3D rings, this was why.
Some parts of a ring system will only have dust with no "rocks"; this is normal.
If ring particles seem to be randomly popping around the screen with every frame (including appearing "ghostly"), it is because your camera is not moving at the same speed as the rings are orbiting the planet. Pause time, bind the camera to a moon inside the rings, or go into the flight simulator and put a spacecraft into a circular zero-inclination orbit within the rings.
Added dust self-shadowing in 3D rings
Reduced aliasing of rings while looking edge-on
Reduced aliasing of ring shadows on planets
Geographic grid on black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs is warped according to gravitational lensing
Geographic grid color parameter is added to all skin config files
Optimized the Map mode performance near the Solar system and in other galaxies
Anti-aliased lines of constellations and coordinate grids (celestial, geographic and the Map mode grid)
Sharper orbital path lines
Ability to skip building the shader cache by pressing Esc in the loading window
Importing locations from clipboard automatically detects format (se:// URL or script)
Fixed inability to type negative magnitude limit in the camera toolbar
Fixed Wiki display of Hill/influence radius for gas giants
Fixed bug with rings lighting when toggling planet shine
Fixed bug with celestial grid and constellation line colors not loading from the skin config on startup
Fixed incorrect catalog stars clipping in the Map mode
Fixed wrong number of stars rendered in the Map mode
Fixed keyboard zoom speed being framerate-dependent in the Map mode
Fixed multiple errors in printing object names to the log file
Fixed incorrect impostor rendering of distant galaxies after loading some saved locations
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