Connect with us

Tech News

NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators – TechCrunch

Published

on

If you want to set your movie or game on the Moon, it’s not hard to find imagery of our photogenic satellite. But NASA has just released a useful and beautiful new set of data just for creators that includes not just imagery but depth data, making it simple to build an incredibly detailed 3D map of the Moon.

The CGI Moon Kit comes from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where science visualization expert Ernie Wright found that data he had assembled for other purposes was proving popular with 3D artists.

The data came from two instruments on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft that has been in orbit around the Moon for more than a decade, snapping pictures and taking measurements the whole time.

A close-up of some of the lunar imagery — not nearly as high-resolution as it gets, though.

On board the LRO is a high-quality “traditional” camera (really a sophisticated multispectral imager), which it has been using to build an amazingly high-quality map of the lunar surface. It can only capture a small portion at a time, but it does so constantly and as its orbit has shifted, it has captured pretty much the entire visible area of the Moon, though some shadowy regions can’t be imaged even after passing over them thousands of times.

Great photographs are only one part of a map, though. If you really want to recreate the surface of the Moon you need information on the topology of its surface as well. And that’s what the LRO’s laser altimeter has been collecting.

The laser altimeter works like any typical orbital laser ranger you have around the house. It sends a pulsed laser towards the surface and tracks both how long it takes to come back and how strong it is. These tell the device how far away the surface is (and therefore its altitude) down to half a meter, and what that surface is like, for instance a hard rocky structure or soft powdered regolith.

moonwrap optimized

That data is assembled into what’s called a displacement map, sort of like a topographic map where instead of the height actually changing, the color does. There are a couple varieties of this map, but the basic use case is the same: You overlay the displacement map on the photographic map, then wrap it all around a sphere — and you’ve got a virtual topographic globe.

Here’s a slower version of the GIF you see above.

This would be really interesting to explore in first person in a game where you build a lunar colony, or maybe have dogfights in spacecraft above a realistic lunar surface. Or maybe an artist could use it to create a model of the Moon like this one.

The CGI Moon Kit is free to download and all the assets are available with a few options that 3D artists will probably understand. You can learn more about it and get it here.



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech News

OnePlus 7T OxygenOS 11 Beta brings Always-on-Display feature

Published

on

OnePlus has always been proud of what it’s able to accomplish despite being a small company and exactly because it is a small company. It is able to be more agile and flexible, to establish more intimate relationships with its customers, and to take risks that richer companies are ironically more afraid to take. Unfortunately, it also means it may have fewer resources, especially for things like developing its custom OxygenOS Android experience whose latest version has still to reach its older phones. Fortunately for OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro owners, the wait might be well worth it.

Despite its usual speed in rolling out Android updates, it seems that OnePlus has somewhat dropped the ball with Android 11 and OxygenOS 11. It was only just this Monday that the OnePlus Nord got its update and, before that, only the current OnePlus 8 series has been gifted with the update. The rest are still stuck in Open Beta for at least two months now.

OnePlus just recently announced another beta release of OxygenOS 11, this time for the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. It has the usual changelog of fixes since the last beta release but Piunikaweb noticed one important bullet point missing. OxygenOS 11 is supposed to bring Always-on-Display or AOD, what OnePlus brands as Always-on Ambient Display, but it was nowhere to be seen in the changelog.

Fortunately, that might have just been a clerical error since the feature is actually available on the OnePlus 7T, at least if you’re part of that beta program. Those who were already on the beta will actually see AOD mentioned in the update, just not on the official forums. Given the OnePlus 7 OxygenOS 11 Beta does have AOD listed, it would have been odd if the more advanced OnePlus 7T didn’t get the feature at all.

That said, the question remains when the stable version of OxygenOS will come to the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T series. The company hasn’t updated its schedule for the rollout so far and the fate of the OnePlus 6 and 6T as well as the OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 are still unknown as well.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Galaxy Tab S6 One UI 3.1 update is rolling out two months early

Published

on

Given how people complain when things arrive early, it’s no surprise that they all celebrate when things arrive a lot earlier than expected. Not expected until May, it seems that Samsung has started the ball rolling to bring One UI 3.1 and Android 11 to its 2019 premium slate, the Galaxy Tab S6. Given the company and the type of device, this could be even more proof that Samsung has definitely matured and changed for the better, at least as far as updates go.

Although it does make a fuss over its most recent Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones, Samsung didn’t always bring Android updates to its other phone models in a timely manner. That’s sometimes even worse for tablets, where its latest Galaxy Tab S doesn’t always get preferential treatment at all. To its credit, Samsung has indeed been getting better at that and this might be one more point going for it.

With the update, the Galaxy Tab S6 jumps from One UI 2.5 and right into One UI 3.1, which means it’s also being upgraded to the so-far latest Android 11 version. That’s already a big jump under the hood but even more when it comes to the visual refresh that was introduced in One UI 3. There are, of course, new features as well but those might be harder to pin down on tablets.

For example, it isn’t certain which of the features announced in the Galaxy Tab S7 One UI 3.1 update will be available on the older tablet. The previous announcement does make mention of 360 Audio support becoming available on the Galaxy Tab S6 and SamMobile adds Auto Switch support when paired with a Galaxy Buds Pro. It will be terribly disappointing if new S Pen functionality, like Pen to Text in Samsung Notes, will be missing in this update.

The one small catch is that the One UI 3.1 update has so far been reported only for the LTE model of the Galaxy Tab S6 in Germany. Barring a mistake on Samsung’s side, the update should also start rolling out to other countries and both LTE and Wi-Fi models soon. Given the early release, there’s also a chance that the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite will join the party earlier than May as well.

Continue Reading

Tech News

OPPO Find X3 Pro, Neo, Lite leaked in full

Published

on

In just a few days, OPPO will be officially revealing its premier flagship for the year. Before that could happen, however, a single leak may have uncovered all there is to know about not one but three phones under the OPPO Find X3 banner. While OPPO might still have a few surprises to show, not to mention confirmations of these unofficial details, this massive leak already shows what the brand’s fans and customers can expect, and it’s a pretty interesting one at that.

Usually, you’d expect that variants of the same smartphone series would mostly differ in size and specs. While that’s still true here, OPPO has surprisingly made the three OPPO Find X3 models look distinctly different as well. The biggest outlier is the OPPO Find X3 Pro which has what can probably be better described as a camera mound instead of a camera bump.

The Find X3 Neo and the Find X3 Lite are more conventional in design, sporting thankfully smaller and narrower camera bumps. All three have four cameras on their back but, of course, the Find X3 Pro gets the best ones with a 50MP Sony IMX766 main sensor, a 13MP periscope-style telephoto lens, a 5MP macro camera, and a 50MP ultra-wide shooter. The Find X3 Neo gets a plain telephoto camera while the Find X3 Lite loses that altogether and swaps a 2MP depth sensor instead.

The three also differ in specs, with the Find X3 Pro running on the latest Snapdragon 888, the Find X3 Neo getting a 2019 Snapdragon 865, and the Find X3 Lite left with a Snapdragon 765G. That means, however, that all three are at least 5G capable, despite the performance differences. The top-end Find X3 also gets the largest 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD+ screen while the other two are left with 90Hz FHD+ displays at nearly similar sizes.

All three phones will be running OPPO’s ColorOS 11.2 based on Android 11, which should be reassuring to Android fans that want the latest versions. Of course, we’ll have to wait to hear about availability details and, more importantly, the photography feats that the phones, particularly the OPPO Find X3 Pro, will be capable of.

Continue Reading

Trending