Celestia AutoPilot

Description: General discussion about Celestia that doesn't fit into other forums.

AuReality
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#1by AuReality » 10.05.2004, 21:01

Announcing Celestia AutoPilot

Since I got acquainted with Celestia, I wanted to use it for flying over and around planets, like in a flight simulator. When Lua came available for Celestia I decided to write a program that would it make possible for all users, programmers and non-programmers alike, to produce those kind of scripts.
Now it is there: version 1.0 of 'Celestia AutoPilot'

Celestia AutoPilot is a Windows program to create Lua (.celx) scripts to be run in Celestia. The scripts can be run from inside AutoPilot (no need to switch to Celestia) or can be saved and run indepedently.

As of this writing, the scripts that can be generated are limited to rotations around and flights over planets (or other Celestia objects).

You can

- approach planets
- rotate around planets, with different views
- make curves
- fly below the clouds

Requirements

- Windows (I am sorry for the other platforms)
- Celestia 1.3.2pre1 or higher

The program can be downloaded from
http://www.midiworld.org/AuReality/celestia/celestia.html
Any feedback is welcome.

Enjoy!

Paul

don
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#2by don » 13.05.2004, 20:59

Hi Paul,

Wow, what an ambitious project! The examples look pretty good, except for a few "jumps" here and there. The program form looks very nice and is easy to use. Your documentation is also very good.

However, on my first attempt, the results are different every time.

Code: Select all

Object: Sol/Venus
Relative: Unchecked
StartX=0
StartY=25000
StartZ=0
FOV=45
Speed=3
View=Top

Actions (only 1)...

Duration=5
Distance=30
StartMessage="Descend to 30km"
Duration=3
EndMessage="Done"
Duration=3

(All other values are defaults)

The result is an altitude of anywhere from 39km to 70km, not 30km.

If I change the FOV, the final altitude varies more widely.

I've not tried any other actions yet.
-Don G.
My Celestia Scripting Resources page

Avatar: Total Lunar Eclipse from our back yard, Oct 2004. Panasonic FZ1 digital camera (no telescope), 36X digital zoom, 8 second exposure at f6.5.

Starman
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#3by Starman » 14.05.2004, 03:36

It sounds excellent, can't wait to try it.

--Starman

Guest
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#4by Guest » 14.05.2004, 07:12

don wrote:Hi Paul,

Wow, what an ambitious project! The examples look pretty good, except for a few "jumps" here and there. The program form looks very nice and is easy to use. Your documentation is also very good.
Thank you Don
And... yes, it was an ambitious project.

don wrote:However, on my first attempt, the results are different every time.
(code snipped)
The result is an altitude of anywhere from 39km to 70km, not 30km.

You are right. I did not properly test AutoPilot with such rather abrupt 'jumps' (25000 to 30 km in 5 seconds, wow!) and I see that it results in incorrect distances.
Fortunately I also know why, so this weekend I will correct it and upload version 1.01

Paul

Guest
Guest

#5by Guest » 14.05.2004, 07:13

Starman wrote:It sounds excellent, can't wait to try it.

--Starman


What is holding you. Starman?
The download URL is in the original message.

Paul

don
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#6by don » 14.05.2004, 08:39

Paul wrote:You are right. I did not properly test AutoPilot with such rather abrupt 'jumps' (25000 to 30 km in 5 seconds, wow!) and I see that it results in incorrect distances. Fortunately I also know why, so this weekend I will correct it and upload version 1.01

Thank you Paul.

Don't forget, one must subtract the object's radius (6,000 km in this case) from the Starting Distance, since it is specified as an X, Y, Z value (from center of object) instead of actual distance from the surface, like the Ending Distance is. By the way, I also tried it with a starting distance of 7,000 km (1,000 km above the surface) and the ending distance also varies.

Would there be any way to not confuse the user by allowing both Start and End Distances to be specified the same way -- either from the center of the object *or* from the surface of the object?

This is a fun program to play with! :D

Thank you for creating it.
-Don G.

My Celestia Scripting Resources page



Avatar: Total Lunar Eclipse from our back yard, Oct 2004. Panasonic FZ1 digital camera (no telescope), 36X digital zoom, 8 second exposure at f6.5.

AuReality
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#7by AuReality » 15.05.2004, 00:51

don wrote:
Paul wrote:You are right. I did not properly test AutoPilot with such rather abrupt 'jumps' (25000 to 30 km in 5 seconds, wow!) and I see that it results in incorrect distances. Fortunately I also know why, so this weekend I will correct it and upload version 1.01
Thank you Paul.

Don't forget, one must subtract the object's radius (6,000 km in this case) from the Starting Distance, since it is specified as an X, Y, Z value (from center of object) instead of actual distance from the surface, like the Ending Distance is. By the way, I also tried it with a starting distance of 7,000 km (1,000 km above the surface) and the ending distance also varies.

Would there be any way to not confuse the user by allowing both Start and End Distances to be specified the same way -- either from the center of the object *or* from the surface of the object?
Yes, there would be that chance. However, the advantage of the method I chose is that you can specify different locations as starting point, but with the same distance to the surface. Maybe I should change it to a Lat/Long location, together with a distance?

Also see my update message!

Paul

don wrote:This is a fun program to play with! :D
I agree! :-)

don wrote:Thank you for creating it.

You're welcome

AuReality
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Update AutoPilot

#8by AuReality » 15.05.2004, 00:57

The AutoPilot version on my website
http://www.midiworld.org/AuReality/celestia/celestia.html
has been updated, according to the suggestion made by Don.

That is: AutoPilot's end state is now correct: when you fly to 30 km distance of Venus, you really end up there.

Enjoy.

Paul

don
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#9by don » 15.05.2004, 02:03

Howdy Paul,

Thanks for the QUICK fix! It works great. :D

AuReality wrote:However, the advantage of the method I chose is that you can specify different locations as starting point, but with the same distance to the surface. Maybe I should change it to a Lat/Long location, together with a distance?

Not sure about this one. Are X, Y, Z coordinates easier to use for most, than Lat/Long :?: I really don't know.
-Don G.

My Celestia Scripting Resources page



Avatar: Total Lunar Eclipse from our back yard, Oct 2004. Panasonic FZ1 digital camera (no telescope), 36X digital zoom, 8 second exposure at f6.5.

AuReality
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#10by AuReality » 15.05.2004, 11:10

don wrote:Howdy Paul,

Thanks for the QUICK fix! It works great. :D

AuReality wrote:However, the advantage of the method I chose is that you can specify different locations as starting point, but with the same distance to the surface. Maybe I should change it to a Lat/Long location, together with a distance?
Not sure about this one. Are X, Y, Z coordinates easier to use for most, than Lat/Long :?: I really don't know.


I don't know either. Maybe I should let the user select a method (i.e. implement both).

Now we're at it: will you consider creating a link to my Celestia AutoPilot page on your script page?
Thanks in advance.

Paul

don
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Location: Colorado, USA (7000 ft)

#11by don » 16.05.2004, 22:36

Sure Paul. I just added a links section to my page.
-Don G.

My Celestia Scripting Resources page



Avatar: Total Lunar Eclipse from our back yard, Oct 2004. Panasonic FZ1 digital camera (no telescope), 36X digital zoom, 8 second exposure at f6.5.

piellepi M
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#12by piellepi » 20.05.2004, 09:55

Hi Paul!

I downloaded your program and, before trying it, I wanted to have some help. So I pressed the Help button but something went wrong.
A messagebox appeared telling that the program could not find the file
"E:\(here is a long path)\\doc\autopilot.html" with two backslashes as culprit.
As a programmer (some kind of hacker 8O 8O 8O ) I searched the string "autopilot.html" in the exe file and I found the string "/doc/autopilot.html", with slashes and not backslashes in it ...
By means of a hex editor (the hacker is here... 8) ) I changed the two "/" with "\" and , needless to say, the program now has a working help :wink:
Programmatically, I think you should be able to correct immediately the problem! :D

Thanks
Pierluigi

Soniclight
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#13by Soniclight » 22.08.2006, 01:49

Just an FYI for new and other users of AutoPilot:

-- Sire AuReality has fixed said Help situation and so downloads of AutoPilot as of today on includes said fix. I know, because I've tested it.

Thanks, AuReality.
"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." ~ Albert Einstein

simworx
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#14by simworx » 12.05.2009, 16:40

Greetings Paul,
I hope you are still monitoring this forum. I began using the Celestia and Celestia151-ED to work on an educational display for various space related projects.
I am used to the flight sim stuff and worked for several days to make the flyby to various planets etc. Not like I wanted .
I then found your flyover AutoPilot software and believe it will get me started and I can fill in the travel part later.
I have installed many other software so I went to your Readme first.
(Windows XP Home not top speed but fast enough)
Installed Autopilot and moved the celestia files.
Starts OK and builds script OK, then try to run in Celestia and/or Celestia151-ED and get this :
[string "C:\Program Files\Celestia\scripts\test.celx"]:1: atempt to call gobal 'require' (a nil value)
So I tried a slash and tried a full path before "require" (autopilot.lua), but still the same.
I am sure it is something on my end and hope we can work it out.
I believe Autopilot will be perfect to get this project going.
Thanks much,
Pat

selden
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#15by selden » 12.05.2009, 17:18

Pat,

That's a limitation in Celestia v1.5.1. You need to edit celestia.cfg to change the line
ScriptSystemAccessPolicy "ask"

to be
ScriptSystemAccessPolicy "allow"

The problem is fixed in Celestia v1.6.
Celestia v1.6.0RC1 is available for testing. See
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13710

Celestia v1.6 does not include all of the features that are in the EDU variant of Celestia. The EDU variant of v1.6 won't be available until after the final version of v1.6 is released. It isn't clear when that will happen.
Selden

simworx
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#16by simworx » 12.05.2009, 17:37

Hey thanks for the fast reply,
Tried that in both 1.5.1 and 1.5.1-ED. No luck.
Also tried to open any of the Autopilot scripts and the same message.
Pat

selden
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#17by selden » 12.05.2009, 18:15

That's strange.

The "require" command is the equivalent of inserting the "required" file in the script at that point. You might try using your favorite text editor to do that inclusion. I'm rashly assuming that the required file is plain text like the celx script, and not a binary library.
Selden

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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#18by selden » 12.05.2009, 18:27

Sorry: It looks like Paul is going to be the only person who can help.
You might try contacting him at the e'mail address in the Readme.HTML file which is included with the program.

I just now took a look at the AutoPilot download. My previous answers were based on what I know about how CelX scripts and Lua work with Celestia. Unfortunately, however, much of the AutoPilot program is implemented in a binary executable and not in Lua.
Selden

simworx
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#19by simworx » 12.05.2009, 19:19

Thanks much,
I will try that. I think it will be something simple like the file path.
Pat

simworx
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Re: Celestia AutoPilot

#20by simworx » 16.05.2009, 22:30

Greetings again,
I still am trying to get the Autopilot scripts working (per the post previous about the "require" problem).
I tried to email paul but it gets returned. Any chance someone could contact him and ask the question or have him stop by this forum.
I am working to make this to develop a set of educational movies connected to a motion simulator for an educational project. The ability to make the flight movements smooth is very important and this looks like it will do that.
If this won't work, does anyone know another way to build a smooth movement flight. I adjusted the roll rate and tried joystick and controller but it continues choppy.
Thats for any help,
Pat
FYI: I am not really a programmer but can figure some things out.


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