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Could You Please Provide A Redirect For This Help File That Now Redirects To A 404 Error?

Hello to my heroes at Simulation Curriculum. In "earth.txt" (the local horizon config file), a comment in line 1 points us to this location for more information on how to understand all the components of a local horizon file (including how to configure "nodes" that show the height of the horizon):

https://www.starrynight.com/help/horizonfiles.shtml

That URL now returns a 404 error code. Could someone there please do a redirect so we can find that file again? I'm having a hard time understanding all these big numbers. I've made progress - but even with my progress, it seems that a single degree of arc in the sky must translate to 4 degrees of arc in the node line? ... and it appears that I have to configure my nodes in counter-clockwise order. (For example, to show a tree-sized horizon at what would be the Eastern horizon (90 degrees), it seems like I have to put that tree-sized horizon at the 270-degree mark. Is the azimuth circle in reverse order? And if so, I wonder why?) Maybe all of this will be explained in the missing horizon file?

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Doug Lucas

with the YouTube channel, https://www.YouTube.com/c/EmeraldHillsSkies , where I'm creating a series of "1000 reasons why I'm loving my rediscovery of Starry Night Pro." : )

7 comments

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    Dlucas

    Keiron, it's great to meet you. I told Pedro the other day how much we appreciate all you do to communicate and encourage all of us as customers. Thank you for your response.

    As I understand it, there are essentially TWO ways to handle horizons in Starry Night Pro. I'm trying to work up videos on both approaches. If I understand correctly the two URLs you've referenced above refer to what I would describe as the second approach - the photorealistic custom horizon. But what I'm working on first is the FIRST approach... the "Edit local horizon" file approach using file earth.txt. In that file, there are several custom lines that aren't explained anywhere else that I can find. Please glance again at my opening question above. There's zero info in the two URLs you provided that might help us, as users, to understand how to handle editing the earth.txt file. I know you don't have time to watch users' videos, but here's a help video (below) in which I explain the process as best I understand  it. On the video, I mention the 404 error code. I'm trying my best to promote and advocate for Starry Night Pro and I would love for there not to be a help file that returns a 404 error code. Does that make sense Keiron? Here's the video:

    https://youtu.be/w1trviGLKNQ

    Doug

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    Keiron Smith

    Doug, 

    I do believe the help for which you are inquiring contains information related to editing the "nodes" on the modifiable cartoon panorama.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe that feature still works properly in Starry Night 8 on Windows 10. 

    In recent testing I could not edit the nodes and also save the changes.

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    Dlucas

    Keiron, I love it that Simulation Curriculum has found a team member who cares enough to answer our questions! I mean - think about it. Of all of the other planetarium programs, which ones actually have a staff person sharp enough to respond!??? Seriously.

    But I feel a bit like that old detective "Columbo" on those re-runs from long ago, because I'm gently trying to ask something again. (And, for the record, I don't smoke a cigar.) But, just so you know the type of questions for which I'm hoping to find answers:

    • In my earth.txt file, I have to arrange the horizon nodes in reverse order, as if the Simulation Curriculum programming staff assigned azimuth coordinates in counter-clockwise order. In the video training that I'm trying to churn out about Starry Night Pro, I just want to make sure I'm accurate. Was this counter-clockwise decision an intentional one? Or is there something in my settings that might not be in my listeners' settings?
    • In my earth.txt file, there's a line, "

      DistantHorizonColour : 8960, 10240, 11264 : 640, 5120, 38400 :

      Would there be documentation somewhere that told me that those numbers mean? I'm guessing they are some kind of color assignments?

    • Then there appear to be two horizons - and perhaps one is assumed to be at 200 meters and the other is at 1200 meters? (At least, that's what I'm guessing the last number means here: "Profile : 3840, 15360, 0 : 3932, 3932, 0 : 1200 : Smooth"   .  But I wondered if the meaning of the *other* numbers is documented in the file that *used* to be located at https://www.starrynight.com/help/horizonfiles.shtml but isn't there any more.
    • Any user who opens the earth.txt file will always see "https://www.starrynight.com/help/horizonfiles.shtml" and it will always return a 404 until someone at your company puts a text file there to document something. To me, that just ... (please pardon me) makes it look like the company doesn't care about keeping up its documentation links, which I fear might take away from a user's trust, if not respect, for the company. My hope is that it would take you or one of your team members no more than 15 minutes to create a redirect link so that that URL no longer returns a 404. Does that make sense? Even if these questions ARE answered somewhere else (a fact which I can't verify - because I can't FIND those answers yet... and I've looked a LOT), is it the message we want users to perceive?
    • The file continues with "node" descriptions - like this: "Node : 4, 31".  I've been able to figure out that the first number is the azimuth (though, as I mentioned above, it's the azimuth in reverse order on my machine. But the second number is baffling to me. It *appears* perhaps to be a multiple of 4 times the "apparent" height, in degrees." I'm just curious why the programmers chose to make the number 4 times the actual degrees height. But any kind of affirmation that I'm on the right track would be helpful.
    • Each of the "trees" and such have lines like this: "Picture : Tree.png, 324, 471, 29, 0, 1". I'm pretty much lost on these. I think the first number is the azimuth and maybe the first number is the height (again, 4 times the degrees?). But I can't figure out the rest. Tree "type" maybe?

    Those would probably take care of all my curiosity. My *suspicion* was that the original file at https://www.starrynight.com/help/horizonfiles.shtml probably answered my questions. NONE of the files you've mentioned above provide anything like this (that I can find). So ... what can we do?

    Again, thanks to you -- and Simulation Curriculum - for even PROVIDING a guy like you with whom we can interact!!! We appreciate it!!! It sets Simulation Curriculum apart from all the rest!

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    Dlucas

    I've continued to study these horizon files and it feels like I'm making progress.

    Here's a video about how to do the "simple" local horizon file. This is for the type that will look like it's kind of a cartoon version:

    https://youtu.be/w1trviGLKNQ

    Here's a second video about how to do the more "photorealistic panorama" style. I also cover how to incorporate the horizon file export feature in Observer Pro, a free program that automates much of the process of creating these horizon files.

    https://youtu.be/xT9QDlk4Eu0

    These are live-streams. I'm not trying to prepare professional videos that will win an Emmy. But I hope they at least help us rediscover some additional ways to harness the power of this incredible software. Hope it can help the community.

    Doug

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    Keiron Smith

    Doug,

    In all my years here at Simulation Curriculum I have never seen anyone edit that file to change the panorama, nor ask for the link for which you are asking now.  Also, per my last reply, the functionality you are looking to achieve has not been maintained in recent versions, specifically SN8.  Maybe you can make it work.  But, maybe not.  It is not a supported feature at this time.  So, please consider this with the current project you have in mind.  Starry Night is 25 years old.  The program is very deep, and as a result there can be legacy files still included with the download that are not actually used anymore.

    I have asked our SimCur web developer to look for the file in question and he could not find it either - it is very, very old.  The StarryNightPro.com domain was last updated more than 10 years ago - and it has not been used since, except, for a while, to maintain old info about old products.

    If, given the info you have to work with, you find success editing the cartoon panorama, fantastic!

     

     

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    Dlucas

    Wow Keiron. That's kind of exciting - and sobering -- all at the same time. : ) 

    OK - knowing that, then, I'll dive back in. With the progress documented so far, I think we ought to be able to figure it out. But the market of prospective users must be somewhat small. haha

    Either way, thank you for checking with the SimCur web developer. That was so nice!!! We appreciate you!

    Please stay safe.

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