Difference between revisions of "Orulex"

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==See Also==
==See Also==
[[World Studio]]
[[World Studio]]

Revision as of 05:58, 11 April 2008

Project home: http://orbides.1gb.ru
Author: Artyom "Artlav" Litvinovich

Earth in Orulex 1.0
Brighton Beach Crafter on the Moon in Orulex 1.0
Venus in Orulex 1.0
Nereid in Orulex 1.0

Orulex is a dynamic landscape generator add-on for Orbiter which allows you to add a global landable mesh to the planets. Simply said, it turns flat planets into mountainous planets.

Basic features (1.0)

  • Generates planet terrain in Orbiter on the fly, using real data or fractal functions.
  • Easily downloadable textures and heightmaps data for Earth, and other planets.
  • Lv11 global Orbiter and Lv6-Lv22 local downloaded textures (LandSat, USGS) support.
  • Collision detection support possibilities and SDK interface

System Requirements:

Out of the box:

  • 256Mb RAM + what Orbiter and OS takes.
  • 1.5+Ghz CPU, good video card (if it runs Orbiter Lv10+NASSP with good FPS it will run Orulex as if nothing is here).


  • 1Gb RAM + what Orbiter and OS takes + what local maps you will download.
  • 2-3Ghz CPU, ~1Gb of disk space, Fast Cheap internet (Lv9 heightmap is 466Mb download).

Performance Guidelines (1.0)

  • If you got a multi-core CPU, it is almost always better to keep multithread mode on.
  • If you got single-core CPU and Orulex feels slow on response or pre-computation takes longer than 10-15 seconds, try turning multithread mode off.
  • Reducing polygon count may help if you got an old video card.
  • Reducing LevLimit may give a more stable-looking landscape, but dropping quality exponentially.
  • If you got FPS jerks on older/single-core PC's, look on texture timings.

TexGen-H defines time slice allocated when there is a lot to generate, TexGen-L defines time slice allocated when there are only small changes, like when you are flying around. Reducing them make Orbiter more responsive and terrain less responsive. Timings are not defined in multithread mode.

Known bugs/issues (1.0)

  • Windows Vista random CTD.
  • Dislocated patches when flying with multithreaded mode on.
  • Textures getting colorfully random on some machines (probably Orbiter/DirectX bug on older systems).

Data download Servers List


  • SRTM global Earth terrain
  • NASA derived global 30 meters per pixel satellite image mosaic
  • NASA derived global 15 meters per pixel satellite image mosaic, donated and processed by I-Cubed using equipment from Isilon Systems.
  • USGS Digital Ortho
  • USGS Urban Area Ortho
  • Pseudo color 15m Landsat mosaic provided by MDA Federal, scenes comprised from early 2000s


  • Clementine global Moon terrain
  • Clementine 40xx
  • Clementine 30xx


  • MOLA global Mars terrain
  • Mars THEMIS Color


  • Magellan Imaging Radar (Color)
  • Magellan Imaging Radar (Grey)

Generator ideas and Function desciption


Orulex system configuration are done by World Studio program and config files editing, with options ranging from terrain polygon count to shapes of the worlds. 2 PDF's with full description of world studio and file configuration can be found in the release package.

Planet functions (Function string in config\terrain\planet_name.cfg)

Basic ideas

  • Planet functions is written in postfix notation.
  • In postfix, the sign of operation goes after the operands, so a+b will be ab+.
  • It have a significant comprehensive advantage, since there is no ()'s.
  • a+((b+f)*c+d/e) will be written as a b f+c*d e/++.
  • Functions specified the same way - f(x,y,z+w) is x y z w + f.

Terrain function

The terrain is represented by a 3 to 1 function with arguments being the position on the planet and output being the altitude at this position. The concept is similar to the plotting of 1D functions, like sine and cosine - the X axis represents the position, and Y axis represents the altitude:

Imagine the same thing in 4D, and that's how it is done in Orulex.

Terrain Functions:


Classic perlin noise ground function.

xd,yd,zd is distortion values for x,y,and z coordinates respectively.

band is the amount of noise bands to be used - the more of them the more detailed terrain is, but slower.

scale is the horizontal scale of the thing. It is roughly equivalent to the size of the pattern shown in viewer on the actuall planet, i.e. if scale is 10000 then the pattern will be spread across 10 kilometers.

Output is in -1..1 range.


Ridged perlin noise ground function. Same parameters as above.

Output is in -1..1 range.


Same as min2(min,f). Returns f if f>=min and min if f<min.

Useful to truncate below the sphere part of the terrain function into flat valleys.

Almost always should be removed if planet have ocean.

<-(example with perlin)

If your planet have an ocean, make sure thet the underwater part of the function is not truncated!


Sinusoidal terrain.

xd,yd,zd is distortion values for x,y,and z coordinates respectively.

scale is the horizontal scale of the thing.


Cosinusoidal terrain.

xd,yd,zd is distortion values for x,y,and z coordinates respectively.

scale is the horizontal scale of the thing.

  • curv(n,f,x1,y1,x2,y2,...,x(n-1)/2,y(n-1)/2) - Input/Output curve for f by points of xi,yi, lagrange interpolated. It is a very powerfull tool, allowing to map the inputs to according to specific curve to the output, changing gradients and similar things. The I/O curve is too big a topic for this manual. Example: Callisto

Other operators/functions:

  • ax,ay,az - world coordinates.
  • +, -, --, *, /, sin, cos, tan, ln, pow, round, trunc, sqr, sqrt max2, max3, min2, min3 - arithmetics and basic math.
  • trim(f,min,max) - trims f into min<f<max.

See Also

World Studio




Orulex's Homepage by Artlav

Download at OrbiterHangar

Orbiter forum thread


WIP MeshLand 2, Collision Detection support for Orulex, Unstable

Interface SDK (Delta-Glider samples included)

Pre-composed heightmaps

Earth Lv8 heightmap (84Mb)

Mars Lv8 heightmap (82Mb)

Moon Lv8 heightmap (81Mb)

Everest Lv11 textures and heightmaps (5.3Mb)

Grand Canyon Lv13 textures and heightmaps (9Mb)

Demonstaration video

China flying in Gregburch's Swift1 (x264, 21 MB)

China flying in Gregburch's Swift1 (xVid, 31 MB)