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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 98
# 1 Dyson Sphere Appearance
11-17-2013, 12:42 AM
I know this has been covered before, but my point is a bit more specific so I didn't want it lost in the other thread.

The Dyson sphere is fine. It's sci-fi. Distance from the Sun is fine, rotation/stability is hand-waved, atmosphere and gravity also hand-waved as fundamentally grounded in magic

I have one real problem with the sphere: what it looks like from the inside.

At the moment, the "floor" of the sphere curves the wrong way, features a nonsensical horizon line, and the "sky" above is curved like a dome. None of these things make any sense.

At the moment the interior of the sphere looks like we are walking/flying around on top of a large dome-shaped object roughly the diameter of the Moon, and when we look up we see the underside of a larger dome above us that appears to enclose the one we are walking/flying around on the exterior of. With a star hovering in the space between the upper and lower domes.

Take a cereal bowl. Turn it upside-down. Cover it with an upturned mixing bowl. We're walking around on the top surface of the cereal bowl. That's the visual implication of the zone.

This is not how things should be! (Please, don't take this too seriously).

First off all, the ground should be completely flat. No curvature visible at all. If you want some curvature just for the sake of drama/sci-fi fun, then make the ground curve the opposite way. Give it a tiny concave curvature.

Second, the floor and sky should not meet at a horizon line. Even with an atmosphere coating the interior wall, the floor should simply fade to an azure haze that merges seamlessly with the sky.

The sky should then consist of a pure white "ceiling" overhead, and a totally vertical cylindrical "wall" all around us. The wall can have fun continent details (just for the sake of it not being a boring blue/white haze), but is should not curve. At all.

Walking and flying around the inside of the sphere at wall distance should give the appearance of walking/flying around the bottom of an extremely large cylinder, which is a hazy blue around the base and colour draining away the further "up" you look.

It doesn't take reprogramming of the game engine to achieve the correct effect. All you have to do is play with the floor/sky textures, adding vanishing lines/points in the right places to create the correct optical illusion.

Last edited by casbyness; 11-17-2013 at 12:46 AM.