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  1. Made some new progress on the DQ8 Mapping tools and I think I am finally ready to start actually producing stuff. It's going to be a pretty big job I think, but I am really hoping the end result will both look nice and be useful. So, what is the EBLASTOR? That is the stupid name I came up with for my method of ripping this DQ8 map. It stands for Empyrea-Based Low-Altitude Scanning TopopgraphinatOR. A year or so ago I showed some results from my first crack at it, and while I was pretty happy with it then, I think things have gotten better since. Here is a quick look at the OLD CRAPPY RESULTS, which have now been improved upon (I believe): Old Crappy Map Sample: --> That sample shows a bit of Argonia near the bottom and leads up to Arcadia near the top. It actually looks ok if you are zoomed out, but when viewing it at 100% scale, it looks grainy and really pixelated. With some tweaks to the process and an increased internal resolution rendering, I am starting to get better results and here is a quick sample (unfortunately not of the same area), showing what I believe to be improved detail and overall higher quality: New Not-As-Crappy-Sample: --> This sample shows Ascantha and the Mole Hole in the southern portion of the image, and then you can see just a sliver of the Tower of Alexandria as you look further north. It's not perfect since you can still see a hint of pixelation, but I think this is as close as I can get, and frankly, I think it's good enough. Last night I started production in earnest on this, by setting up Empyrea to fly north in a slightly-off-cardinal orbit starting on the western edge of the map. With this set-up, she will make vertical strips that have 50% side-lap by the time she returns to the same latitude after crossing the "north pole". This orbiting pattern means I don't have to control her flight and I don't ever have to try to match up adjacent strips, which is incredibly hard to do as her flight direction is very "touchy". Videos are recorded as she flies and she is set at the lowest altitude that she is capable of, giving the highest resolution and lowest perspective distortion possible with this approach. The videos are then dumped to frames which are passed into my mapping tool for strip making and mosaic. So, there you have it. I made this topic to hopefully keep me motivated to continue on this, as I sometimes burn out on longer projects like this one. I hope to post more progress as it is made.
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