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SPACE FX WEB PAGE animated gif
Home of SPACE FX

ALLEGRO GRADIENT EDITOR A Program to use colourful themes with Allegro
SPACE FX Planetary Animation Frame generator
SPACE FX TUTORIAL A Brief tutorial covering basic parts of SPACE FX
ASTEROID (Windows) Asteroid Finder - Windows (98...XP)  version
ASTEROID (Linux) Asteroid Finder - Linux (Fedora) version
TELESCOPE and MOUNTING My 12.5 inch F5 Newtonian with a Split-Ring Mounting
TELEScoPIC - Digital Setting Circles Digital DSC using a PIC 16F628  microcontroller
SAC8 CCD CAMERA My Pictures taken with a Telephoto lens and the SAC8-II CCD Camera
SAC8 CCD CAMERA -Page 2 My Pictures taken with the new Telescope Mounting
THE ORIGIN OF LIFE Musing on the Origin of Life, the Universe and Everything...

Spacefx sample image

Linux (Fedora 7), Windows XP and Win9x versions.

This is a 640x480 screen shot of the new version which will run in truecolour modes up to 1024x768.
Requires 400Hz machine, SVGA card and at least 18M RAM.
There are more than 30 planets to play with, and RINGS!

NOTE: THIS IS A BETA COPY: There will be some unfinished business!
Spacefx is now FREEWARE for Alpha/Beta version testing!

Linux Win XP/9x File Name Size Stage/Build Date and description
X X 4.8M Build 23 18 July 2006: Windows program and common files.
X 123k Build 23 18 July 2006: Linux executable only.

Files to Download for Linux and WINxp/9x (130k) MSVCRT.DLL file for win95 users.

LINUX VERSION NOW AVAILABLE. You need three files... (430k) Linux executable only (4.8M) Common files.
Allegro Graphics Library (550k) Allegro version 4.2.0 Fedora  RPM install file.

Some more details: SPACE FXsunrise.jpg

is an animation program used to generate a series of true-colour 24-bit TGA files suitable for conversion to FLIC, AVI, MPEG animations or GIF images.
Version 4.0 now extends this to 1024x768.

SPACE FX allows every man and his dog to make up realistic "outer space" type animations using real images of planets, moons and spacecraft. This can be used for a neat intro to your own program or for educational purposes.

Why not use it to generate a nifty image for your web page?

In order to make up an animation (a movie), you need a way of generating the individual "frames". A 10 second movie displayed at 24 frames per second requires 240 separate images. That's a lot of work!
If only someone could come up with a program to generate those images automatically...

SPACE FX version 4.0: has the following helpful features:-

Just press the DO-ALL button to generate up to 1000 true-colour images.

stereo imageSTEREO IMAGES can also be generated with this unusual package.
(View this image with a "cross-eye" technique)

How do I get it?warbird.gif

The old versions are no longer available as I need the space to offer version 4.0 I recommend getting the latest version 4.0
(See above table for the files to download)
Version 1.0 is available from SIMTEL as a original version (1.4M) (yes!) which includes the planets out to Jupiter and its major moons as well as a couple of sample spacecraft images I found. If you find that this link is busy, try firing up WS_FTP, point it at and go to the pub/simtelnet/msdos/graphics directory.

SPACE FX Version 4.0 uses Linux (Fedora Core 5 or later) or Windows XP/9x. It requires at least a 400MHz machine to support the large file sizes, preferably a GHz machine to cut down on the coffee breaks.

Demo image from animation

Version 4.0 contains additional planets and moons (out to Pluto) and a few extra features that I could not squeeze into the the older versions (such as Saturn's rings and increased resolution).

To see the capability of SPACE FX why not download a sample animation? (182k) created with version 1.
It shows a comet and a near-Earth asteroid narrowly missing a spinning satelite (Commsat1) in high Earth orbit as two spacecraft whiz by! (Hey! It's dangerous up there..) Note that this is a "zipped" archive and will need to be UNZIPPED to extract the animation (spfxdemo.fli).

On my 486, the 60 frames in the demo animation took only 6 minutes to generate! DTA compiled the FLI animation in just one minute. Imagine what a faster computer could do...

What else do I need?

Animated GIFs

To convert the animation frames to an animated GIF, I use Paintshop Pro to reduce to 256 colours and then Animagic to put the animated Gif together. The spinning Jupiter in the top RHS of this page is an example.

FLI Animations:

To convert the animation frames to a proper animation FLIC you really need DTA (Dave's Targa Animator). It works like a treat and is cheap as well. You also need FLI player such as AAPLAY. In Windows 3.1, the Multimedia Player should also display FLI files.

Single Images:

Many graphics/paint programs will convert individual TGA files to 256 colour images.
I have used Paint Shop Pro, but there are many similar programs around.


You might also look for some Ray-tracing software to generate some nifty spacecraft of your own. I've tried both POVRay and VIVID and liked them both.
A good 3D modeller to try is MORAY. You can make models of everything from spacecraft to teacups and pass the files to POVRay to render.
Net-surfers stuck on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (Australia, New Zealand etc.) can use ARCHIE.AU to obtain VIVID and DTA programs.


SPACE FX requires a 400MHz or better IBM-compatible at least 18 Meg RAM, 15Mb hard disk space and an SVGA card with a minimum of 640x480 256 colour display. Since a 320x200 true-colour file takes up 192k disk space, you will need plenty of hard-disk real estate for your space epic!

Contact yours truly:

For further information about my work or the items mentioned above, please email me!

SPACE FX Version 1 has been accepted on the SimtelNet archive for download. Check local mirrors under the directory: msdos/graphics/

The next update (Version 4.0) is now here!

Who am I?
I am a Professional Electrical Engineer and sometime programmer with an interest in animation graphics, raytracing and astronomy. I do most of my programming in C and a little asm when necessary. I have also used Visual Basic and am currently trying out C++.

These days I make myself busy looking after my wife and three children who all have chronic asthma and other assorted medical conditions. Check out the newsgroup for discussion about this disease.

I am always on the lookout for some part-time work, having worked in the engineering field for nearly 30 years. So if you have a Power station on the blink, an Electric Locomotive that just wont go, or need someone to do a little CAD work on a home computer, give me a call!

I'm a member of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. My last employment covered many diverse areas of engineering such as Automated Test Equipment for PCB analysis and Quality Management to AS/ISO/9001,9002.
I live on the beautiful Bargara Coast near Bundaberg in sunny Queensland, Australia.

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Space FX Download Page
Last updated 18th July 2007

The Fine Print !
This HTML page and all contents, text, graphics etc, (exept geocities material) is the sole property of Anthony M. Hugo MIEAust CPeng, copyright 1997 - 2001. Permission is hereby granted to copy this material for personal use or educational use if the teacher isn't looking. Commercial use by corporate entities, colourful sporting identities and all you rich folks requires specific permission from me. So there!

This HTML page contains images directly or indirectly derived from NASA/JPL/Hubble/Telescope/voyager/spacecraft data suitably modified for use in SPACE FX by the author. If you use such material in your own creations, please credit their use in the absence of specific permission.
Warbird.gif and xwing.gif derived from scene files at the POVRay web site. Jupiter.gif Sunrise.jpg Spfx.jpg and ship.gif are my fault.
Copyright symbols, logos and abbreviations are owned by copyright owners, logo designers and Abbr. Co. ppl. Whatever happens, happens. But only sometimes!
I always wondered whether anybody ever reads the fine print at the bottom of documents like this. My advise is to use an electron microscope. Cheers!