General Question Custom Solar System for Original Fantasy Setting

teqqqie

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Hello everyone! I'm looking for a program that will let me make a custom solar system for use as a visualization of my homebrew DnD setting. I don't know anything about Orbiter, so I'm looking for some insight before I decide to start using the program.
My solar system system does not follow real-life orbital dynamics, so I'm looking for something that will let me make a visually appealing model or simulation without caring if I break the laws of physics.
If it helps, the system involves 8 identically-sized planets that share a single orbit. Each planet has 2 moons, sharing one with both of its neighbors, so that there are 8 moons in the system, each orbiting in a figure-eight orbit around a pair of planets.
These planets are suspended in-between a star and a black hole, with the star above the plane of the planets and the black hole below the plane.
Would it be feasible to create such a system in Orbiter? If not, any suggestions for other programs? Right now I'm looking at the video games "Space Engineers" or "Universe Sandbox," or trying to learn Unreal Engine 5 and get some space-related add-ons.
Thank you!
 

n72.75

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theoretically with custom ephemerides I think you might be able to do it. It's very far outside of anything I've ever considered doing with Orbiter.

This would be a huge amount of work to impliment, though and I guess the real question is: what do you want the end result to do for you?
 

jedidia

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I'm looking for something that will let me make a visually appealing model or simulation without caring if I break the laws of physics.
Orbiter is definitely the wrong tool for that. It doesn't have many tools for visualisation, and anything that breaks the laws of physics (like suspended planets) or requires n-body dynamics (like moons swapping their parent body) would require custom ephemerises (ephemeri? What's the plural here?), which are not an easy thing to build.
I'm not aware of any game that would let you do such a thing, it would probably be easier to just dig out ye olde Blender and make an animation in there. Maybe universe sandbox can get you some of the way there, but getting the motion of the moons right would be a whole lot of fiddling, and suspending the planets might not be possible...
 

BrianJ

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theoretically with custom ephemerides I think you might be able to do it. It's very far outside of anything I've ever considered doing with Orbiter.

This would be a huge amount of work to impliment, though and I guess the real question is: what do you want the end result to do for you?
I agree. You would need to code custom planetary modules.

I think Celestia might be a better option. I remember years ago I made a planet that did a figure-eight orbit around two stars.
Not realistic, but fun. No coding/compiling required but quite a bit to learn about Celestia configuration of orbits, etc.

 

teqqqie

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I agree. You would need to code custom planetary modules.

I think Celestia might be a better option. I remember years ago I made a planet that did a figure-eight orbit around two stars.
Not realistic, but fun. No coding/compiling required but quite a bit to learn about Celestia configuration of orbits, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it!
 

teqqqie

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Orbiter is definitely the wrong tool for that. It doesn't have many tools for visualisation, and anything that breaks the laws of physics (like suspended planets) or requires n-body dynamics (like moons swapping their parent body) would require custom ephemerises (ephemeri? What's the plural here?), which are not an easy thing to build.
I'm not aware of any game that would let you do such a thing, it would probably be easier to just dig out ye olde Blender and make an animation in there. Maybe universe sandbox can get you some of the way there, but getting the motion of the moons right would be a whole lot of fiddling, and suspending the planets might not be possible...
Yeah, I suppose if I'm going to learn a program Blender makes the most sense for what I'm doing. I've already done a little fiddling with it but I guess it's time to strap in and learn it for real. Thanks for your input!
 

teqqqie

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theoretically with custom ephemerides I think you might be able to do it. It's very far outside of anything I've ever considered doing with Orbiter.

This would be a huge amount of work to impliment, though and I guess the real question is: what do you want the end result to do for you?
I'm looking for something relatively easy, and capable of generating visuals for storytelling and mood-setting. I think you're right, Orbiter probably isn't what I'm looking for. Thanks!
 
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