Camera modes

Gaia Sky offers five basic camera modes.

Focus mode

This is the default mode. In this mode the camera movement is locked to a focus object, which can be selected by double clicking or by using the find dialog (Ctrl+F). There are two extra options available. These can be activated using the checkboxes at the bottom of the Camera panel in the GUI Controls window:

  • Lock camera to object – the relative position of the camera with respect to the focus object is maintained. Otherwise, the camera position does not change.

  • Lock orientation – the camera rotates with the object to keep the same perspective of it at all times.

The description of the controls in focus mode can be found here:


NUMPAD_1 – Enter focus mode

Free mode

This mode does not lock the camera to a focus object but it lets it roam free in space.


NUMPAD_0 – Enter free mode

Game mode

This mode maps the standard control system for most games (WASD + Mouse look) in Gaia Sky. Additionally, it is possible to add gravity to objects, so that when the camera is closer to a planet than a certain threshold, gravity will pull it to the ground.Quit


NUMPAD_2 – Enter game mode

Gaia scene mode

In this mode the camera can not be controlled. It provides a view of the Gaia satellite from the outside.


NUMPAD_3 – Enter Gaia scene mode

Spacecraft mode

In this mode you take control of a spacecraft. In the spacecraft mode, the GUI changes completely. The Options window disappears and a new user interface is shown in its place at the bottm left of the screen.

  • Attitude indicator – it is shown as a ball with the horizon and other marks. It represents the current orientation of the spacecraft with respect to the equatorial system.

  • pointer – indicates the direction the spacecraft is currently headed to.

  • greencross – indicates direction of the current velocity vector, if any.

  • redcross – indicates inverse direction of the current velocity vector, if any.

  • Engine Power – current power of the engine. It is a multiplier in steps of powers of ten. Low engine power levels allow for Solar System or planetary travel, whereas high engine power levels are suitable for galactic and intergalactic exploration. Increase the power clicking on power-up and decrease it clicking on power-down.

  • stabilise – stabilises the yaw, pitch and roll angles. If rotation is applied during the stabilisation, the stabilisation is cancelled.

  • stop – stops the spacecraft until its velocity with respect to the Sun is 0. If thrust is applied during the stopping, the stopping is cancelled.

  • exit – return to the focus mode.

Additionally, it is possible to adjust three more parameters:

  • Responsiveness – this slider controls how fast the spacecraft reacts to the user’s yaw/pitch/roll commands. It could be seen as the power of the thrusters.

  • Drag – this slider controls the friction force applied to all the forces acting on the spacecraft (engine force, yaw, pitch, and roll). Set it to zero for a real zero G simulation.

  • Force velocity to heading direction – this checkbox, when checked, makes the spacecraft to always move in the direction it is facing, instead of using the regular momentum-based motion. Even though physically inaccurate, this makes it much easier to control and arguably more fun to play with.

  • Keyboard controls in spacecraft mode

  • Gamepad controls in spacecraft mode


NUMPAD_4 – Enter spacecraft mode

Spacecraft mode controls view, with the attitude indicator ball at the center, the control buttons at the bottom and the engine power to the left.

Spacecraft mode controls view, with the attitude indicator ball at the center, the control buttons at the bottom and the engine power to the left.

Field of View mode

This mode simulates the Gaia fields of view. You can select FoV1, FoV2 or both.


NUMPAD_5 – Enter Field of View 1 mode

NUMPAD_6 – Enter Field of View 2 mode

NUMPAD_7 – Enter Field of View 1 and 2 mode