this includes disscussion about real photos of stars
As it is the 8 second exposure (from the EXIF header) gives the stars a 2 to 3 pixel streak, caused by earths rotation. That however is the longest exposure posible on my camera (shame star streaks make good photos Laughing ).
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Using a IM example developed 'star generator' for image highlights
That geneator can create not only 6 ray, but 4, or 8 ray stars, and with a little tweek could make the alturnate rays in an 8 ray star dimmer, or a slight color shift doe a even better effect.
That is I have a shape, or image that has a highlight in it. I want to reduce that image to all black except for the center of that bright highlight. That image can then be 'starred' and overlayed back onto the original image. Instant star spot at the right location.
If the image is part of a animated sequence involving a moving light source, then the 'star' position will move from image to image, add a little rotation each time. You animation will then have a star 'rolling' along with the highlight in the image
The problem is I have not figured out a good automatic way to find the highlight points.
Using Dingbat Stars
I also worked with a umm. I guess it's call a math algorithm? It does the random changing of the stars layout with each refresh. Uses dingbats for the star shapes. Looks like a swf when a friend showed it to me. It's IE browser view-able only tho. Can't see a thing with firefox. Had to open it with IE in order to see it.
I wouldn't like to rely on a font for stars. as it would be difficult to exactly position the image.
However the Dingbats stars are rather nice. Maybe a 'create a random star animation' script using dingbat fonts would be a interesting excerise (random star selection, rotation, with some limited point size changes).
And firefly or (moving and looping stars)
I think the fireflies will need a bit of programming to geneate closed mathematical loops of different sizes, shapes and styles. The 'flys' could then return to the start point smoothly so as to repeat without a sudden 'jump' in position as the animation loops.
And so on.. All welcome.