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Getting back on the horse


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#1 TobiasK   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:55 AM

Hi all,

I've been away from coding for a long, long time. Or well, I haven't been away really, I've just focused more on enterprise apps and other boring junk, but the effect is the same; I don't remember where to find anything anymore.

I've decided to get back into real-time rendering, and I have a very basic renderer up and running. I want to find out what's been going on in the years I've been away, so can someone tell me where to find good papers and articles on rendering?

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#2 carangil   Members   -  Reputation: 490

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:37 PM

I don't have a lot of advice, but I totally sympathize with your situation, because mine is similar. I was heavy into graphics coding when I was in school, but started doing professional non-graphics work. Relatively recently (last April) I decided to get back into it, and starting going through my old graphics code trying to find useful pieces I can rewrite and turn into some sort of framework so I can get back into graphics. Well, I'd work on something for a few days, put it away for a month, take it out, work on it a week or two, put it back, off and on. It wasn't until later in the year where I read 'Masters of Doom' and it sort of inspired me to find more time for this project. So I put a bunch of time into it (random evenings after work), and now I have a fast simple renderer that that does point lights, multitexturing, sectors&portals for visibility culling, and a 6 DOF camera with descent-like controls.

My dream for this project? A Descent clone. Why Descent? No complex skeletal character animation, perfect for the small-fry lone indie developer! I went outside and took a photo of some rocks and dirt to get a mineshaft floor texture!

In terms of links, what I found most helpful was here:

When I stopped, I was using vertex arrays. VBOs are almost the same:

http://nehe.gamedev.net/data/lessons/lesson.asp?lesson=45 (great lesson, but drop 'ARB' postfix to get the core implementation)
http://www.opengl.org/wiki/Vertex_Buffer_Object

And I was using fixed function for most things, because 90% of what I was rendering didn't need anything 'weird.' Now shaders for everything is the norm:
http://www.lighthouse3d.com/opengl/glsl/

Keep in mind some of the stuff (like glVertexPointer) is deprecated in 3.0+, but I'm still using it because when I started my project I was targeting OpenGL 2.x, because thats what my card supported. I just bought my first GL 3.0 capable card about a month ago, so I will probably slowly transition over to there.

Good luck with everything! If you code up anything interesting, be sure to post screenshots somewhere.

#3 PolyVox   Members   -  Reputation: 708

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:44 PM

Real Time Rendering is an excellent book here. It's a comprehensive survey of the latest in real time rendering research and is a great starting point on any real time rendering toic. There are no code samples and it doesn't describe the techniques in a lot of detail, but it gets you started and tells you where to go next. You could also pair this up with something more hands on like the GPU Gems (availible free on NVidia's sit) or ShaderX series.




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