This week i worked on improving the planetary shaders and especially the sunsets. They're now looking pretty nice ( one reason i didn't show them much in the old version, was that their lighting wasn't very good ). The sun color is now calculated by applying on the CPU the scattering equations, meaning that the sun's reddening through a typical Earth-like atmosphere is no longer hard-coded, but depending on the atmosphere properties / density.
I've also added an ambient term that is dependent on the atmosphere diffusion color, too. So, at zenith, this ambient color is slightly blue, while at sunset it's slightly orange-ish. Subtle but nice effect.
The terrain surface shaders are now working with bump mapping and specular mapping. It's really looking like the night & day ( no pun intended ) compared to the lighting in the old version of the engine, where lighting effects on the terrain were really subtle, if visible at all.
The atmospheric scattering shaders are now longer saturating to white ( well, unless the HDR exposure is too high, of course ), so it looks a bit better than the old shaders.
I started to work ( and will continue this week end, and probably next week ) on my experiments with water. As expected, Z-Fighting is pretty bad for altitudes higher than 50 KM. But i'm pretty sure it can be solved by using some tricks. I'm generating procedural heightmaps under sea level now, too ( ie. the heightmaps are not "flattened" at 0 ).
Juan finished to texture Ammonra's Stargazer. I made a short video of it in the engine with HDRI effects. 4.7 MB ( Divx4 ) only. The shadows are unfortunately flickering, which does not happen at higher framerates ( real-time recording slows down fps ), so i have to investigate what happens: