• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Outline shader

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


Well, I've posted some shots of my experiemental outline shader over at polycount, so I think that it is a good idea to elaborate on some technical details here in my developer journal.

Outline shaders are always difficult to pull off. It is hard to get fine outlines done (most edge detection algorithm like sobel result in a atleast two pixel thick line). In combination with a high contrast color like black, the outline effect will be just too harsh and therefor many people will just dislike the effect, in games atleast.

I play around with a simple sobel filter to get the edge detected done. As detection criteria I use depth and normals. Currently I'm not using any AA filters, so it will look really clumpsy. In my first screenshot (upper part) you see a standard sobel edge detection in pure black. As you can see, it has an other negative effect, any bloom effect will be interupted. To counter this effect I fade out the outlines with distance (lower part, right arrow) and use a blurred,darkened version of the scene as input of the outline pixel. This has the advantage that bloom works (gets a bright outline) and the lines has lot less contrast compared to pure black.


An other challenge with outline shaders are particles. My next screenshot(upper part) shows clearly outlines behind the fire particle effect. This is really annoying, to get around it, I render the particle effects on a separate render target (btw. half resolution) and use the alpha channel of this render target as alpha mask for the outlines. You can compare it with the bottom part of the screenshot where you can see the effect of masking the outlines. The alpha mask is displayed in the bottom,right corner.


Next I will take a look at AA filter (FXAA, MLAA, ...). Here are some comparison shots displaying the game without (upper part) and with (lower part) outline effect applied.


Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now