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Rear mirror rendering, how?

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Good day everyone, I have a way to do rear mirror rendering found in most racing games, but I am not sure if this is the "right" way to go about it. These are the steps in each game loop iteration:     LPDIRECT3DDEVICE9  m_lpDevice;     LPDIRECT3DTEXTURE9 m_lpMirrorTarget;     LPDIRECT3DSURFACE9 lpMirrorSurface;     LPDIRECT3DSURFACE9 lpCurrSurface; 1. Obtain lpMirrorSurface from m_lpMirrorTarget. 2. m_lpDevice->GetRenderTarget(0, &lpCurrSurface); 3. m_lpDevice->SetRenderTarget(0, lpMirrorSurface); 4. Set up rendering states/view matrices, etc. 5. Render scene (back viewing). 6. lpCurrSurface->Release(); Restore reference count. 7. m_lpDevice->SetRenderTarget(0, lpCurrSurface); Restoring original render target. 8. Restore original rendering states/view matrices, etc. 9. lpMirrorSurface->Release(); Restore reference count. 10. Render m_lpMirrorTarget texture on a quad (mirror object) on screen. 11. Done! :) So what you guys think? Is that feasibile to do? Will there be serious penalty by setting different render targets each frame? Thanks in advance for any help I'm getting!

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Other then the fact that you probally don't want to be creating and releasing your surfaces every frame (why not keep them around) it seems like a good choice

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You could also do something with the stencil buffer... like render the rear-view mirror (or whatever you are using) to the stencil buffer, then render the back scene so that it only gets drawn on the backbuffer where the mirror is. But, a quad is probably more flexible because you can rotate it and all...

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Thanks Arelius, you're right, moving unnecessary getting/releasing of both
IDirect3DSurface9 surfaces out of the game loop would be a wiser choice. And
the partial game loop would look something like this:

    LPDIRECT3DDEVICE9  m_lpDevice;
    LPDIRECT3DTEXTURE9 m_lpMirrorTarget;
    LPDIRECT3DSURFACE9 m_lpMirrorSurface;
    LPDIRECT3DSURFACE9 m_lpOrgnlSurface;

One time tasks:
1. Obtain m_lpMirrorSurface from m_lpMirrorTarget.
2. m_lpDevice->GetRenderTarget(0, &m_lpOrgnlSurface);

Game loop tasks:
1. m_lpDevice->SetRenderTarget(0, m_lpMirrorSurface);
2. Set up rendering states/view matrices, etc.
3. Render scene (back viewing).
4. m_lpDevice->SetRenderTarget(0, m_lpOrgnlSurface); Restoring original render target.
5. Restore original rendering states/view matrices, etc.
6. Render m_lpMirrorTarget texture on a quad (mirror object) on screen.

Game exit, one time clean up tasks:
1. Release relevant resources.

Now that sounds more like it.
So any other things I should be aware of?

Kosmon_x, the stencil buffer method is another alternative I am sure, I might
consider using it if necessary (i.e. if the first method does not work well).
Thanks for your help anyway.

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Seems to me like you've got a fairly sound algorithm there. A couple of notes:

1. In games I have they often use quite low-resolution render targets and make up for it by using texture filtering. Doing this can help to reduce the fill-rate overhead of effectively rendering the scene from 2 directions.

2. I've also seen in games a lot of cases where they reduce the geometric/effect complexity in mirrors. Can't think of the name of the game, but there was one that I used to play that would never show tyre smoke / dirt / tyre tracks etc... and on low detail would show only the simplest lighting (no specular/per-pixel stuff).

Both cases are performance hacks that, in truth, reduce the overall quality - but for the majority of cases it's not something a player is likely to be too bothered about. You could always leave a slider in to determine how much is dropped for reflections I suppose...


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Thanks Jollyjeffers, I agree with you cases like these would not make that much
difference to the user. In fact I am not making a rear mirror, I just said that
so it's easier for people to relate things.

I am using a 64x64 texture and rendering some patterns on it. After this
texture is being rendered with patterns, I'll use it on a quad that covers the
entire screen. So you see the idea, I am using it as a way to achieve
visualization for my game menu background (animated). Somethin' like the one
you can find on XBox 360 menu. Thanks anyway for all the inputs!

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