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Coconut Daemon

Output Zbuffer

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I don't know about the others, but in 3DS Max 2.5 from the image window you simply select "Z values" instead "RGBA values" from the drop down list (the actual terms may vary - sorry). The image then changes to a grey-scale image representing the Z-values.


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I've recently written some tile/zbuffer hybrid code that enables me to create absolutely _fantastic_ lighting effects on a 2d isometric engine. This is the best of both worlds at this point: 70+ fps, 2d image quality, 3d lighting. However, there is a drawback: art creation.

The way this works is that I determine the Z-value for each tile in engine, then combine that with a pre-created zbuffer that matches the tile's bitmap. With my artist's current knowledge of the programs at our disposal, it is unfortunately necessary to draw the zbuffer in 2d tools, separate from rendering the 3d rendering of the original tiles.

From what I've seen done in commercial games, I'm pretty sure there's a way to obtain a zbuffer output from the original rendering process.

At school, we have available Lightwave (5.5, I believe) and trueSpace 3. It _might_ be possible to convince the lab to get us 3d Studio Max, but I'd prefer it not come to that. I am wondering if anyone here knows how to obtain an output zbuffer from any of these programs, preferably trueSpace.

Thank you,

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