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About smjones

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  1.   Depends on the customer but typically its NVidia Quadro K2000 or K4200.  We even have some Quadro 2000 (no 'K' version).  Always Quadro, however.  I have no control over that unfortunately.        The 32-bit Z-buffer would probably make a big difference however even on recent (NVidia Quadro) cards however I cannot seem to create a 32-bit depth buffer without losing my multi-sample buffer bits.  That means no anti-aliasing which makes scene look worse than having Z-fighting.    As for swapping the near and far parameters I remember seeing this talked about in an Outerra article http://outerra.blogspot.com/2012/11/maximizing-depth-buffer-range-and.html In my previous reply I add that I am using Vega Pirme and I do not have access to their projection matrix.  I would have to take over the rendering pipeline.  Which I may have to eventually do but that will not be easy.   So let's say I do take over the projection matrix and swap near and far values, does this solution "just work" given that I change the depth test type?  Seems too easy.   This is along the lines of what L. Spiro suggested.  Given my limitations with the depth buffer size and projection matrix reversed near/far plane matrix this solution may be my only robust solution even though it costs some in performance.    Based on both of your feedback I have decided to drop further investigation into a "better hack" and pursue the 2-pass render.  I tried this a few years ago but after having trouble with the shadows I gave up.... perhaps too quickly.  There may be a way to manipulate Vega Prime's dynamic shadow object to swap to both channels or maybe create two dynamic shadow objects.  There are pros and cons to working with third party libaries and I may be running into the con as far as what I can do using their system of classes (and not have access to source code).   Thanks so much.  I feel encouraged to give the 2-channel (ie 2-pass) rendering another try.   -Steve
  2.   Thanks!  To add more details to this I use a third party library called Vega Prime which handles much of the internal graphics rendering.  Following their "canned" usage model is what told me you could only have one dynamic shadow generator for one channel.  But perhaps with some digging I can figure out how to do as you suggest and render the channel with shadows on both channels without driving the system to its knees.
  3. Good call. But we already have the depth buffer max'd out to 24 bits which is supported by the video cards we use.  Typical flights sims don't have this problem as bad because you can LOD you far geometry out of the scene, no flicker if not being rendered.  But camera view zooming messes up the works.   A co-worker this morning said I would be polishing the horse and buggy wheels if I continue down the masking track even if it used pixel perfect resolution.  They suggest I buy a new car and pursue my second approach which is a design change.   But I still am interested in knowing how to detect the object is in view.
  4. We have a flight simulator application where one of the primary views comes from the EO/IR ("skyball) camera connected to the bottom of the "ownship" aircraft.  You can gimbal and zoom the camera.  The problem is since this camera can zoom (reduce FOV) quite far we see Z-fighting.  To address the Z-fighting I move the near plane out a few hundred meters and problem is fixed.  However that introduces a new problem.  Now you can't see the "ownship" because it is being clipped out by the near plane that is not very near the (air)plane, if you catch my drift! :)  So to address that we create silly masks which are nothing more then quads that positioned from the camera's view point.  We have to set their positions to cover up the aircraft mesh and then during the game loop we check if the camera's azimuth or elevation (pitch) angles are inside a mask quad, we say that the camera is "masked" by the ownship and therefore pull the near plane back to its normal position of about 0.1 meters.    This hack works pretty good until you are in a masked condition (you can see a wing in the view for example) but you are looking far off into the distance.  You get the Z-fighting again because since we are maksed we have to pull the near plane back so we can see the wing or any other part of the aircraft.  You can define as many mask (quads) that conform to the aircraft shape as seen from this camera but you can never get it a perfect fit.   But I want to see if we can do this better, without masks.  I am using OpengGL 3.3+ and GLSL 330 and want to know if there is a better way to check if an object (the ownship 3d model) is in view, are any of its pixel fragments in the view port at any given time?  I am not a GLSL expert so that's why I am coming to the experts.     There is another approach I thought about which eliminates the need for masking altogether but it may not work so well with our shadows.  I'll just throw this one out but I want to focus on the current approach first.  This approach renders two channels where one channel defines near and far planes close to the aircraft ownship, near == 0.1m and far==500m.  The second channel defines the near as 500m and the far as 130000m (flight sim so we need a far far plane distance at a high altitutde).  So the 2nd channel draws the further scene where the 1st channel leaves off.  I tried this way and it did seem to work however our dynamic shadows have to be attached to only one channel.  This requires drawing the scene twice and our scene can get pretty heavy so its not my first choice.  That's why we went for the more hacky way first.  I may need to work with this approach more, however.   In the mean time I want to pursue improving our current solution.  Any ideas would be helpful.   Wow, its been many years since I've been on this site.  Lots of changes that look great!   -Steve
  5. Great article!  I do agree with everything you said but sometimes I deviate from doing the highest priority tasks to some of the easier or fun ones when my motivation is dipping.  It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something which helps motivate me back to the harder tasks.   I also very much agree with waiting on optimization until the feature is basically working first.  This one is hard for me but I know its important.
  6. Do they need to be original or can they be "knock-offs"? If ideas about existing games is ok then some come to mind: - Wii Play Tanks game - Wii Resort sword dueling - Toontown games like: - shoot character from cannon into water bucket. (I love this one!) - catch falling things, player with most at end of round wins - swim through rings Board games - Connect four in 3D - Checkers - you name it - matching game Do you need full games for our portfolio or can they be demos? Steve
  7. I think you're making a wise decision. Learning how to program while starting with small, simple programs will help you develop knowledge and confidence along the way. Steve
  8. Ah, yes, lighting would cause you to not see anything if you didn't add any lights to the scene. Steve
  9. Quote:Really the only problem now is that I can't get it to render anything. There are lots of things that need to take place either at the start of your app or per frame in order to successfully render something on the screen. A number of "links in the chain" can be missing to cause a failure to render. Have you set up the view and projection matrices correctly? One way to know if this was done right is to render one thing in a known location and it should show up on screen. You can either render an object at 0,0,0 and move your "camera" (view matrix) back and aim it at 0,0,0. Or you can put your camera at 0,0,0 and move your object to some positive value that puts it in front of the camera. Of course you need to aim your camera to that location with something like D3DXMatrixLookAtLH() for example. Steve
  10. I'm not exactly sure but a little searching on vertex and pixel shader models and device caps revealed this page at least. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb219845%28VS.85%29.aspx One thing is obvious, the shader model will dictate what is supported or not. SM 3 is common but many cards still only support 2.0. Something to consider. Steve
  11. Buckeye is correct when he says to do your programming incrementally. Get some of the basics working before progressing on to other things. That is very good practice. Quote:I guess there is no choice but to figure out how to render one point sprite. I gave a link in my post to an application that shows how to do point sprite particle effects including setting up DirectX. It includes a couple very basic emitters: fountain and radial (think: fireworks). If you don't like that sample then check out an even simpler one at CodeSampler. Point Sprites. Try to understand various parts of the sample programs especially things like setup. You can comment out parts of your own code to pare it down to the bare minimum in order to get things working. Quote:Alternatively, don't push_back pointers, push_back an instance of the class Depending on the size of the object this can be costly especially if you are creating and destroying particles on the fly. Do not be afraid of storing and working with pointers. They are fundamental in C++ and should be understood. Pushing pointers from objects (particles) created on the heap is merely 4 bytes (on 32-bit OS) and very fast. You will need to be careful with memory leaks caused by not deleting the memory correctly or at all. Here's a simple demonstration of using std::vector. #include <vector> using std::vector; class Particle { public: float x,y,z; }; int main() { std::vector<Particle*> Particles; // Add Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); Particles.push_back(new Particle); // Clean up, delete the Particle object memory std::vector<Particle*>::iterator iter; for (iter = Particles.begin(); iter != Particles.end(); ++iter) { delete (*iter); (*iter) = NULL; } // Remove the elements from the std::vector. An elements is // a "bucket" that hold a pointer to a Particle. Particles.clear(); // Yay! No memory leaks! } Steve [Edited by - smjones on August 3, 2010 1:16:29 PM]
  12. Your pVertices is a double pointer so you need to dereference it when accessing its members such as pos and color. if (ParticleArray[i]->state != PSTATE_DEAD) { *pVertices->pos=ParticleArray[i]->position; *pVertices->color=ParticleArray[i]->color; *pVertices++; RenderCount++; } You mentioned having trouble locking. Do you have a valid vertex buffer pointer before calling Lock()? Otherwise the Lock syntax looks ok. Is ParticleArray.size() greater than 0? I wrote a small particle engine that uses point sprites a few years ago. I *think* its still compiles. [looksaround] Particle Generator Steve> [Edited by - smjones on August 3, 2010 1:38:04 PM]
  13. Quote: I cleaned and rebuilt the project and now the debugger shows the correct numbers. So the root cause was, as Brother Bob pointed out, out of date files. The solution was to refresh the compiled object files by forcing a rebuild all. I just wanted to highlight this. Great suggestion Brother Bob. Steve
  14. Thanks for the suggestion Captain P. I like the overlay idea. Steve
  15. I'll echo the HGE library as being pretty good and pretty easy. If you like object oriented code better take a look at the IndieLib. That library is a bit thin on animations and other features but its image loading (even non-power of two textures) and entity handling is very good. They have a primary object called an Entity2D and it pretty much does it all for 2D graphics. HGE is faster but it uses an older version of Directx. IndieLib uses DirectX 9 therefore you get more bells and whistles if you wanted to venture down the raw, directx graphics path. You have access to the directx device to add your own stuff. Having said all that you won't go wrong with HGE. :) Steve