ChrisE

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About ChrisE

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  1. You may need to add the flag D3DXSHADER_USE_LEGACY_D3DX9_31_DLL when calling D3DXCompileShader if any of the pixel shaders are less than PS 2.0.
  2. Please download and test out the scene editor from PR7. This is still in development but it should show you the direction things are going with the next version. PR7 Editor Download You will also need to get the Ageia runtime drivers from http://www.ageia.com/drivers/drivers.html. The editor will use Ageia hardware if available. To see the new lighting engine try loading in the TrueLight and PillarRoom scenes for starters. A fast video card is recommened for this (Nvidia 8800). Remember this software is still in development. I'd like to hear your comments on how I can improve it. Chris Egerter www.powerrender.com devrel@powerrender.com
  3. PR7 Scene Editor August Beta

    Please download and test out the scene editor from PR7. This is still in development but it should show you the direction things are going with the next version. www.powerrender.com/PR7/PR7EditorBeta.zip You will also need to get the Ageia runtime drivers from http://www.ageia.com/drivers/drivers.html. The editor will use Ageia hardware if available. Remember this software is still in development. I'd like to hear your comments on how I can improve it.
  4. Redesigning website

    I know they are big... maybe I will shrink them a bit, but not too much. When you click on the images it takes you to the main pages where they are described in detail. You can't buy PR7 yet, so that's a good reason to buy 6 right now lol. Version 7 is based on the PR6 core but has a better scene editor.
  5. Redesigning website

    I spent the entire day redesigning my website. You can see the work in progress here. If you have any suggestions let me know while I'm still working on it. :)
  6. I've looked back at all my blogs since January, since I built this new computer to work on. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to build in terms of the engine, but I had no idea the engine was going to grow this much. The computer was built originally to run DX10 on Vista but I haven't used DX10 much at all. At times it feels like my work will never be done. However I know every feature and bug can be described and eventually I will complete them all. Looking forward, I'm thinking about releasing Power Render 7 with full source code for $100 like I am currently doing with Power Render 6. Imagine an almost Unreal 3 quality engine for ridiculously cheap. I will ask for royalties though. I'm considering making the code available even before the engine is done so people can influence my decisions on what needs to be completed. It's very tough building an engine by yourself when there are so many components working together. With the code available other people could contribute. Good things happen with collaboration. I will never be a big company by keeping all my work to myself. I hope that releasing PR7 in this manner will bring about some kind of advancement in the field of computer graphics, and people will use it to make some great games. That is the ultimate goal. Hopefully people will benefit from my work and remember me.
  7. Depth of Field and Bloom

    August 20, 2007 This weekend I spent a little time on getting depth of field and bloom effects running in the new editor. The code was already written in 2003 but I had to link up the properties to the scene settings node so I could change them in the editor. I spent a few hours trying to implement the bloom routines from my HDR renderer but it turned out the ones I had written ages ago looked better and didn't have any bugs. With some tweaking of the values and textures it can look pretty nice. I've also created a movie while playing around with this scene.
  8. Nonuniform Scaled Lights

    August 13, 2007 Today I'm going to talk a little about something that isn't very common in realtime graphics. Most lights used in games are computed mathematically on hardware or in vertex/pixel shaders. The TrueLight rendering engine offers a more flexible way to calculate light attenuation. Rather than using a mathematical function to calculate the falloff, TrueLights allow you to use an attenuation texture. For example it could be a sphere, a box, a bunch of dots, or even a happy face. You get the idea. Additionally most lights are uniformly scaled, meaning the attenuation falls in a spherical shape. The ability to scale lights nonuniformly gives the level designer more power to create unique lighting effects that haven't been possible in older game engines. For example say you have a long fluorescent light. In older engines you might have made several point lights along the light in order to make a line. We no longer have to resort to such hacks. The x,y or z axis of a light can be scaled down until the light is a strip instead of a sphere. Take another example. Say we have a rectangular pool of water and we want to have a cool blue light coming up near the surface. We can squash a blue light so it fits the pool exactly, and only emits light for a foot above the surface. I've created a video of this in action inside the PR7 editor.
  9. Skinning with TrueLight

    August 13, 2007 Just a quick update to let you know that I've completed added per pixel bump mapped skinning with the TrueLight renderer. I've also been able to improve the quality of shadows by changing to a 32 bit per color floating point format. Obviously this will run slower but it will be an option in the detail settings of the engine. I'm quite happy with the progress since this was a very difficult bit of code involving many shaders for variance shadow maps, attenuation, lighting and so on. I've created a video of this in action inside the PR7 editor.
  10. Movies of PR7

    August 6, 2007 Here are a few movies of PR7 in action. Keep in mind these are technical demonstrations and I have not spent any time creating nice assets. Note that the movie capture slows down the program and makes the physics seem like there is lower gravity than normal. These movies were taken from inside the PR7 Editor, but only the 3D output was captured and you can't see the editor's user interface in them. This is a simple scene with a building mesh used as a backdrop for the physics engine. The TrueLight renderer is used with 3 lights and the characters are using convex hull for collision. Forces are applied to the characters using the mouse. After a while the scene is reset and then the lights are moved around. This is an indoor scene using the TrueLight renderer. Per pixel bump mapping is used along with a few lights that are turned on and manipulated. We use cows for testing because it's a complex shape that could represent any character in a game. Several cows are dropped into the scene and moved around. The play button is then pressed which activates the AI scripts. A simple script that rotates the node plays for all instances of the cow, and then the camera is moved around. This is an outdoor terrain scene with water and the HDR renderer. The water properties are being manipulated. This is a PPU cloth simulation running using the TrueLight Renderer. The cloth is dropped onto a cow test model and then manipulated with the mouse. This is a PPU inflatable tube simulation running using the TrueLight Renderer. Here a torus filled with air is manipulated with the mouse and interacts with a simple indoor scene.
  11. PR6 vs PR7

    August 5, 2007 I've compiled a list of the differences between PR6 and PR7 here In some ways PR6 has more features than PR7. Over time some of this functionality will be restored under the new editor, and everything will be much easier to use. Please don't ask me when PR7 will be ready, because I don't know. I'm aiming for 2007 and working on it full time until it's done though.
  12. July Update

    July 31, 2007 It's summer and that means vacation time! I've spent 3 weeks of July up north in cottage country with my girlfriend, so I have not accomplished much on Power Render 7. August will be more productive though. The 20 inch LCD that broke has been fixed, even though the delivery man left it outside on my deck in the rain. I've successfully added the following to the editor: - Sky cube node - Revolute, Spherical, and Fixed joints - Added the TrueLight renderer (formerly PRX/Prototype) Screenshots:
  13. June Update

    June 1, 2007 I've successfully added the following to the editor: - Cloth physics using hardware - Lens flare nodes - Script nodes - Font nodes - Copy and paste nodes I've got scripts working so you can drag a script to the scene graph, then set the name of the callback functions in each node and it will run the scripts while playing the simulation. In order to make this a complete game creation system I've started adding my GUI functions to the scene graph as well. You'll be able to drag GUI elements around and create all your menus or game overlays with the same tool.
  14. Impostor Rendering

    April 24, 2007 I've successfully added impostors to the scene graph. This lets you render a group of entities to a texture when they are far away and draw a textured quad instead of the full geometry to speed up rendering of scenes with large numbers of objects such as trees. There are a few minor things to add like when to update the impostor, and generating the impostors at the end of a frame instead of the middle as needed. Eventually I'll add a tool to create forests and automatically set up groups of close trees with impostors. I've also added the following to the editor: - x y z scale buttons - shows name and axis of current entity - Ability to set initial angular and linear velocity to rigid bodies - Global scene settings node for things like movement scale, snap settings - Collision with triangle meshes and convex hulls, saving cooked data to disk for fast load times Here are my major goals remaining: - Save and load subtree with the ability to treat subtree like a single entity - Finish joint nodes - Cloth physics using hardware - Make array of objects - Copy and paste nodes - User defined variables within nodes - Sky cube node - Lens flare node - New asset manager that keeps track of dates so it can automatically load updated files at runtime - A game test mode that lets you walk around the world with full simulation and scripts running - Particle Systems - Edit multiple scenes at once - New Character animation routines - FBX converter - Large scale terrain manager with paging - Terrain LOD - Networking
  15. FBX Converter, Editor Progress

    April 3, 2007 Time for an update. I haven't posted any blogs lately but that's because I've been hard at work. I've started creating an FBX converter. It can import static meshes and I got as far as keyframing. This will be a small side project that isn't critical but will be handy later on. I've added the following to the editor: -Water node -Ground plane node -Convex hull primitives -Terrain physics -Keyboard shortcuts on menus -Toolbar help tips -Please wait window while loading/saving -Distance joints -Pulling objects using physics forces with the mouse I've started adding in impostor rendering for rendering impostors of groups of objects in the scene graph. Right now there is a large list of things that need to be finished and I'm working my way through them. PR7 is probably 6 months from being ready for testing yet.