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About SimmerD

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  1. SimmerD

    ndotL environment mapping?

    The idea here is twofold : 1) there is a tradeoff between diffuse & specular reflected energy.  more diffuse reflections mean less energy available for specular and vice versa.   2) when N dot L is zero, N.H ( or R.L ) should be zero too
  2. There is Marmalade, which has great Windows Emulation Testing, but even its samples are crashing on Android for me right now. Marmalade has both high & low-level interfaces, including in app purchaes, etc. For android, I am using the free nvidia tegra development kit, which has native visual studio debugging on android devices!  This is only low-level graphics and input. I have also used libcinder on windows, which is low-level also.   I made my engine so I can just write three files, System.cpp and Render.cpp for each platform, and then a main.cpp to drive the update,input and rendering.
  3. SimmerD

    When you realize how dumb a bug is...

    This one is old-skool.   My buddy Brad and I were making an Ultima-style RPG in 1983 or 1984.  It had world maps, dungeons, temples, catacombs, towns, etc.  We were at his place working on the tactical combat.  I was trying to add the fireball spell, and every time I typed in the section of code to handle the fireball hitting an enemy, the entire program would be wiped from memory!  This was sooo bizarre.  Our code was a mix of AppleSoft Floating Point Basic and assembly.   We even went so far as to call Apple to try to report the bug in the Basic code.   While trying to make a smaller repro case than our entire game, we realized the bug.  In AppleSoft Basic, only the 1st two letters of a variable are used, and it's interpreted, so commands are executed as they are parsed.  One of our variables was called FP, which was the command to re-initialize basic, and clear the program from memory.  
  4. My dad brought home an Apple ][+ ( 48k of ram! ) christmas 1982.  He knew COBOL, and taught himself BASIC, and taught my sister and I when I we were 13 & 12.  He made a program with 'for loops' that cleared the screen horizontally.  Then I changed it to make it vertical, then diagonal.  Then I made a sort of tron-light-cycle game.  The next year I met another kid at my school who knew basic.  I had started learning assembly, so we hooked up and made some very innovative half-finished games. We even did digital audio recording through the cassette port & playback through the speaker. We each made flood-fill routines, and also fast 14x14 sprite renderers, and a complete Ultima 3/4 type RPG engine.   I got an austin computers 286 16mhz pc in 1988, and taught myself x86 assembly & EGA/VGA low level rendering.  I made a 3d voxel engine in 1992 all in assembly.  All assembly was really hurting my productivity but MS Quick C was confusing as hell to me.  When a friend taught me Turbo Pascal, I was in heaven, and I shipped my first complete game, Hubie in 1996 using Borland pascal & inline assembly.  That same year I saw a 3dfx voodoo prototype, and started to learn more 3d.  Soon after, I learned Direct Draw, Direct 3D 1 & 3, then started at nvidia, learning direct3d 5/6 and gpu programming in general.  Over the next few years I was in the right place, time & role to innovate in a number of graphics areas, such as per-pixel lighting, attenuation maps, shadows anti-aliasing, etc.   One thing that I did a lot was to lurk in game & graphics programming forums.  I've found need a long gestation period to really grok something, so that helps me by seeing something repeatedly over a long time period.  Then I can connect new ideas with old things I've read about or done.  Another thing I'm learning about myself is that my most innovative periods are tied to meeting and working with new people, so I recommend meeting with like-minded folks. 
  5.   So I am so glad you mentioned this - this means they made a grid that constantly evaluates probes along the viewer's camera? So it is not dependent on probes being constantly used...but rather in the direction the dynamic character faces?   Considering Far Cry 3 is a 1st person game - how does it work when say a 3rd person character walks into a set?   It's not based on direction, but rather position.  One or more nearby probes are read and blended together, depending on the XYZ of the object being rendered.
  6. SimmerD

    Screen-space shadowing

      I like this line of thinking.   You probably don't need 1024 vertical voxels, so it's possible to spend more on horizontal ones, or to store, say a 8-bit distance instead of a 1 bit solid/empty flag.   You could keep two separate voxel structures, the static one, then a dynamic one that is based on slices.  You could sample both of them when required ( when a surface is near a light and a dynamic object ).   You could also do some tricks so that highly dense but noisy things like leaves could be faked and not traced directly, just with an appropriate noise function, say.
  7. This reminds me of Polynomial texture maps.  You can store the coefficients of a quadratic function at^2 + bt + c such that at any time t you can calculate a sunlight value.  This works perfectly as long as you have only two transitions, from dark->light->dark or light->dark->light.  More transitions require more terms.  But for terrain without holes ( like a tunnel or a building with translucent windows ), this should work.   http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/ptm/papers/ptm.pdf
  8. Blade of Darkness was amazing!  I finished that game like 7 times...
  9. SimmerD

    Render Loop Problems DX10, C++

    There could be a ton of things wrong when you get the dreaded black screen. Your cube may be there, but it may be stencil culled frustum culled away from the camera's pos away from the camera's view on another render target the same color as the render target ( ie black ) alpha tested alpha blended fogged ( black )      Things to try : Render the cube, then present(), then immediately render again after changing now state, then present() again. If it's not there, then it may be that your geometry is getting destroyed, or a constant your relied on is gone. If it is there, try adding in parts of the state setting until it disappears again.
  10. Discard only applies after Present() or PresentEx(), not if you copy the back buffer into a rendertarget.   Stretch rect only does a filtered copy, not blending. You will need to write a shader or draw alpha blended quads with the screen buffer applied with DrawPrimitive().
  11. SimmerD

    Vsync causing input lag

    Windows is most likely copying your backbuffer to a shared surface ( possibly in system memory ), in order to keep the two desktops in sync. This will cause more buffering and slower perf.
  12. SimmerD

    full screen mode (PC)

    Also vista and above will boost your thread's priority if you are in d3d fullscreen mode. OpenGL always runs in a window, even it it appears fullscreen to you. You can get back this thread perf in windowed mode by boosting yoru threads priority yourselfi To get fullscreen mode In direct3d 8 & 9, you specify windowed = false in the presentparameters struct used in CreateDevice() and Device->Reset().
  13. I'm a fan of doing it on the CPU as well. Doing overly exact culling can lead to fps instability. For a couple of frames, you may be able to save some work as two trees happen to line up to block a doorway, but the doorway will be visible before and after. I use box cells with quad portals between them, and quad anti-portals for large occluders ( probably only 2 or 3 per level at most).
  14. In vista, and possibly windows 7, microsoft automatically boosts the thread priority of a fullscreen app, compared to a windowed app. You should be able to get back some of the time by setting your thread priority higher. see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms686277%28v=vs.85%29.aspx
  15. Step 1 is to do a stupid version that handles all vertex types in one function, slowly, but correctly. Steps 2-100 are to write a vertex format compiler that can take a vertex format and turn it in to close to optimal vertex decoding code with on-the-fly code generation. Unsupported versions can always fall back to the Step 1 method. Also, the generalized Step 1 version is used to QA the custom vertex compilation code.
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