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Finalizing Direct Lighting

I have not used the engine outside the editor in a while, but I needed to for performance testing, so now I am back to real-time rendering. During the development of the GI system I broke most of the light types, so I had to spend a couple of days getting those to work again. While doing this, I decided to resolve some longstanding issues I have put off. First, the PBR lighting will use a default gradient in place of the skybox, if no reflection map is set for the world. This is based off t

Josh

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Entry 1 - enemy awareness.

After deciding to extend upon simple tower-defense monster interactions,  I decided that I wanted to take the mechanics a step further. Actually have my mobs respond to an ever changing enviroment. As with some tower defense games, the player is able to construct obstacles within the playfield to alter pathing and in general make it 'harder' on the mobs to reach their destination.   Enter the Wizard, our main player controlled character. By selecting a wizard I've been able to open doors to

Voxel Cone Step Tracing Refinement

Before proceeding with multiple GI volumes, I decided to focus on just getting the lighting to look as close to perfect as possible, with a single stage. Injecting the ambient light into the voxel data made flat-lit areas appear much more "3D", with color bleeding and subtle contours everywhere. Lighting only: Lighting + albedo Some adjustments to the way the sky color is sampled gave a more lifelike appearance to outdoor lighting. Before: After. N

Josh

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Upgraded car physics (demo)

> This is defintely the best result I obtained with Leadwerks physics to build a car; I think this car is good enough so that it could be used in a game. > The car reacts depending on terrain, feeling different if climbing or driving down. The car allows speed driving until 140-160 kmh > The dampers became an upgrade that give me the possibility to construct car over 200 kg. That means simply that the cars drive now with much more stability and give for the player heavier feel

Voxel Cone Step Tracing - Follow the Camera

Until now, all my experiments with voxel cone step tracing placed the center of the GI data at the world origin (0,0,0). In reality, we want the GI volume to follow the camera around so we can see the effect everywhere, with more detail up close. I feel my productivity has not been very good lately, but I am not being too hard on myself because this is very difficult stuff. The double-blind nature of it (rendering the voxel data and then using that data to render an effect) makes development ver

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Extras 2

Here's some more extra shaders. I had a lot of fun with these. Some playing with normals. Some post-effects. Some experimental stuff. Just a mixed batch of noob adventures.   This first shader is pretty simple and is a nice noob move to add more detail to any scene. You start with the base shader and simply mix it with another normal texture. You can easily see the effect it produces and this is useful if you want to add small details to a material - like for instance making skin or ro

Voxel Cone Step Tracing - Emission and Motion

Adding emission into the cascaded voxel cone step tracing global illumination and dynamic reflections system (SEO ftw) was simple enough: There's some slight trailing but it looks okay to me. There is a bit of a "glitch" in that when the emissive surface gets near the wall, the ambient occlusion kicks in, even though the sphere is self-illuminating. This happens because the emission color is mixed with the light voxel during the rasterization step. I could fix this by storing emis

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Voxel Cone Step Tracing - Cascaded Volumes

I had to spend several weeks just eliminating light leaks and other artifacts, and getting the results I wanted in a variety of scenes. The results are looking good. Everyone who tries implementing this technique has problems with light leaks but I have fortunately been able to avoid this with careful planning: Now that I have nice results with a single volume texture centered at the origin, it's time to add additional stages. The idea is to have a cascading series of volume textures

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Global Illumination with Voxel Cone Step Tracing

Finally, finally, finally, finally, for the first time since I started working on this feature several years ago, finally we have real-time global illumination with a second light bounce: Below you can see the direct light hitting the floor, bounding up to the ceiling, and then being reflected back down on the floor again. Performance is still good and I have not started fine-tuning optimization yet. I was just trying to get the effect working at all, which was quite difficult to do,

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Cyclone's New Menu

The time finally came to revamp the main menu for Cyclone. Doing menu work for me is really hard to get into but once I'm knee deep into it, it's all I want to do. I decided now is the time to work on a semi-final menu system due to the following. I just finished Steam Input and the menu wasn't compatible. The white text on a bright background was hard to make out. I only had a "New Game" option. There was no way to jump to a map you wanted to play without the console enabl

reepblue

reepblue in Cyclone

Reflections on Reflections

Now that I have the downsampled reflection data working, I can start casting rays. The cone step tracing is not a 100% perfect representation of physical light, but it gives a very favorable balance of quality and performance. Somehow I came up with a few formulas that eliminate light leaks and other artifacts. Quite honestly I did not think the results would be this good. Indoor / outdoor scenes with thin walls are very difficult to prevent light leaks in, but somehow it's working ve

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GPU Voxel Downsampling with Compute Shaders

For downsampling of GI voxel data, I found that a compute shader offers the best performance. The first step was to add support for compute shaders into Ultra Engine.  I've never used these before but I was able to get them working pretty quickly. I think the user API will look something like this: //Load compute shader auto module = LoadShaderModule("Shaders/Compute/test.comp.spv"); auto shader = CreateShader(); shader->SetModule(module, SHADER_COMPUTE); //Create work group int wor

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GPU Voxelization

After testing and some discussion with other programmers, I decided to try performing voxelization on the GPU instead of the CPU. The downside is the memory usage is much higher than a sparse voxel octree, but I found that sparse voxel octrees were very slow when it came to soft reflections, although the results of the sharp raycast were impressive: You can read the details of GPU voxelization here if you wish. Initially I thought the process would require rendering the

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Cyclone Is Coming Soon to Steam!

It's been roughly over a year since active development started on this project. Today, I'm excited to announce that Cyclone now has a "Coming Soon" page on the Steam Store! This marks a huge milestone for the project and I'm looking forward to getting this out as soon as possible.  Cyclone is planned on being released as an Early Access title. Releasing into Early Access will grant a layer of feedback, bug reports, and ideas that can help build the remainder features, as well as additional

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Sparse Voxel Octree Raycasting

I've got cone step tracing working now with the sparse voxel octree implementation. I actually found that two different routines are best when the surface is rough or smooth. For sharp reflections, and precise voxel raytracing works best: For rough surfaces, cone step tracing can be used. There are some issues to work out and I need to revisit the downsampling routine, but it's basically working: Here's a video showing the sharp raycast in motion. Performance is quite good

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Sparse Voxel Octree Downsampling

I've moved on to one of the final steps for voxel cone step tracing, which is downsampling the lit voxels in a way that approximates a large area of rays being cast. You can read more about the details of this technique here. This artifact looks like a mirror that is sunken below the surface of some kind of frame. It was appearing because the mesh surface was inside the voxel, and neighboring voxels were being intersected. The solution was to move the ray starting point out of the voxel the

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Sparse Voxel Octree Reflections

I've now got basic specular reflections working with the sparse voxel octree system. This uses much less memory than a voxel grid or even a compressed volume texture. It also supports faster optimized ray tests, for higher quality reflections and higher resolution. Some of the images in this article were not possible to produce in my initial implementation that used volume textures. This shot shows the reflection of just the diffuse color. Notice the red column is visible in three reflectio

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Finished Direct Lighting Step

While seeking a way to increase performance of octree ray traversal, I came across a lot of references to this paper: http://wscg.zcu.cz/wscg2000/Papers_2000/X31.pdf Funnily enough, the first page of the paper perfectly describes my first two attempted algorithms. I started with a nearest neighbor approach and then implemented a top-down recursive design: GLSL doesn't support recursive function calls, so I had to create a function that walks up and down the octree hierarchy with

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My game in development | Astrocuco

We are already in 2022, and we continue to do things in order to learn, to understand how to design a video game. To date, Astrocuco is the result of many intermittent years of learning where the challenge is always the same, to create prototypes of how programming works. What I have learned, I have managed to master to an acceptable degree the subject of programming, understand concepts of classes, objects and most importantly apply them when writing code, in this case Lua Script. Thi

Yue

Yue in Astrocuco DevLog

Vulkan Dynamic Rendering

The VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering extension has made its way into Vulkan 1.2.203 and I have implemented this in Ultra Engine. What does it do? Instead of creating renderpass objects ahead of time, dynamic rendering allows you to just specify the settings you need as your are performing filling in command buffers with rendering instructions. From the Khronos working group: In my experience, post-processing effects is where this hurt the most. The engine has a user-defined stack of post-pro

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Storing game data (using sqlite3)

Didn't post here in a long time , this will be about storing game data. There are  a lot of options on how to store your game data structures: files (json,xml,yaml , custom etc) databases , nosql dbs memory (if no persistence needed) Also if you use an engine it could provide its own way of storing data. Choosing a good way to do persistence is important. This depends on lots of factors like game type, complexity of data structures etc   Ill

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Direct Lighting with Sparse Voxel Octrees

Previously I described how I was able to save the voxel data into a sparse octree and correctly lookup the right voxel in a shader. This shot shows that each triangle is being rasterized separately, i.e. the triangle bounding box is being correctly trimmed to avoid a lot of overlapping voxels: Calculating direct lighting using the sparse octree was very difficult, and took me several days of debugging. I'm not 100% sure what the problem was, other than it seems GLSL code is not quite

Josh

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Better Voxelization

My initial implementation of mesh voxelization for ray tracing used this code. It was good for testing, but has some problems: It's slow, using an unnecessary and expensive x * y * z loop No support for per-voxel color based on a texture lookup There are mathematical mistakes that cause inaccuracy, and the math has to be perfect My solution addresses these problems and only uses an x * y loop to generate the voxels. It does this by identifying the major (largest magn

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