In late 2014, I made the bold decision to focus less with Source Engine mods and pick up an actual engine I could use without legal conflicts or worrying about knowing the right people. At the time, it was like all other options were telling me to forget everything I've picked up through the years of making popular maps and mods and learn something that's completely unique to their software. CSG tools were declared too uncool, and any engine that was nice enough to support it enforced that any a
A new update is available for beta testers. This update focuses on the GUI capabilities, mostly for interfaces created directly on a window, rather than 3D interfaces. We are moving from a Lua-driven GUI system to one coded more explicitly in C++. This will provide us with better documented behavior, easier portability, and a more responsive interface.
GUI widgets no longer use Lua scripts. Each widget type has a C++ class, a creation command, and style constants.
Our forum software and theme have been updated. The new theme is just the default Invision Power Board skin, with our own header and footer added.
In the past I put a lot of effort into getting the forum to look exactly the way I wanted, and I don't think that effort was a very good use of time. Each forum update requires us to redo the skin, and I just don't feel like it is that important. I can fine-tune the appearance of the user interface in the Leadwerks Editor, but this web stuff is o
The terrain streaming / planet rendering stuff was the last of the feature creep. That finishes out the features I have planned for the first release of the new engine. My approach for development has been to go very broad so I could get a handle on how all the features work together, solve the hard problems, and then fill in the details when convenient.
The hard problems are all solved so now it's just a matter of finishing things, Consequently, I don't think my blogs are going to make any
An update is available for Leadwerks 5 beta on Steam that adds a World::SetSkyColor() command. This allows you to set a gradient for PBR reflections when no skybox is in use.
I learned with Leadwerks 4 that default settings are important. The vast majority of screenshots people show off are going to use whatever default rendering settings I program in. We need a good balance between quality and performance for the engine to use as defaults. Therefore, the engine will use SSAO and bloom effe
In games we think of terrain as a flat plane subdivided into patches, but did you know the Earth is actually round? Scientists say that as you travel across the surface of the planet, a gradual slope can be detected, eventually wrapping all the way around to form a spherical shape! At small scales we can afford to ignore the curvature of the Earth but as we start simulating bigger and bigger terrains this must be accounted for. This is a big challenge. How do you turn a flat square shape into a
A new update is available for Leadwerks 5 beta. This adds the ability for to use post-processing effects together with render-to-texture. The SpriteLayer class has been renamed to Canvas and the Camera::AddSpriteLayer method has been renamed to Camera::AddCanvas.
The beta has been moved to Steam and updates will be distributed there from now on. Beta testers were sent keys to install the program on their Steam accounts.
Previously, I showed how to create a terrain data set from a single 32768x32768 heightmap. The files have been uploaded to our Github account here. We will load data directly from the Github repository with our load-from-URL feature because this makes it very easy to share code examples. Also, even if you fly around the terrain for a long time, you are unlikely to ever need to download the complete data set. Think about Google Earth. How long would it take you to view the entire planet at full r
Being able to support huge worlds is great, but how do you fill them up with content? Loading an entire planet into memory all at once isn't possible, so we need a system that allows us to stream terrain data in and out of memory dynamically. I wanted a system that could load data from any source, including local files on the hard drive or online GIS sources. Fortunately, I developed most of this system last spring and I am ready to finish it up now.
Preparing Terrain Data
The first st
Work is pretty much complete on nearly all of the highpoly models of the wall textures... Just a few more to create and bake out in Xnormal and then I will be able to start making the color ID maps. I expect to have the ID maps done sometime by the beginning of the week after next week.
Total number of textures stands at 201, after taking into account some of the walls having minor detail variants.
Below shows a few snapshots of the my most recent work:
In my work with NASA we visualize many detailed CAD models in VR. These models may consist of tens of millions of polygons and thousands of articulated sub-objects. This often results in rendering performance that is bottlenecked by the vertex rather than the fragment pipeline. I recently performed some research to determine how to maximize our rendering speed in these situations.
Leadwerks 4 used separate vertex buffers, but in Leadwerks 5 I have been working exclusively with interleaved v
I really wanted to use the spline tool to make roads because it is a powerful tool but it has a big inconvenient: It builds the spline as you want but then moves the terrain to pass it to the spline - this sounds first ok but using this especially on big maps, you end up with a terrain that shows artificial big too sharpened contours and hollowed areas where the road is going through.
To avoid this problem, you have to place a lot of spline pivots and nodes very carefully on the map, follow
A beta update is available.
The ray tracing system is now using a smaller 128x128x128 grid. There is still only one single grid that does not move. Direct lighting calculation has been moved to the GPU. The GI will appear darker and won't look very good. Additional shader work is needed to make the data look right, and I probably need to implement a compute shader for parts of it. The system is now dynamic, although it current has a lot of latency. GI renders only get triggered when somethi
So far the new Voxel ray tracing system I am working out is producing amazing results. I expect the end result will look like Minecraft RTX, but without the enormous performance penalty of RTX ray tracing.
I spent the last several days getting the voxel update speed fast enough to handle dynamic reflections, but the more I dig into this the more complicated it becomes. Things like a door sliding open are fine, but small objects moving quickly can be a problem. The worst case scenario is whe
Crowdfunding campaigns are a great way to kick off marketing for a game or product, with several benefits.
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Oh yeah, there's also the financial aspect, but that's actually the least important part. If you make $1
Since 3 years I have not programmed anything with Leadwerks, that has nothing to do with Leadwerks it was a real life thing.
So I must learn the stuff from the beginning. My natural language is not English, I hope you can forgive me a mistake or two .
If you want test the code you make a new project and a map. I made some test objects to see if climbing fails or not and under which steps I can crouch
and on which step I can jump.
I make this blog for me to save the sour
I've been working to make my previously demonstrated voxel ray tracing system fully dynamic. Getting the voxel data to update fast enough was a major challenge, and it forced me to rethink the design. In the video below you can see the voxel data being updated at a sufficient speed. Lighting has been removed, as I need to change the way this runs.
I plan to keep two copies of the data in memory and let the GPU interpolate smoothly in between them, in order to smooth out the motion
A new beta update is available. The raytracing implementation has been sped up significantly. The same limitations of the current implementation still apply, but the performance will be around 10x faster, as the most expensive part of the raytrace shader has been precomputed and cached.
The Material::SetRefraction method has also been exposed to Lua. The Camera::SetRefraction method is now called "SetRefractionMode".
The results are so good, I don't have any plans to use any kind of sc
Took a break from 3d modeling work for the past few days, decided to play around with lighting and other effects in 3ds max to get a general sense of what types of environment/moods can be created.
I made a material with some emissive maps and applied it to my simple cube scene, thought I would post it since it turned out pretty cool (3ds max rendering):
More to come later on...
An update is available for beta testers.
All Lua errors should now display the error message and open the script file and go to the correct line the error occurs on.
The voxel raytracing system is now accessible. To enable it, just call Camera:SetGIMode(true).
At this time, only a single voxel grid with dimensions of 32 meters, centered at the origin is in use.
The voxel grid will only be generated once, at the time the SetGIMode() method is called.
Only the model
PBR materials look nice, but their reflections are only as good as the reflection data you have. Typically this is done with hand-placed environment probes that take a long time to lay out, and display a lot of visual artifacts. Nvidia's RTX raytracing technology is interesting, but it struggles to run old games on a super-expensive GPU, My goal in Leadwerks 5 is to have automatic reflections and global illumination that doesn't require any manual setup, with fast performance.
I'm on the fi
As of just now, I have finished creating all of the individual color ID maps for the floor textures, seen below in my progress tracker.
Next steps which I plan on carrying out (bolded are the ones I intend to focus on in the next month or so):
Finish modeling wall textures (30 ish to go).
Finish modeling a few detail textures.
Create material ID maps for all wall/detail textures (60+ to go).
Paint all diffuse maps using a common substance painter project file(s)