Most Popular Posts and Tags

I have added a per­ma­nent page with a sum­ma­ry of the most pop­u­lar posts on this blog. I also tried to add mean­ing­ful tags to all posts. Here are the most impor­tant tags:

Content type tags

  • down­load — a down­load is avail­able is this post
  • gem — a code snip­pet or oth­er copy-paste thing is avail­able
  • math — posts that are heavy on math for­mu­lae

Topic tags

X-Plane announces Physically Based Rendering

I always won­dered when X-Plane would jump on the PBR band­wag­on. I like X-Plane, I think its the best active­ly-devel­oped (*) flight sim­u­la­tor out there, but I always felt that shad­ing could be bet­ter. For instance, there is this unre­al­is­tic ‘Lam­bert-shad­ed’ world ter­rain tex­ture, which becomes too dark at sun­set; anoth­er is the dread­ed ‘con­stant ambi­ent col­or’ that plagues the shad­ing of objects.

Now in this post on the X-Plane devel­op­er blog, Ben announces that Phys­i­cal­ly Based Ren­der­ing is a future devel­op­ment goal, yay! Then he goes on to say that, while sur­face shad­ing will be a solved prob­lem™ because of PBR, oth­ers like par­tic­i­pat­ing media (clouds, atmos­phere) would still need mag­ic tricks for the fore­see­able future. Con­tin­ue read­ing

Ego mecum conjungi …

… Twit­ter!

Twitter_logo_blue

So out of a whim I just embar­rassed myself and tried to write in (prob­a­bly wrong) latin that I joined twit­ter. You can fol­low me under: @aries_code.

If you won­der how this came about, this was my train of thought:

  • Twit­ter has some­thing to do with birds
  • Birds have fan­cy latin species names
  • The species name for Spar­row is Spass­er domes­ti­cus
  • This doesn’t sound too fan­cy ...
  • How do you say ‘I joined twit­ter’ in latin any­way?

But then I dis­cov­ered that I am onto some­thing: Accord­ing to one argu­ment, the brand name of Twit­ter should have been ‘Titi­a­tio’, had it exist­ed in antiq­ui­ty. And accord­ing to anoth­er argu­ment, latin should be an ide­al twit­ter lan­guage, because it is both short and expres­sive.

But I digress. If you are into com­put­er graph­ics, then you know of Johann Hein­rich Lam­bert, the eponym of our beloved Lam­bert­ian ref­electance law. The book where he estab­lished this law, Pho­tome­tria, is writ­ten entire­ly in latin—now this is hard­core!

So, now you know what to do if you want to stand out in your next SIGGRAPH paper …

Spellforce 2 Demons of the Past

Spell­force 2 was released in 2006 and will be 8 years old by april. Nev­er­the­less, the third add-on of the series shipped a month ago. Talk about a long sell­er!

Of course I’m attached to SF2 because I wrote many parts of its engine back then. This time I was briefly involved to help the devel­op­ers include my attribute-less nor­mal map algo­rithm. The orig­i­nal SF2 did not have any nor­mal maps, and there­fore none of the orig­i­nal art assets comes with tan­gent space infor­ma­tion. This is an ide­al sce­nario to pimp up the visu­als with­out touch­ing the geom­e­try, sim­ply by mak­ing a shad­er change and adding nor­mal maps. Con­tin­ue read­ing

Slides of my FMX 2013 presentation on Physically Based Shading

I was kind­ly invit­ed by Wolf­gang from Con­fet­ti FX to speak at the FMX 2013 con­fer­ence about phys­i­cal­ly based shad­ing (with­in the scope of the Real Time Ren­der­ing day). Since I remem­bered the FMX as a con­fer­ence for visu­al arts, I made the pre­sen­ta­tion inten­tion­al­ly non-tech­ni­cal, for fear of alien­at­ing the lis­ten­ers. In ret­ro­spect, my guess was a bit too con­ser­v­a­tive, as there were quite a num­ber of pro­gram­mers in the audi­ence.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 14.53.58

Nev­er­the­less, here are the slides for down­load (with all notes includ­ed). The Keynote for­mat is the orig­i­nal and the Pow­er­point for­mat was export­ed from that and is a lit­tle bro­ken, so you should use the Keynote ver­sion if you can read it.

Down­load “FMX 2013 Slides (Keynote for­mat)” fmx-11.zip – Down­loaded 2296 times – 8 MB


Down­load “FMX 2013 Slides (Pow­er­point for­mat)” fmx-111.zip – Down­loaded 3699 times – 8 MB

Velvet Assassin on Mac (Patch)

I just got news that Vel­vet Assas­sin has been port­ed over to the Mac and is avail­able on the App Store! How­ev­er, I was not at all involved in the Mac port and I don’t know the devel­op­ers who did—it came as a sur­prise to me as to any­one else in the for­mer team. Here is a direct iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/id586878367.

Shader Bug on ATI graphic cards

Unfor­tu­nate­ly there is a shad­er bug with ATI graph­ics chips.  It hap­pened to me while try­ing it out on a 2011 iMac with an ATI Radeon HD 5670. I got reports from friends that this is not a prob­lem of the Mac port itself but it hap­pens on PC too. The prob­lem is relat­ed to ATI chips with dri­vers that are new­er than 2010 or so. Here is a screen­shot:

Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 04.09.06

Con­tin­ue read­ing

FlipCode is back

Kurt has tak­en steps to revive Flip­Code.

Flip­code was a place to dis­cuss gamedev + algo­rithms with a unique flair and an out­stand­ing audi­ence, some­thing IMHO gamedev.net nev­er matched. I, too, was a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor, poster, and also con­tributed the odd arti­cle and an IOTD. Ter­rain engines bor­der­ing on 100k polys with­out HW T&< will be for­ev­er in the past, but the spir­it will live on.