Shader Support

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Post Mar 23rd '09, 18:25

A new developer (new to Aleph One, anyway), hogdotmac, has written a new renderer and comitted it to the shader-support branch in Subversion. He sent me some screenshots, which I'll post later. Some of the current features:
  • parallax (bump) mapping
  • blurring of glow maps
  • modern perspective transform
  • MML selectable shaders for invisibility, static, landscape transfer modes

Before you get your hopes up, it is, by his admission, a long way from going into mainline Aleph One. For instance, there are rendering errors, and it is very slow.

I just wanted to mention it because we talk about it in IRC every now and then, so this is a bit of rumor control. And also, for people working on scenarios, there's a non-zero chance that if you make bump and glow maps for your textures, someday you'll get to see them in action. Kind of like playing the lottery, I guess :)
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Mar 23rd '09, 18:42

Here are the two images he sent me:



And here is one of it emasculating my own GeForce 9600M:
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Mar 23rd '09, 18:50

I hope the rough spots in the development are able to be smoothed out. This looks and sounds very cool.
Thank the sun that went nova so that Earth could have iron and silicon.
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effigy

Post Mar 23rd '09, 21:53

Thanks for showing us this Treellama. The screenshots look good.
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goran

Post Mar 23rd '09, 23:35

How is parallax mapping going to work properly, considering that Marathon doesn't have any true light sources? From what I see in the M1 screenshots, the light source used to calculate the shadows and highlights of the parallax map is being emitted from the player? This looks fine for M1 but may look really weird in brighter outdoor maps.

Also parallax mapping is pretty graphically intensive. Are there any plans to include normal mapping as well? It will give similar results to parallax mapping but won't be as stressful on the GPU.

I really like the perspective transform.

This is really cool stuff. Hopefully the bugs and slowdown issues you mentioned will be resolved. [MUp]
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visciom
Somewhere below the heavens

Post Mar 23rd '09, 23:44

visciom wrote:How is parallax mapping going to work properly, considering that Marathon doesn't have any true light sources? From what I see in the M1 screenshots, the light source used to calculate the shadows and highlights of the parallax map is being emitted from the player? This looks fine for M1 but may look really weird in brighter outdoor maps.

Yeah, it uses the miner's light. Pretty obvious, once somebody points it out to you. Wish I'd thought of it :(

I might look a little weird, but what else can you do?

Also parallax mapping is pretty graphically intensive. Are there any plans to include normal mapping as well? It will give similar results to parallax mapping but won't be as stressful on the GPU.

Right now, the shaders are specified using MML, so it's pretty open ended. I don't know if he plans to keep it that way going forward or not.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Mar 24th '09, 00:32

Looks delicious. 8]
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Da Spadger

Post Mar 24th '09, 01:32

Om nom nom, delicious shaders indeed Spadger.

Looks very nice.
I have been wading in a long river and my feet are wet.
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L'howon
Somewhere outside the Citadel Of Antiquity

Post Mar 24th '09, 05:07

Will we be able to turn off the modern perspecitve in the preferences? I can't wait to make my scenario look as woman-impregnating as those screenshots, but some people might want to still view the prespective classically, like if they play older scenarios and stuff, that haven't been overhauled.
Last edited by Shadowbreaker on Mar 24th '09, 05:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Mar 24th '09, 07:42

Color me impressed! Minor light or not, I like what I see.
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Zott
Earth

Post Mar 24th '09, 12:59

Shadowbreaker wrote:Will we be able to turn off the modern perspecitve in the preferences?

The old renderer should still be an option.

I can't wait to make my scenario look as woman-impregnating as those screenshots, but some people might want to still view the prespective classically, like if they play older scenarios and stuff, that haven't been overhauled.

The screenshot I took of Hydro City was stock Infinity. I've been playing net games with it for some time.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Mar 25th '09, 03:56

Reminds me of the darkplaces engine, I gotta say I love what you guys are doing.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
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VirtualX1
no

Post Mar 25th '09, 14:50

Looks great. (but something must be done about that fist sprite, seriously)
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ukimalefu

Post Mar 29th '09, 05:00

I have to say, I'm very excited by this. The parallax mapping looks as good as I imagined. Blurred glow maps don't sound like a big deal on paper, but apparently they do make a big difference. And accurate perspective is a huge step in the right direction. Sure, it may further expose the limitations of sprites when you can look all the way up and down. But in my estimation this is the biggest thing to happen to A1's graphics since OpenGL rendering. Let's just hope it gets into the main branch and doesn't go the way of Bridges & Balconies. [MErr]

Treellama wrote:Yeah, it uses the miner's light... [it] might look a little weird, but what else can you do?

Is this bump mapping another 'cheat' like the coal miner's light, or can the renderer do multiple lights at arbitrary points in a map? If it's the latter, then I suggest some new mml settings to define where point lights are created. We could then distribute a sample lighting script not unlike Transparent_Sprites.mml.
Last edited by Crater Creator on Mar 29th '09, 05:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Crater Creator

Post Mar 29th '09, 11:59

Crater Creator wrote:Sure, it may further expose the limitations of sprites when you can look all the way up and down.

You can't look all the way up and down.
Is this bump mapping another 'cheat' like the coal miner's light, or can the renderer do multiple lights at arbitrary points in a map?

As I said, it uses the miner's light.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Mar 29th '09, 20:42

Treellama wrote:You can't look all the way up and down.

Then allow me to ask a different, more targeted question. If one uses this new renderer with a physics model where the Maximum Elevation is set to 127, and presses Look Up or Look Down, what will they see?
As I said, it uses the miner's light.

That can be interpreted as, it uses the miner's light as a basis for technical implementation, or it uses the miner's light as a precedent for where to put a light source, but I'll assume you meant the former.

[Edit: didn't mean to sound rude]
Last edited by Crater Creator on Mar 30th '09, 17:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Crater Creator

Post Mar 29th '09, 22:10

I realise this is pretty new thread(mar 23) but when can we expect to see more screens or final project release date?
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