Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Earth Cubed

It's been a long time since my last post!

Life has been so busy the last couple of months I just haven't been able to find the time to post. I took a break from the bar game over the month of December. As you readers have probably noticed my attention span for a project usually lasts about a month before I need a change of pace. I decided to spend some more time on my voxel earth project.

Kind of took a step back and decided to get a voxel globe rendering first rather than getting all the height maps loading properly. It should be fairly easy to drop in the height maps though. I've got a nice chunked lod working so each tile subdivides as the camera gets closer and closer to the surface down to about 100 meters. There's a lot of depth issues I need to resolve at that resolution but I'll revisit that down the road.
I spent some time on the rendering as well. The atmosphere rendering in particular. I used Sean O'Neils implementation of atmospheric scattering as a starting point and made a few modifications to get more of it running in the pixel shader rather than the vertex shader which gave a smoother result.  The big thing that's still missing is to render in HDR and apply some kind of tonemapping. I'd get much better results that way. For now I'm just applying some tonemapping to the end pixel result so that I get a nicer visual range of values.

Now that I've got the rendering working there's going to be quite a bit of work on my post processing tool that splits up the DEM's into bite sized chunks to map onto the surface. The work is fairly straight forward but it will take some time to switch everything around. Probably more time than I really want to invest at the moment. Not to worry though, I always come back to projects.

Moving forward for the new year I'll be taking a break from these big projects and giving the one game a month competition a try. More to come about that in my next post.

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