Friday, November 24, 2006


.fx shaders

Another struggle, against .fx shaders. I'm not satisfied with the models I'm importing into my engine: my ideas were not to use texture maps, but only vertex colours. I believed this let the engine run smoother, but it's not like that. A convincing bitmap translation into vertex colors requires tons of vertices, so my ideas were wrong and I'm swiftly looking for different solutions.
I'll try to realize a combination of:

1) mid-poly models
2) normal mapping
3) vertex colors
4) texture mapping

I might switch to low polys models, as probably the point of view of the player will never get so close to discover the tricks. I've found FX composer by nvidia, I'll experiment with it in the weekend and I'll try to have clearer ideas by the next week.

Monday, November 20, 2006


still working

I'm making some tests for the new graphics. I'm not satisfied with the raw conversion from a bmp to vertex colours, so now I'm experimenting with a raster to vector software: I take a bmp of a piece of terrain, I vectorize it, then I rasterize the vector, then I apply this "vec-ras" image to the vertex colours. The result I'm seeking is something like a cartoon-style map.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


the privilege of the creator

Yesterday, after weeks of stress, fighting against complicated programs like Blender and XSI, after hours and hours spent documenting on .x file format and on directx shaders I found a solution for my problem: how to convert a texture applied onto a mesh into vertex colors of the mesh itself.
I wanted a program to do this because I have to import large terrain data into the game, but I didn't want to use textures: for good results with terrain visualization they should be very detailed, and thus very large. Rather than loading a 200megs texture onto the program I prefer to use a high-poly mesh, whose vertices are colored according to a landsat texture of the same region.

The nice sensation, which probably only inventors or programmers or creators can experience, is to have found the light after a period of total obscurity, to have done something which was so simple and obvious but took so much difficulty to reach. In my case I tried very complex 3d modeling applications, posting tons of threads in all the forums of the world, and this vertex colors "thing" seemed such an advanced concept! Yesterday I found a program, Ultimate Unwrap 3d, which costs only 50$, and that can do this job with a couple of clicks.

I successfully converted a piece of elevation data into a 3d mesh with another nice program, Accutrans, and then applied and converted a texture with UU3d. Since I was rather sceptic and depressed, for million of tests already failed, I used a photo of a girl playing with a d***o.
I will always keep this .x mesh, the prize of my perverted perseverance.

Monday, November 06, 2006


blender & co.

I suspended the coding, my efforts are 100% dedicated to the creation of a new map. I'm trying to export a mesh created in Blender into quest3d, the problem is that vertex color information is lost during the transition, so basically I'm hammering all the forums in the world to solve the problem. The vertex color issue is absolutely important, I can't really use a 100 megs texture of half Europe and the Middle East.
I've tried also with XSI foundation, but again its .x exporter sucks.

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