Additive lighting modes are a great thing - they allow far more realistic lighting results than modulative shadows do, and they generally look great. However, they do have a slight problem, in that the rendering sequence has to be split into categorised sections - ambient or pre-lighting passes, per-light passes and post-light decaling. This of course increases the rendering cost and also means you are more restricted in your sequencing. One of the particular problems was that specular effects get muted because decal texturing modulated the final additive lighting result, rather than being added afterwards.
Marie’s been away the last couple of days at a conference so I’ve had the house to myself for the first time in ages. It’s pretty odd - I lived on my own for years before I got married, and I used to do a fair amount of travelling for work, so I’m not unused to it, but it is strange going back to being in your own house with no-one but 2 (insane) black cats for company.
Finally, GL buffer objects are due to get the functionality we’ve taken for granted in Direct3D for years, as described in this article. Things like explicit write-only interaction modes and sub-region optimisation. About damn time is all I can say, it’s because of GL’s far too generic buffer object management that we have to bend over backwards and use esoteric scratch buffer thresholds in GL to get decent performance under varying buffer conditions.
I’ve had quite a few business ‘meetings’ lately, some on the phone, some over IM, but last night I experienced probably the most surreal meeting I’ve ever had. Last night, I had a business meeting in Second Life. Now, I’d never used Second Life before - I generally have trouble keeping my first life under control, never mind having a whole extra one to manage - so I was somewhat underprepared anyway.
Having been prodded about this by a couple of people in the community, I’ve re-vamped the Ogre Merchandise Shop with our new ever-so-fashionably-shiny logo. CafePress also do green T-Shirts now (as shown) which was too appropriate not to use. Having seen Niko’s recent use of Spreadshirt I created an account there to see what it was like, as a possible alternative to CafePress with whom we’ve been for many years - the possible benefit being that they have UK and EU stores so people could shop in their own currency, and potentially pay less for postage (& maybe wait less).
Although I’m more mobile than I was last week, it’s still too painful to be on my feet very much right now (and you should see the colour of my toes - ugh; doctor says it’s because my partially torn tendons have been bleeding internally leaving nice black / purple appendages), so I pottered about on the computer for a few hours instead of getting out at the weekend. Today’s result is, for anyone who might be interested, support for defining Multiple Render Targets (MRTs) in compositor scripts.
Obviously we collect some stats on the types of browsers and operating systems that access ogre3d.org, and I thought it would be interesting to post them. It’s especially interesting because our visits clearly represent a subset of the wider Internet community, that is people who are mostly likely developers (and sometimes artists) and are open to using open source software. Note that all ‘Internet’ stats are taken from w3schools as a comparison but may not be totally representative.
So, I actually managed to squeeze out a few rare slices of ‘me’ time this week in between other things, and put some of it into my elusive ‘Tool Project’. I’ve basically made little outward progress on this for a while for two reasons - one, a glut of business talks (some of which have turned into real project work, some of which haven’t yet) has meant time has been very, very short, and two, some knotty design issues.
Over the years I’ve always been well aware of the inherent cost of a machine context switch, whether it was the old days of manual interrupt-based programming (ah, the nostalgia) or today’s swanky multithreaded systems, the issue was always the same - it just ain’t free to remember where you are, go do something else, and come back where you left off. Well, in recent days my poor noggin has been feeling the strain of that particular phenomenon.