Ogre

Server upgrade, Joomla vs Mambo

Well, the negotiations over the ogre3d.org server upgrade I mentioned a few weeks ago have reached a conclusion, and I eventually chose Dedipower. Given that all three of the UK providers I shortlisted had good reputations, it eventually came down to the nitty-gritty of the deal, and it certainly proved to be worth hanging on for a while and having several round-trips with all the parties bidding for the custom. In the end Dedipower made me the best offer, which will see ogre3d.

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Parameters and book stores

I’ve been going nuts on C++ for the last week so I took a break tonight to do a couple of things I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Firstly, to make our Pro Ogre 3D Programming book link in the sidebar of ogre3d.org country-sensistive, so that instead of only getting the link & price from Amazon.co.uk, it behaves differently depending on your country. Secondly, since people are always asking about books I recommend on 3D / C++, I’ve embedded a country-sensitive Amazon store in the Ogre site via a new Books link, containing the books I personally recommend most at the moment.

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Eihort Slippage

Well, I’ve been busting a gut trying to get everything sorted for Eihort but it’s still slipping. I spent almost all of last week processing patches that had been queued up for it, and in some cases ended up either rewriting or making significant changes or extensions to them. My current work item is to do with GLSL - whilst I’d already improved things for GLSL recently, what with the unified program definitions and some array work, there are still some issues with supporting auto-bound arrays due to the fact that in GLSL, vertex and fragment programs require linking together before you can grab parameters out of them.

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"Unified" Shader Definitions

Ok, I’ve ended up slip-sliding into doing more work this week than I was really supposed to. Hmm - I guess I love my work far too much than is healthy. 😉 My excuse (which makes my wife roll her eyes) is that I’ve been picking off stuff that’s not that demanding, and it’s stuff I’ve wanted to add anyway. Well, here’s what you get from today’s commit: unified program definitions.

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Depth-shadowmapping with LiSPSM and 5-tap PCF

Although it’s still the holidays, I decided to do a bit of tinkering today since there were a few things about the depth shadowmapping that had been bugging me. I’ve still yet to find a totally satisfactory biasing solution - this is of course a common factor in all depth shadowmapping algorithms, but I’d hoped to have some better results than I have, having implemented quite a few options including rendering back faces into the shadow texture instead of front faces, fixed and gradient-based biases, fuzzy depth comparisons, and a choice of either scaled linear or projective space depths.

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Xmas Books

See that? That was Christmas 2006. Whizzed by again, if you blinked you might have missed it and pondered quizzically where the extra inches around your waist came from. 😀Hope everyone had a good one - I certainly did, filled as it was with food, family and festive gifts. I received a couple of books that might interest the OGRE users out there, namely Modern C++ Design, which looks like it has some great patterns utilising C++ templates in interesting ways in it, and Texturing and Modeling: A Procedural Approach which covers a lot of theory on generating content procedurally which is a subject I’m quite interested in exploring over the next 12 months.

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Depth shadowmapping and other things

Ok, so the lighting and shadowing enhancements in Eihort are taking me a lot longer than I anticipated, due to a number of factors, including distractions from a number of areas including the OGRE web server, VS2005 SP1 issues, Xmas shopping and the like, but also due to things never being as simple as they should be 😉 Whilst you can see from the screenshot that self-shadowing with texture shadows is clearly working, there are all sorts of aspects that I’ve been considering which are often overlooked in the proof-of-concept demos of these sorts of things.

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Searching for a UK dedicated host

It seems this month that I’ve spent more time doing non-coding tasks than, well, coding tasks, which has been a little disappointing considering I wanted to progress much faster with the remaining Eihort features than I have. Well, such is life I suppose. One of the things that’s been yanking my proverbial chain lately has been reliability issues with our current dedicated host. Almost 2 years ago now (wow, has it been that long?

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ZoneEdit goes titsup & takes ogre3d.org offline

I switched the Ogre DNS to ZoneEdit a while ago because I’d been getting some resilience problems with the servers provided by my registrar. I also paid (ZoneEdit is free for the basic service) to have an extra server so that we had 3 DNS servers pointing at ogre3d.org, all in different continents. I thought that would be enough. Today, however, ns2.zoneedit.com ns3.zoneedit.com and ns17.zoneedit.com all went offline at the same time.

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VS2005 SP1 nightmares

Argh. I downloaded and installed VS2005 SP1 yesterday, and all appeared to go well. I performed a bunch of builds yesterday (crucially, all release builds) and all was fine. Today, however, after making a lot of changes for better ANSI compliance and warning fixing, I wanted to test a debug version. And this is where the nightmares started. I now have a seemingly totally random case of debug builds refusing to locate the side-by-side assemblies for the debug C++ runtime library - it moans about a missing MSVCR80D.

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