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.
Like a lot of people I’m sure I got an email this week announcing that Microsoft’s answer to Flash - SilverLight (and design tool Expression Studio) - is now in open beta. I’m not a Flash user (in fact, apart from the ubiquitous web video players, I generally find Flash in websites mostly irritating than enabling), but I took a look out of interest. They’ve obviously released versions of the SilverLight player for Firefox & Safari becasue they know they can’t compete with Flash otherwise so I downloaded & installed the Firefox version.
Phew - last week was absolutely nuts with work. I’m not sure why, but a number of clients all needed something done in roughly the same week. Since my income stream is far from regular I had to take it whilst it was offered but it did mean not too much leisure time (or Ogre time) in the last 7-10 days. That’s all done now (3 projects delivered in the same week!
Out of interest I started playing Oblivion last week. Marie bought it last year but never got into it, and I was far too busy at the time, so now, since I don’t have much else I feel like playing on the PC of late I thought I’d give it a crack. I was always a fan of a good single-player RPG in years gone by - and that’s a lot of years ago, what today’s gamers might refer to reverently (we can hope - probably derisively in fact) as ‘The BeforeTime’.
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 can’t believe Google Reader doesn’t have a ‘Search’ button. Am I just blind? Can a service run by the company behind the world’s most popular search engine really have omitted such a feature? I had a real need for it today but had to search for that elusive post from a few weeks ago ‘in the wild’ instead. Still managed to find what I was looking for since I had an inkling which site I’d seen it on, but even so, you would have thought a ‘Search within feeds’ option was obvious.
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).