Well, I’ve been pulling in a few different directions the early part of this week, including fixing a few bugs here and there and finalising some contract work. Will return to the HDR issue tomorrow - it’s quite interesting reading about the various practical approaches, all of which are much more complex than the tech demos you’ll find in the Dx9 SDK et al. Still, even though I’d quite like to experiment with some more advanced techniques, I realise I don’t have the time to burn so will implement the traditional approach at first, and will come back to more complex scenarios later.
A friend linked me a video of Crysis, which I’d seen in Edge but hadn’t seen moving before. Looks very awesome, although of course it’s aimed at SM4 cards. The most interesting aspect (to me) is the realtime soft lighting. It looks like a combination of texture shadows and perhaps a per-pixel PRT, although I don’t believe that PRT usually deals very well with close lights like that. It might be some sort of realtime irradiance caching or similar, or it might even be much simpler than that - the clip is too short to really tell and there’s only one light. I do believe it’s a composite effect though since no one technique could deal with the soft interreflections and crisp shadows at the same time.
Lastly, I’ve been playing Trauma Center - Under the Knife on the DS which is basically a surgery game. I bought this because it intrigued me, another example of the kind of original content being released quite often on the DS which makes it a joy to own. It’s been a fun game (although it is odd to describe cutting chunks out of people and stitching them up with a stylus as fun), and it does a good job of making you feel the pressure of having someone’s life in your hands. Unfortunately it’s just developed one of the most extreme difficulty spikes I’ve experienced in a game for a while; the ‘Awakening’ operation for anyone who knows it. I’m pleased that around the net this has been acknowledged as an absolute bitch of a ‘level’ so it’s not just me. Will have to find time to practice I guess.