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May. 23, 2017
The Starport Forum Index > All Posts (Schmackbolzen)

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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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Ah, ok now I see what you are getting at. At first I was a little confused.

Yes, we have a quite high quality of standard, because we think as long as you are more annoyed with it than it is useful you can as well use the xml files for editing. I have tried editing effects and it is not working well enough yet (this is more Skotty's fault as he already wrote). I have been thinking more than once about whether it would be useful as a preview, but there always have been issues so that it was not really a preview yet. But most of that is solved now. The plan was to have a look at it again soon and then try to release a somewhat usable beta. Let's hope it'll work!

Posted on: 4/6 14:36
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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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I think you misunderstood: As long as we are not sure our implementation is correct it does not make sense to "correct" anything. It can very well be that we make it worse.

Addition after I read your edit:

Regarding the errors: You are assuming that errors are not caused by other errors. This is often not true. In fact most of the time when I changed the implementation other errors vanished as well. I don't want to waste time looking for things which are just a side effect. And there have been a lot unexpected ones.

I want to reach at least a state where I can say that the implementation is as close as I could get it to FL (otherwise you are constructing effects which don't look the same) and it only has minor errors we can fix after a beta release. The problem with the fields and random behaviour of the emitters are basically the kind I want to have gone because they cause other stuff to not work correctly. There are not many of such errors left, so it should not take that long anymore.

Posted on: 4/5 21:42

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/4/6 10:09:14
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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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I am not sure I follow. I knew which flaws there were left and I did solve most of the difficult problems. There are not many left to solve. Why would I let someone test software for errors I already know?

It might be difficult to understand for some, but my opinion is like the old saying "too many cooks spoil the broth".

When I had difficult problems I did ask you. In the end I found a solution and I think you underestimate the work that is already done. Also keep in mind that we still are taking lectures at university and thus they take precedence (although I am finished soon).

Taking breaks from the code allows me to rethink certain problems and start with a fresh mind again. This is actually the reason why I work on many projects in parallel and for now this has worked out very well. Although it takes more time. But it is a hobby, isn't it?

P.S.:
In order to guard against misunderstandings: We did not use your ale document. We already had reversed more of the ale stuff. When we are finished we plan to document any differences of our implementation, which hopefully will behave like FL. But it was good that you started it, so it is not so much work anymore to document all the stuff.

Posted on: 4/5 19:11

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/4/5 19:28:28
Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/4/5 19:30:25
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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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Thanks! I had a look again at the fields and since I solved the mystery about the approach value the last time I am not sure whether there actually still is a problem with the fields. I'll try to let you know until the weekend. I also will go through the document again to see if there have been any changes.

Last time I checked treewyrm had errors in the documentation. If we have the time and are sure enough it is not our mistake we will correct them.

One thing which is still a tough problem is the randomness of the emitters. If you do a naive implementation and use the frequency you will get an absolute deterministic behaviour, meaning your e.g. engine flame will flicker in always the same way (Example: 1,1,1,2,1,1,1,2, ... particles per time step) . But this is not like FL behaves. It is what I was working on the last time when I was trying to figure out stuff.

Posted on: 4/5 0:27
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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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Actually this is really heavy stuff. Especially the math is quite tricky at some points. With all those node transforms I had to reformulate the problem to make it fast enough for all this calculations per particle. Also there is lots vector math.

I think the best way one could help is figuring out the meaning of the missing parameters. But you would need to use adoxa's xml tools to generate the ale effect and try to make sense of changes you do. The problem is that this is not easy and some stuff you only can figure out with lots of experience or being able to test ideas in an implementation. This is why I hesitated asking people for now. For some really tricky things I even used my OpenGL wrapper to let FL render effects in wireframe mode because otherwise it was impossible to figure out what's going on.

When the most difficult parts are solved I plan to ask people for testing and maybe even release a beta where people can try to figure out the missing values by observing the effects in FL, but we are not there yet

Posted on: 4/4 23:53
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Re: [WIP] Ale Effect Editor
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I have been working from time to time on the particle system and even recently solved our GUI problem by using html for all the dynamically generated inputs (Lazarus has a really nice component for this), but as Skotty pointed out I was not able to motivate him using it.

The last thing I started working on was cleaning the code up and optimize it using Data Oriented Design, so that it gets faster by being more cache friendly (although we already can simulate more than 10000 particles without problems).

There still is a problem with multiple fields behaving not the same like in FL. Beams need to be rendered different, so that they look similar. Also there are values which are not supported yet. But the really tough things are done I think.

Currently I am writing the normal, tangent and binormal calculation algorithm for the OpenGL project, so as you already pointed out I am still more focused on getting that project done.

Posted on: 4/4 22:06
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks! I still am not quite satisfied with the look. We will see what I'll come up with

Btw. here is the video encoded with h265: http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl2603_x265q20.mkv I made it for testing purposes and it is less blurry.

Posted on: 3/27 20:56

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/3/27 21:05:51
Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/3/27 21:09:18
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Here is a video of the current state: http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl2603_q20.mp4

With the new knowledge from reverse engineering the rendering pipeline of FL I was able to render the starsphere into a cubemap und use that for environment mapping. I also experimented with different lighting models and added bicubic texture filtering.

At the end of the video you can see the scene with disabled environment mapping.

I still need to fix the calculation of the normal, tangent and binormal vectors which are stored in the models. This is the reason you see bad lighting at some locations.

If you have any suggestions, constructive criticism or already like the look let me know!

I still need to add a material system, change the shadow rendering technique, fix the remaining bugs and a lot more stuff.

Edit: Exchanged the video with a better encoded one.

Posted on: 3/26 12:00

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2017/3/26 12:40:23
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Hehe, I see. Well I am curios what people will do with it, once it is released. But it is still a long way until that

Posted on: 3/18 12:05
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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If you use my wrapper there are no d3d8 calls anymore and the problem still remained. So my conclusion was that it must be another problem, since it did not matter which maximum texture size I returned. I even found the return value while I was reversing FL and changing it in memory has no effect. But maybe we should continue this discussion in the other topic.

Posted on: 3/17 17:01
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Re: Dev's Limit Breaking 101 Techniques
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Just to let you know: I've added my findings from http://the-starport.net/freelancer/fo ... t_id=62352#forumpost62352 to the wiki entry.
In case anyone has the low res texture bug, this fixes it.

Posted on: 3/17 9:43
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks! I don't know if you've read my reply, but I solved the latter last Sunday: http://the-starport.net/freelancer/fo ... t_id=62352#forumpost62352 From what I gathered it is a windows problem since I had the same low res textures with my wrapper. I added it to the Limit Breaking 101 wiki entry.

@Kazinsal: Not sure what you have in mind but not that you get any ideas: I won't have the time and I don't plan to write another wrapper Also it will only work with Freelancer (I don't translate every d3d8 call plus you need some hooks to get the textures etc.).

Posted on: 3/17 9:41
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Yes plus I am also adding new stuff which is being rendered. Otherwise you would not see a difference.

Posted on: 3/16 12:16
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Yeah, I know what he is doing. But it is not so much comparable as he has way more work to do than I have (even though what I have to do is a lot).

Basically I create an own d3d8.dll which wraps every call from FL to d3d8 and translates it to OpenGL. I chose OpenGL because I am not a DirectX fan plus you don't have that restrictions of the specific DirectX version. I can just mix e.g. OpenGL 4.5 ( which is dx11 equivalent) with the old fixed function pipeline from the 90s and don't have to worry about the version. The graphics card only needs to support it. This saves me a lot of trouble.

There is also injecting own code into FL done to get the texture names, model names etc.

Posted on: 3/16 11:56
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks! I am mostly way above 100fps, even with this quite instruction heavy shader. I did not use the optimized version of all the formulas yet, because I can only do that when the parameters are final. So I expect the worse cases to get better.

My only problem for now is dynamic asteroids, since the way FL renders them in d3d8 seems not to be OpenGL friendly (or I have a bug there somewhere). But since now I know when they are being rendered I plan to use instancing so you wont notice a fps hit. But you'd need a dx10 (and OpenGL 3.3) capable graphics card for that. So for the old ones I'll try a different optimization.

Posted on: 3/16 10:40
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