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October. 17, 2019
The Starport Forum Index > All Posts (Schmackbolzen)

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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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I know what you guys mean. You are talking about the well known "feature creep". While it might look that way, there is actually a goal I had (and still have) for the first release:
- Good looking shadows
- Good rendering quality so it does not look artificial
- A (somewhat acceptable) material system
- Acceptable performance
- No problematic bugs and enough polish for release

For the current state only the last one is open now. So as you can see there is quite a large progress already made.

Stuff I have on my list for after release:
- More lights, especially make running lights real lights
- Add bloom support (currently there is only exposure control)
- Automatic exposure control (from Valve HL2 paper)
- More baked in reflections so that e.g. nebula not in the starspheres are also reflected
- More performance optimizations
- ... (here you can add literally endless stuff which you could do)

@Moonhead:

I intend to make it a mod so in the end everyone can use it. I am thinking about to exclude mods who stole stuff from others, so that they can learn the hard way why stealing is not good. Why should I respect their work if they don't respect the work of others. I am still open for feedback on this, though.

At first I will release it for our mod only, so problems can be found more quickly. After a while I plan to create a standalone mod on Moddb with only the graphics enhancements for others to use. Hopefully FL will live a bit longer that way.

As for the files: The models in the videos are from vanilla FL. They just use height and normal maps. I upscaled the textures using a self build and trained neural net plus some automatic post processing. Regarding the engine: Basically I replaced the end of the rendering pipeline from FL with my stuff. So maybe its half a new rendering engine. Some stuff still gets just passed through.



I did some tests with eigos and it looks like we have a usable workflow for exporting stuff and use it with my new rendering system. Here is a video from an asteroid eigos created: http://www.flnu.net/downloads/flroid02_4.mp4 . It uses height, normal, roughness and metalness maps.

It seems like everyone is happy with the way the rendering looks now (me included), so I won't touch that anymore as far as I am able to.

Edit: Replaced the video with a one where the shadows aren't bugged due to wrong bias.
Edit2: After some map and parameter tuning: http://www.flnu.net/downloads/flroid02_8.mp4

Posted on: 10/4 16:06
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Hehe, thanks!

Here are three other videos:
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl0310.mp4
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl0310_2.mp4
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl0310_3.mp4

I am very pleased with the current look and will try to keep the direction. Tell me what you guys think. Are there still problems with the look? Or is it perfectly fine? Better than fine?

Posted on: 10/3 22:20
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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So it's been a while. I was able to reverse quite a bit more and also could integrate it into the shadow rendering. This means some big performance wins plus some other benefits.

Here is a video with the current state: http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl0210.mp4

Notice, that the moving shadow at the beginning would not have been possible before, since it is offscreen. Also I would not get about 100fps, it was more around 40.

Also currently there is no lighting attenuation. I need to somehow integrate the curves FL allows you to customize.

I am still fighting a bit with the coordinate system FL uses, so this is one blocker. But all in all this is a huge progress, so there is not that much left to do now.

Posted on: 10/2 14:02
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Re: System loading in HkIClientImpl::Startup causing high server load when running under wine
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I was talking about the
Code:
pub::System::LoadSystem(base->iSystemID);
line and thus of the resulting preload of the systems in general.

Posted on: 7/4 8:53
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Re: System loading in HkIClientImpl::Startup causing high server load when running under wine
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I see. I was hoping that the load would just be what happens when lots of systems are loaded. So far everything seems to work. Since I did not notice any lag spikes and the server gets restarted every 12 hours I am going to leave the preloading out. There is no need to waste cpu cycles and power

If you guys have no issue with it I would change the hook svn version to have this as an option in the flhook.ini. So one can choose to disable it.

Also I wrote a new server manager, since dspm does not run well in wine because of dot net. It is not finished yet, but when it is I plan to release it. Currently it just connects to hook and restarts the server after some warnings and in case it crashed.

Posted on: 6/30 13:34
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Re: System loading in HkIClientImpl::Startup causing high server load when running under wine
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Yeah, I thought that having them loaded at startup might help finding errors in the ini files. Was not sure about caching, though.

I did some tests and having them load only once was inconclusive due to the random NPC spawn behaviour. The idle load however is reduced if I don't load them at all at startup. It jumps from 4ms down to 0 and CPU load also goes down significantly. I need to run more tests to see whether this has an effect when the server is not idle, but currently I got the impression it does.
In the meantime I am going to remove it and see what happens. Hopefully this is not just the manifestation of another side effect. I need to find out whether this is wine related or not. The CPU of the server is quite old, so this is also a factor. At least I can switch the server to newer hardware if it is just a load problem.

Posted on: 6/28 15:17
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System loading in HkIClientImpl::Startup causing high server load when running under wine
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Took me quite a while to find the cause for the high load. What exactly is
Code:
pub::System::LoadSystem(base->iSystemID);
doing in
Code:
bool HkIClientImpl::Startup(uint iDunno, uint iDunno2)
?
With it I am getting very high server load running the server with hook under wine. If I remove it, everything is fine. Besides the systems get loaded multiple times, due to the bases getting iterated and not the systems. So this should be changed anyway.

But back to the main question: What happens if I remove it? Why is it loaded "before the server becomes internet accessible" like the comment says?

I am switching our server to Linux and this seems to be the last remaining problem. I even patched the anti-ddos.dll for the different dpnet.dlls (I will upload this soon).

Posted on: 6/27 23:17
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Re: Tool for Creating/Editing .wav audio files of FL
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I am not sure I follow. All the music in our mod is converted with mpa2wav and they work flawlessly. What are you trying to do?

Posted on: 4/6 12:40
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Re: 3Ds MAX tools
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I know. I was hoping you could create e.g. some sort of executable you call either from Max or Blender using their scripting languages.

Anyway, one of our modders is working on a tool which lets you convert FL Models to other formats and back via python (his favourite language). He had spare time and I suggested to try it using assimp. It is nearly finished now and working quite well already. So this would be another alternative.

Edit: Thinking of modeling, if you have a good workflow for exporting we probably should talk about materials at some point. I spent a lot of time reversing this week and found some key pieces which were still missing (current LOD level and corresponding engine object plus when it gets deleted) for my wrapper and might be able to release it this year. It would be nice if we get the same look in Max and in FL. I think I found a way how to achieve this in Blender.

Posted on: 4/6 11:54
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Re: 3Ds MAX tools
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Looks very promising! Is there any chance you get this to run in blender? Not many people have 3dsmax and blender is free.

Posted on: 4/6 9:27
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Re: Tool for Creating/Editing .wav audio files of FL
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I've been using mpa2wav to convert them. Here is an old topic:
https://the-starport.net/modules/newbb ... t_id=15087#forumpost15087

Hope that helps.

Posted on: 4/6 9:26
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Re: Modern design
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I suppose it is more a spare time problem. They are probably hoping this place is not going to fall apart each day (at least that's what I got about their comments about the CMS they are using), so I can understand if they are reluctant to change anything.

Posted on: 2/22 13:22
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Fresnell is only part of today's lightning models. So yes it is included, but it is only one term of the whole equation. If you really want to know the whole model, look for the GGX stuff, which even blender uses.

You can imagine the metallness as a blend between white texture and the base colour texture. The more it becomes zero, the more the base colour for the reflection is going to be white. Imagine a billiard ball. The reflection is always white no matter what colour it has. So metalness is 0. If you choose a golden colour as base colour texture you will get colour shifts etc. when you set metalness to 1. If it is zero it only will have white reflections and it will look like plastic with gold colour.

Posted on: 2/21 18:52
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Glossiness is just the opposite of roughness, so if you invert the texture / value it means the same. In you picture the value of 1 glossiness is 0 roughness and 0.1 glossiness is 0.9 roughness. There might be some differences how some BRDF formulas treat those values, though. So depending on the light model, the same roughness value can look different.

Your reflection RGB texture is also a way to do it (actually I had it included in my shader), but I came to the conclusion that it is easier just to use one base colour texture for everything and do the rest with the greyscale textures / material parameters. This also saves memory and bandwidth.

Metalness just defines how much of the reflection is based on the color texture. If it is 0 the reflection will just be pure white colour like plastic.

If you find a case where the material can not be recreated with my current setup I can adapt it.

Posted on: 2/21 13:55
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Currently there is the base texture (RGBA) and greyscale for roughness, specular intensity (mixes between diffuse and specular so it basically is percent) and metalness. For the last ones you can also set fixed parameters in the material library file, so you don't necessarily need textures for those.

And of course there are the heightmap and normalmap textures. The heightmap should only contain very rough heights, as the fine details are in the normal map. It is also used to bake the self shadowing into the normal map (Valve's ssbumps). You can consider replacing them with real geometry so you don't need them at all.

I will try to post the blender shading pipeline graph soon when I got the time for it.

Edit: Forgot the standard FL texture variants. They did not change, so emissive and detail texture etc. is of course supported, since FL uses it.

Posted on: 2/21 11:18
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