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October. 20, 2018
The Starport Forum Index > All Posts (Schmackbolzen)

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Re: Questions about SUR format
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I have sent you a pm with the code.
What I don't understand is, what is the benefit of having it in Max? Is there something wrong with my tool? Maybe I can make some changes there. At least then you are not forced to use Max (which I don't have).

Posted on: 10/8 9:52
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Re: Questions about SUR format
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Sorry I wanted to answer, but forgot due to my (hopefully) last two exams. The bits section is a tree which you traverse (I can look details up if you still need it) its something like in-order traversal, but don't know from memory.

The outer convex hull is used to determine whether the tree has to be used for collision. Thus, if you only have one node in the tree you don't need it. You never can collide with it so that's why it has the special flag.

Since most physics engines use a BSP tree, I suppose it is one. I only implemented a KD tree and it seems to work, but not always.
I am considering to make my sur tool open source. I already sent FF my tree creation (it is written in Free Pascal), but he never had time to use it.

Posted on: 9/27 12:09
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Hehe, yes! I actually was surprised myself how good they look. Did not expect that. I only did some minor tweaks to the original implementation.

In the meantime I also spent some time on solving the upscaling problem of the textures. I changed the NN layers to be in my opinion better suited for upscaling and experimented with different postprocessing filters. I now have a pipeline which seems to work for all images. The results are below. I am very satisfied with the image quality. The colours have shifted slightly, because the goal was also to reduce the errors the DXT compression caused.

Some of the original small FL textures are posted a few pages back if you want to compare them.

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So what do you guys think?

Posted on: 8/27 0:23
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks!

It's been a while and while I did not have that much time here is what I managed to work on:

  • The renderer now uses OpenGL 3.3, so you'll need a DX10 capable graphics card. It basically is a DX10 renderer now. This makes my life a lot easier for certain things.

  • Instead of rendering directly I now save the render calls and reorder them before rendering them myself. This allows for optimizations and also helps me a lot. In fact, this makes much more rendering effects possible now.

  • The renderer now uses instancing when possible. E.g. rendering huge dynamic asteroid fields has now only marginal impact on performance (if your graphics card is fast enough). Before you would hit a CPU limit pretty fast.

  • The lighting system from FL has been replaced and I now use (for the moment) point lights for the stars instead the weird directional light for each rendered model FL uses normally.

  • I implemented a somewhat "intelligent" vertex and index data cache as FL has a weird way of rendering certain things. This reduces the data which gets uploaded to the graphics card for each frame and thus helps with the frame rate a lot.

  • Some other things I probably forgot to mention



Here is a video with a light scattering effect in a nebula:
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl1208.mp4

Shadows are currently disabled as this is the next thing which gets reworked.

Posted on: 8/12 20:29
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks, that really motivates me I also still think it looks quite good. I am focusing on finishing the rest of it now. Will still take some time, though.

Posted on: 4/26 22:37
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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I have asked Skotty and he is going to help me to extract my renderer from the engine we are working on since ages to build an external model preview. It currently renders the FL models so that we have something to work with. I only need to add the normal and parallax mapping stuff, but that is needed anyway at some point (the focus was getting the rest to work, which actually is quite a lot already).

Posted on: 4/2 11:46
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Guys it's been fun, but I need to remind you that posting in my topic costs you 10€ for every off topic post. I am kind enough to grant you the ones up to now for free, but from now on it's going to be expensive

Btw.: I have to turn in the thesis next Friday so I'll start working on the wrapper after that again.

Posted on: 4/1 10:57
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Hehe, no that was a good one

Posted on: 3/21 10:38
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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I have a master thesis to turn in soon and an exam to write next week, so please continue posting those videos

Posted on: 3/17 8:51
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Thanks eigos, that kind feedback is really helpful. This way I know I have the same perception as others, because I think exactly the same.

Yeah, I plan to make it available for everyone once it is stable. I want to test it in our mod first because then I can get better error reports from our old playerbase (at least that is what I hope ^^) and react to it with automatic updates. I think the effort for it pays off most if everyone can use it in the end. Also it might extend the life of FL a bit longer.

Also I might be German, but I am also a perfectionist so that probably goes hand in hand

As for the Nomads I prefer a more crystalline look, but I did not start working on them, yet. I have some ideas (as always ), though.

@SWAT_OP-R8R: Images are difficult to interpret, so I assume you like it. Although I don't know what exactly you find good about it

Posted on: 1/30 19:48
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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Hehe it's better, but still not gone. Needed some distraction.

Since it is more of a stylistic choice I am interested whether people like the different metallic look (if they notice at all). I plan to make a video where I change the parameters via GUI so one can see the impact of all the different ones (which still don't cover all the cases). Also automatic exposure control is still missing so that would be an additional factor for the visuals later on. If I add bloom this will also impact how it looks.

Posted on: 1/30 11:01
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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So here are two videos of the current state after some parameter tuning:
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl2901_2.mp4
http://www.flnu.net/downloads/fl2901_3.mp4

Most of the bugs are (currently) gone and only small ones are left. Fullscreen is working (although I needed a workaround and will have to revise that later).

What's left are some tools I need to write and of course polishing. After that I need to decide if I add some more stuff or directly release a first version for testing (which will be in our mod).

Posted on: 1/30 1:13

Edited by Schmackbolzen on 2018/1/30 1:23:22
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Re: AMD Card Users May SUFFER No More! (LowRes Texture Fix!)
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What graphics card do you have? I tested it with a RX480 and Skotty with his 270x back then and it worked for both. Can you upload your modified exe so that I can have a look?

Posted on: 1/21 22:24
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Re: AMD Card Users May SUFFER No More! (LowRes Texture Fix!)
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I had this on my new AMD card and did some reverse engineering a while ago. You can find the offset to change at https://the-starport.net/modules/media ... t_Breaking_101#Visibility at the last entry called "Fix bug with low resolution textures on some systems (sets maximum to 8192 instead of 128) "

I also wrote about it somewhere, but forgot where it was ^^

Posted on: 1/21 21:56
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Re: OpenGL Rendering
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I think there is a misunderstanding here. What my wrapper is doing is exactly using normal and height maps (although I am not using dxt5_nm, but rather ati2n for normal maps and ati1n for the height maps, which gives you nearly lossless compression). So we all agree that it is needed, but you don't need dxt5 for it (the nm format just uses the alpha channel to get less compression artefacts in the normal maps). If you go back a few pages you'll find screens and videos of my wrapper in case you missed it. They are done with Freelancer and it uses normal and parallax mapping thanks to shaders (i currently even use some optional dx10 stuff for the antialiased post processing).

The problem now is to generate all the height and normal maps including high res textures which at best don't have any height baked in them like FL textures have. Even if your method e.g. allows automatic height map creation or eases it up a lot this would help out quite a bit. And don't get me started on the old low poly models

Posted on: 1/21 14:48
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