engine that rocks ??

Development directions, tasks, and features being actively implemented or pursued by the development team.

engine that rocks ??

Postby ergo » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:43 am

hello, long time no see , i havent been posting in a long time..

but i could not get pass this one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCzDKj3h ... re=related

is that real or just a fake of soke kind ? looks stunning
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Postby safemode » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:52 am

I wish i could comment on things, because my work firewall doesn't allow youtube. But, let me suffice it to say that we dont use any out-of-engine renderer for anything, cept the occasional blender screenshots for unit development.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:25 am

Hey, that's a demo video of the Infinity engine; the best space engine out there bar none. That's what we're aiming for, here; and we'll get there, and probably surpass it, eventually, but it will take some work. The next generation shaders we're working on will definitely surpass the capabilities of Infinity, with ambient occlusion derivatives, fresnel, shininess modulation of environment mapping blur and specular highlight intensities, soft penumbras, detail textures, and much more; all included in a single shader
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/forum ... 9954#99954

As far as planets, I hope tarzan succeeds in his current LOD efforts.
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/forum ... hp?t=10520

You can find that same video at higher resolution at the infinity website; looks even awsomer.
http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infini ... deos_1.php
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Postby safemode » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:40 am

Hell, I'd be happy if we could get star/background generation looking that nice. Perhaps even getting a utility to generate backgrounds tailored to your screen resolution.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:00 am

No big deal, really; I'll get to it soon. It's not a matter of having 4096 background textures; just a matter of adding stars with the shader. Need to use random functions that aren't available in all shader models, but I think I could write a random function in code, since the background shader doesn't have too much to do, anyways. So, there'd be 3 components to backgrounds: stuff from the texture, the engine-modeled stars (brighter), and shader-generated random stars (faint).
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Postby Breakable » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:28 am

Some current start background look really good. I encountered one system that was full of bright start - it looked awesome :shock: . Sorry but I dont have SS for now, maybe Ill get one in the future.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 pm

"Stars" you mean? What's "SS"?
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Postby safemode » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:09 pm

SS== screenshot i guess.


In any case, we'll be focused on actual gameplay issues long before we get to tweaking the eye candy heavily. Priorities priorities.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:19 pm

Hahaha, wish I could help with gameplay issues. I'm going for the candy at full military speed ;-)
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Postby safemode » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:05 pm

Indeed, I guess we're trying to do both at the same time right now. But i think gameplay will become a much bigger issue as we clean up and update the graphics. At that point, we'll look good and have nothing under the hood. When gameplay catches up then, watch out. :)
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:27 pm

AMEN 8)

Well, there's a long way to go in terms of graphics, from have super-shaders to actually having models that use them.
That will take a well organized Retexturathon TM.

(Which in the PU experience inexorably becomes a Remodelathon TM.)
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Postby bgaskey » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:48 pm

Once the shaders are up and we know what exactly we have to work with, I'm up for spending a bunch of time retexturing etc. :)
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:33 pm

Alright! Nice to hear :D
Working as fast as I can.

Got three shaders to do: Presently working on the opaque materials one.
The next two are the transparencies shader and the space background shader.

The background shader will simply add faint stars in large numbers.
The transparencies shader will serve two purposes in one shader:

Glass:
Diffuse texture will control the transparency tint.
Specular texture will add its specularity to fresnel reflection.

Engine exhaust plumes:
Glow texture color will be shown modulated by eye dot normal squared. This will cause the mesh planes of those flames to be fully visible face on, but to fade as the angle changes, to full invisibility as the angle becomes edge-on.
The alpha channel of the glow texture will add to the power of that term, so that if you make alpha = 1, the glow plane becomes very directional. This will be good for the disc behind the engines, so that it glows very brightly if you're perfectly aligned behind a ship, but fades quickly as you go off alignment.

After the 3 shaders are done and working, I'm going to retexture some Vegastrike ship. Suggestions welcome. During the work I'll save a lot of files and screenshots to make a tutorial of the process, and perfect the LaGrande noodles (Blender node networks) for producing properly formatted texture sets.
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Postby safemode » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:17 pm

i've spent a couple hours with blender, i even setup the xmesh importer so i can directly import xmesh's and i still want to stab my eyes out with a spork ... christ. How does anyone stick with the program long enough to get passed the learning curve to actually get anything interesting done?

Does it take weeks ? I want to put some of my ideas to actual use rather than depend on the random help from other modellers.

dammit, my system isn't going to model itself :)



edit:

Obviously, the easiest to say to do would be the llama (though it may not be the easiest to do, it's the most obvious choice), but i think what's in the most need of retexturing are the larger ships. Clydesdale etc.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:31 pm

Blender's interface is HORRIBLE; and this is a big Blender fan talking.

The only way to learn Blender is by doing tutorials, really; but do shoot some questions.

Ok, Clydesdale it is. (I just fear I'm going to spend a week cleaning it up, another week adding greebles, and another week re-unwrapping it; and won't be able to help it... I'm a huge fan of greebles, specially when it comes to big ships.)
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Postby GoldenGnu » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:26 am

I don't see anything wrong in refining the models, even if it takes a long time... otherwise, someone will have to get back to them, sometime in the future, anyway...

I'll rather have 1 super models, then 10 not so good... (But, I'm sure someone else, would prioritize different)

Noted, that I don't know a thing about modeling... hehe
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:18 am

Same here. Unfortunately, most artists joining the boards they come with dreams of instant fame and superstardom, and want to come up with their own ships rather than fix someone else's. Most of them are newbies thinking that modeling and texturing is easy. A month ago, for example, there was one who said he was going to design his first ship AND write a tutorial how to do it, at the same time. Needless to say he was gone after a hundred polygons. It's too bad, because people could learn a lot from working on existing ships; but they do a few shapes in Blender or Wings, grow overconfident, boast, then hit an obstacle and give up...
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Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:45 am

Regarding the retexturing process, I personally can't bring myself to retexture one of the old low poly models without replacing the whole thing. Even though alot of them are still really good, the amount of work it takes to make good textures for all the shaders is too much compared to the time it would take to make new models for them, so you end up doing both.


About blender's interface, my first reaction to it was "Wow, this is so damn clean and intuitive!" :)

But that's because I had immediately before been wasting time with Maya 4.5's demo version (PLE I think). That monster had the fugliest interface of all time. I might not have rolled over Blender's interface so smoothly if I had not tried to adapt myself to something that horrible immediately before.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:30 am

Deus Siddis wrote:Regarding the retexturing process, I personally can't bring myself to retexture one of the old low poly models without replacing the whole thing. Even though alot of them are still really good, the amount of work it takes to make good textures for all the shaders is too much compared to the time it would take to make new models for them, so you end up doing both.
Well, that's actually what I had in mind when I said "working with existing ships"; I meant the whole thing, starting with cleaning and greebling up the mesh, re-unwrapping, then texturing. Hell, when I worked on Vegastrike's mining base, a couple of months or three ago, the mesh was a complete disaster: Huge hidden planes, cracks everywhere, inverted normals, places with gazillions of useless polygons that were never cleaned up... Total disaster. Plus, the UV unwrap overlapped a lot of similar islands, so you couldn't bake an ambient occlusion. I suspect most models in Vegastrike are probably similar disasters. Definitely not just a matter of retexturing.
But even without going anywhere nearly that far, there are ships that don't even have a specular texture. Newbies could hone their skills by coming up with just such specular textures, and ***contribute something*** in the process; but instead they want to come up with their own, "50 kilometer" ships or stations... which invariably look like toys; not even as complex as Lego bricks. Just a waste of bandwidth. I got started in this business as a newbie texturer in WCU. I learned tons from the experience of retexturing a frigate. My first steps in Blender came later; and again, it was by trying to fix someone else's model for the Demon. I learned a lot from that too. I wish newbies were more willing to take on something less challenging and more realistic and finish it, then move on up gradually; but it seems they always want to start by designing the most gargantuous ship or station from scratch; and they don't even know a UV map from a hole in the ground.


About blender's interface, my first reaction to it was "Wow, this is so damn clean and intuitive!" :)

But that's because I had immediately before been wasting time with Maya 4.5's demo version (PLE I think). That monster had the fugliest interface of all time. I might not have rolled over Blender's interface so smoothly if I had not tried to adapt myself to something that horrible immediately before.
Hahaha; I'll add the recommendation of trying Maya first, to the first Blender tutorial :D
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Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:25 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:Well, that's actually what I had in mind when I said "working with existing ships"; I meant the whole thing, starting with cleaning and greebling up the mesh, re-unwrapping, then texturing.


I meant throwing out the old mesh and then creating an entirely new one with a new design or building a totally new mesh using the old one for a guide and then throwing the old one out. :)


Hell, when I worked on Vegastrike's mining base, a couple of months or three ago, the mesh was a complete disaster: Huge hidden planes, cracks everywhere, inverted normals, places with gazillions of useless polygons that were never cleaned up... Total disaster.


Wow, I wonder if maybe those were caused by an exporter bug or something.

Plus, the UV unwrap overlapped a lot of similar islands, so you couldn't bake an ambient occlusion.


Well you can, but it is less accurate and more work. However highly repetitive models can sometimes make it rewarding to go back to the old ways of overlaps with the current shader set (don't know about the realtime global illumination thing, but I won't really believe it until I see it anyway).

But even without going anywhere nearly that far, there are ships that don't even have a specular texture. Newbies could hone their skills by coming up with just such specular textures, and ***contribute something*** in the process; but instead they want to come up with their own, "50 kilometer" ships or stations... which invariably look like toys; not even as complex as Lego bricks. Just a waste of bandwidth. I got started in this business as a newbie texturer in WCU. I learned tons from the experience of retexturing a frigate. My first steps in Blender came later; and again, it was by trying to fix someone else's model for the Demon. I learned a lot from that too. I wish newbies were more willing to take on something less challenging and more realistic and finish it, then move on up gradually; but it seems they always want to start by designing the most gargantuous ship or station from scratch; and they don't even know a UV map from a hole in the ground.


True, starting out small really is best for newbes. To make a top quality ship from scratch, there is alot of different arts you need to know.

I don't know what the obsession with large ships and stations is though, they are alot more work and less rewarding in gameplay aspects because no one has yet bothered to make anything closed to balanced and even then you'd never be able to earn them in-game unless you had no presence in the real world or just hacked yourself one. That's not nearly as much the case for interceptors, fighters and other lighter vessels.

Hahaha; I'll add the recommendation of trying Maya first, to the first Blender tutorial :D


:D
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Re: engine that rocks ??

Postby JsnMtth » Wed May 27, 2009 1:28 am

A tutorial on cleaning up and re-texturing a mesh would be cool. Being a noob to specular lighting and shaders and such, my ship making experience encompasses a big cube that flies. As a webdeveloper/web application developer, I have years of experience in The Gimp, Inkscape and such. I've played with blender for a couple months. I've been looking for a project to contribute to and increase my skills with, vegastrike is the most impressive gpl game project I've seen. I'm sure it will surpass the infanity engine soon. Look at how well linux Desktop usability has increased in the last 8 years!
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Re: engine that rocks ??

Postby loki1950 » Wed May 27, 2009 2:17 am

Well i think that chuck would not mind sharing what he has learned check out chuck's Cinemut mega thread for what he is developing as our texture packing and shader model and we can always use anyone with your skill set 8) as i mentioned in your post in the Feature Requests sub-forum welcome aboard.

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Re: engine that rocks ??

Postby MC707 » Wed May 27, 2009 11:48 am

hmm never heard about the infinity engine... though that video is f****ng amazing. Do you think we will be able to reach such level of detail with ogre? I personally do. after all, thats what competition is for, and there... there is our competition. *Dissapears into the dark of the stage* (damn that sounded like a speech sorry for that)
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Re: engine that rocks ??

Postby pheonixstorm » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:12 pm

Actually I wouldnt say that is out competition as it is listed as a commercial engine. To truly see what our competition is you need to find an open source 3d flight sim or go after some older engine that has gone open source such as allegiance or freespace.

I think nebula is a nicer engine though as it is both commercial (there are games released on it) AND open source.
http://www.radonlabs.de/homehome.html (main site, check out games link for titles and tech link for engine)
http://www.am-fluss-der-zeit.de/main.html go under screenshoots (site is in german)

Nebula 2 is the current offering I think while n3 is still under development but you can download it off one of the developers blogs.
http://flohofwoe.blogspot.com/2009/11/n ... gelog.html

I shoud probably check to see if it will compile under linux though.. Infinity might be nice (and the engine name is a rip off of bioware's older infinity engine) but you can look n see how they did what :(
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