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 Post subject: Shader support in .X and .dae files ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:50 pm
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Hi,

Is there a shader support in either .x files or .dae files in PnP Terrain Creator?

If not please consider this as a feature request and also shader support for imported objects and vegetation?

Thanks a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Shader support in .X and .dae files ?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:00 am 
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Graphicanissimus
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lbmurali wrote:
Hi,

Is there a shader support in either .x files or .dae files in PnP Terrain Creator?

If not please consider this as a feature request and also shader support for imported objects and vegetation?

Thanks a lot.


Hi, at the moment we don't have a shader support for objects and vegetation within the TC. Perhaps this could come some day.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:03 am 
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Programmierdochfix
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 892
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Hi,

currently all models are rendered with a very basic technique, using smooth (gouraud) shading with the standard lambertian material settings for ambient and diffuse lighting and only one color texture.

Shader support might be an interesting feature, but I'm not sure which benefits you will get from it. In my opinion for the terrain mapping process it is usually sufficient to just visualize the objects with standard shading techniques, as the placement (position, orientation, scale) is the most important aspect in this stage of the content creation pipeline. Please, why do you think, shaders are important there? Next, in order to enable the full potential of shader (or advanced material settings) support, it would be necessary to manipulate and save these settings within PnPTC. So, a complex material and script editor should be integrated. Furthermore techniques for storing these settings back to the mesh files have to be implemented.

Please don't get me wrong. I just want to understand, why shader support might be beneficial for the mapping process.

Would you also want to have shader support for the terrain rendering?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:07 pm 
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Hi Ralf,

Thanks a lot for asking me regarding the shader support. Let me explain you in a better way which makes more sense for shader support.

First of all, your tool PnP Terrain Creator is an amazing tool. Hatz of to you for giving us such a wonderful tool. Previously i was using other tools like FreeWorld3d and tried someother tools like T.Ed and so. But your tool is very simple to use and has some good features like Vegetation support for entire terrain, texturemaps ,lightmaps and the feature to export in many file formats (especially in .x file and .xml). I simply love your tool. These are pros of your application.

Now what if i want to render realistic rivers and seas in your tool? (i can apply ocean shader)
What if i want to provide more detailed objects in my level when the camera is near to the object and less detail when it far away? (i can apply normals maps and LOD)
What if i want my terrain looks more realistic? ( i can apply normal maps or displacement maps)
What if i want to apply detail maps to terrain?
What if want to display dynamic shadows? (i can apply soft shadow shader)
What if want to apply atmospheric scattering effects?
Some more special effects like fire, smoke, rain etc.

These all can be done using shaders and a little bit from our side by writing plugins.
I am not asking you to provide all these in your application, it might become very complex and hefty task for you. We will write shaders using FX Composer in .fx, .hlsl, glsl formats and you give us the flexibility to just use them in your tool. Give us the flexibility to load different meshes wtih LOD and save these in your file format. When we use it in our game engine we can shift the objects LOD based on our need.

The thing is, we want to use your tool as much as possible for a level editing and do other stuff in our game engine like physics, ai and performance. I am an indie developer and an ethusiasist in programming games, your tool is making my work easier.

I am sure if these features are available then your application can grab lots of people's attention. This is what everyone wants and me too... my game level should look more realistic.

If possible please provide us with some more brushes for editing the terrain and good texturing support like soft blending and rotate the texture in the direction of the mouse movement.
And also the support for writing plugins in .net languages. I am not good at C++ and i dont want to learn it. C# is amazing.

I might be wrong in this approach, but please let me know why?
Finally.... these are my wishes.

Something of this form. Please have a look at this link :
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb331634(VS.85).aspx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:21 am 
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Programmierdochfix
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Ok, thank you very much for your compliments and the detailed description for shader usages. I understand your points. Having an equal render quality within the editor compared to the ingame quality might be beneficial for the mapping process.

I'll take a look at how such things might be integrated into the editor, given you not only the ability to use/view shader effects but also to efficiently manipulate them. However, this is not as easy as it seems at a first glance, as the object rendering is not performed within the main program, but is the responsibility of a PlugIn. So everything regarding "advanced rendering options" has to be passed through an interface between the PlugIn and the main program.


Quote:
If possible please provide us with some more brushes for editing the terrain


I'm currently working on something really cool regarding terrain editing. Hopefully it will work as expected. If so, you will soon have a really innovative way of manual terrain editing.


Quote:
and good texturing support like soft blending


As it seems (http://forum.pnp-terraincreator.com/viewtopic.php?t=430), this will be the big topic for the next version. However, it will take a couple of months.


Quote:
and rotate the texture in the direction of the mouse movement.


Well..... I clearly see the benefits of such a feature. Especially for things like street textures for example. But this is really a very very difficult thing. The only way I can think of to achieve this is to manipulate texture coordinats. And this definetly violates some restrictions of heightmapped terrain, where everything is regular. The program performance will decrease drastically when using such a feature. And even if I implement it, I think almost no one will be able to use it. No game engine I know of is capable of supporting such a thing in the usual heightmap formats. So you will have to export the map as mesh, which will result in a lot of other difficulties. If you know of a good solution for this, please let me know. At the moment I judge the applicability of such a feature as being very low.


Quote:
And also the support for writing plugins in .net languages.


Yes, will try to add this too. Still in the phase of experimenting how this can be achived in the best way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Hi Ralf,

Thanks a lot for accepting the features like Shaders and .Net language support. We are eagerly waiting for your next version release.

I really dont know the solution for performance problem, but i guess Spatial Partitioning algorithms could help you out. I think you might be already using them. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Shader support in .X and .dae files ?
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Programmierdochfix
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The support of .net languages like c# or vb for the development of plugins will be available with the next release.


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