Today I will be documenting my most recent failure. A very pretty failure.
Using what I learned yesterday about lighting effects I created a new lighting model. Together with stencil shadows this creates considerably prettier scenes:
The lighting model is far far faaaar from perfect, but already it is very useful at helping you figure out what the content of the scene is when zoomed out. Here is a close-up:
There is just a little bit of shinnyness to objects as it should be when they are outside in the sunlight. The column, chest and through are not textured and without the lighting effect they would look like a white outline filled with white, a completely uniform surface, but with the effects I have applied the shape of the object gives it shading so you can tell what it is:
When compared to how it looked in my last video, the though is much more pronounced. The shadows helps but even without it the object looks much better:
Here we have a chair:
Another composite shot:
And finally a column showing shading and a shadow cast on the wall:
It looks very good.
But you may have noticed a problem: the object density is very low. Normally I create absurdly dense scenes to demonstrate what big cojones my engine has. Not only that, but check out the framerate: it is very low on most shots.
It is not because of lighting. I could not find any performance decrease caused by the lighting effects and it is probably almost free. The slow down is caused by the stencil shadows. This is the maximum object density I could afford with shadows and it still runs very poorly.
Using a custom world population algorithm that is not longer random and flexible, but generates a pseudo-random (more like pseudo-pseudo-random) distribution that has some random elements in it but is is specially designed to make shadow creation as fast as possibly I managed to raise the performance to slightly over 30 FPS with he same very low density.
So I think that stencil shadows are out of the question. First I'll do an experiment to see if I can make Irrlicht throw shadows for some dummy low poly objects instead of the real objects. Maybe this can help. If this fails I'll abandon stencil shadows and try shadow mapping. Irrlicht does not support shadow mapping but there are some third party packages and information on this subject so I'm hopping I'll have no problem implementing it. The question is if it will handle a huge amount of objects with good performance?
Using the above mention population algorithm I recorded a short video showing a very sparse world in action.
Some of you will be happy to hear that I get it. I really do. I see now why you do not like the "fly" camera movement, how you would like it to behave and why it is confusing to you. I have no problems with it personally, but I'll add the option for a more "natural" camera movement that does not roll.
But not now, because I have bigger fish to fry, so enjoy the video with the old camera: