Thursday, August 9, 2012

Screens of the day 25 - Grass can make you excited

Wow, a screens of the day post! The last one was a few months ago! Time to correct this dire lackor random screens!

Not exactly the ideal moment for such a post, but I had some good results today and I'm excited about them so I might as well show them of, even if the results are very early, rough around the edges and incredibly buggy. You see, I don't just write tutorials these days. I am actually putting the base of the XNA engine in place, while at the same time learning and evaluating the potential of XNA. I'll write a formal review of XNA after I get a few months of experience with it. Writing basic stuff lends itself very well for beginner tutorials. Sure, since I'm going with the flow and don't have a real lesson plan, the quality is not that great.

Anyway, I am always ahead of the tutorials I have written development wise and more specific features of my project don't lend themselves so well for tutorials, but you'll see this when I get to tutorial number 5, which is all over the place and will probably be skipped and rewritten some day. And while I am not done with the feature I am working on, here is an early WIP screenshot:

Yes, that' right! Grass! Quite the unfortunate implementation, but it does not look half bad. Keep in mind that this is on my development computer with and integrated GPU, so no antialiasing, filtering or performance. In this screenshot we only have one grass texture.

Now let's try another one:

Since in this one the camera is closer, it does not look that good, but the grass that is farther away looks decent. 

Now let's combine the two grass types (doubling the density):

Decent variety but kind of random and colorful. I'll explain why these WIP screenshots are so colorful and what the bugs are in tutorial number 5.

Let's try three textures with little bit of extra variation in the geometry (T-T-T-TRIPLE DENSITY) :

How does that look? I say promising!

Now if these were the good old days, I'd read GPU Gems 2 - Toward Photorealism in Virtual Botany and GPU Gems - Rendering Countless Blades of Waving Grass until I memorize them, google everything on the subject and spend 2-4 weeks implementing a great grass system. But now I have very strict productivity goals, so we'll see what I can hammer out in a couple of days and then move on. My game is not about grass anyway. It hurts to grow up!

PS: I wonder if one can buy the GPU Gems book series and if you get access to any source code?

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