Saturday, April 3, 2010

2010-04-02. Alpha maps

A real model

I wrote some code for the adaptive terrain tessellation thing I told you about but I didn't test it yet so it's most probably broken. But enough of that. The topic for today is that Juutis, our 3d modeller, made us our first real model. Want to see it? Guessed so.

She's going to shoot fire and push some steam up once we're ready. And keep some good noise and be reeeeal cool! But for now, she's just our new test model. Wave farewell to Ultimato as that wormie has done her job.

So ladies and gentlemen! Please welcome... Steamtank!

Alpha maps

This version of the engine has only some minor additions. I spent much of the day debugging why some parts of the tank didn't show up. Finally I found that some vertices had vertex weights plain zero... Blame Milkshape! Seems it sometimes "forgot" to return vertex weight 1.0 when a vertex was bound to only one joint. So a few lines to our MS3D exporter and the bug was dealt with.

The other addition to the engine was alpha maps. They're as simple as it gets: if a pixel has alpha value below 0.5, discard it. You can see the effect in some of the wheels of the steamtank. They are just rotating rectangles with a bump map and an alpha map. But they look so real. Pretty cheap.


Though to be honest, this is not cheap at all. My frame rate dropped from 35 back to 20 due to this new model. I'm not sure where the bottleneck is but I really need to do something. Texture fetches? But I like the environment map... :(

Edit: Some more images with another environment map (original by Hipshot)

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