Procedural Nebulae

As a follow-up to the last post, I just couldn't wait to see what I could do in terms of procedural nebulae with the particle system. The initial results aren't jaw-dropping, but they do beat previous attempts by a fair amount. The particle-sim nebulae definitely have a more volumetric feel to them (not surprising, considering that they are volumetric, unlike the 2D-noise-based previous attempts).

I actually did a bit of cheating in this shot: I've composited the original screenshot with several blurred version of itself. In principle, this is easy enough to do on the GPU with textures. I just didn't want to go write that code in the simulator, since I want to keep it as a real-time application. There's still a long way to go in the procedural nebula department, but I believe this represents a step in the right direction.

Complex Field Simulator

I've been having a bit of fun with particles and the GUI engine lately.  I experimented with a basic particle simulator in which particles are subjected to a force, where the force's vector field is defined by functions of complex variables.  My rational behind this was that equations in complex variables have an uncanny ability to produce interesting behavior even with simple operations.  Indeed, I witnessed some pretty cool results!  Thanks to the new-and-improved GUI engine, I was able to control loads of parameters of the simulation in real time, and had quite a bit of fun playing with the math :) Of course, particles do have a tendency to make everything seem cooler than it really is!



I'd call the experiment a success both in terms of it being the first real test of the new GUI engine, as well as the first particle system implemented in XDX.  Oh, and the math was a success as well :D I'm thinking this kind of work may even lead to realistic procedural nebula rendering at some point.  That could be exciting.

GUI, Part III

Scrollable windows! That's the big accomplishment for the past two days.  I certainly wasn't planning on implementing them when I started, but it was just too tempting.  Not surprisingly, it took a lot more work to implement scrollable windows than any other GUI component so far.  Still, they're done now, and I'm happy that I put in the time.  They're going to be absolutely crucial for complex games.

Oh, and those are checkboxes.  They're not too interesting - only took about 5 minutes to implement, since they're really just handicapped progress bars (at least, that's how I see them).

GUI, Part II

Work on the GUI system is coming along nicely.  Edits and windows have both improved substantially.  Progress bars and sliders have been added to the mix.

Truth: the only real reason for this post is to show off my sliders, since I'm super-proud of having finally made a half-decent UI :D

2011 Retrospective

Despite not having worked quite as much as I would have liked to during 2011, a lot of work on the XDX engine and project A New Reality still got done.  I put together a collage of screenshots from 2011's blog entries.  It's hard to imagine that my terrains looked so pitiful just a year ago!  I can't wait to see what I'll be saying about my current screenshots in a year :) Hopefully future work will make them look equally inadequate.

Indeed, it's easy to see from the collage that much effort this year has been spent on behalf of terrains and various terrain engines.  I hope to see some more interesting projects this year, preferably involving combinations of previously-studied elements like terrains and trees and such.

No doubt, I'm moving ever-closer to the goal of a procedural reality.  Whether or not I'll get there in time, however, is still anybody's guess.