Posts In: procedural clouds

Procedural Nebulae V

Naturally, I can't leave well enough alone!  Attempt IV was pretty cool, but it obviously lacked volume.  No surprises there: it was 2D.  Here's my first attempt at volumetric light inside of the same type of nebula as shown in the previous post.  I'm sure it will get better over time, but already you can notice a much better sense of volume, softness/cloudiness, and of light transport.  Light is correctly modeled using emissitivity and absorption as it passes through the nebula. I'd say this is a pretty good amount of nebula-related progress for 2 days!!

Procedural Volumetric Nebula

Procedural Volumetric Nebula

Procedural Volumetric Nebula

This method is about as expensive as the current LT nebulae...but it looks way better...so I think it's safe to say this will be replacing them soon 🙂 I am very happy with these, and I think I would quite enjoy seeing them in the background!  All the parameters - softness, brightness, feature size, absorption, wavelength-dependence of scattering, etc. are all easily-tweakable to get a lot of different styles.

Oh, and looks like we also get clouds for free! 🙂

Procedural Volumetric Clouds

Procedural Volumetric Clouds

Landscape in DirectX, II

The picture speaks for itself, I think:

Changes since last time:
- Larger scale
- Better clouds/skydome
- Detail texture on terrain (not so bland)
- Better fog

Landscape in DirectX

The XDX Engine has come a long way this month, as proven by the screenshot below:

Real terrain, a skydome/clouds, distance fog, and a lovely bloom filter make this scene far more appealing than the previous landscape tech-demo. I'm excited about how quickly the engine is progressing. I believe that I will soon be getting nearly the same results that I achieved with Esenthel!

I've really been focusing on size optimization this month, and I think it shows. After UPX compression, the demo from which the above screenshot was taken is only 25kb. When you think about the fact that this entire executable, which generates a procedural landscape and sky for the user to explore, fits in roughly the same disk space as a small word document, I think you'd have to say that my optimization endeavors have been successful. The XDX Engine is lightweight, there's not really any doubt about that.

Procedural Sunset

After implementing several new features in DirectX, including a bloom effect and a skydome primitive, I experimented with making skies that could pass as acceptable. Though not by any means blown away by the appearance of my procedural clouds (let's face it, when it comes right down to it, perlin noise doesn't look anything like real volumetric clouds), I was quite happy with the overall effect created by the skydome, the bloom shader, and a sunset-style fog.

The result:

Note that the cloud shader actually consists of a turbulent perlin noise, which gives the clouds a slightly nicer appearance than simple perlin noise would allow. Interestingly, the seed value of the noise can be animated, along with scrolling of the texture coordinate offset, to produce the illusion of moving, ever-changing clouds. Unfortunately, the technique is quite expensive, especially for high-resolution cloud maps. However, with the rapidly-expanding power of graphics cards, it may be viable to animate a full, dynamic, 1024 res cloudmap in at smooth framerates in the very near future.