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Submitted by Chris Egerter, posted on December 11, 2001

Image Description, by Chris Egerter

Here are a number of screenshots from the latest build of the Power Render 3D engine.

Top left - Detail entities for grass. These are procedurally generated around the camera according to a vegetation map as you move around the world.
Top right - A skinned character casting stencil buffered shadows on the terrain and herself. (self shadowing)
Middle Left - Above the trees looking down at the character in the middle
Middle Right - Underwater view. The water now distorts the world above.
Bottom Left - Realtime reflective water on Geforce3 with proper water plane clipping (only portions of triangles above water are reflected)
Bottom Right - Some rocks casting stencil shadows into grass/weed rendering using simple volumetric texture layers.

Keep in mind this is programmer art. I only have one tree and a few other rock and log objects I am testing with.

Full versions of these pics are available at


Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

December 11, 2001, 12:59 PM

Looking good as ever!


December 11, 2001, 01:00 PM

Most impressive!


December 11, 2001, 01:17 PM

Very nice! Especially that under-the-water shot.


December 11, 2001, 01:18 PM

Nice to see a gui aswell as a great looking engine!

Sam Gamgee

December 11, 2001, 01:26 PM

Wow! I like the bottom-left shot the best...


December 11, 2001, 01:34 PM

Are the texture layers in the bottom right pic animated (i.e. swaying reeds)? That must look very cool running.

How are you distorting the view when under water? It looks very crisp.


Das Wolf

December 11, 2001, 01:36 PM

Sweet!! what are you using for terrain? ROAM?


December 11, 2001, 01:51 PM



December 11, 2001, 02:07 PM

Could you please post some system specs? I guess that underwater view must really eat processor time and the image says 27fps.



December 11, 2001, 02:11 PM

I have been following the progress of your engine for quite some time now, and you continue to impress. Awesome work bro. Can I get a free license? :)

Seriously though, keep up the good work..


December 11, 2001, 02:52 PM

very nice, that look aboslutely gorgeous, i love the richness of the colors


December 11, 2001, 03:04 PM

Programmer's art my ass! :P


December 11, 2001, 03:12 PM

You should give her a torch in some of the darker pictures.....that would look sweeeeet.....not that it doesn't already, cause I sure as hell couldn't do it :-P


December 11, 2001, 03:56 PM

Just a question that I wish I could find an unfrozen lake or pond (I live by 7 lakes and there all frozen right now) to answer. But shoulden't there be a slight cast of the shadow on the waters surface as well as on the lakes bottom? Just curious.
Can't wait to test the new demo out tonight. I've kept peeking at your website for the last few months and love the amount of progress you make. GOOD JOB.


December 11, 2001, 04:07 PM

I really like those shots, especially the one of looking down at the dew/msit/puddles of the trees and having them reflected. :)

If you ask me, you should change your name to Chris EGregter.


Garett Bass

December 11, 2001, 05:14 PM

"Full versions of these pics are available at"

I can't find them! There are screenshots, but not these screenshots. I'd really like to get a closer look


December 11, 2001, 06:04 PM

The screenshots are in the news / home page. Just go to the site, scroll down and you'll see them.

>Are the texture layers in the bottom right pic animated (i.e. >swaying reeds)? That must look very cool running.

No I haven't tried that yet, but it should be easy enough to move each layer a different amount to make them sway.

>what are you using for terrain? ROAM

I'm using my own algorithm, which is a combination of sliding window from the heightmap split into a quadtree for fast visibility culling. It is optimized for hardware T&L so I don't use LOD or touch the vertex buffers every frame.

>How are you distorting the view when under water?

Similar method to the BumpWater example from DirectX 8.1. It's all done in hardware so if your card doesn't support EMBM you don't get the effect. It would be way too slow to emulate in software.

>Could you please post some system specs? I guess that underwater >view must really eat processor time and the image says 27fps

Athlon 1.2 with a Geforce3. The water adds 1 or 2 additional passes for all triangles drawn depending if they intersect the water plane and need to be clipped. So yes water it does slow down quite a bit (3-4 times).


December 11, 2001, 06:31 PM

In the middle left shot, I notice that the character's stencil-buffered shadow is not fogged (this is more apparent in the larger image).

Do you have any plans to address this? It seems like a tricky problem, from what I understand of stencil-buffered shadows.


December 11, 2001, 08:25 PM

Maybe it's me, but I cannot find the character in that shot. Where's Waldo, er ... character? Where's character? :-) It could be a puzzle.

also, undersan says "from what I understand" that's funny, undersan-d.


Ron Frazier

December 11, 2001, 08:43 PM

I almost couldnt find it either. Its almost dead center, perhaps 1/3 or 1/4 of the way down from the top.


December 11, 2001, 09:13 PM

>In the middle left shot, I notice that the character's stencil->buffered shadow is not fogged (this is more apparent in the larger >image). Do you have any plans to address this? It seems like a >tricky problem, from what I understand of stencil-buffered shadows.

Don't think it's possible to handle this nicely. Won't be a problem if you keep fogging farther in the distance than I used in this small test world. I also plan on trying texture based shadow algorithms with 3D attenuation instead of stencil buffers.

Alex Taylor

December 11, 2001, 09:24 PM

How long has PowerRender been in development now? What version is it up to?

Alex Taylor

December 11, 2001, 09:26 PM

I see after a quick trip to the website, it's been in development since 1994, and you're up to version 4. Amazing what you find when you look.


December 12, 2001, 02:29 AM

hmm 15-30 fps on an athlon 1.2 and fegorce 3 .. this is quite "low" for such simple scences. how much performance does your terrain renderer eat? with this performance you can't make a game of it (at least no FPS action game) because it would be too slow (considering that you have to write a whole lot of stuff around the gfx engine). do you have any plans for optimizations!? what do you have to do to get framerates of around 60 fps (disable shadows, shaders, etc.)?!?

i'm just curious, no offense!



December 12, 2001, 05:23 AM

BTW, you get far better looking grass if you also render the extruded edges of the terrain too. I guess that's pretty much like the silhuette of the terrain. Maybe I could post an IOTD about that :)


December 12, 2001, 05:23 AM

Could you give more detail about the water reflections, as I'm doing something similar right now. Currently I stencil out the water part in the back buffer, render a reflected scene into another render target, render the water surface bumps into another render target and combine them with a screen aligned quad into the back buffer. This means I'm using screen space EMBM (texbem instruction). Is this similar to your method, or is mine really inefficient? :)


December 12, 2001, 05:55 AM

very nice, but that water is a bit clear in the underwater shot!
I'd like to see water that makes everything murky underneath the surface, rather than everybodys simple surface models. Could use fog, but if the camera was half underwater, half-above, not sure...
But otherwise - top notch!

Phil Carlisle

December 12, 2001, 10:36 AM

Great stuff Chris, shows what a dedicated programmer can do eh? :))

Pity we always seem to be lacking great artists though (boohoo! :))

Nice shots though, I like the gui style of the editor.



December 12, 2001, 01:37 PM

If that girl is programmer art, then come work for me! EGregter. :)



December 12, 2001, 02:17 PM

Luke Hodorowicz has achived some nice effects using volumetric fog in water.


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