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Submitted by Aras Pranckevicius, posted on January 17, 2005

Image Description, by Aras Pranckevicius

One of the new categories in Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2005 is called "Visual Gaming", where participants are given SDK and have to program AI for a team of nano-robots. This year, the whole thing behind Visual Gaming is called Project Hoshimi, and it features a 3D preview part. Now, this "3D previewer" is exactly what I (and another person, Paulius Liekis) have made.

I did most of programming stuff, and a small amount of artwork. No fancy "effects" are done as the previewer has to run on DX7 (and even some of DX6) video cards starting at 8MB of video memory. Fancy effects take lots of time, so right now the whole thing "works" on low-end hardware, and runs at 500+ FPS on high-end hardware :) A short tech-list:
  • Subdivision surface for the level mesh, followed by QEM style simplification.
  • Multiple mesh levels of detail (both level and entities).
  • All geometry is processed with vertex shaders 1.1; most things use "sort of" rim lighting. The particle effects are also static geometry, calculated in a vertex shader.
  • Usual stuff: some GUI, some old D3D devices detection, etc.
  • If you're fast, you still should have time to compete in Visual Gaming; the first easy deadline is February 1st. Check out and for details. Technical details and some screenshots are at my site:

    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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    January 18, 2005, 10:42 AM

    the spiky thing in the bottom left looks pretty cool, is that "sort of rim lighting" too? (whatever rim lightlight might be :)


    January 18, 2005, 03:45 PM

    Stick it in google and find out, numb nuts. Simple, like you.


    January 18, 2005, 03:53 PM

    thanks for the information. i already did. your information is redundant, like you.


    January 18, 2005, 08:08 PM

    Pay no attention to knackered - he wasn't held enough as a child.


    January 19, 2005, 08:17 AM

    Please read the community guidelines

    Aras Pranckevicius

    January 19, 2005, 10:10 AM

    "Rim lighting" is the light that is on the parts of surface that nearly face away from you. It's because of Fresnel effect - those parts reflect more, and a cheap way to approximate that is "rim lighting", where you add more light the smaller "N dot V" (or whatever else approximation) is.

    So, yes, that spiky thing may be called using "rim lighting". There's similar (but more subtle) lighting on the "walls" of the level too.

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