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So, what are you working on right now?


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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, peter_spy said:

Lately, I've been researching mirrors and real-time reflections, as in most missions I've seen them super clear and 100% reflective. It turns out there are better ways to do it.

I wouldn't recommend real-time reflections in general, as there are quite numerous limitations on their use, and they're quite resource-heavy. But there are ways to make them look good. I'll go with the cubemap version, if the model ends up in my FM.

Very cool!

A simple way to offer both options is to use lod_bias :


Object Detail Low = Static specular, Object Detail Medium = Cubemap, Object Detail High = Real

Or you can use the cubemap version for a far away LOD etc.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:




(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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Yeah, I could use LODs, although the whole subject is more complicated than it looks...

First off, realtime reflections need planar surfaces, you can't do them on convex or concave shapes. In order to circumvent that, I made the RT version with two materials, one for the glass, one for the frame. Also, there's an engine limitation where you can't have more than one RT reflection surface in view. If there are more, they get disabled. This is probably a good thing though, I can imagine all hell breaking loose if there was no limit to these surfaces...

[Edit] Secondly, for the sake of aesthetics, I made the player model invisible. This is a subjective thing, but I find it distracting and immersion-breaking. It's a WIP model I guess, floating with barely any animations. Your can't make him invisible for FM purposes though, as it uses several body parts from other AIs: elite city watch pants, generic npc hands, thief tunic, etc. I can't make these materials invisible, since all other characters will have these parts invisible too.

[Edit] So in the end, a cubemap is a better way to go overall; it's more performance-friendly, has none of the limitations of an RT reflection and it's much easier to work with, especially now, since you can generate cubemaps in-game without changing the resolution.

Edited by peter_spy
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/13/2021 at 6:16 PM, Jedi_Wannabe said:

Hard to follow up some of the recent screens people have been posting, but here's a little something for my beta testers to reassure them I've not forgotten about them!

Part of a new area, really going for a natural feel with some pagan vibes, might be hard to notice but I've got some of @STRUNK's new bats flying around and they cast a great shadow in the moonlight as they pass by the cave opening (it's in the screen but looks way better in person!) Ignore the fps counter; I've got a misbehaving VP in the area.



@Jedi_WannabeFracking cool! Please, please, send me the latest version; I want to see how you did that!


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Cobalt blue, uranium green, and amber glassware sets would be really cool to see. I think Victorian style glassware might fit our world.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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13 hours ago, peter_spy said:


Also, I had no idea you can actually get translucent materials to cast shadows :D

On normal idtech 4 you can't, so TDM team changed that, if that is maps, have you tried stencil shadows?

Btw your work looks very nice, you have talent for that stuff.  

About having perfect transparency sorting, afaik there's nothing you can do, unless Order-independent transparency is included or even ray tracing and you know how probable that is. 

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Thanks! I've been exploring shaders and art pipeline for quite some time now; it's always been the most fun thing to me. I'm really surprised how much you can do with this engine.

Huh, this method it actually works with stencil shadows, and not with shadow maps... Interesting.

1 hour ago, HMart said:

About having perfect transparency sorting, afaik there's nothing you can do, unless Order-independent transparency is included or even ray tracing and you know how probable that is. 

Yeah, but it's no big deal. Let's just pretend these are some weird magic crystals ;)

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