Open Sourcing Progress Update

As an update, I inform you that I’m pasting the license on the source files and getting the release ready. I’m going to publish on the sourceforge site where the Sylphis Generalized Triangle optimizer is published at the CVS. The engine is going to be hosted using SVN. Maybe there will be downloadable versions too, but I’m not sure yet. So get your SVN clients ready…

… until then happy Easter people!!

Opensource License

The last days I’m spending most of my time considering open source licenses and what would be the appropriate license for Sylphis3D. I must say that it is a very brain-melting procedure. I can see now why I could never became a lawyer!

I initially started considering two licenses, the GPL and the BSD. These are both approved open source licenses by the FSF. GPL is the defacto open source license today and has proven its value. Most of open source software today is released under the GPL, including Linux. The license was proven to be able to protect and empower the freedom of the software, by forcing code to be contributed back to the original GPLed software. The BSD on the other side is a more liberal license. Requires for the adopters of the code to make no more than to mention the code that was used. They are not required to release their code back. This is looked upon by some open source people because it allows closed source projects to benefit from open source, without ever contributing back. The classic example here is the Windows operating system that used the networking stack of the freeBSD operating system; no code was ever contributed back by Microsoft.

The problem with GPL is that it is not an easy solution when it comes to 3D game engines. A GPLed engine Continue reading

HDR Procedural Skies

The under development branch of Sylphis3D is going to support high quality terrain rendering. At the moment the terrain rendering code is in place and produces some very nice views! However the sky support was limited to skybox rendering. At first I thought I would just go for some HDR textured skybox. This was good until I reallized that it would be stupid to have an engine support realtime shadowing and lighting and have the outdoor areas with static lights, because of a static skybox. It was obvious that a dynamic sky was needed, so that day/night cycles can be simulated.

After a lot of experimentations and book studing about light scatering and stuff, we had results! Continue reading

The new PC arrived!

I just got the new PC for the office… Check this specs out :

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
  • 1GB RAM
  • 150 GB HDD

and the video graphics accelerator beast!!! :

  • NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 with 1GB Video RAM

I can tell you the performance is mind blowing! I get 500 frames/s with Sylphis3D on this. (note that this is at 1280×1024!!!). For those not familiar with the latest video cards the above card is basically two cards running in SLI mode. You just buy them as one!

Working with an ATI Radeon 9500 all this time Continue reading

How to do good bloom for HDR rendering

One thing that makes HDR rendering impressive is the bloom effect. In fact even if bloom is in a sense decoupled from HDR rendering, it is often confused with HDR. There are 3d engines out there that advertise bloom for HDR rendering, which is nonsense. You can have HDR rendering without bloom, and you can have bloom without HDR rendering. What makes the sweet, sweeter is the combination of the two. Actually if you present the average gamer HDR rendering without bloom, it will be hard for her to understand the difference between LDR and HDR rendering…

This means that you are going to need good blooming in your engine to really have that “WOW” thing coming out of peoples mouths. Before writing the Sylphis3D HDR rendering implementation I had read some articles about blooming but the results were never satisfactory. I’m going to present you here the method I used and that really makes a perfect bloom that is also faster to perform and uses less memory. Continue reading