Galactic Skybox generator:|
I built a system that renders a scene to the six faces of a cube using a 90 degree field of view and only view-independent drawing elements. The starfield, dust and nebulae in this scene are procedurally generated, and so the system can be easily reconfigured to produce different backgrounds. The system draws the background in small increments so that a loading screen can be played while the scene generates.
The star is a single sprite that shrinks when occluded by objects in the foreground and produces a lens flare effect when on screen.
Last year I invented a new technique for rendering high-speed flyovers of procedurally generated terrain. I adapted this system to render a rectangular planet projected to a hemisphere. The graphics are procedurally generated based on an input heightmap, which I hope to automate the production of to make a random planet generator. The planet can be rendered once to the background or every frame in realtime.
A Terran environment planet is seen in this screenshot, but the system can easily render Ice, Ocean, Barren and other types. There is currently no cloud cover, but I plan to add that at some stage.
Planetary surface rendering:|
The planet renderer is more than just a purely graphical effect. The renderer features a smooth zooming feature that introduces new detail as the player zooms in. I've used this to produce a satellite-type top-down view of the planet that can be zoomed into and scrolled around.
Although all of the graphics are rendered purely on the GPU, I've developed an efficient technique for extracting the xyz coordinates of any point on the terrain. With this, models can be rendered on the planet's surface. This will be useful for rendering buildings. Changing water level and morphing of terrain can be achieved in realtime.
Galactic skybox generator complete
Planet renderer complete
Currently updating skybox renderer with visual target of milky way.
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Copyright Brendan Drain 2009. Any MOO2 graphics components in these projects are not being provided for distribution and are copyright Atari 1996.
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