As you may know this week has been geared up to dedicate solely to visuals. I have postponed the necessary final integration as it was decided that we needed some gorgeous screenshots about the place, and in the grand scheme of things it all needs doing. I had planned to add the layers of polish once all the main functionality was in place, but I am sure you will not be objecting to seeing more of the final art take it's rightful place.
As it is definitely blog-worthy, I have produced a very small sneak video from the end of this days work so you can see where I am:
This one shows you bloom, using the multiplication inverse technique, a much deeper water effect so you cannot see the bottom of deep areas and my favorite the light ray effect which will cast light volumes from the sun through any canopy or other above surface obstructions to create a sense of light volume in the scene.
What Is Next
Having ticked off the three shaders I wanted to do, the next two big visual tasks (apart from adding more content) is to work on flak/explosions and shadows. I have a neat idea for producing some fast shadows using the cascade technique but it's experimental and might swallow some precious time. To avoid this possibility, I have decided my next task will be flak, explosions and particles.
This should add lots of opportunities for more cool visuals as the flak will leave a trail when you fire the rocket launcher, the explosion will have plenty overlay effects which I am looking forward to tweaking and of course the scene can benefit from particle effects which comprises everything from the dust that slowly settles after an explosion through to gusts of wind, distant fogging using particles and sugar stealers. Not sure how much of all that I can get done in one day as the Flak is coming directly from the classic engine and it will take some time to re-factor the code so it slots nicely into the new systems.
I stole two hours today to get some gardening done (the weekend was pretty cloudy and cold) and highlighted to me how out of shape I have become in the last six months. Spending every waking hour at the keyboard has it's downsides, with general fitness being the first to suffer. Hopefully Tuesday will be cloudy so I can rest my bones, but if the sun appears again I have a small path to finish digging and the manual toil does not seem to make a dent in the subsequent coding I can get done. If you add up all the hours I've been awake, deduct three hours when I was outside and one hour when I ate some food, today racked up a good 10 hours and I'm happy with the result :)