Tuesday, 12 August 2014

How To Create A Gimble Proof Rotation Widget

I finished off late last night squeezing more speed out of the Grass shader and can now show a decent 72 fps in my GTTR level demo.  I have sent out a version for testers, but I think the next update V1.009 will delivery on the performance improvement hinted at in previous blogs.

Today was meant to be a wonderful day of creating the Ambient Occlusion Mapping prototype, and the day started off with some nice sketches on how the shadow mapping textures might be stored for the terrain and various geometry batching techniques, then I got a challenge to create a rotation system for our new editor widget that had been proving difficult to master.  it took SIX hours, but managed to get a fully working rotation widget with the help of a LOT of 3D math:

This little ugly duckling allows the user top grab the edge of any of the three axis discs and rotate the target object around naturally. No gimble lock in sight and always rotates the right way. It has been alleged that this widget is now better at rotating objects than Unity, though sources are unwilling to come forward with any proof :)  The above graphics are of course placeholder art from yours truly but the mechanism underneath is a thing of beauty!

I can also reveal another sneak peek at some objects for V1.009 and the new improved demo:

It would have been nice to share some early AO mapping shots, but this work has now been pushed to Wednesday and I hope to bring good news then. Wednesday is also a busy day for releases as I plan to launch the V1.0085 hot fix and green light the re-release of the new TGC store weapons as well. Good vibes from the alpha testers suggest you will not regret updating to V1.0085 but as always, make plenty back-ups and protect yourself from catastrophe!

Going to eat and walk and rest a little now, but will likely return to have some AO mapping fun as I still have it in my head that I need to do 'something' in that direction before the sun goes down.


  1. Sounds good and those models look great too. Looking forward to the new demo.

  2. models look great too,i agree,starting to look pro.

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  4. Sooo.. when can we hope for 1.0085? I have not installed 1.008 - was hoping for the 1.0085 very soon :)
    Like the new objects btw!

  5. I know what you mean, I wrote a complete gizmo system too...
    If you're interested, I can send you this piece of code..
    It handles transl with 3 modes, free rotation and scaling uniform/non uniform
    All written in DBP..

  6. Hope the widget will get a makeover to look like every other widget used in ALL other software. Dont be afraid to copy - there is a reason they ALL do the same thing... unlike this monstrosity. there i said it, and you'll be offended again. ;-)

    but... the widget is welcome.

  7. Lee did mention that this widget is his creation and has to be replaced by a 3D artist.

  8. Love those models - very high quality :D

    I am worried, though, about dynamic shadows. You said (a couple of posts ago) that you were replacing dynamic shadows with AO. Does this mean only for static objects? If so, will the dynamic shadow cast from dynamic objects match up with the static shadows? Not perfectly, I mean, but just so they look approximately the same. And then comes the question of dynamic lights. What if I shine my torch on an AO shadow?