Procedural Sphere Primitive and Specular Highlights

This week I spent some time adding specular highlights to the Deferred Renderer. The results can be seen below.

A procedural sphere with specular highlights. Notice the dramatic difference that normal mapping makes when computing the highlights.

A procedural sphere with specular highlights. Notice the dramatic difference that normal mapping makes when computing the highlights.

Since the box was not the best primitive to test specular highlights, I added a sphere primitive to the engine. This primitive is also going to come in handy when we start adding point lights.

The sphere primitive includes normal and texture coordinate data, enabling shading from both the regular deferred light pass and the normal mapping pass. Both passes are shown in the image above. The difference is dramatic. Notice how normal mapping helps convey the illusion of a rough brick surface, whereas the “geometrical” normal just makes it look flat.

Please don’t mind the glitches in the GIF above. Overridding the mouse cursor makes the Screen To Gif tool I use act up a little bit. I promise these are not Editor bugs ;)

Custom Computer @ SIGGRAPH

I’m back from SIGGRAPH 2017 and I wanted to share with you this amazing custom computer I saw at the expo.

A computer made out of a Tegra K1 SoC, a touch screen and a custom-built enclosure.

A computer made out of a Tegra K1 SoC, a touch screen and a custom-built enclosure.

This computer consists of a NVIDIA Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC) that has a touch screen connected. It is housed in a custom-built enclosure that somewhat resembles an iMac and other “all in one” PCs out there.

What I find fascinating is how using off-the-shelf components, one can simply build an “appliance” that showcases 3D tech and/or art for a booth.

In this case, the machine is demoing a PBR renderer built for the Qt framework. Of course, I can envision this as an interesting showcase for the Vortex Engine as well. Because the renderer can scale from a dedicated desktop GPU all the way down to an iPhone, and it already supports Linux-based systems, it would be easy to build something similar. This would also give me the opportunity to play with some hardware in my free time : )

I’m excited about this project. I will start looking into it once the renderer is more mature.