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 ;)