This is freeride!

I don’t remember if I have put some space frontier pictures in some previous post. Anyway here’s tonight effect work. But… in fact, there ain’t any effect. I found that the best way to achieve a “cool sky – clouds – planet atmosphere – then free space” effect… is to build a kind of real “cool sky – clouds – planet atmosphere – then free space” realistic system…

Engine thrust… [video]

Worked on propulsion effect. That’s still a very basical, standard effect, but – as always – the most important part was to have a nice designed system, as i’m bound to have a real huge amount of engines to switch on during playtime 🙂 I’ll upgrade the effect later. I’m also asking myself if that’s not gonna bring optimization issues. This system is quite scene node expensive…

Thousands of particles

Adding grass was a nice check for my FX system. I was experiencing huge slowdown while dealing with 10,000’s of billboards (grass, bushes, rain, clouds..). After a deeper study I found that it was a quite strange CPU bottleneck inside OGRE system!?

Ogre::BillboardSet->getBillboard()->getPosition() is an official/obvious slow method. Reading Ogre source code :

OgreBillboard.h
00077 public:
00078 // Note the intentional public access to main internal variables used at runtime
00079 // Forcing access via get/set would be too costly for 000’s of billboards
00080 Vector3 mPosition;

Seems nice at first sight. But mPosition access is not really much faster, not enough actually! I added some caching system to avoid accessing those datas. And CPU cost drop down to almost nothing. Eventually I’ve lost 100-200 Kb of Ram but… who cares? 😉

Botanical time is back!

Still working on my Colony management class. Not really difficult, only really long to write 🙂 So I took a little break and decided to add now some classic billboard vegetation, using my FX class. I’ve got the exact same problem than for my trees… I need to add some smart space distribution. But I’m now quite regular with that! To be continued… now it’s time for Jamon, cerveza y Queso!!