Friday 30 June 2023

Flaming June Raining June

June started with a jumper, June ends with a jumper

 June ends as it started ... wearing a jumper. Thankfully the bit in the middle was scorchio and I took advantage of the free vitamin D and got a nice tan. My veg patch also got a good soaking and the emergency water barrels filled up.

June has primarily been upgrading Monsters Loot Swag to a new engine build. This requires me to change all the materials from Diffuse/Spec to albedo/ORM for all of those fancy PBR reflections... and that means updating all 693 of them ... (note to self; next game go for flat shading).

Player Characters and bushes get the PBR treatment

Catgirl T-Poses over the nettles to assert dominance

HDR has proven to be somewhat of an issue in all of this - initially because I didn't realized that it was switched on by default, having not used it in previous version of the game or engine, and is now on as default. This led to some awkward automated changes in exposure for filmic tonemapping based on camera position.

Eventually, after a little fiddling with sliders and values I settled on an interpretation of ACES filmic tonemapping.

Stock ACES tonemapping with auto-Contrast - pass the light blub

Manually defined auto-contrast values for a sunny day

Whilst all of this was going on I ended up helping out with a new implementation of parallax mapping.

Old parallax mapping

New parallax mapping

Yes but actually no!

This is the start of a change in how parallax mapping works in the engine, with the original version being replaced with a brand spanking new Parallax Occlusion Mapping. And this is what that looks like! (minus the occlusion casting it's own shadowing).

Definately not the same picture ...

 The POM version required a total change of art pipeline where the alpha channel receeds from maximum height of white, downwards to lowest area of black, whilst the original parallax mapping built up and outwards from the lighter values.

So far I have the characters, bushes, trees, general vegetation, all of the level objects such as rocks completely transformed into PBR mode. So, still to do are the dynamic objects, animated explosion effects, most of the terrains and all of the monsters - and as it's a game about monsters, there are rather a lot of them ...

All that to do in Flaming July - which is not a painting by Lord Leighton.