I’m realizing that once I have my star-field created, I need to figure out how best to run the mouse with a conventional mouse pointer and do hit-testing in the scene. I want to let the user click on a star and then quickly zoom in to a close-up of the star that shows its planets in some detail and any vessels that are in the system.
I’m hoping this is easy to do. It is a bit at odds with most action games, but crucial to any sort of interactive user interface created for the user.
I also hope to put up text floating near the graphical elements to add more information about them. This will include the number of ships of a given type in system, the relevant attributes of each planet and any items located on the planet. I’d like to use floating text with a transparent background and a contrasting outer edge (to ensure visibility even if something unexpected is in the background).
Cool rundown of some of the transition from stop motion to CGI. In particular I had never considered that motion blur would be an issue with the believability of stop motion sequences. Makes sense after hearing the description though.
It is pretty amazing how far and fast this technology has moved. I’m wondering what will happen now with VR/AR as they seem to have the potential to follow the same curves. Back end them through something like AWS or a direct peer to peer link and you should be able to look at building multi-person immersive environments. Add in voice recognition to replace keyboard entry. Use either multiple camera views of the participants or limb sensors and you should be able to make it amazingly real.
I find myself back again reading the documentation to OpenGL. There are so many cool things that can be done with this stuff. At this point it is a bit like a whole new API though as the programmable pipeline is new since last time I took a serious look. Much more capability, but in many ways a completely different way of making things happen.
The issues around gimbal lock with Euler angles and transformation matrices (which is the approach I’ve used in the past) are making me seriously look at quaternions again. They’re a bit of a strange hybrid, but it seems as if they offer a means to manage rotations that may have fewer sharp edges than what I’ve used in the past.
I think I may wind up buying the paper copy of the the OpenGL Superbible as it is likely to be more pleasant to flip around in than the kindle version I’ve been reading. Also suspecting that HLSL is important enough that the OpenGL Shading Language reference may be something I want on my bookshelf. Add in the OpenCL Programming Guide that I picked up when I was job searching (thought there might be some CT related opportunities and for projective reconstruction, OpenCL seems very interesting) and all sorts of stuff should be possible.
I started work as a Principal Software Engineer at KMC systems in April of 2016. I'm enjoying the work and the team there so far.