Darian's Wishlist Ideas

Feature requests and thoughts on how a feature should be implemented.
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Darian Knight
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Darian's Wishlist Ideas

Post by Darian Knight » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:18 pm

While this is my first posting in the forums, I have been keeping up with the development of VP for some time now. I'm an old AW user, Second Life User, and about half a dozen other systems or more over a 12 - 15 year period. I know that VP is always under construction, and it's a battle to fix the bugs, so I will try to keep my wishlist (for now) reasonable.

1. Fade objects into view versus simply letting them "pop" into view during loading. A smooth opacity fade-in is elegant, and gives an excuse to create a lead up time for entering the world (a quick pre-load prior to showing the scene). Less triangles floating all over the place. Also the fade-in can be used in conjunction with fade-out when objects are out of range (proximity fade). Overall would create a smooth transition as you walk around.

2. Skydome instead of a Skybox. Skyboxes tend to create seams at their edges if done incorrectly, and require an image for each side. A skydome would require a single image.

I can think of about half a million things I would love to see in Virtual Paradise, but I'll take it easy on Edwin for now ;P
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Re: Darian's Wishlist Ideas

Post by Edwin » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:02 pm

Hey Darian, welcome to the forums. It has been quite around here lately but maybe life will return now that someone finally posted a new message :D
Darian Knight wrote:1. Fade objects into view versus simply letting them "pop" into view during loading. A smooth opacity fade-in is elegant, and gives an excuse to create a lead up time for entering the world (a quick pre-load prior to showing the scene). Less triangles floating all over the place. Also the fade-in can be used in conjunction with fade-out when objects are out of range (proximity fade). Overall would create a smooth transition as you walk around.
This was actually a feature of VP very long ago, but isn't in the program now. This was an entirely different codebase actually. There is still a video of it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShX_YLkE3M. I think the effect was too slow there but it would indeed be a nice addition.
Darian Knight wrote:2. Skydome instead of a Skybox. Skyboxes tend to create seams at their edges if done incorrectly, and require an image for each side. A skydome would require a single image.
I think a skybox works fine for most things, if the images are OK there shouldn't be any seems. Any other advantages a skydome would have except for only using one image? I'm not sure how textures should me mapped onto a skydome actually.

Just fixed another bug in the texture loader on Mac OS, it was doing color correction for the textures causing some textures to appear brighter or darker. Especially annoying with skybox textures because the faces will look different.

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Re: Darian's Wishlist Ideas

Post by Kalzar » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:17 am

I like the idea of fading objects into the scene, I'm not too sure I'm keen on the sky domes though.

A lot of games use the concept of preloading content before you actually get into the scene, which makes sure everything or at least the priorities are loaded before you actually start playing. It'd obviously be more of a challenge to implement this into a real time environment, but I think it might benefit the platform.

I can see it working if you had a system that preloaded models, avatars, textures, sequences, and sounds when you enter the scene/world and update every time you re-enter, if any changes were made. If the Caretaker were to change the Object Path or content while you were in-world, the browser could load the content as it normally would and with fading. Of course the Caretaker should be able to enable/disable preloading, as some don't need it.

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Re: Darian's Wishlist Ideas

Post by Darian Knight » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:34 am

Skydome instead of skybox is negotiable, but the skydome would possibly allow for a procedurally generated color or sky instead of just a picture. Maybe the skybox would do that as well, but from my experience with AW, using the skybox requires setting four sky panels separately versus a skydome which would be one setting, with a color shift for N, S, E, W

As for the fading, love the video. all objects should fade in and out for proximity, as well as initial loading. It's much more elegant than the jarring popping in of items or sudden disappearance of items as they are out of your range.

Other than that, I'd say a couple of shaders to add to this and we're well on our way. Per Pixel Lighting, Glow, Depth of Field, and a Bloom shader set as a subtle effect post process. Of course all Shader Model 2 support, because SM3 is overkill at this point.

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