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  1. #111
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    170
    Really awesome Lee! The terrian is really coming along nicely

    In the class last night I mentioned something about doing terrain calculations and blending on the gpu and you raised the concern about wanting to save gpu cycles for texturing. Since I was in IRC it was difficult to have a back and forth so I didn't respond but I wanted to mention a few things here and see what you think. There shouldn't be any reason you can't do height calculations, blending, uvs and texuring all in the gpu. I don't think doing height/blending in a shader prevents you or prohibits you from doing uvs and texturing on the GPU. It can all be done there. In fact you could even do the collision there and set a memory location that the application can access to get collision info. This is sort of the way physx works on the GPU. It might avoid the need for multi threaded scripts, etc not to mention compiled shaders running on hardware would be much faster than interpreted script (i'm assuming unity does not compile to native code). You could do the collision calcs on the CPU and generate a lower resolution collision mesh but then, as you said, it would look like the feet are slightly off the ground. However, I don't see this as a huge deal but i understand this is a personal preference issue and if you don't like that than a different approach would be required.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to be pushy as there are many ways to do this, i'm just concerned that the limitations of script are going to require hacks in the long run that might be avoided using shaders. That said, there may be limitations to Unity that force the scripting option. I am not a Unity expert and you have far more experience with Unity than I do so I trust your judgement. I've just seen the shader approach used as a component of terrain calculations and it seems to work nicely.
    Last edited by jjguzzardo; 03-11-2011 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    McBride, BC Canada
    Posts
    905
    Truely STUNNING! I am in awe of how your mind works! I am no programmer so to watch you work through this and the results you come up with is very inspiring.

  3. #113
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    861
    Quote Originally Posted by jjguzzardo View Post
    There shouldn't be any reason you can't do height calculations, blending, uvs and texuring all in the gpu. I don't think doing height/blending in a shader prevents you or prohibits you from doing uvs and texturing on the GPU. It can all be done there. In fact you could even do the collision there and set a memory location that the application can access to get collision info. This is sort of the way physx works on the GPU.
    I agree and have done this very thing in the past but unfortunately we are using Unity here and not our own engine. There are several things we need to consider. The first is making sure that the system we come up with works with most platforms with minimum recoding for each (mobile platforms being the concern with complex shaders). Second Unity still only uses DirectX 9 so none of the really cool features like dynamic tessellation and we are limited to 256MB of vram. Finally and probably the biggest show stopper is that to the best of my knowledge with Unity, DX9, and C# there is no way to get data out of the GPU except via render targets which is a Pro only feature and we don't want to alienate those that only have Unity Standard.

  4. #114
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
    Posts
    178
    Quote Originally Posted by chronos78 View Post
    Finally and probably the biggest show stopper is that to the best of my knowledge with Unity, DX9, and C# there is no way to get data out of the GPU except via render targets which is a Pro only feature and we don't want to alienate those that only have Unity Standard.
    The way I see it, if you show it off in an R&D video and explain it awesomely like you always do, then you won't be alienating anyone because the feature is only pro-only in the editor, for the standalone version of the game that I would think most people would use later for building the world, the feature would be enabled as a graphical setting (either your graphics card handles it, or it doesn't and uses a fallback), and those who do have the pro version of the editor get to know how to actually go about using it and get more education to create even cooler stuff. I know I am very interested in the prospect of learning more about render targets in unity3D

  5. #115
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    170
    Finally and probably the biggest show stopper is that to the best of my knowledge with Unity, DX9, and C# there is no way to get data out of the GPU except via render targets which is a Pro only feature and we don't want to alienate those that only have Unity Standard.
    Ahh ok, I like the shader approach but I understand the limitations issue with 3rd party engines. Either way, the shader approach is more of a preference thing anyway. I've seen awesome terrain implementations that don't use the GPU so no big deal. So far eveything you're doing looks really good. After watching the persistence videos I could see you added some nice polish to the terrain. It looked like more smoothing, fog, shaders, etc... it really looked awesome. Anyway, just throwing ideas out there
    Last edited by jjguzzardo; 03-11-2011 at 08:38 PM.

  6. #116
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    861
    Time to resurrect this thread because it has been entirely too long since I've posted anything in here. Might have something to do with all the video content Jason and I have been pumping out lately but who knows. Fear not though as the terrain R&D continues to move forward. Since there's been a nice little break in recording today I thought I'd test out another idea of mine.


    This one was a way push the drawing distance out to 100km yup you heard right, 100km. So the horizon you see out there in the distance is real geometry not part of the skybox. Yes it is curved (exaggerated for effect) and you can fly to the edge of space with this system. Though I still have a lot of work with the sky to make the transition from the ground to the stratosphere look believable.


    Try doing that with Unity's built in terrain system.

  7. #117
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    91
    Oh wow. Looking forward to that series. Impressive

  8. #118
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lucerne, Switzerland
    Posts
    111
    You really impress me with all those awesome posts. Makes my daily development job even more boring than it already is.

  9. #119
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Salisbury, UK
    Posts
    2,812
    oooh... pretty

    I found
    my current avatar on google, so props to THIS GUY who created the original...

  10. #120
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,823
    Looking AWESOME Lee!
    Dan 'pezz' Kronholm.
    Currently working on: The MMO class!.
    Previously working on: Game called "Boom Bots", while learning Unity and C#. WIP thread here.

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