All quiet, but all busy…

I’ve not had much time for this dev blog of late as I’ve been throwing my spare-time effort into;

Book Two, added ~14,000 words bringing the total to ~90,000, so just about two-thirds complete on the first draft. I’ve also created an ad campaign for the entire of February to promote Book One: Insurmountable OddsΒ on Amazon Kindle, and I’ve submitted it to be advertised at the London Book Fair (March 14-16). Fingers crossed something will drum up some sales or interest!

Also, sparkles.

Yes, sparkles. I’ve been aiming to do a sparkle/glitter shader for a very long time, predominantly for chunks of ice in planetary ring systems, but also for a nice cool ‘metallic paint’ effect for the old customisable vessels πŸ™‚

I knew in my head what I wanted to achieve, and there are a fair few references to be found on t’internet, but there’s nothing like rolling your own. It’s taken aΒ lot longer to achieve than I anticipated, and it has one major issue which I still haven’t figured out how to over come. When the viewers view direction changes, the sparkles sparkle, and they shouldn’t. If you look at a very glittery surface, it only ‘glitters’ when the object moves, or the light moves, or the viewer themselves move. If you all stay stationary, and you look at different parts of the glittering surface, the sparkles do not change. I’ve seen so many implementations and examples on the web fall foul of this, producing high-frequency flickering visual ‘noise’ as the viewer looks about. Now I know why. Cos it ain’t easy to fix πŸ™‚

Anyway, it’s good enough for the time being, and now being applied to the Ring System shader to spiff it up a tiny bit.



You’ll need a microscope ( πŸ™‚ ) but if you zoom in and look at the bottom-middle screen area at the rings, you’ll see tiny flecks of sunlight being reflected by debris in the ring system.

A subtle change, I’ll agree, but an important one. The additional noise alone improves the original ‘flatness’. When in flight and with the right artistic tweaks, this will look rather nice I think. It’s not final, or finished, and will look a lot, lot better when I’m done.


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Author: Mak View all posts by

4 Comments on "All quiet, but all busy…"

  1. Cornflakes_91 February 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm -

    What are the small green dots? Ship contacts?

  2. Mak February 10, 2017 at 9:17 am -

    I might wish, Cornflakes πŸ™‚ That would be a busy scene indeed! No, these are my ‘placeholder’ velocity markers. Just a cubic array of dots around your ship that is the HUD’s current representation of your movement.

  3. Cornflakes_91 February 14, 2017 at 10:52 pm -

    Ah, okay, was confused because of the irregular arrangement in the lower middle πŸ™‚

    there are a couple of dots which dont seem to fit into a grid.

    is a little gif to see it “live” possible?

  4. Mak February 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm -

    As ever, I shall see what I can do πŸ˜‰

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