Monday, July 5, 2010

3point shader

So long no updates, well mostly I am still working on PhD stuff. Finally the publication on smartvisibility rendering techniques for medical datasets is out
And I am mostly working on a CUDA port of vessel histogramm analysis and a bigger system on coronary heart vessel exploration.

Furthermore, the 3point shader is also released (both commercial and non-commercial free edition). The free edition uses the same plugin and shader, but doesn't have the convenient and time-saving ui, as well as no sample files... that said if you want to play with it, you can do so for free.

A major contribution in this work is the fix of 3dsmax's broken tangentspace normalmap display in the realtime viewport. They don't send the same tangent space as they do when the scanline baker generates the normalmap. Autodesk was made aware of this problem. The cool thing is that as it simply is a viewport fix, one can get great quality improvement out of all standard bakes. And people no longer have to waste additional geometry to fix the "smoothing" issues the broken viewport had.
Thing is that many game companies have "taken" the broken viewport for the "correct" tangentspace, which it simply isn't, as Autodesk has several inconsistencies within max SDK for exposing the tangentspace. If you are interested in the fix or how to use it in game engines, you can contact 3pointstudios about it.

Another addition to the plugin/shader is mirroring support for object-space normalmaps. I have experimented with that for quite a bit, as well as transforming object-space to tangentspace in offline tools to allow exchanging the baker. Anyway the plugin generates per-vertex reflection vectors for the os-normalmaps, as long as you offset mirrored uv parts by a multiple of 1 (which you would anyway to prevent baking overlaps).