Dirext X Status

Materials, textures, lighting, postfx
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potatongravy12
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  by potatongravy12 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:37 am
Hi,

Just wondering about the current Direct X support of Torque 3D. Currently, I can only find information saying support for Direct X 9. Is this the case? If so, when should I expect Direct X 11 support, and does it even matter only using Direct X 9?

Cheers,
Bradley
JeffR
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by JeffR » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:34 pm
It supports DX9 and 11.

11 support is solid, but not fully optimized(not taking advantage of command buffers and all that fun stuff).

Once 3.9 is released(should be this weekend-ish), we'll be working at dropping DX9 and going full-in on optimizing DX11. Work is already being done on that front and DX11 has seen a good bit of performance gain over 9 already, so for 4.0 it should be solid.
potatongravy12
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:35 am
by potatongravy12 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:27 am
JeffR wrote:It supports DX9 and 11.

11 support is solid, but not fully optimized(not taking advantage of command buffers and all that fun stuff).

Once 3.9 is released(should be this weekend-ish), we'll be working at dropping DX9 and going full-in on optimizing DX11. Work is already being done on that front and DX11 has seen a good bit of performance gain over 9 already, so for 4.0 it should be solid.


Hi,

This is much appreciated! I can go full steam ahead now with Torque3D. Really looking forward too it!!!
JeffR
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by JeffR » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:33 am
Glad to hear! :D
NekoDemon117
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:09 pm
by NekoDemon117 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:18 am
This will be especially good for my system, because it performs much better in straight DX11 than in DX9. Having an AMD-based system, I can use all the optimization and performance gains I can get. I have an AMD FX-8350 Processor with an ASUS Radeon R9 380x STRIX. (the standard one, not the OC version) My spare card (which is the 380x's predecessor) is a Galaxy GeForce GTX 660, so no worries of ever needing DX9 to be able to run my project. The old card was about 3 years old when it was removed, so it still has some life in it if worst comes to worst. (or I get some parts to build a second machine for min-spec/optimization testing)

When Space Engineers dropped DX9 support, my performance in that game doubled. I am expecting similar gains from Torque 4.0 when it releases.

--- (so I'm not making two posts) ---

Sounds like you guys have been making leaps and bounds on Torque3D the last couple of years. I am very excited to see 4.0 and the new PBR stuff, however long it'll still be before it is ready. Especially with it all being free and open source. I wish I had the expertise to be able to help speed up the development of it, but I am barely getting to the point now where I have a basic understanding of everything needed to start developing my game. (writers/artists block and brain fog sucks)

My only concern is the difficulty of transitioning from the current material system (Torque 3.8/3.9) to PBR (Torque 4.0). What will need to be redone for that? I remember reading that I will need to make entirely new materials. Will I be able to use the same UVs for them? I haven't made progress in Unreal Engine 4, so I don't really know how PBR works. I have very basic 3D modeling knowledge with Blender.

I have a little more (but not much) experience with the old material system through UDK (UE3) experience from a long time ago as well as the tiny amount of stuff I have managed to get done in Torque3D between versions 3.5 and 3.8. All I have done successfully up to this point is boxes and a sign. Oh, and a low-poly (UT2004-grade) fantasy redcap magic mushroom with a basic digitally painted texture I did back in 2014 that I lost the files to. I'm planning on reattempting the latter soon. I'll post the results of that in a different thread in the appropriate forum if I end up with something at least as good as I had before.
Azaezel
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by Azaezel » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:56 am
Functionally speaking, your specular maps are ditched as far as assets goes in favor of an RGB map (red = smoothness, green = ao, blue = metalness), and you throw a cubemap at things, be it generally for the level, a zone style application that coats all of the models with origins within it, or <insert more clever notions being beaten around the shops contributing to that here for proper IBL probes>. Least from a user perspective anyway.
JeffR
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by JeffR » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:16 pm
As Az said, the structure with PBR isn't COMPLETELY different, you won't have to remake your UVs or anything crazy like that.

With PBR, you need the following data in textures:

Surface color(Albedo)
Surface normals
Metal-ness
Roughness/Smoothness
Ambient Occlusion(i believe this is technically optional, but helps a lot in ensuring the nooks and crannies on a surface are shaded right).

While you can pass in the Metal, Rough and AO in as separate grayscale images, because Az rigged up a compositor function, it's going to be easier to work with if you combine all 3 into a single image and just tell the PBR mat to use that. Again, as Az said, Red channel is smoothness, Green is AO and Blue is metal.

Once you have that set up, you just need a cubemap. Level-wide will work, though we're trying to wrap up an IBL(Image-based lighting)-style system that uses area probes to provide regional ambient lighting info. You'd place a probe in the map, scale it's area of influence(if the pixels all inside it, it's cubemap is supplied for the PBR calculations) and then you'd either manually set a cubemap, or let it bake one from the probe's point of view. Idea then being that you sprinkle them around your level so that the lighting on objects is properly consistent to their surroundings.

For making the various maps, and assembling the composite texture, we highly recommend you nab Allegorithmic's Substance tools which you can nab from here. Their Substance Live bundle has 3 tools that are super useful for cranking out PBR materials and they use a rent-to-own system where you pay $20 a month until you pay off the license, and then it's yours forever. So it's a pretty good deal for such good tools. If not, just putting them into the right channels via any image editing software will work fine as well.

We'll also be fleshing out the process of making and converting images and materials over to PBR on the wiki to make all this easier to keep on top of :)
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