Progress update – 22nd March 2010

It’s been a long while since my last update but progress is good so far. Due to time and resource contraints, I’ve decided to omit several features from the application and decide to focus my research on the GI aspect.

What I have done:

  • Framework – Basically have the “finished” framework. Just some testing on the shaders
  • Thesis writing – Have started planning on what to write and am beginning the first chapter – Introduction

What I am still doing:

  • GI techniques research – basically this will be an ongoing effort throughout the project
  • Writing the shader – This is fairly complicated and takes some time to get it right.
  • Testing – Just to see there’s no bugs

What I haven’t done:

  • Water effects and vegetation – not very sure at the moment if I can manage to implement GI on them as it will take some extra work. Concentrating on finishing the shader first before attempting this. I could have some simple water effects and maybe vegetation that is not lit by GI but again will look into this after completing my shader.

Problems faced and anticipated:

  • Procedural shaders – one of the hardest aspect in this research. A lot of reading to do and testing. Derek’s method uses the DirectX HLSL which have built-in multipass and custom render target feature while I have to deal with OGLSLs Frame Buffer objects and maybe 3D textures to get things working.
  • Cutting out of features – my initial scope for the research seems to be a little bit demanding and due to the time plus resource contraint I might have to cut back a little. I am not sure if I have enough time to fully implement GI for the water and vegetation at this point.

Conclusion so far:

Global Illumination seems to be a fairly involving topic. From my progress so far I can see now that my initial ideas would require a lot more time. However, I have done substantial research and are now trying my best to get the shader coding done. If no major problems crops up (fingers crossed!) I should have a working demo to show some basic GI effects on terrain in OpenGL. So hopefully I can have some nice pictures up on the blog.

However I feel that the most important bit will be the dissertation where I would have to document what I’ve read, what I’ve tried, what worked and what didn’t and lastly why. Time organisation is critical here as writing the dissertation would also take up a big chunk of time. I would have to get all the resources properly organised and catalogued on top of producing a good write up detailing the whole research.


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