Today’s update on Stok3d is perhaps not as useful as the previous post, but I certainly had fun working on it. Or as we say in Dutch with a word blatantly stolen from German: it’s “spielerei”.
I’m going to post the demos first this time. Saves you some scrolling effort, because the explanations below are rather boring ;)
- Parallax Mapping : Move and turn towards the edges of the screen to see the extrusion of the texture best. A PhongFilter is added as a second filter, making it slower but the effect becomes more obvious.
- Water Shading 1 – Ocean : Reflects or refracts light depending on the view angle and the surface relief. It animates a perlin noise filter to generate a water heightmap.
- Water Shading 2 – Ripples : Same thing, but with a simple drawn ripple effect. The difference between refracted and reflected light is more obvious here.
Edit: Even if you have Flash Player 10, you still might get an update request. That is because these demos require the version of 10.0.22 concerning recent Pixel Bender bugfixes.
The source code for these demos can also be found on Google Code.
Some updates I did involved some bugfixes and performance-related updates. I also added a NormalMapUtil class, which provides a basic API to generate and manipulate normal maps. The main features are the generateFromHeightmap and drawFromHeightmap methods. Since height maps (or bump maps) are generally easier to come by (and to make), these methods generate a normal map for you. generateFromHeightMap creates a new BitmapData, drawFromHeightMap uses an existing BitmapData that you provide (useful if you need to generate one on every frame). The NormalMapUtil class furthermore allows you to invert the components of the normals, in case a normal map reflects the light in the wrong directions.
A new shader filter that was added is the WaterShadingFilter. If you remember your high school physics, depending on the view angle, the surface either reflects the light or lets it pass through and refracts it (which is called the fresnel effect). To put it simply, when looking at water at a shallow angle, it seems like a very reflective surface, but when looking straight down into it, you can see through it but it’s a distorted view. The reflection uses a combination of environment mapping and phong shading, while the refraction is a simple displacement mapping technique. The DisplayObject to which the filter is applied is used as what’s underneath the surface, ie: the refracted light. The ripples seen in the demo are not made by the filter, but are custom written to manipulate the normal map.
Another new filter is the ParallaxFilter, which performs (you guessed it) parallax mapping. It’s a technique like bump and normal mapping, in the sense that it tries to give more depth to a 2D texture. It does so by displacing texture coordinates based on a height map and view direction to the coordinate that it would normally have in 3D space. This causes the texture to look extruded and more detailed. For more (and better) information, check the article on wikipedia. Stok3d implements an iterative variation. It’s a bit slower but takes care of overlap issues and can handle sharp edges.
That’s it! For now, it’s back to Farbe, and… some other things :)