A pretty good start to the week, having solved the 10 fps issue that struck last week. Turns out it was a batch of animating objects being forced into being static for the lightmapper but still trying to update the vertex buffer each cycle which made the DX pipeline crawl. Added code to convert such objects and extract the animation properties of these newly created static objects and the speed returned.
My main job for today was to create terrain shadows as part of the light mapping process and as at 5PM I have achieved. The shot above was an early shot of the prototype when I introduced the terrain geometry to the process and as you can see those shadow tears are a real eye sour. After much tweaking was able to solve it, but for the sake of expediency I have switched off the ability of the terrain to cast it's own shadows in the light map process. I am happy that they will do this eventually but my mission was to have the buildings cast shadows on the floor, and The Escape level now has floor shadows!
I still have a few things to do, such as re-activate the ambient occlusion mode and add transparent textures to the light mapping so that vegetation textures can let light through and exaggerate creases. I also want to confirm I have solved the small artifacts that appeared on the first buildings I light mapped.
I also want to experiment with multiple colored static lights, especially for interior scenes as I think this is where the lightmapper will come into it's own, and I look forward to bringing you some screen shots of inside the buildings when my experiments are complete.
Soon I will be straying into performance territory now, so I just want to make sure the visual is where I need it for the time being and then ramp up the work to ensure I can get The Escape running at well over 60 fps on my aging machine with mid-range graphics card. I also have Intel VTune set up and ready to roll now so I should have the tools I need when the time comes.