Tag Archives: Direct3D

Font editor

sitelogoIt’s been a very long time since I’ve made an update here.  I’ve been working steadily on the font editor module for the Gorgon editor and it’s finally nearing completion (the last 99% of 99% of 99% etc…).

I’m quite proud of this thing.  It’s supports a pretty well rounded suite of functionality for designing a bitmap font for use with Gorgon.  Besides the usual standard stuff like font outlines, font faces, styles, etc… it also supports glyph brushes, custom glyphs, glyph advancement and offset editing and custom kerning pair tables.

Here’s a few images:

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sitelogoIn the 2.x version of Gorgon I wanted to add cameras.  It was most tedious before when you wanted to translate an entire scene by an arbitrary amount.  So when I started this thing, I created an Orthographic camera object.  The previous version of Gorgon used an Orthographic camera internally and this was never exposed to the user.  But in this case, I exposed the camera so that the user can define their own viewing mechanism.

There’s more info and a video inside…

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Clearly I’ve not been posting

sitelogoBut I have been doing stuff.

I’ve been spending my time refactoring and just cleaning up the code in Gorgon.  I made the mistake of getting Resharper and it put me on this crusade of cleaning up the code because apparently I’m just awful.  Also, I’ve been finishing up the primary graphics API (not the 2D stuff) by adding a bunch of new things to it like geometry shaders, compute shaders, and hull/domain shaders for tesselation (this one is cool, if not a little baffling).  I also made the API a little closer to Direct 3D 11 by adding views to resource object types.

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sitelogoWell, it’s been a while.  I’ve been busy.  You’ve been busy.

Anyway, I actually took some time to test out a piece of functionality for the new version of Gorgon.  This new version of Gorgon will have a graphics API separate from the 2D renderer (the 2D renderer uses the graphics API however).  This is unlike the previous version where the renderer was pretty much all you had access to.  I had a user ask me a long time ago if it were possible to access the underlying renderer to render 3D along with the 2D.  At first, it did not, but I did hack in a way to access SlimDX directly through a plug-in and it was awful.

So, in this version I decided to give the developer access to the full graphics API under the renderer.  This allows the user to switch between 2D graphics and whatever they want.  And here’s the results of my intense labour pain:

Yep, it’s a clone of the old Amiga demo “Boing”.  As you can see, there are 2D elements (the text and the logo) along with the 3D elements (which were all done manually I might add, Gorgon does NOT have a 3D renderer so don’t get too excited).  I’ve decided to include the code as an example program for the new Gorgon.


Windows 8

So I’m trying out Windows 8 (yes, it’s not released to the public, and yes I have it legally).

Dear God, what a mess this whole Metro/desktop thing is.  Someone over at Microsoft must have split personality disorder or something.  How in hell did they think that was a good idea??

Anyway, the OS does have some really nice improvements and it’s very responsive (except when it’s not… I get random freezes once in a while, apparently it’s something to do with my Intel SSD).  And more importantly, after installing VS2010, and the June 2010 DirectX SDK, the new (and presumably old since I haven’t tried it yet) Gorgon works fine.  What I knew, and was hoping I was wrong, is that they took out the D3DX library for the new DirectX, and as such things broke horribly under Gorgon because SharpDX uses the D3DX libraries to load/save textures.  After installing the June 2010 DXSDK, everything worked again, so there’s that.

I really really really don’t like this metro thing.  It’s just horrible with a mouse/keyboard and while I was ambivalent towards the Start Menu in previous versions, I really miss that I can’t group my applications (and I have a lot) under folders.  This made everything really horrible to organize, especially with how obsessive I am about organization on my machine.

That said, the desktop is real nice.  Love the new task manager, love the new copy/delete dialogs.   I even like the new look they put in (they got rid of Aero, or probably more likely, the glass effect).

Sadly, I now have to figure out how in hell I’m going to make Gorgon work without relying on D3DX (yes, I know, I could keep with developing for the June 2010 SDK, but at some point you know they’re going to drop that).  Apparently I can use WIC (Windows Imaging Component), but it looks pretty convoluted and I need something that’ll give me AnyCPU support.

All in all, the awfulness of Windows 8 outweighs its benefits in my opinion.  Someone really needs to kick Ballmer (I blame him wholeheartedly for this mess) out of that company and install someone with a fucking clue (i.e. we don’t all use/want a tablet, nor do we all want to develop for them).

Anyway, I am not dropping support for Windows 7/Vista from Gorgon.  So don’t ask about it.

That’s all for now.  Gorgon is still being worked on, a little, here and there.  It’ll be ready by 2213.

Dual monitor stuff

So here’s a screenshot of the dual monitor code in action:

It’s not much to look at, but it was a major pain in the ass to get working, and does indeed work.  Basically you create 2 forms, and 2 swap chains and set both swap chains to full screen and then add some special code to handle cases where focus is lost/restored on the primary form.

Gorgon would normally handle focus loss to reset your full screen mode for you when focus is returned (this is due to a bug in WinForms and DXGI).  And that’s all well and good, but this code really doesn’t work well with multiple monitor situations.  So, there’s a flag to tell Gorgon to turn off the automatic mode reset on focus, and that will let you, the user, handle the transition when dealing with multiple monitors.  It’s not an ideal situation, but it works

It’s a bit complicated to set up, but there’ll be an example included with Gorgon on how to use dual monitor setups that’ll guide you through the process.

Look at my balls

So, I’ve been quite busy lately with a new job and such.  And as a consequence I haven’t had any time for Gorgon recently.  But I finally sat down this evening and did a little work (not much mind you, and certainly nothing of note) on Gorgon 2.x.

I’ve uploaded the Ball Demo to the site so people can have a look at it.  I’d appreciate any feedback (please post the feedback to the forums, thank you).

Please note the following before running it:

  1. It’ll probably crash.  It’s in development after all.
  2. You NEED Windows Vista Service Pack 2, or Windows 7 (Windows 8 -might- work, but don’t count on it).
  3. It will run on Direct 3D 9 capable video devices.  However, it requires Direct X 11 be installed on the system (hence the OS requirements).

To run it, just run the BallDemo.exe and pray (oh, and ensure that the zip file isn’t ‘blocked’ by Windows, .NET assemblies hate that shit).  It defaults to windowed mode with a resolution of 1280×800 although you can modify the BallDemo.config file to change to a resolution you like.

Let me know what your performance is like.

Gorgon – 1.1.4529.31450

There’s a new version of Gorgon uploaded.  There’s not a huge amount in this release regarding the actual graphics library, just a few bug fixes.

However, there are two important changes:

  1. The project/solution files for the library source code were converted to Visual Studio 2010.  This means that in order to compile the Gorgon library, you will need Visual Studio 2010.  The library still uses .NET 3.5 SP1, so Visual Studio 2008 will continue to work when using the library assembly.
  2. Most important of all: There’s been a new library added called GSound (Gorgon Sound).  Written by ShadowDust702.  New forums have been added to reflect this new addition.

You can download Gorgon from here.

More text stuff.

Here’s a sample of text rendering in Gorgon 2.0 (Dorian).  It’s rendering 16,019 characters, animated with shadowing (which doubles the character count), plus the FPS counter.  When it renders the text, it renders with kerning information (provided the font has any) so the output should be properly spaced.  And while it’s doing this, it’s scaling the text to pump up the fill rate.

(The video has since been deleted)

All that at ~75 FPS, that’s not too bad hey?

In this particular “demo” you can see that I’m able to compress and expand the lines of text.  This is possible because of the new “LineSpacing” property in the text object.  This allows the user to set line spacing by setting a multiplier.  For example, a LineSpacing of 2.0 will give you double spacing and 0.5 will only move the lines half way.

Anyway, I’m still plowing through all of this.  And I’m pretty happy with the results.

Text output and Fonts

Sweet merciful fuck.  That was painful.

I just spent the last 4 evenings/nights writing Gorgon’s font system and it was not fun.  And, of course, I’m still nowhere near done (still have to create the TextSprite object, and other the font effects like gradients and GDI+ image brushes).  But, I got it working.  Not only that, unlike the previous incarnation, it actually implements kerning properly (well, approximated kerning, I’m not dicking around with actual kerning.  Fuck that.)    One of the things about the 1.x font/text rendering that I absolutely hated was while it was worked, every now and again (especially on smaller fonts), it’d screw up and a letter would appear slightly (or not so slightly) shifted.  Quite annoying.   Here’s a screen shot showing how awful it was compared to GDI+ and how awesome v2 is going to be (click to expand it):

Gorgon/GDI+ text comparison

Gorgon/GDI+ text comparison

Note that all text is the same font:  Arial, 9.0 point, Bolded and Antialiased.  Also note that v2.0 is nearly (but not quite pixel perfect) identical to the GDI+ DrawString version.  I think that’s a slight improvement.

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Gorgon Shaders

So I got custom shaders up and running in Gorgon 2.0.  The new version has always had shader ability because it’s using Direct3D 11, so it’s required to use them.  However, up until now the shader code has been hardcoded to use 3 default shaders.  But after today, there’s an ability to use customized shaders:

In this little sample, there’s a new system at work.  It’s basically a mini effects framework that can do multi-pass rendering and in this video there’s a wave shader and an embossing shader at work on the sprite.  If you want to learn more, click the stupid link below

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