Progress Report

Hello everyone ! Time for a new dev diary !

Like always, a lot of work has been done. Even thought i would have hoped to do more! Making editor/modding tools take more time than i was expecting but it is a very important part of the new Dangerous Rays alpha 18 version.

1- New “Uber Noise” system

I have programmed a new noise generation system in the engine. This is similar to the system used in No Man’s Sky for example. This system is vastly used for the world procedural generation or for generating random terrain geometry for example…
Improvements over the old system are massive:

– Much faster CPU calculation speed by using some CPU special instruction sets (SSE / AVX)
– More noise types available
– Better noise precision
– Exposed to the modding scripting system

2- Sky Atmosphere post-process effect

A new post-process effect that simulate a distant fog according to the terrain relief and sun position and light color.

You can see how the distance fog looks on the screenshot below (even if it is not the best screenshot to show the effect)


3- SSAO effect

I have worked hard to do a new SSAO shader. The old one used in the old version of Dangerous Rays was not good enough in my opinion. The new one work much better and give more “natural” results.
This is a very important effect for improving the graphical quality in Dangerous Rays and it will be enabled by default in the game.

Without SSAO


SSAO effect only

4- ACES Filmic Tone Mapping

I have added ACES Filmic Tone Mapping support in the graphic engine. This feature improve color tones/contrast greatly. This feature has been integrated in the latest version of Unreal Engine 4.
Lately, I have been trying to integrate some features from Unreal Engine 4 into Dangerous Rays engine. ACES Tone Mapping is one of them !

5- Terrain shader improvements

Terrain shader has also received some love. Also inspired by UE4 rendering techniques, I have made some improvements to reduce texture tiling effect and improve distant terrain rendering.


6- Other Improvements 

– Numerous editor improvements (new tools, improved workflow…)
– Improved Post-process effects visuals and performance
– Engine architecture improvements
– Base gameplay systems integration

With all this work, the new rendering engine of Dangerous Rays is now stable and for now i will mostly stay away from graphics programming till the release of Alpha 18 and spend more time on the remaining things (gameplay) :)

Here is the global changelog of the rendering side of the new engine:

– Renderer is now based on DirectX 11 graphic API (old version was OpenGL 2.1 wich is the equivalent of DirectX 9)
– Added Physically Based Rendering (PBR) support
– Improved deferred rendering technique
– Multithreaded graphic engine (using up to 3 CPU cores)
– Much faster and efficient occlusion culling system
– Added skinned decals support
– Improved decals system (used for bullet holes, blood on walls…)
– Improved decals performance
– Improved textures filtering quality
– Improved post-process effects system
– Improved and optimized render to texture system
– New color grading post-process effect (similar to Unreal Engine 4 color grading technology)
– New XML based material system
– Specular color change support
– Added 4096×4096 pixels shadowmap support
– Added 3D textures support
– Improved HDR
– Improved HDR auto exposure
– Added HDR tone mapping
– Optimized shaders
– Improved sharpen filter shader performances and quality
– Improved transparency rendering system
– Improved shaders management system
– Improved global performances
– Improved compatibility with AMD GPU’s
– Improved images processing speed
– Improved material system flexibility
– Improved compatibility with video recording softwares
– Improved animated textures performances
– Added “Sepia” post-process effect support
– Added “FilmGrain” post-process effect support
– Added “Vibrance” post-process effect support
– Added “Luminance Sharpen” post-process effect support
– Added “Vignette” post-process effect support
– Added “Chromatic Aberration” post-process effect support
– Improved “Depth Of Field” post-process effect
– Improved light glow effect
– Improved Bloom quality
– Added “Anamorphic Lens Flares” effect support
– Added “LiftGammaGain” effect support
– Fixed potential compatibility problems with gamers laptops powered with AMD graphics cards
– Added color blindness filters support
– Improved “Godrays” post-process effect
– Improved SSAO effect
– Improved SSAA (Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing) quality and performance
– Added official NVIDIA DSR technology support
– Improved deffered rendering GBuffer color precision
– Added shader bytecode caching system
– Fixed “Pink” red tone coloration bug
– Added lit particles support
– Added threaded occlusion culling support
– Improved texture detail mapping shader
– Improved shader tangent binormal vector calculation
– Improved normal maps compression quality
– Improved texture mipmaps filtering quality
– Added Variance Shadow Mapping support
– Added texture arrays support
– Added ribbon trail effect support
– Added video playback support (.OGV format)
– Added height fog effect support
– Added shader cache system
– Added PBR area lights support
– Reduced SSAO visual artifacts with vegetation
– Added “ACES Filmic Tone Mapping” support
– Added “Sky Ambient Lighting” effect support
– Added “Sky Atmosphere effect” support
– Improved post-process effects management system

I am continuing to work as hard and as fast as I can. I am planning to show some new screenshots soon so stay tuned on Facebook/Twitter !

Thank you for your support !


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