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Thought about 3d

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OK. We all know I've got a workflow and 2d render system for 3d. But one thing always keeps cropping up:
position of 3d objects, cameras, lights etc.

My thought here is take the concept of a 3d editor and deal with just the top down view. and at any stage in a game you could call up the view and it would show you the actual placement of 3d models, cameras etc.

How you use this view I am not sure as yet, but it would certainly be helpful to see layout and positions of things - maybe with other data being showed too - like camera frustrum?

I'm sort of brainstorming here....

As your whole engine is already 3D ... why limit to "top down" - you should be able to render it at any camera angle you want (plus the information billboards as "always facing towards camera" 2d things)


you've slightly missed the point. we already have the 3d view from the camers. this is the overview showing everything including the camera lights, etc
Here' is the first working version:

jeez that was quick and painless...  :o
OK addendum to Derons post. Here are 2 shots of Neon Overdrive with the 3d overview.
Each shown grid position is 1. with the camera being the cyan line, position and eye
first the main menu

And now for the more interesting shot from in game:
Here you can see the track in front of you, plus some trees and the ship off to the right.
The 2 thick white bands - thinner and longer at bottom and thicker shorter (just above center) are the draw horizon items. so instantly you can see how the game is being drawn - but dont forget that this isn't static it is updating with each frame too...

for the really curious - although you wont see it in the game - The ship only moves left / right. it's everything else that moves.

the map is checked and an item is placed in a 3d list far away (around position z300)
each frame the 3d list is checked and everything in the list is decremented by the current speed value. so the above item at z300 become z298
then you render everything to the camera and voila - moving roadway

and for collision - when a 3d object is drawn - just check if it is near the ship - simple
There's more to it than that but that's the simple explanation. I wonder how I did the curved roads?

And for the really really curious....
I've got something in the back of my mind to do with what you send to the gpu RE proper 3d... stay tuned


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