Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creating a DirectX Scene - Planning

My coursework for my DirectX module this term calls for me to create a small scene rendered using DirectX. I struggled for quite a while with ideas for what sort of scene to create, until today settling on the idea of a space scene. In today's blog, I'll cover my plans for this scene and what features will need to be added. I'll give updates in the future as I work on the scene.

The Basics

For the basics, I plan to have a small solar system with planets rotating a sun at different speeds. The sun will serve as a light source. The viewer will be able to move around the scene and view it from different angles and locations. 

In class, we've already accomplished several of the basics:
  • Spherical model loaded in
  • Texture loaded for model
  • Directional, ambient, and specular lighting coded
  • Input processing added
In addition to these, I will need to add several features to create my minimal scene:
  • Multiple objects with models and textures loaded in at once
  • Movement of objects
  • Input processing to catch movement keys
  • Movement of camera (player)
  • Light comes from a point within the scene (direction vector depending on location relative to sun light source) rather than an external point (single direction vector the same for all objects)
With these features, I will have what I consider a minimal functioning scene. Once this is finished, I can build on it to make a more complex and interesting piece of coursework.

The Fancy Stuff

From the basics described above, I will continually add features to create a more interesting scene. These might include some of the following:
  • Sky-box - a background of stars and interesting space scenery
  • Asteroid field - more interesting models than just spheres
  • Space station - similarly, more complex model, perhaps with animation (rotating wheel)
  • Comet with ice trail particle effects
  • Space cloud particle effects
  • Fire effects around sun
  • Spaceship UI overlay
  • Lens flare - possibly an actual realistic reason for lens flare, seen through a spaceship wind-shield while looking at the sun!
  • Bloom - similarly, from looking at the sun

Blogging About It

I'll be keeping a development journal here on the blog for both this and my other coursework. This will help me stay on track with my coursework, assist in me in my final post-mortems of my work process, and I hope be an interesting insight into my work process. 

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