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Skydomes, Expansive ground, Lights, and Shaders
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Mr Kidnapper
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Default Skydomes, Expansive ground, Lights, and Shaders - 11-27-2011, 05:04 AM

Title says it all. Instead of the plain one-color sky, I'd like the option to texture the background so I don't have to create a skydome/box that follows the camera around every 0 seconds.
This can be useful in creating Time of Day, where someone with appropriate software could render a sky with a sun (Hopefully we can get bloom effects one day) at different places to get a psuedo day-night cycle going.
People with skydomes don't need to set distance clipping to enormous sizes to appropriate their enormous skydomes.
People with skydomes do not have to import an object with enormous poly size (To get my 12MB skydome to look correctly and not have strange lines, I had to make a sphere with ~1000-4000 polys.)

Also, it would be nice to have a boolean for infinitely expansive ground. Say for example, people continue to build flight simulators or just generally have large worlds, without an infinitely expansive ground, makers would have to either force the current ground to move on the XY axis to a new position when the camera went a certain distance away, or teleport the camera to a new position Asteroids style.
How infinitely expansive ground would work: For a reserved name "ground", each time the camera went a certain distance away in the XY axis from the center of the ground object, say the ground was 500M in diameter, if the camera moved forward 125M (1/4 ground diameter), a new ground would be cloned or instanced and be placed 500M away in the appropriate direction as to seem seamlessly infinite. In short, tiling.
When the camera moves too far from a ground tile, the old one simply gets deleted, no harm done. If an object was relying on "ground" as a vehicle or otherwise, there shouldn't be a problem. After all, it is the same ground. If there is a problem, there shouldn't be a problem with having the original ground and four, even eight instanced grounds at the same time. A school computer could handle that.

As a side note; Volumetric lights. Sounds like a nice touch if you can. I'm pretty sure it's impossible in Java though. I think lights in Alice are a pretty ignored subject, and probably for good reason.
What I meant.

Shading: This is the reason. Y'see, the problem with Java3D is that by default, the "Smooth" shading style it uses is called the Gouraud shading style, and it is based on polys. Probably by now everyone that works in design knows to leave as little as humanly possibly to polys as they can.
Nowadays, people use... other shaders. Most notable is Phong, which is based on pixels rather than polys. The problem with Phong, at least when compared to Gouraud, is that it has a lot more calculations to do, though this is generally a non-factor when considering the average desktop or laptop.
Here's a video explaining the point made by some guy. It is Java3D.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RllLjmNdPw
   
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