Basic Directional Shadows

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(Posted 1 month ago) RonTek

Attempt at explaining directional shadows with example Blitz3D code. This is nearly a re-release of a pseudo-tutorial I released ages ago. I refer to this as a pseudo-tutorial because I'm actually quite concerned that this will seem like total utter jibberish since I'm horrible at explaining things... This is based off code that someone posted in a forum a few years ago (great learning material). I don't know his name, but if you know who I'm talking about please inform me, he deserves alot of credit.

Author: Kalisme


;Attempt at explaining directional shadows

;This is mearly a re-release of a pseudo-tutorial I released ages ago.
;I refur to this as a pseudo-tutorial because I'm actually quite
;concerned that this will seem like total utter jibberish
;since I'm horrible at explaining things...
;This is based off code that someone posted in a forum
;a few years ago (great learning material).
;I don't know his name, but if you know who I'm talking about
;please inform me, he deserves alot of credit.

;Anywho, this code casts a directional shadow from a caster entity
;onto a receiver entity. It may not be the most stunning style
;of casting shadows, but it's quite fast (when coded right)
;and seems to blend quite well into a blitz3d game engine.
;I hope I help at least one person and someone uses it to
;fancy-up a game n_n

;This was also the basis of my ShaKAL library I was working on
;a long time ago. (If anyone remembers it)

Graphics3D 800,600,0,2
SetBuffer BackBuffer()
AmbientLight 0,0,0

;the size of the shadows texture.
;(remember To use base 2... eg: 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512)
;make sure it's smaller than the games resolution...
;eg: you can't render a 512x512 map on a 320x240 screen...
Global ssize=64
Global shadow_tex=CreateTexture(ssize,ssize,16+32) ;create the shadow texture
;lets say the default zoom the shadow camera is 1.(it's actually .06, but 1 sounds easyier :P )
;so if Xscale = 1, the zoom = 1/Xscale# = 1
;but if Xscale is smaller than 1 it will make the camera zoom in more.
;It's hard for me to explain... play with it, you'll get it in time.
Global Xscale#=1*(.8/4)

;creating and setting up the shadow rendering camera.
CameraViewport shadowcam,0,0,ssize,ssize    ;the viewport the shadows will be rendered through.
CameraClsColor shadowcam,255,255,255        ;Yup, white background for shadow textures.
CameraProjMode shadowcam,2                  ;Orthographic view, sorry, I've only figured out very simple directional shadows.
CameraZoom shadowcam,.06/xscale#            ;though the function "shadow_test" does this every time it's used, here it is for you to see anyway. It's not needed here.
CameraFogMode shadowcam,1                   ;The fog is put on so it seems like everythings white... to make a caster visable to the camera, disable fogging to that object.
CameraFogRange shadowcam,1,1
CameraFogColor shadowcam,255,255,255

HideEntity shadowcam ;we don't want it onscreen now.

;just setting up the scene========
camera=CreateCamera()                   ;<-the game camera
    PositionEntity camera,0,5,-15
scene=CreateSphere()                        ;<-later used as the receiver.
    ScaleEntity scene,20,1,20
caster=CreateCone()                     ;<-the object that shall cast a shadow.
UpdateNormals caster
EntityShininess caster, .2
    EntityColor caster,200,0,0
    RotateEntity caster,40,90,60
    PositionEntity caster, 0,2,0
    ScaleEntity caster, 1,2,1.5
light=CreateLight(2)                    ;<-the light source
    vis_light = CreateSphere(12,light)  ;<-sphere used to make the light source visable.
        EntityColor vis_light,0,200,0
        EntityFX vis_light,1
    PositionEntity light,-20,8,-1

;placing the shadow texture onto the receiver...
;but If you make a shadow lib For a game,
;You'll probably want this in the actual function... not here.
EntityTexture scene,shadow_tex

;Main loop============================================
While quit=0
MoveEntity light,0,0,1:TurnEntity light,0,-5,0 ;A rotating light source. Much more intresting.
TurnEntity caster,0,0,.5
If KeyHit(1) Then quit=1
shadow_test(shadowcam,camera,light,caster,scene) ;<- our function.

Text 500,10,"Xscale#: "+ Xscale#
Text 500,20,"zoom: "+ .06/Xscale#
Text 300,30,"hit ''<-'' & ''->'' to change the Xscale#."

If KeyHit(203) Then xscale#=Xscale#*.8
If KeyHit(205) Then xscale#=Xscale#*1.2

;shadow_test function:
;I made this to help explain the how the real magic is done.
;used like so:
;           The shadow camera used to render the shadows.
;           The in game camera used to render the game.
;           The light source.
;           The object that shadows are casted from.
;           Where the shadows land onto.
Function shadow_test(s_camera,g_camera,s_light,s_caster,s_receiver)

CameraZoom s_camera,.06/xscale#     ;<-setting up the zoom for the shadow rendering camera.

cleartexture(shadow_tex)    ;<- I added this because alot of graphics cards seem to render fog differant to mine.. Hopefully this fixes the blurring problem.
HideEntity g_camera         ;The in game camera must be hidden,
ShowEntity s_camera         ;and the shadow camera must become visable.

EntityFX s_caster,1+8       ;<- setting up the caster:
EntityColor s_caster,0,0,0  ;It needs to be black and unnefexted by fog and lights.

;The shadow rendering camera must be placed at
;the light source Then pointed at the caster.
PositionEntity s_camera,EntityX(s_light,1),EntityY(s_light,1),EntityZ(s_light,1)
PointEntity s_camera,s_caster

;Here we render the camera and convert it to a texture.
Color 255,255,255: Rect 0,0,ssize,ssize,0 ;<-this rectangle is used to cull anything that tries to poke outside of the textures boundry box.
CopyRect 0,0,ssize,ssize,0,0,BackBuffer(),TextureBuffer(shadow_tex)

;The surface and verticy loop.
;This loops through every surface of the receiver mesh,
;Then every surfaces vertecies.
;Our main focus should be the
;"Tformpoint" And "vertextexcoords" commands.
;These commands actually paint the texture onto the
;receiver correctly.
For s=1 To CountSurfaces(s_receiver) 
    For v=0 To CountVertices(surf)-1 
        TFormPoint VertexX(surf,v),VertexY(surf,v),VertexZ(surf,v),s_receiver,s_camera
        VertexTexCoords surf,v,(TFormedX()/Xscale#)/32+0.5,1-((TFormedY()/Xscale#)/32+.5) 

;Here we just switch the attributes of the caster back to normal.
;In an actual game engine you might have to make this more complex.
;I suggest keeping the old attributes in tempory memory then
;calling them back at about this point.
EntityFX s_caster,0
EntityColor s_caster,200,0,0

;here we hide the shadow camera and bring back the game camera,
;ready to go back to the main game loop like nothing ever happend.
ShowEntity g_camera
HideEntity s_camera

End Function

;This last little function holds no real importance, it just clears a texture and makes it white.
;I added this because when I first released this code I found alot of graphics cards don't make
;the fog as thick as mine (I'm guessing it's because my card it cheap), and the shadow texture
;Grabbed the old shadow texture off the ground and blurred with the new one...
;very annoying and unpretty.... Oh well... Hope this works much better.
Function cleartexture(tex)
SetBuffer TextureBuffer( tex ) 
Color 255,255,255
Rect 0,0,TextureWidth(tex)+1,TextureHeight(tex)+1
SetBuffer BackBuffer()
End Function

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