A little late report. We know we missed April & May in the middle. But don’t worry. We’ve been busy!
So…what’s new in the Ogre 2.1 development branch?
1. Added depth texture support! This feature has been requested many times for a very long time. It was about time we added it!
Now you can write directly to depth buffers (aka depth-only passes) and read from them. This is very useful for Shadow Mapping. It also allows us to do PCF filtering in hardware with OpenGL.
But you can also read the depth buffers from regular passes, which is useful for reconstructing position in Deferred Shading systems, and post-processing effects that need depth, like SSAO and Depth of Field, without having to use MRT or another emulation to get the depth.
We make the distinction between “depth buffer” and “depth textures”. In Ogre, “depth textures” are buffers that have been requested to be read from as a texture at some point in time. If you want to ever use it as a texture, you’ll want to request a depth texture (controlled via RenderTarget::setPreferDepthTexture).
A “depth buffer” is a depth buffer that you will never be reading from as a texture and that can’t be used as such. This is because certain hardware gets certain optimizations or gets more precise depth formats available that would otherwise be unavailable if you ask for a depth textures.
For most modern hardware though, there’s probably no noticeable performance difference in this flag.
Good news! We finally tagged the Ogre 1.9 branch as ‘stable‘, making it the new current and recommended version. We would advise you to update wherever possible, to benefit from all the fixes and improvements that made their way into the new release.
Right now, we don’t have any published SDKs yet, since we still rely on team and community members to help with the building and packaging process and that takes some time of course (we have it on our list to automate that process, but so far there always were more pressing topics to tackle 😉 ). But I have already heard that Windows SDKs are well underway and I expect the other ones to surface soon as well. We will update the download page as they become available and also try to update the announcement thread in the forums.
For an outline of the changes, have a look at the collected Ogre 1.9 change log in the wiki and at our JIRA tracker for all tickets fixed/solved by 1.9.
So what’s next? We are already working on Ogre 1.10 which will contain the changes from three of our five GSoC 2013 projects (details in the planning thread). In parallel, the work on the revamped Ogre 2.0 will continue as well…we’ve also got a related news post upcoming that will support those efforts. But as usual, we heavily rely on you as he community to support us with JIRA tickets, tracking down bugs and creating patches and adding new features. So chime in, whenever possible. Thanks!
BTW: With the release of Ogre 1.9 and the start of development for Ogre 1.10, we took the opportunity to get back to properly using the ‘default‘ branch, meaning Ogre 1.9 has been merged into it as well as Ogre 1.10 (which then was closed off), so ‘default‘ is once again our bleeding edge for development and preparation of Ogre 1.10. Please use it as the target for all pull-requests unless they are specifically meant for either Ogre 1.9 (only bug fixes) or Ogre 2.0.
After we were able to announce some days ago that we could win Murat Sari as our official Android port maintainer, we we are now very happy to tell you that we got yet another new addition to our Ogre3D dev team:
Jan Drabner (alias TheSHEEEP) joined as the official MinGW port maintainer!
Team Role: MinGW Maintainer
Location: Berlin, Germany
About: Jan currently works as a Technical Director at a message entertainment company in Berlin, programming mainly in C/C++ and ActionScript 3. He came into first contact with Ogre during his apprenticeship of Game Design and 3D Programming at the Games Academy and felt comfortable with the engine and the community, so he stayed and followed the further development of the engine. When he also started using Ogre at his job, he decided that it was about time to do something for the community and joined the team in July 2012 as MinGW maintainer.
Welcome to the official Ogre3D dev team!
Once again, we can happily announce a new addition to our official Ogre3D development team: Murat Sari, alias wolfmanfx.
He will be mainly covering the often-requested Ogre3D Android port as well as help out with scene management improvements and RTSS / material system related developments.
Murat ‘Wolfmanfx’ Sari
Team Role: Android port maintainer + General work with scene management / RTSS / Material system
Location: Austria, Leoben
About: Murat has a B.Sc in Software Engineering and a Master in Computer Graphics and has been working with OGRE since 2005. He started programming 16 years ago on TI-92 (Basic) and did his first game on it. His primary work since university involved data visualization with real time sensor data but at night he does open source programming – because he loves to share. At present he is working as a freelance general purpose application/game programmer and also taught a “Game Programming” course with OGRE this year.
Glad to have you on-board!