News

Ogre 14.2 released

Ogre 14.2.0 was just released. This release contains some significant bug-fixes and feature additions, which we will discuss in more detail below. We recommend all users of the 14.x branch to update.

For a full overview of the changes, see the changelog.

Table of Contents

ImGui based ConfigDialog

The ApplicationContext can now display a ImGui based ConfigDialog, when you call runRenderingSettingsDialog().
The advantage of using ImGui is that we can get rid of platform specific toolkits like Xaw, which is necessary on Linux to be Wayland compatible. For the other platforms, this merely unifies the UI.
Furthermore, if you are already using ImGui, you will be able to integrate the Rendering Settings into your existing UI using the DrawRenderingSettings method.

The platform specific getNativeConfigDialog() based Dialogs will be removed in a future release.

Vertex Cache Optimization in MeshUpgrader

MeshUpgrader now accepts the -optvtxcache flag to improve the vertex cache utilization of the given mesh.

This reorders the index buffer of the mesh such that triangles are rendered in order of proximity. If enabled, the MeshUpgrade will print the change of the “average cache miss ratio (ACMR)” metric. It measures the number of cache misses per triangle and thus ranges from 3.0 (all 3 vertices missed) to about 0.5 for a convenient mesh.

Note that the algorithm for this was present since Ogre 1.6, it was just not exposed anywhere unless you explicitly processed your meshes by hand.

If you want to know more about the topic, see here. The algorithm in ogre has quadratic complexity though, but should provide better results.

Cleaned up samples

To integrate the ImGui based ConfigDialog, the SampleBrowser and the Samples were refactored, and now resemble more idiomatic usage of Ogre, such as input filtering using the InputListenerChain and interaction with ApplicationContext. This refactoring also led to the removal of a significant amount of boilerplate code.

Ecosystem Roundup

blender2ogre

Thanks to the work of “Guillermo Ojea Quintana” blender2ogre now supports manually specified meshes for LOD levels – in addition to auto generating mesh LOD using Blender or Ogre. See the documentation for details.

Additionally, he did some profiling and we could resolve a rather embarrassing bottleneck resulting in a import and export speed improvement of 10x.

ogre-meshviewer

Again thanks to the contributions of “Guillermo Ojea Quintana”, ogre-meshviewer now has nice ImGui based RenderSystem config dialog, wireframe mode, better LOD level inspection and a “Open File” dialog.

Ogre 14 User Survey 2024

Those of you who have been around Ogre for some time might remember that back in 2022, we conducted a survey about our user base. The results of which can be found here.

For the Ogre 14 development cycle we would like to assess to correctly emphasize the development on the most used features.

So for the next four weeks until the 25th of February, you have the chance to participate and help us to get an impression about our user base, how Ogre is used and share some wishes for the future. Simply follow the link and make your way through the 17 questions.

By dedicating 5-10 minutes of your time, you provide immensely valuable feedback in understanding the current situation and needs of the Ogre community. Your support is greatly appreciated.

PS: We would be glad if you could spread the word about the survey via all available channels to all potential Ogre users, because: The more participants, the more accurate are the results of course.

Ogre-Next 2.3.3 Daedalus & 2.2.7 Cerberus released

These are maintenance releases. Little effort should be spent porting to these newer versions.

OgreNext 2.3.2 release is skipped because there was a relatively minor issue discovered after its release and 2.3.3 fixed that.

For a full list of changes see the Github release for 2.3.3 and the Github release for 2.2.7

Source and SDK is in the download page.

Discussion in forum thread.

Pst! We’re deciding on name candidates for the upcoming Ogre-Next 3.0 release. Make sure to chime in!

Ogre 14.1 released

Ogre 14.1.0 was just released. This release contains some significant bug-fixes and feature additions, which we will discuss in more detail below. We recommend all users of the 14.x branch to update.

For a full overview of the changes, see the changelog.

Table of Contents

Rectangular Area Lights

A new spot light type LT_RECTLIGHT has been introduced along with the Light::setSourceSize method, enabling the rendering of rectangular area lights. In order to process this light type in your shader, verify that the spotlight_params.w autoparam is equal to 2. Then, spotlight_params.xyz contains the light width in view space, and light_attenuation.xyz contains the light height. Alternatively, just use the RTSS.

Correct whitespace loading

Historically, Ogre had incorrect glyph placement due to the initial  authors not fully understanding the freetype glyph conventions. 

The majority of these issues were addressed in version 13.0, but one notable  exception remained: the width of the whitespace character. This was  caused by a bug that prevented the width from being correctly read from freetype, so Ogre used the width of the number ‘0’ instead. This issue has now been resolved, as can seen below

However, to achieve  this, you must load the code-point 32. Failure to do so will result in  the ‘?’ placeholder character being displayed following the behaviour of ImGui.

RTSS: support for multiple shadow casting lights

Up until now, the shadow mapping SRS had only supported a single light source with the option of using parallel splits for increased resolution, due to the fact that it initially only supported PSSM.

I have finally came around to refactoring this code such it supports multiple shadow casting lights now.
By default this implements additive shadows, which was the most costly shadowing variant when not using integrated shadows. As we are using integrated shadows here, it is basically free now.
Only when using per-vertex lighting, we fall back to modulative shadows as all lights were already evaluated in the vertex shader.

You can configure the number of lights that should be considers via:

srs->setParameter("light_count", "2")

Ogre 14 released

We just tagged the Ogre 14 release, 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.
This release represents almost 2 years of work from various contributors when compared to the previous major 13 release. Compared to the last Ogre minor release (13.6), however we are only talking about 6 months. Here, you will mainly find bug-fixes and the architectural changes that justify the version number bump.

Table of Contents

For source code and pre-compiled SDKs, see the downloads page.

read more…

Ogre 13.6 released

Ogre 13.6.0 was just released. This is the last scheduled release for the 13.x series and contains some significant bug-fixes and feature additions, which we will discuss in more detail below. We recommend all users of Ogre 13.x to update.

Generally speaking, this release brings much better lighting/ shadowing due to several bugfixes that previously degraded results.

For a full overview of the changes, see the changelog.

Table of Contents

RTSS Terrain

Already mentioned in the 13.5 announcement, this has now finally landed. Thanks to the preliminary testing by the rigs-of-rods guys, the remaining bugs have been ironed out. This feature allows to easily enable multiple lights or switch to PBR equations altogether.

RTSS based Terrain with multiple lights

Additionally, the layer normal blending equations have been improved and now multi-layer terrain has improved lighting.

Improved LiSPSM Quality

Here, I finally found the bug that significantly reduced the shadowmap resolution, when using LiSPSM (see above). This bug also affected PSSM, which internally uses LiSPSM.

Additionally, I could add shadow pancaking for directional lights. This is a feature also present in Ogre Next, that improves depth shadow z-resolution and thus reduces shadow acne.

Shadow pancaking is automatically used on RenderSystems that support depth clamping, like GL3+, D3D11 and Vulkan.

Image Codec implemented in Rust

To improve the security of the Ogre codebase, I looked into using the Rust language. The most critical part of Ogre is probably texture loading, as it has to deal with a plethora of different image formats. As astart, I have implemented a new Codec_RsImage.
Image codec are plugins since Ogre 1.11, this means that the Rust part is completely optional and you do not have to update your build environment, if you dont need it.

The new Codec internally uses image-rs to load the various formats, that are all implemented in Rust and thus provide memory safety.
Unfortunately, currently the Rust implementation is slower than the highly optimized C libs that have been around for decades. However, as Firefox is using image-rs internally too, I assume performance will catch-up over time.

UAV support in Ogre Script and compute shaders in D3D11

The texture shows the grid of GPU thread-groups that are generating it

Complementing GL3+, D3D11 now supports compute shaders as well. The respective Sample in the SampleBrowser will show you how to do it.

Additionally, that sample now got considerably simpler too, as you can now specify in the ogre script that you want to use a texture for writing in the compute shader, as

texture_unit {
   texture …
   unordered_access_mip 0
}

This will bind mipmap level 0, at the binding point of the texture_unit order UAV access (D3D11 jargon) or image load/ store (GL jargon).

IBL support added to the RTSS

Now the RTSS can add indirect, image based lighting (IBL) to PBR materials. To enable it via material scripts, you have to specify

rtshader_system {
   lighting_stage metal_roughness
   image_based_lighting texture lightroom_14b_ibl.ktx
}

Note, that it requires the metal_roughness parametrization to work. For best results, generate the cubemaps using cmgen tool of the Filament project.

While at it, the cubemap support was generally improved. Ogre now can correctly load the HDR .ktx files generated by cmgen (GL3+, D3D11 only) and also use the slightly more sane _px, _nx, _py, _ny .. layer suffixes in additon to the _fr, _bk, _lf .. suffixes it traditionally used.

Ogre 13.5 released

Ogre 13.5.0 was just released. This release contains some significant bug-fixes and feature additions, which we will discuss in more detail below. We recommend all users of the 13.x branch to update.

For a full overview of the changes, see the changelog.

Table of Contents

Automatic Instancing

Visible SubEntities can now be automatically batched up for Hardware Instancing.

While this is not as fast as using the respective InstanceManager class, it requires no code changes and still offers a nice speed-up (see above).

The idea is that you specify that your vertex shader is capable of instancing – similar to how you would do for hardware skinning:

includes_instancing true

Ogre will then do the rest and provide the world matrices through an automatically created instance buffer to the shader.

The RTSS will also set the respective flag, so enabling hardware instancing now merely takes only one line in the material script:

rtshader_system
{
   transform_stage instanced
}

Non shadow-casting lights and PSSM integration

The PSSM implementation in RTSS was improved to play along with multiple light sources. While it still only supports one shadow-casting light, other non-casting light are now correctly integrated – as shown above.

While at it, the PBR lighting got some fixes too. All computations are now correctly gamma composed and the ambient lighting is no longer applied twice. Due to this your PBR materials might appear darker (as typical for a PBR workflow).

Object Space Bones

Thanks to a hint by forum user loath, Ogre now offers the option to do the bone-to-world transformation on the GPU – aka “Object Space Bones”.

Traditionally Ogre passed bones to shaders (for HW skinning) via the world_*_array auto constant. Obviously this implied the bones to be in world space. To this end, Ogre did the transformation on the CPU. While this does not add much for a few bones, it becomes noticeable if you got multiple skeletons with 40+ bones.

You can opt-in into the new behavior via MeshManager::setBonesUseObjectSpace.
Also see Renderable::getWorldTransforms for how to return the transformations for your custom renderables when doing so.

When using the RTSS for HW Skinning, it will automatically generate improved shaders, when the option is on.

Also, you can now use the bone_*_array alias instead of world_*_array for clarity. Note that world_*_array was exclusively used for bones by Ogre anyway.

Modernized Codebase

Finally, the codebase was overhauled to take advantage of C++11 constructs. Most notably, all functions are now annotated with override. This means that you can now enable -Wsuggest-override for code using Ogre to get the useful warnings.

Additionally, we now extensively use std::make_shared and for-each loops which slightly improve performance, but considerably improve code readability. The for-each refactoring is an ongoing effort by github user Joilnen.

Preview: RTSS Terrain

RTSS based Terrain with multiple lights

The RTSS implementation of the Terrain shaders is now fully feature complete compared to the previous custom shader generator implementation.
This required some architectural changes to RTSS, but now the system is more flexible as a whole.

When it comes to the Terrain component, this means that all of the RTSS flexibility is available now:

  • multiple lights are now supported and benefit from the PSSM integration mentioned above
  • the shadows now use the hardware PCF filtering of the RTSS implementation
  • you can use the GBuffer SRS to do Deferred Shading with the Terrain
  • you can use the PBR lighting SRS if you want

This is scheduled to be merged for 13.6, as I want to get a stable 13.5 out first and this is a rather invasive change (even thought there are no API breaks).

If you want to try it out right away and give feedback before it is merged, see this branch. It contains only the terrain changes on top of the 13.5.0 release.

Ecosystem Roundup

Thanks to Simon Schmeisser there are some recent Ogre 1.12 packages in Debian (compared to the previously available v1.9).
This allowed us to easily create a CI pipelines for most of the OGRECave addon projects, which will improve the stability of that code as well.

Next, our PIP package now includes the Vulkan RenderSystem. This makes ogre-python the easiest way to get started with Vulkan and Python. As far as I am aware no other python renderer exposes Vulkan yet.

Finally, my Steam Deck arrived and the first thing to do was of course this:

The additional testing on the AMD GPU in the deck resulted in some fixes for the Vulkan RenderSystem.

Game Highlight – SHMUP Creator

Today we want to present another Game highlight of Ogre3D based games. This time: SHMUP Creator

We asked the team behind the game if they could share some insights into the Ogre3D usage and how the game was built in general, and Suny was kind enough to provide those:

What is SHMUP Creator

SHMUP Creator is a shoot ’em up maker. It allows people to create games without any coding or scripting. The games can use 2D sprites or 3D models. The game editor offers a lot of features allowing people to create gameplay, weapons, particle effects, and so on. We tried to make this tool easy to use and powerful enough for more experienced users.
The team is tiny: I’m the only coder (+ musician + texture artist + sprite artist), and one other artist made the Art direction UI design and modeled all the 3D assets.

Ogre

I’m using Ogre 13 and the DirectX9c renderer. I only modified a few lines of Ogre code to simplify my workflow (for example, to not crash when a font is looking for a non-existent character), and I wrote a few simple particle affectors, like simple damping or another one that keeps an effect 2D. I also wrote all the shaders, trying to be pretty but fast.

Performance

Shoot ’em ups are simple games, but performance is very important. I wrote an optimized bullet engine that creates a manual mesh object per bullet type. So I can display hundreds of bullets with one draw call per type.
Also, the engine can create 3D or 2D games, and for 2D games, I’m displaying a quad per sprite. When a game is exported, I create static meshes for backgrounds to reduce the number of draw calls, and it helped quite a lot with performance. Users are quite surprised by the speed of the 3D engine. I’m not doing very fancy things (no GI or AO, no PBR for now) but it’s working quite well.

GUI and other libraries

The SHMUP Creator is mainly a tool, and obviously, the UI is a very important part of the product. I’m using MyGUI for this, with a lot of custom animations and transitions. I really enjoyed using MyGUI and I hope it will be maintained in the future! Other libraries used are Bullet for some simple ray/mesh collisions, Fmod for sound, assimp for 3D import and export, and SDL for gamepad and windows creation. I also use a tiny bit of boost and rapidxml for serialization.

Why Ogre

I started to work on this project a long, long time ago. Actually, it’s my first C++ project ever 🙂 I tried Unity, but their rendering engine was very bad at this time, so I choose Ogre. There are downsides, but the good thing for me was that I had to learn a lot of things in a variety of subjects and do everything by myself, like writing all the shaders, optimizing the rendering pipeline, etc. All that knowledge is invaluable to me and I use it every day in my day job. Also, the community is not very important those days, but people are quite friendly and I can always find someone to help me if I need some help (Thanks again Paroj!).

Spreading Ogre

SHMUP Creator is a game-making tool. I’m amazed by the quality of games made by the SHMUP Creator users: you can already play some of them on itch.io, and I hope some of them will be sold on Steam soon. So, in the end, I hope this product will help create a lot of games using Ogre 🙂

Suny

Ogre 13.4 released

Ogre 13.4.0 was just released. This release contains some significant bug-fixes and feature additions, which we will discuss in more detail below. We recommend all users of the 13.x branch to update.

Table of Contents

For a full overview of the changes, see the changelog.

Extended PBR-material support

with blender 2.8+ and blender2ogre 0.8.3, you can now choose to export PBR metal-roughness parameters instead of converting them to a FFP approximation as before.

While at it, several bugs in the RTSS PBR implementation were fixed. Now transparency, ambient lighting and PSSM shadows play nicely with PBR.

Bullet Integration now available as a Component

In the User Survey btogre was the most popular external Ogre component with over 53% votes.

To make life for those who use it easier, it is now integrated into the main repo as a component. This allows you to just build it as part of Ogre on one hand and on the other hand this ensures that it is integration tested by our CI.

VET_INT_10_10_10_2_NORM support added

Ogre now supports normalized INT_10_10_10_2 as the vertex format. This packs 3 signed values with 10bit precision and a fourth 2bit value into 4 bytes – the size required by a single float.

If you are using normal-maps, you will notice how this format is perfect to store a tangent with parity, while only requiring 25% of storage compared to 4 floats.

Additionally, you can use it to store normals where storage requirements drop to 33% too.
In both cases the 10bit resolution is typically sufficient.

The format is natively supported by GLES3, GL3+, Vulkan and Metal meaning that you also save bandwidth and VRAM.

With the other RenderSystems, Ogre will transparently unpack the data to float at mesh load time, so you at least can benefit from smaller mesh files.
E.g. a 76 MB mesh can be reduced to 50 MB, when using packed normals and tangents.

To update your meshes, OgreMeshUpgrader gained the option -pack, to be used like:

OgreMeshUpgrader -pack your.mesh

Other Additions

In other news Bites Input now not only handles Gamepads but generic Joysticks and Ogre can be used online through Google Colab.