News

Ogre Ecosystem Roundup #3

following the last post about what is going on around Ogre, here is another update.

Ogre-next project split

So lets put first things first; Ogre v1 and Ogre v2 are not only different versions of Ogre, but rather separate projects. Now officially.

While this sounds like big news, actually it is not that much of a change. If you followed the development of Ogre, you already noticed that the two branches moved independently in two separate directions. Hence, we had to write the what version to choose page.

Generally, Ogre2 focuses on the latest and fastest techniques, Ogre1 focuses on backward compatibility and keeping old projects running. Also Ogre1 is developed on github, while Ogre2 still lives on bitbucket.

With bitbucket now abandoning mercurial, we decided to move Ogre2 to github as well. While we could have kept it in a branch, we instead decided to create a separate repository with own issue tracking, landing page etc. So, enter ogre-next.

This also makes it possible to follow semver with Ogre1 and make a 2.0 release when needed.

read more…

PCC / VCT hybrid progress

Last time I mentioned we were working on PCC / VCT Hybrid (PCC = Parallax Corrected Cubemaps, VCT = Voxel Cone Tracing).

I just implemented storing depth into the alpha channel, which is used to improve the quality of the hybrid.

Because we often use RGBA8 cubemaps, 8-bits is not enough to store the depth. Therefore we only store the deviation from the ideal probe shape.

The original PCC algorithm boils down to:

    posInProbeShape = cameraCenter + reflDir * fDistance;

Where cameraCenter is artist-defined (where the PCC camera was placed to build the probe) and posInProbeShape is also artist-defined (by controlling the size of the probe)

PCC is about finding reflDir mathematically:

    reflDir = (posInProbeShape - cameraCenter) / fDistance;

However we already know reflDir after executing PCC’s code.

Now the depth compression comes to effect by slightly altering the formula:

    realReconstructedPosition = cameraCenter + reflDir * fDistance * depthDeviation;

The variable depthDeviation is in range [0; 2] (which we store in the alpha channel) and thus 8-bit should be enough.

Technically this could introduce a few artifacts because we only store the depth in range [0; maximum_distance * 2]

Storing the depth deviation dramatically improves the hybrid’s quality!

But let’s not rush.

read more…

Voxel Cone Tracing

Over the last couple months we have been working on Voxel Cone Tracing (VCT), a Global Illumination solution.

Voxel Cone Tracing could be seen as an approximated version of ray marching.

The scene is voxelized and three voxels are generated, containing albedo, normals and emissive properties. In other words, we build a Minecraft-looking representation of the world:

read more…

New build scripts for 2.1 and 2.2!

We’ve often been told building Ogre from source is hard.

And they’re right!

Which is why we tried our best and prepared quick start scripts that will clone all necessary dependencies, configure CMake and build for you!

Grab the download scripts:

Unzip them and run the script that matches your platform and OS!

For example if you’re on Windows and have Visual Studio, run either:

  • build_ogre_Visual_Studio_15_2017_Win32.bat
  • build_ogre_Visual_Studio_15_2017_x64.bat

depending on the architecture you want to build for (e.g. 32-bit vs 64-bit)

The scripts will automatically start building, but you will also find the Visual Studio solution files under Ogre/build/OGRE.sln

If you’re on Linux, run either:

  • ./build_ogre_linux_c++98.sh
  • ./build_ogre_linux_c++11.sh
  • ./build_ogre_linux_c++latest.sh

Which one you need depends on the C++ version you’re targetting. C++98 compiles much faster than the rest, but may have incompatibilities (particularly with std::string) if mixed in a project build for C++11 or newer

There are currently no build scripts for Apple ecosystem. For building for iOS, refer to the Setting up Guide. The instructions for Linux should work for building for macOS, but may require additional manual intervention.

We hope this makes your life easier! And let us know if you encounter problems with these scripts! The goal is that building Ogre from scratch becomes as simple as tapping a few clicks.

Further discussion on forum post.

Progress Report July 2019

Hoo boy! This report was scheduled for January but couldn’t be released on time for various reasons.

We have another report coming as this is old news already! We have another report coming mostly talking about VTC (Voxel Cone Tracing) which is a very interesting feature that has been in development during this year.

But until then, let’s talk about all the other features that have been implemented so far!

read more…

2.2 branch no longer WIP

If you’re tracking our repo you may have observed we renamed the v2-2-WIP branch into v2-2

What does this mean?

It means the branch is stabilizing. Back when it was v2-2-WIP, it was very unstable. Checking out that branch meant you could find crashes, memory leaks, missing or broken features; and the API interface was changing very quickly, thus updating the repository could mean your code would no longer compile and required adapting.

Over the last couple months, the API interfaces on 2.2 had begun to settle down, bugs were fixed and there were no apparent leaks. In fact some teams started already using it.

Now that it is no longer WIP, while there could still be API breakage on the 2.2 branch or accidental crashes/regressions, it shouldn’t be anything serious or that requires intensive porting.

We still have a few missing features (such as saving textures as DDS) but they’re not used frequently.

Coming up next

We still owe you a Progress Report of what’s been going on in 2.1 and 2.2 in the past year and a half; we have that written down but still needs a few reviews.

Coming up next is:

  • More real time GI improvements
  • VR performance optimizations
  • We are planning on a Vulkan/D3D12 backend

Additionally we have a community member working on GPU-driven rendering and GPU particle FXs; while another community member just contributed Morph animations to 2.1

Yes, Morph animations are finally HW accelerated again! We are evaluating on porting this contribution to 2.2; it shouldn’t take long but we’re evaluating if it can be improved with the use of Compute Shaders

What about Ogre 2.1?

If someone wants to teach Matias aka dark_sylinc a quick automated way to create installer SDKs, that is welcomed! (he never liked handling that!!!)

Ogre 2.1 has been very stable. Eugene ported several improvements from the 1.x branch; and we currently are dealing with a regression that caused due to how PF_BYTE_LA / PF_L8 format is treated in D3D11, but other than that 2.1 is ready for release.

The morph animation contribution is brand new so that may need a bit more testing.

If you don’t see an SDK that is mostly due to time and knowledge to package an SDK.

If someone else wants to step in and maintain packaging, that is welcomed!

Further discussion in the Forum Post

Ogre 1.12 released

We just tagged the Ogre 1.12 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 1 year of work from various contributors when compared to the previous 1.11 release. Compared to the last Ogre 1.11 release (1.11.5), however we are only talking about 4 months. Here you will mainly find bugfixes and the architectural changes that justify the version number bump.

For source code and precompiled SDKs, see the download page. Currently the Android is still missing. We will update the download page as it becomes available.

read more…

Ogre 1.11 User Survey Results

During the period of Feb 27. – March 27. we received 60 replies. At the same time the ogre 1.11.5 Windows SDK alone was downloaded 644 times. So while the results are significant, they are probably not representative.

As statistics are lies, better take a look at the actual numbers yourself.

Specific replies

Following the #MeanTweets idea I also wrote some short replies to the criticism, that you can read below:

read more…

Ogre 1.11 User Survey 2019

Those of you who have been around Ogre for some time might remember that back in 2018, we conducted a survey about our user base. The results of which can be found here.

As we have started the 1.12 development cycle we would like to assess to correctly emphasize the development and ideally drop some barely used features that will free resources for more important things.

So for the next four weeks until the 27th of March, 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 11 questions. It should not take up much time since most of the questions are simple checkbox or radio button questions.

Link to survey

We want to thank you all upfront for helping us to develop Ogre further and getting some valuable insight information about the people using the engine!

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.