I stuck TrentemÃ¸ller in the same room as Magnetosphere and they made a beautiful 4 minute long movie. Links at the end of this post.
As you might have noticed, I have been getting acquainted to additive blending, courtesy of OpenGL. It really fills the space with light. I was a bit worried that I would get addicted to it like I did the Photoshop lens-flare back in the late 90s, but here is why this is different from that.
The first time I tried to render a bunch of semi-transparent objects in a 3D space, I ran into a problem that I had not considered. Rendering with OpenGL and transparency requires that you render the far stuff first and the near stuff last. If you just render the objects in the order you made them (which is often the case with me and my addiction to ArrayLists), you will end up with odd inconsistencies with the transparencies. And unless you want to get involved with the headache of z-axis sorting, you would do what I usually do. Give up.
The beauty of additive blending, or so is my understanding, and here I will extend this sentence into a horribly long run-on by saying I am no OpenGL master in any sense of the word… no… more I am a beginner who is getting a lot of use out of a few lines of code that I read a short tutorial about or saw in use, etc… so there might be an easier way to deal with the z-sorting issue but I choose to assume for now that this is the best way to go about it because just LOOK at the results!!! So, as I was saying, the beauty is that I no longer have to worry about z-sorting. The additive blending bit handles all the z-axis headaches and gets me additive blending as a bonus! Sweet light!
Another thing I am starting to implement here is something that came about as a side effect from the video about using the Lemur. I was filming my laptop monitor with a Canon powershot and I didnt have the laptop monitor tilted to an angle perpendicular to the camera’s line of sight. It was tilted away a bit and it ended up adding a nice subtle gradient to the background fill which seemed to help the overall look of the piece.
So, what I ended up doing was rendering to LARGE gradient orbs in the background centered offscreen but extending into the screen. Their position rotates in the opposite direction as the camera’s rotation in the space. It seems to add quite a bit of depth and atmosphere.
Click here to view the quicktime version (92 Megs) or you can view the Dailymotion version below.