Global illumination – Low frequency ambient occlusion

  A couple of posts ago I mentioned I would try my hand at implementing some more general purpose low frequency ambient occlusion. The article here suggests a blurry overhead shadowmap to darken areas under trees and such. With this as inspiration, I came up with a technique I’m fairly pleased with. My general principle is […]

Know your SSAO artifacts

Screen space ambient occlusion is a  global illumination technique that’s pretty commonly used in games. It approximates the occlusion of a surface by other nearby surfaces. The resulting term is generally incorporated into the ambient lighting equation. It works on a depth map of the scene by shooting rays from one particular pixel into other […]


This might prove useful to someone. This is an XNA implementation of Timothy Lottes’ FXAA algorithm. Here it is. I’d tried it a while back (perhaps before he released his final version), and was never able to get good results – aesthetically or performance-wise. I’m not sure what was different this time, but it really […]

Modifying shaders at runtime

I added this feature to my engine a few weeks ago. This lets me modify my shader in visual studio and see the results in my game within a few seconds, instead of needing to stop, recompile and restart the game. This is a feature most real game engines have, so it makes sense that […]

Water shader follow up

Since my last post about my water shader, I’ve been making continual tweaks. The next big thing I did was to investigate water optics. I want to have control over a small set of parameters that let me get the kind of water I want: open ocean, swamps, lakes, etc…   Fake reflections revisited Before […]

Faking water reflections with fourier coefficients.

In working with the water shader for my game, I was wondering how I’ll handle reflections. I’m already pretty much at the per-frame time budget limit, so I’m not sure I can handle rendering even a simplified low resolution reflection map; not to mention the limitations this results in for having different water planes (for […]

HLSL assembly instruction slots for ps_3_0

I keep loosing my link to this page so I thought I would make a copy of it here for my purposes. I’m currently trying to optimize some shaders that use a lot of sincos. As you can see below, this is 8 instruction slots, and it only works on a scalar. And the HLSL […]

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