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3D Rendering and Material System Features
- New Cafu Material System that handles all rendering.
- The main MatSys components are Renderers, Materials, and Shaders.
- All material surface properties can be controlled by the mapper or texture artist via easy to understand material scripts.
- That is, even after a map or model is finished, the composition, translucency, filtering, modulation, blending, reflectiveness and all other properties of any material can be modified.
- This even works while the engine is running!
- Designed to be implemented on virtually anything:
- Operating Systems: Windows, Linux, MacOS, Pocket PC, Palm, DOS, …
- APIs: OpenGL 1.2 to 2.0, DirectX 7 to 9, Cg, GLSL, Mesa, software renderers, …
- Hardware: NVidia, ATI, 3Dlabs, consoles, …
- Cafu demo packages currently come with complete sets of renderers for Windows and Linux, each containing variants for:
- OpenGL 1.2 (mostly used as fall-back renderer for the Cafu demo),
- Cg with fp20/vp20 profile (for NV2X and higher GPUs),
- Cg with arbvp1/arbfp1 profile (for NV3X and higher GPUs),
- OpenGL 1.4+ extended with ARB vertex/fragment program (all modern GPUs from ATI, NVidia and others), and
- a “Null” renderer that is useful e.g. for performance profiling or dedicated Cafu servers.
- On start-up, Cafu automatically determines and loads the best renderer that is supported on the current system, so that highest image quality is obtained without user query.
- New special effects on the latest hardware can easily be exploited, while at the same time fall-back solutions for older hardware can always be provided.
- Direct import of jpeg, bmp, tga and png image file formats.
- Global resource management for efficient sharing of common textures and meshes.
- Powerful Pre-Caching System of all rendering resources for stutter-free animations.
State-of-the-Art Lighting Technology
- First engine ever to combine light-maps with dynamic lighting effects!
- Radiosity-based, physically correct lighting.
- Dynamic, shader-driven, per-pixel lighting for both worlds and models.
- Stencil buffer shadow volumes(everything casts shadows on everything!).
- Support for diffuse-, normal-, bump-, specular-, and luminance-maps.
- Support for ATI and NVidia programmable GPUs and shaders.
- Smooth-Group support even for world brushes, easily controlled in the map editor!
- Shader-driven, multi-textured or 2-pass LightMap rendering.
- Spherical Harmonic Lighting available as presented in my diploma thesis (the thesis is also available in the Downloads section).
- All this is implemented in the Cafu Material System.
Graphical User Interface System
- A powerful Graphical User Interface (GUI) System (or short:GuiSys) is integrated with the engine.
- GUIs can be 2D (regular GUIs for game menus etc.) as well as3D for world (entity) GUIs. This provides a maximum of flexibility in functionality and design for all in-game interactive elements like for example call-lift buttons, doors with access control, computer displays of all kinds, etc.
- GUIs can fully be scripted by the Lua-based Scripting system!
- The GuiSys C++ interfaces can also be accessed from the game code directly, e.g. in order to implement all kinds of HUDs(Head-Up Displays) for the player.
- An easy-to-use tool for creating own fonts for use with the Gui System is included with the SDK.
- As examples, the current SDK implements the in-game console, the chat input, the “Really Quit?” dialog, the HUD and a world (entity) GUI all with the GuiSys.
- Animation blending allows smooth transitions from one animation sequence to the next.
- With animation channels you can play different animation sequences on different parts of the model (e.g. head, torso, legs).
- Multiple skins: Re-use the same mesh with different surface materials.
- Submodels: Each player is easily combined with any weapon.
- Level-of-Detail: Automatically switch to lower-res meshes when the model gets farther away from the player.
- Full integration with the Cafu Material System for per-pixel lighting and shadows.
- Use the graphical Model Editor to import many model file formats.
- A complete toolbox for inspecting, transforming and texturing your models.
- Adjust and tweak any Cafu-specific model feature to prepare your models for use in the Cafu Engine.
- Attach graphical, interactive GUIs to any model.
- Check out the Gallery.
- Learn more at the Documentation.
Very Large Terrains
- Implements the excellent SOAR algorithm by Peter Lindstrom and Valerio Pascucci.
- Provides continuous-level-of-detail, permitting very large out-door scenes.
- Employs geo-morphing for perfectly smooth transitions between levels of detail.
- View-frustrum culling yields an optimal terrain approximation.
- Can directly load terrains from Terragen (ter) and portable graymap (pgm) files in full 16 bit precision or from any bmp, tga, png or jpeg image file in 8 BPP precision.
- Integrates fully into the rest of Cafu (i.e. terrains are in the PVS, use optimized code for collision detection and physics, etc.).
- Even all compile tools are aware of terrains, and act accordingly.
- There are no restrictions in combining terrains with other elements of Cafu worlds.
- Full integration with the new Cafu Material System – you can apply arbitrary materials to terrains (e.g. with detail-maps and so on).
- Direct terrain support and terrain preview in the Cafu world editor CaWE.
- A terrain (pre-)viewer is included with the SDK.