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15. October 2018


The academy award winning book Physically Based Rendering from Theory to Implementation 3rd Edition is now available free online in it’s entirety at http://www.pbr-book.org/.  This book is hugely important to the game and film industry as this is where the expression Physically Based Rendering (PBR) was coined, and it is the underlying rendering technology behind every major modern 3D game engine.

Description of PBR 3rd Edition from the book homepage:

Physically Based Rendering, Third Edition describes both the mathematical theory behind a modern photorealistic rendering system as well as its practical implementation. A method known as “literate programming” combines human-readable documentation and source code into a single reference that is specifically designed to aid comprehension. Through the ideas and software in this book, you will learn to design and employ a full-featured rendering system for creating stunning imagery.

This new edition greatly refines its best-selling predecessor by adding sections on bidirectional light transport; stochastic progressive photon mapping; a significantly-improved subsurface scattering implementation; numerical robustness issues in ray-object intersection; microfacet reflection models; realistic camera models; and much more. These updates reflect the current state-of-the-art technology, and along with the lucid pairing of text and code, ensure the book's leading position as a reference text for those working in rendering.

The author team of Matt Pharr, Greg Humphreys, and Pat Hanrahan garnered a 2014 Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences based on the knowledge shared in the first and second editions of the book this book. The Academy called the book a “widely adopted practical roadmap for most physically based shading and lighting systems used in film production.”

Additionally you can still buy print (and digital) copies on Amazon via this affiliate link, should you desire the feeling of paper in your hands.  This is not an easy text, and isn’t required reading for everyone, but if you are working on rendering technology or want a peek behind the curtain this is definitely a book you should check out today.

Click here to read the book now.

GameDev News Programming


13. October 2018


Nevercenter, the makers of Silo and CameraBag, have just released Pixelmash, a new take on how to create pixel art.  Pixelmash includes tools to create your own pixel art from scratch using a resolution independent editor, or by importing photos which are pixelated automatically.  Additionally the package contains animation and transformation tools, special layer effects and more that all work in a non-destructive workflow.  You are able to export your work to a variety of image formats, sprite sheets and even as animated gifs.

Pixelmash is currently $25 and is available for Mac OS and Windows.  There is a fully functioning 7 day trial available if you want to give Pixelmash a try.  If you are interested in seeing Pixelmash in action, be sure to watch the video below.

Art GameDev News


12. October 2018


Teaming up with Resonai, Unity have released a new Visual Search add-on for their popular game engine.  Powered by machine learning, AI and other buzzwords, Visual Search has indexed the massive database of content in the Unity asset store.  This enables you to search the asset store from directly within Unity, and filter on price, materials and polygon counts.  You can also search by shape, using a primitive shape sketched with ProBuilder, enabling you to block in shapes, then replace them with similar models from the asset store later.  Once you have located a model you wish to sample, you can preview it directly in your scene.

Highlighted features for the plugin from the Unity Store:

Major Features
≣≣≣≣≣≣≣≣≣≣≣≣
✔   Visual search for 3D assets
✔   Search by text, objects or 3D sketch
✔   Intuitive and inspiring similarity search
✔   Rapid prototyping
✔   Easy access to a vast dataset of content
✔   Preview assets before buying
✔   Polygon count, material and price search


You can also read more about the new Visual Search over on the Unity blog.  To see the new Visual Search in action, with step by step installation and usage instructions, be sure to watch the video below.

GameDev News


11. October 2018


This weekend (Oct 11-14th, 2018), AppGameKit is available on Steam as part of their Free Weekend offer.   This enables you to download and use the AppGameKit game engine as if you owned it, at least until Sunday night.  AppGameKit is an interesting cross platform two tier game engine that does 2D,3D, AR, VR, etc.  The Tier 1 is a lower level C/C++ layer, that provides functionality similar to SFML, SDL or RayLib.  The Tier 2 engine (which is featured on Steam for free), is a higher level BASIC-like scripting language and editing environment that makes developing and testing games easy.  The Tier 1 portion of the engine is not included as part of the free weekend.

If you want to learn more about AppGameKit, check out our earlier Closer Look review.  Keep in mind, a lot has changed since that review was written, but it will still give you a pretty good idea of what to expect when working with AGK.  If you are interested in trying out Augmented Reality (AR), we also have a video tutorial showcasing how to do this using AppGameKit available here.

In addition to being available to try for free this weekend, AppGameKit is also currently 70% off on Steam.

GameDev News


10. October 2018


Today AppGameKit 2018.10.10 was released with several new commands added to the cross platform game framework.  AppGameKit is an interested game development framework that exists in two tiers, a lower level C API and a higher level easier to use framework built on top of it.  You can learn more about AppGameKit from our earlier Closer Look game engine review.


Details of the 2018.10.10 release:

I/O

  • Added GetCharBuffer and GetCharBufferLength to return any text entered on physical keyboards since then command was last called
  • Add GetRawJoystickSlider and GetRawJoystickPOV to support additional features on joysticks
  • Increased the number of joystick buttons to 64
  • Added support for more keyboard keys on Windows and Linux, including left/right shift/ctrl/alt keys and distinguishing between numpad and top row number keys
  • Updated the scan code list at https://www.appgamekit.com/documentation/guides/scancodes.htm for the new list of keys

Edit Boxes

  • Fixed edit boxes flickering if the edit box width was less than the width of two characters

Networking

  • Added CopyNetworkMessage command to copy a network message so that it can be resent
  • Changed GetInternetState on iOS to better detect the lack of network connectivity

Sound

  • Fixed audio failing to play on some iOS devices after sleeping the device with a magnetic cover
  • Fixed sounds on iOS sometimes failing to play if the app is sent to the background and then resumed

3D

  • Fixed some 3DS models failing to load on ARM devices

Push Notifications

  • Fixed GetPushNotificationToken sometimes returning an empty string on Android, you will now need to call SetPushNotificationKeys for it to work

File I/O

  • Fixed OpenToWrite on Android failing to create the necessary folders on some devices and failing to create the file

HTTP

  • Fixed GetHTTPFile on Android failing to create the necessary folders on some devices and failing to create the file
  • Fixed GetHTTPFile failing to save the file if SetFolder is used whilst it is running

Exporting

  • Fixed installing new versions of AGK over old versions on Windows causing APK export errors
  • Fixed APK export sometimes not parsing the Firebase JSON file correct

Android

  • Fixed GetDeviceID on Android sometimes returning an empty string

Deep Linking

  • Added the option to add a URL scheme during Android and iOS export, so that the exported app can be opened by a browser link
  • Added GetURLSchemeText to return the URL used to open the app on Android and iOS, if any

Sprites

  • Changed sprite and text scissors to allow one dimension to be 0 in size and still be a valid scissor

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