So I finally implemented the new DirectX 3D file format (I mentioned in the last posting, the terrain and vehicle in the screenshot are loaded from .X files) into the NewtonPlayGround. It wasn’t really much work and I also did some more additions to the loader. It now loads textures into a global texture pool, which saves much memory when you have several meshes with the same texture in one scene (e.g. a stack of the same textured boxes). That means that I have now a format with correct normals to use in my NewtonPlayGround and I’ll start on converting all the models (vehicles, terrains, meshes, etc.) to .X (as long as I made them, or have a version with correct normals of them) so that they all look correct in the final version of the NewtonPlayGround. And one thing that also needs correct normals to look like it should is the cel-shading mode. With the 3DS models it (depending on the model) didn’t give correct normals, not it gives.
Second change on the NewtonPlayGround is, that shadows now are translucent (see the screenshot too). This makes a big change, as the pitch-black shadows looked unnatural. It’s not a big change in terms of programming, but it makes a big difference. Though there still are some minor visual problems, e.g. where the gouraud shading of OpenGL would produce darker fragments than the shadow, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome.
That’s it in terms of programming. On another note I recently decided to put my good’ol Radeon 9700 in retirement (after 2 1⁄2 years). I ordered a Leadtek GeForce 6800 with 256 MBytes of memory (for only 195€). I’ll give more info on why and about the new card when I receive it.