Flare3D 2.5 beta preview includes a lot of improvements. The most relevant one is FLSL 2.0. The new version of our shader language is much more powerful and we wanted to know how far we can go.
Jason Huang is a young Chinese developer. He is an active member in Flare3D’s community and he agreed to make a demo using FLSL’s new capabilities. In the last months Jason worked very hard and the result was ‘Ancient China‘ an impressive demo that recreates a China’s scene 400 years ago.
These have been months of hard work, were we provided Jason support and he provided us feedback about issues and problems using Flare3Dâ€™s new features.
Technically, this demo includes advanced 3D graphics programming and modeling techniques, among them we can mention: God ray (the rays of light passing through objects), realistic water, cascade shadow mapping, vegetation animations, etc… (Ancient China puts AGAL capabilities at limit. So require proper hardware to run smoothly.)
Jason talked with us about the creation proccess.
‘Ancient China’ has a beautiful art design. Was inspired by a real place?
Not really, It was actually from our imaginations, which based on how we thought a place of my hometown was, 400 years ago. Its name is “Green Lake” of Kunming, China. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Lake_(Kunming).
How many people worked to build the demo?
There were only 3 of us worked in this demo. One graphics designer, One 3D modeler and me.
Which one were the challenges that made you go crazy? How did you solve them?
For the current version of Stage3D, it has so many limitations, such asÂ 200 opcodes per program for AGAL, and few of temporal registers, etc. I solved them by reading a lot of public papers and doing testing over and over again…
sometimes, I have to compile the both art works and shader effects to get the best quality and performance ratio.
Please tell us what part of your demo makes you the most proud.
Everything, even with little tiny piece of grass that used vegetation animations which need to calculated precisely by vertex shader . I believe that if you are looking at every details that built in this demo, you would find something impressed you even more:)
What was your experience with the new version of FLSL?
In the very first beginning I was just trying to converting GLSL to FLSL. 3 months later, I started to optimize the codes by reducing the operations in AGAL. Gradually, I have been discovering new mathematical ways for shaders.
Currently, I have constructed my own FLSL shader library. that includes not only the basic techniques, but also some advanced techniques used in modern video games.
What would you recommend people about how to start playing with FLSL shaders?
Personally, the basic knowledge of 3D rendering is required. After that, trying to converting GLSL or HLSL shaders is much more practical other than just keep digging the theories
You have become a Flare3D expert lately! What do you think about Flare3D?
Flare3D did a revolutional contribution for Adobe Flash.Â Not only because of the C-like FLSL shader language that is easy for human to develop with, but also the remarkable 3D structures as well as extends 3D tools.
How many consecutive hours did you spend working in this demo without sleep?
About 2 months, most of the time, I spent on doing researching.In the past almost 7 months, every day I had over 15 hours on this. My life was like nothing but 3D. No joking, I fell in sleep with hugging my Ipad with some PDF papers , when I woke up 6 hours later, I used the theory displayed on the screen to test with FLSL. My leisure time is also doing this, since this is what I love.
What’s the next creation in Jason’s life?
If you guys needed, I will be working on extended tools for Flare3D using AIR, such as terrain editor, scene editor, motion editor, etc. I hope my little tiny contributions would help.
We presented Ancient China with the first announce of Flare3D 2.5 beta preview. We were astonished with Jason’s work and we hope to see more things soon !Â