Return to Rasterization, Lighting, and Ambient Occlusion

Hello there. I have not written since few weeks, so I’m sorry.

So, now, I’m going to explain why I leave the ray tracing concept for the rasterization (again?).

To have an efficient ray tracing, you need a good structure with tree, but, the problem is that having a tree on GPU is not easy. Indeed, GPU does not have a call stack and pointer.

So, for the rasterization part, I keep the same model, with 4 textures (Diffuse, pos, normal, distSquare) into FrameBuffer.

Now, to add lighting, I can add another FBO with another texture.

This technique is called : Deferred lighting (or shading). The main advantage of this technique, is, instead of computing lighting in all pixel in the screen, you compute lighting only in pixels that are affected by lighting.

For example, if your lights are placed in the center of your screen, with a radius of 100 pixels, your lighting is computing of 10 000 pixels instead of 2 000 000 (in FULL HD).

So. I am going to explain how to create a deferred lighting for point light. Indeed, to have a spot lights, or globe light, It’s more difficult. Really, I don’t know for globe lights, but for spot light, you have to create a cone, with a good « angle ». If you want to know more about globe lights, you can go here Nvidia GPU Gems 3 : Tabula Rasa .

So, it exists many techniques about deferred lighting. I am going to explain how my engine works.

I began to introduce how my light’s system it’s implemented.

/* PointLight structure */
struct PointLight
    mat4 projectionViewModel; // Matrix for light
    vec4 positionRadius;
    vec4 color;

The matrix projectionViewModel is a matrix used to « project » our lights in the screen to avoid compute lighting in pixels « useless ».

Remember, I saw on the last article, I store my Positions and normals in Frame Buffer.

Now, I bind these textures, and I draw a cube which own my lights (I use only point lights), and configure your cube.

Wait, What is a configuration for the cube?? It’s only the position of your light, with the radius.

ptr->projectionViewModel = projectionView * scale(translate(mat4(1.0f),, vec3(light.positionRadius.w));

Now I can draw my cube and do computing.

Yes but, I have a little problem. Indeed, a cube have « two opposite faces », so if I am out of your lights, my lighting is computing two times and it don’t provide a good result.





You can see that I have one light more powerful when I am out instead in ^^.

So, how can I solve this issue? Simply on using the Stencil Buffer.
You clear your buffer with 0, and if any draw is make, you increment this value only if this value is 0. So when you compute once time on one pixel, you can’t perform another computing in the same pixel.

glEnable(GL_STENCIL_TEST); // Active stencil test
glStencilFunc(GL_EQUAL, 0, 0xFF); // Pass only if equal to 0

// Increment only if pass

So, now, I can introduce computing 😀 .

Currently, my lighting algorithme is very simple, but I will complicate that later (with quadratique attenuation, normal / height map and other).

Currently, I use a linear attenuation and a famous \displaystyle \overrightarrow{n} \cdot \overrightarrow{l}. :

float computeFactorLight(vec3 posToLight, vec3 posToLightNorm, vec3 normal, float distToLight, float radius)
 float attenuation = 1.0 - distToLight / radius;

 if(attenuation <= 0.0)
 return 0.0;

 float nDotL = dot(normal, posToLightNorm);

 if(nDotL <= 0.0)
 return 0.0;

 return nDotL * attenuation;

The name of this article own a term : Ambient Occlusion

It is the Ambient Occlusion map with a average blur :

Capture du 2014-11-20 00:09:14

But, I will talk about that in the next article. It is planned to talk about calculation, and optimisation. It’s not the best formula, and not the best technique, but I will explain how can I get a little formula, and how can I use this formula.


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