envX: Cloud and Fog Resource

June 27, 2008 · Print This Article

envX is an overhaul of the cloud and fog layers built into the Torque Game Engine . The goal is to add new functionality and flexibility for game developers. Formerly known as the "TGE Cloud Resource " , this project has been on the back burner for some time. I’m excited to announce it’s back under active-development and we should see a public release very soon!

envX in it’s final form will be comprised of two parts. The first deals with ‘cloud-layers’, and the second deals with ‘volumetric-fog’. In both cases these code blocks are being moved to their own class-files for code-clairity, redesigned for greater flexibility, and optimized for improved performance.

The cloud-layers portion is in fact done, and I’ve hit all my original goals. These included:

  • Arbitrary number of cloud layers
  • Ability to fade cloud layers independently
  • Ability to fade each independent layer to a specific opacity between 0 and 1
  • Ability to select different source-types for each cloud-layer

The fog-layers portion is in a much earlier stage and may or may not be included in the original release at this point. If that’s not possible, it will likely be added in a point-release later this summer.

My goals for improving the volumetric-fog in Torque are very similar to my accomplishments with the cloud-layers. Notably: clean up the code, make ‘fog-layers’ independent from each other, and enhance the visual effects. I’m also investigating the possibility of ‘fog-blocks’, and spherical fog masses.

More details to come soon!

[edit Sept, 15th 2008] The fog updates mentioned here turned out to be unrealistically ambitious. After a considerable research and development investment I had to shelve that portion of the project. The final product will only include the updates to the cloud layers. [/edit]

[edit Oct, 31st 2008] As we go to market, the ‘envX: Sky’ module has been formally re-named ‘Cirrus Skies’ by Dragonfly Software. [/edit]


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