January 6, 2010 - Comments Off on Magnetosphere, part 2

Magnetosphere, part 2

Here is where things start to get interesting. Additive Blending entered my life. Simply put, additive blending makes things seem to glow. Instead of blocking pixels that lie behind an image, it brightens them. This gives you a glowy look that I will be the first to admit I overused and abused.

I definitely got carried away with the additive blending. It took a while for me to understand that moderation is useful when applying new effects. But for now, make it glow! Like the stars in the heavens above! Everything should glow!

The other reason I relied so heavily on additive blending is that it works as an easy way to get around the depth-sorting issue which plagues semi-transparent image rendering. In OpenGL, if you want to draw a bunch of transparent PNGs, you need to draw them from back to front. When you have a dynamic camera system and a bunch of objects, it can be tricky or time consuming figuring out which objects are behind and which are in front. If you use additive blending, you don't need to worry about depth sorting.

Audio by Helios (Sons of Light and Darkness). Note, this piece builds really slow so don't be put off by the very very dark intro.

Published by: Robert Hodgin

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