Ball Shadows with Area Lights

September 14, 2010 |  by  |  Tech  |  1 Comment

So, I’ve talked about how we render the balls in Hustle Kings, and how we achieve most of the lighting. The remaining thing that gels everything together are the shadows that the balls cast onto the table. We could have quite simply implemented these with drop shadows, small quads in the x-z plane rendered slightly above the table, with a radial alpha gradient. However, this would really not have looked anywhere near as good as we wanted, and this would not have allowed us to cast shadows onto the cushions. I also wanted each ball to cast shadows correctly onto other balls – although we ended up disabling this feature in Hustle Kings, the algorithm I’m about to describe does support this, but we were limited by z-cull requirements of the PlayStation hardware to get maximum performance.

Read More Post a comment (1)

Hustle Kings Lighting

August 27, 2010 |  by  |  Tech  |  3 Comments

In my last blog post, I talked about the ball rendering in Hustle Kings, and how I used a per-pixel ray-cast and pixel coverage value to produce infinitely smooth balls. The pool balls are obviously going to be the primary focal point in any pool game, but it is equally important that the rest of the scene looks just as impressive. There is no point having some parts of your scene look ultra cool if the rest just doesn’t gel together.

Read More Post a comment (3)

Big Shiny Balls

August 2, 2010 |  by  |  Tech  |  2 Comments

No 3D source geometry used for the balls in Hustle Kings!

I remember when screen-shots and trailers for Hustle Kings started circulating back in the summer of 2009, many people were speculating that the pool balls were ray-traced. Of course, the astute out there will have quickly realised this not to be the case, but it got me thinking as to how a bit of thought can make something relatively simple look really ace.

Read More Post a comment (2)