Archive for January, 2009

Our Blog’s First Birthday: The Year in Review



Believe it or not, the first post to this blog was made one year ago today.  A lot has happened to our product, our team, and our blog since then.  For starters, we released an alpha version of Insight3D and four significant updates to it.  If you haven't had a chance to try it yet, contact Tom Urie at Insight3D@agi.com.  Point Break was renamed to Insight3D.  We still have a soft spot for Point Break, as do many of our users.

Two of our team members finished school, one bachelors and the other a masters, while another member started graduate school.  A few of us made it to SIGGRAPH, which has fueled all sorts of ideas going into Insight3D.

Besides informing Insight3D users of what's new and exciting, we used this blog to make technical contributes to the field of computer graphics, and in particular, real-time rendering.  The blog's statistics show that both types of posts receive a good amount of attention with the more popular being the technical content, which makes sense since our alpha user base isn't huge.  The most important technical contribution of the past year was probably Deron's post:  Precisions, Precisions.  The posts on text rendering and picking have also attracted some interest.

Although it's worthwhile to review the past year, I think its even more important to consider this coming year.  The offical version of Insight3D will be released, including .NET interfaces that make it easy to use with DGL.  This will include all sorts of features that we've barely mentioned, like an overlays system that can be used to render translucent user interfaces on top of your 3D scene.  We plan to continue to contribute significant technical content to the blog.  You can expect details on the new lines on terrain algorithm (or at least a link to the paper if we formally publish the algorithm).  You'll probably hear more than you can imagine on out-of-core rendering, since that was the topic of my thesis.  If enough people ask, I will describe the rendering engine behind primitives, which like all modern scene management systems, is now shader-based, and utilizes hierarchical culling and state sorting.  Finally, you've only heard from half our team so you should expect some fresh content from new authors.