[sldev] Reviving a lost First Look feature - water reflections?

Argent Stonecutter secret.argent at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 06:17:13 PST 2007

> Actually, I've sort of resigned myself to doing actual planar
> reflections for the water instead of the cube map hack (hence the
> removal), so any community patch that puts the cube map hack back in
> will likely be rejected.  This is primarily because the cube map hack
> only works well when the eye is near the water, and doing an actual
> planar reflection would be faster (requires one extra full render
> instead of 6), and would work for all viewing angles.

I was able to fake good images using the reflection code in First  
Look 57575 on the Mac (you can see links to them in the thread 'How  
mirrors work' in the first look forum, I believe) by taking a shot  
close to the mirror. I don't know what the exact difference was  
between 57575 and the following releases, but the quality of plane  
reflections was outstanding in that version.

If the cube map hack requires 6 extra renders, then I'm really  
impressed with the performance! What about supporting _up to 6_  
planar renders, and assigning them to the 6 closest plane surfaces  
with the "mirror" tag set (or water plus five if there's water in  
draw distance), with the camera set to the optically correct location  
for each rendering pass? Curved surfaces could continue to use the  
reflection of the sky box as they do now (this really looks better  
than the low-res cube map you get if you turn on  
RenderDynamicReflections in the current FL).

More information about the SLDev mailing list