Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I’ve been a little too absorbed in game scripting languages and web technologies for my comfort, so I decided to revive an old C++ project of mine, Fern.

Fern was a small particle engine that was highly optimized for SIMD instructions — all particle integrations and operations would happen using the SSE instruction set, so it was pretty quick. However, the problem with this project was that I was starting from a blank slate, and was quickly bogged down writing boring IO, Windows API, and low-level engine functionality. The point of having a code project that you work on in your spare time is that you enjoy what you’re working on, and I quickly found that I didn’t like writing all this stuff.

I went searching around for a nice creative, open-source project for graphics testing, and found Cinder. It’s pretty nice as far as a sandbox for graphics testing goes. It’s multi-platform, but currently only supports OpenGL.

So far I’ve re-written much of my particle code from Fern to use Cinder, and although it’s not quite as fast as Fern, it was working in a matter of hours. I posted an example of the system in my Folio.

Next, I’d like to test out the Cinder FBO and write another pixel convolution kernel to get some blurring going on.

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