VST plugin AGain reloaded with a Qt GUI

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Years ago, I’ve tried to use the GPL version of Qt, but it couldn’t be done without a Qt Solution that was at the time non-free. Now, Nokia has freed and Qt and the appropriate Qt Solution.

I’ve searched if someone has already used this new version to create a VST plugin. The only blog post I’ve found does not use the Qt Solution and is not perfect. According to the documentation what is missing in this solution is precisely what the Solution should do. So let’s try it.

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Now, I will show the implementation of reflection (from the Whitted approach). It is basically using the reflection law and recurse the ray cast.

Reflection rays

Each object can reflect a ray more or less from a different object. A mirror would reflect the light totally, and a matte object would reflect nothing. Each new reflection is a new ray tracing call, so it can be costly. The number of recursion levels will be fixed, even if an object reflects nothing: this will be implemented through shaders in the future.

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Adding the lights is the first step toward a Whitted raytracer. For each ray that hits an object, several rays can be cast, reflection, refraction and shadow. The last one is the one created with lights.

Lights and shadow rays

Without light, objects are bland, seem to have no depth, … Light on a scene can be cast by several light sources. When a ray of the camera hits an object, the intersection point can be illuminated by one or several of those sources. Each of them contributes to the color of the object. If the light source direction is parallel with the normal of the object at the intersection point, the contribution will be maximum. If it is orthogonal, the contribution will be zero. The scalar product is the tool used to compute this quantity.

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C++ code quality is a difficult topic. There are some basic topics and other, more advanced. Sutter and Alexandrescu wrote a complete book on C++ standards to achieve good quality with basic and advanced topics, but Meyers wrote a book before, on the basics of C++.

Effective C++ is at its third edition, which is a complete rewrite with topics from the “old” Effective C++ and More Effective C++. So if you have one or the other, you will find yourself with additional content.

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After presenting Valgrind as an emulation profiler, I will present Microsoft solution, Visual Studio Performance Tool. It is available in the Team Suite editions, and offers a sampling- and an instrumentation-based profiler. Of course, it is embedded in Visual Studio IDE and accessible from a solution.

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At last, I’m starting with my first post on my attempt on Interactive RayTracing. This first one will only be on the generic global implementation.

A matrix library must be used, the same basis class will be used for each element, point or color, but with a different size (if needed). I will use a typedef for defining each of them. This will help explaining what is going on. I will not explain the code of the library, althoug the optimization of the raytracer will surely have to be done in this part of the code as well.

So a vector will be named (for the moment) Vector3df, a point Point3df, a normal Normal3df and a color Color. All elements will live in the IRT namespace.

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Some books geared toward game programming beginners tend to only scratch the surface of the presented language and of what it takes to write a game. There are some pitfalls that are specific to games that need to be addressed (or so the book says), and this is what this book is about.

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