a 4k exe-gfx released at Névoke 2021
This entry has been strongly inspired by the artist Windmill and especially their texture generator called JsPlacement.
Though, because of size limitations I was not able to embed a texture into the executable, so I made a very minimal copy of the tool using fragment shaders.
From here it was a matter of using the generated texture to create an interesting-looking scene. I used the texture as a heightmap for the floor, as a color map for the blue pattern over the geometry, and as displacement on the tower.
Here are some WIP screenshots:
The rendering is once again a heavily simplified version of a path tracer. After intersecting the camera ray with the scene, the renderer chooses a random vector on the upper hemisphere as the direction of the bounced ray. If that ray hits the skybox, it uses the sky color to compute the contribution of that ray and adds it to the accumulator. If the bounced ray is obstructed, the sample is rejected entirely without a second bounce.
Effectively, it only computes how visible the sky is for every point in the scene, so it's arguably closer to ray-traced ambient occlusion that path tracing. It also ignores the surface normal of the intersection point entirely, which was originally just a stopgap so I can work on the lighting first, but I ended up liking how it made the material feel, I kept it like that.
Here are some close-ups of the final render.