### Mesh collisions

This is usually where physics gets messy. It's all fun and games until someone suggests that maybe all objects are not perfectly convex, such as... the game level? There is convex decomposition, yes, but I'm not totally convinced that's a silver bullet. Convex decomposition is awfully complicated, and requires heavy preprocessing. It's definitely a good idea in many cases, but there will always be raw triangles.

Convex decomposition or not, you need some sort of mid-phase, finding which triangles/primitives collide with a specific object. A lot of work has been put into this, and I think most people today agree that a quantized, binary AABB tree is the ideal solution.

What's interesting here is how people usually query these AABB trees. The output from the broad phase is a list of pairs with overlapping bounding volumes. These pairs are then processed one by one, and in the case of a triangle mesh, the mid-phase is engaged to find the relevant triangles/primitives. After that, the near phase finds the actual contacts.

What I would like to suggest is to query the whole dynamic scene against the AABB tree all at once. That is, instead of colliding the AABB tree with a single object (single AABB) multiple times, you collide it with another AABB tree, representing all moving objects. This is especially relevant if combined with a Dynamic Bounding Volume Tree broad phase, as suggested by Erwin Coumans. In this case, all moving objects are already in a dynamic AABB tree of their own. Objects tend to appear in clusters, so objects close together also tend to collide with the same triangles. Doing the mid-phase this way saves you from drilling down the compressed AABB tree multiple times, which gives an instant performance gain. The tree/tree traversal is a bit of a mind job at first, but the Bullet DBVT implementation is a really good reference.

As usual, I'm really lazy and not doing my side-by-side comparisons, but it might show up later.

1. Or you could just cache the location in the midphase tree for dynamic objects. Probably avoiding traversing the tree altogether in many cases.

2. That's a very good point, I kind of like that the tree approach is stateless though.

### Cracking destruction

Smash Hit is a game built entirely around destruction. We knew from the beginning that destruction had to be fully procedural and also 100% reliable. Prefabricated pieces broken the same way every time simply wouldn't be enough for the type of game we wanted to make. The clean art style and consistent materials made breakage easier, since everything that breaks is made out of the same, solid glass material. Procedural breakage Physically based breakage is hard. Really hard. I remember NovodeX had some kind of FEM approximation for breakage in the early days of PhysX, but it never worked well and didn't look very convincing. I think for most game scenarios it is also completely overkill, especially for brittle fracture, like glass. I designed the breakage in Smash Hit around one rough simplification – objects always break where they get hit. This is not true in the real world, where tension builds up in the material, and objects tend to break at their weakest spot, but hey, we&…

### Bokeh depth of field in a single pass

When I implemented bokeh depth of field I stumbled upon a neat blending trick almost by accident. In my opinion, the quality of depth of field is more related to how objects of different depths blend together, rather than the blur itself. Sure, bokeh is nicer than gaussian, but if the blending is off the whole thing falls flat. There seems to be many different approaches to this out there, most of them requiring multiple passes and sometimes separation of what's behind and in front of the focal plane. I experimented a bit and stumbled upon a nice trick, almost by accident.

I'm not going to get into technical details about lenses, circle of confusion, etc. It has been described very well many times before, so I'm just going to assume you know the basics. I can try to summarize what we want to do in one sentence – render each pixel as a discs where the radius is determined by how out of focus it is, also taking depth into consideration "somehow".

Taking depth into…

### Screen Space Path Tracing – Diffuse

The last few posts has been about my new screen space renderer. Apart from a few details I haven't really described how it works, so here we go. I split up the entire pipeline into diffuse and specular light. This post will focusing on diffuse light, which is the hard part.

My method is very similar to SSAO, but instead of doing a number of samples on the hemisphere at a fixed distance, I raymarch every sample against the depth buffer. Note that the depth buffer is not a regular, single value depth buffer, but each pixel contains front and back face depth for the first and second layer of geometry, as described in this post.

The increment for each step is not view dependant, but fixed in world space, otherwise shadows would move with the camera. I start with a small step and then increase the step exponentially until I reach a maximum distance, at which the ray is considered a miss. Needless to say, raymarching multiple samples for every pixel is very costly, and this is without …