OpenGL – A Modified Phong-Blinn Light Model For Shadowed Areas

I was looking through the book Graphics Programming Methods (2003) the other day when I came across a paper titled “A Modified Phong-Blinn Light Model for Shadowed Areas” and thought it was pretty good, so I implemented it. It’s a really short paper, but what’s it’s basically saying is that by not allowing ambient light to be modified by geometry normals, any characteristics of the geometry are lost because we calculate the diffuse intensity as the dot product of the light location and the surface normal and limit the result between 0 and 1 (i.e. we only take diffuse lighting into consideration for surfaces facing our light source).

What the paper proposes instead is that we allow the dot product to run as -1.0 to +1.0, and when the value is within the range 0.0 to 1.0 (i.e. facing the light) we shade as usual, but when it’s -1.0 to 0.0 (facing away from the light) we calculate the lighting as the ambient light plus the negative diffuse intensity multiplied by the ambient light multiplied by q, where q is a value between 0.0 and 1.0. When q is 0.0, it’s like we’re using a traditional Phong-Blinn model, when it’s 1.0 we’re using the fully modified version, and any value in between is a sliding-scale combination of them.

To put that another way, if our surface is facing away from the light source, we use: Lighting = Ambient + (Diffuse * Ambient * q)

In the following images, the light source is roughly in line with the geometry on the Y and Z axis’, and is a way over on the positive X axis (i.e. to the right). Check out the difference…

Standard lighting with q = 0.0
Standard lighting with q = 0.0 - notice that the inside right area of the torus is getting no diffuse lighting, and all detail is lost to the ambient lighting.
Improved lighting with q = 0.5
Improved lighting with q = 0.5 - there's now some detail in the shadowed area on the inside-right of the torus
Improved lighting with q = 1.0
Improved lighting with q = 1.0 - there's now significantly more detail in the shadowed area on the inside-right of the torus

To create this effect, I used the following fragment shader:

Modified Phong-Blinn Light Model Fragment Shader

Credits for this method go to Anders Hast, Tony Barrera, and Ewer Bengtsson – good work, fellas! =D

Simple OpenGL Keyboard and Mouse FPS Controls

Note: This was written in January 2011 – I just never posted it, but I’d already uploaded the video to YouTube and someone asked for the code, so here it is, in all its fixed-pipeline glory ;)

Update – September 2013: I took these camera controls and wrapped them up into a Camera class in a later post which you can find here: When I did this I wasn’t used to GLM (the OpenGL Mathematics library) so I just rolled my own Vec3 class – you can happily substitute glm::vec3’s if you’d like, and in fact I’d recommend it. Cheers!

I’m working on my OpenGL skills (or lack thereof) at the moment, and wanted to implement some 3D movement controls kinda of like a FPS with clipping off, so I read some chapters of the hallowed OpenGL SuperBible and did some googling, where I came across Swiftless‘ camera tutorials (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) which gave me a really good start (Thank you, Swiftless!) on how to manipulate the ModelView matrix so we can move around a 3D scene, only it wasn’t quite perfect…

Strange things would happen like you’d look vertically downwards (i.e. directly down the negative Y axis), then you’d push forward – and yeah, you’d move “down”, but you’d also move “forward” at the same time (oh, and I’m putting things like “down” and “forward” in quotes because these concepts are all relative to your viewing orientation – not because I’m trying to be “sarcastic” or anything =P)

Anyways, I had a play with it and sorted it out after spending some time looking at the graphs for trigonometric functions and doing a little bit of off-setting and range-limiting as required. Check it out:

It actually looks quite a lot better running live than in the video due to mis-matched frame-capture rates and the like, but you get the idea =D

Full source code is available after the jump.


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