Chimera Script reference
v2.04 OSX and Windows

*** obsolete, still working, i need to update a lot of statements **


Chimera is a 3D powerful engine completely driven by scripts.
The "script" is a text file, containing statements, variables, loading and disposing operations ... in short it is like an interpreted program written in a language similar to C++. On startup, the engine opens the scene (the scene file, selected in Settings), then searches and executes the "script".  The script is the core of your scene, it  handles EVERYTHING from the loading operations of objects, sounds and textures, to positionments and effects.
The purpose of this reference is a comprehensive script explanation.


Sections

How to
Keyboard Map

Syntax and conventions
Basic language keywords


Load  Delete  New

Scene
Object
Shadow
LightGlow
LightBloom
Blur

CSG

Texgfx

Radio
Water
Fluide

Particle
Flare and Lensflares
Light
Skybox
Keyframer
Deform

Status 


HOW TO

To build a scene put the Chimera application where you want then, in the same folder, create a folder named Data
By default the engine executes the content of the Data folder.
Put all you will need for your scene - objects, sounds, textures and music Ė in this Data folder and launch Chimera.
In the data folder acceptable file formats are:

- script.txt      the main script file;
- objects:       3DS (3DStudio), OBJ (portable Alias Wavefront) and proprietary GFX;
- textures(*):  JPG,PNG all Quicktime valid format and Quicktime movies (for OS X), AVI movies (for Windows);
- effects:        VP (vertex program) and FP (fragment program);


Keyboard Map

There is a list of valid keys/mouse combination.
All these interaction are enabled (by default) or disabled using the command


scene keybd(0/1);

mouse button LEFT rotation scene or objects
mouse wheel position forward / backward
C (Camera mode) cycle thru different camera mode:
spin camera : the camera rotation around the scene, pointing always at the origin;
position camera: the standard camera mode, like an FPS game;
object 0 to (n): each object is focused for rotation
D (Draw mode) cycle thru two different render mode: solid and wire frame
I (Info) at each press it show various information about objects:
a) bounding boxes of all the objects;
b) show id for any vertex of all objects (useful to control vertex displacement in
object or assigning flare or particles to an object);
c) show id for any face of all objects;
d) vector of the keyframers path (camera keyframer hilited in yellow, object keyframers in green)
F (FPS)
show the current displayed triangle count ant the current framerate
Keyboard 1 and 2
STEREO MODE ONLY increase or decrease eye angle
Keyboard 3 and 4
STEREO MODE ONLY increase or decrease eye separation


R (render) key select the render mode (solid or wire frame)


I (info) key cycle from (upper left to lower right): a) bounding boxes, b) id for any vertex
c) id for any face, d) vectors of keyframer's paths


Syntax and Conventions

First of all letís get a look at basic script syntax.
If you already have a basic knowledge of the C programming language you are OK, otherwise ... well, it is not very difficult to understand anyway, the basic syntax is quite similar to C, any instruction must be ended by a semicolon (";").
This is the quickest script you can write:


scene start;


Variables are ONLY floating point, but the engine uses them automatically as integers, short etc,
There's no char or string definitions (c'mon, if you want to write something cool on the screen you must use a cool texture...).
Variable declaration is unnecessary, as a variable is declared directly thru assignment, here are some examples:

a = 1;           //declare and assign "a"
b = sin(a);    //...and b

The full math syntax/operators of C are valid:

a *= c;        //equivalent to...
a = a*c;
a !=b;
a = (c++);     //etc etc...
/* unused line */


It is possible to declare an array and use it through indexing:

array a[200];
a[27]=sin(b*c);

IMPORTANT! As in C,  please keep in mind that the script language is CASE SENSITIVE:

A = 100;
b = A * 100;    //ok
b = a * 100;    //WRONG!!!! "a" is not "A"

MYSHIP = load("BUCKROGERS");
delete MYSHIP;    //ok
delete myShip;     //WRONG!!!!

The data handlers (object, flares etc..) are organized with identifiers. If you first declare an object as:

myShip = load("ship");
myFlare = new cFlare();

then you can use the myShip and myFlare identifiers thru the script:

object myShip position(10,20,10);
flare myFlare color(1,1,0);

For those familiar with OOP: just imagine you're using a class without the "->" , the previous statement is like: myShip->position()...
and, of course, you can state:

delete myShip;
delete myFlare;

That isn't strictly necessary though, as the engine will automatically deallocate all open resources on exit.


KEYWORDS

Basic keywords(you can NOT use them as variable names, they are used, for example, in load, delete  and other statements:

light, object, framer, deform, scene, texgfx, water, fluide, particle, flare, skybox, load, delete, new, status, radio,audiomon,glow,bloom,blur,shadow,csg,all statements and operators used by the engine
tip: please note that all keywords are lowercase... so use uppercase variables and you'll avoid all problems!
FLARE = new cFlare();
flare FLARE position(10,0,0);
TIME = time;
cLight, cObject, cFramer, cDeform, cScene, cTexgfx, cWater, cFluide, cParticle, cFlare, cSkybox, cStatus, cRadio, cGlow,cBloom,cBlur,cShadow,cSG,all base classes used by engine
sin x = sin(a);
cos x = cos(a);
tan x = tan(a);
asin x = asin(a);
acos x = acos(a);
atan x = atan(a);
sqrt x = sqrt(a);
rnd
random
x = random(minRange,maxRange);
time curTime = time;
array this is a declaration, eg.:array c[10]
the "array" is not "pretty" C, but it is the only declaration you need:

int a;             //WRONG
a = 100;         //ok
array a[22];    //ok
sleep stop process for n milliseconds, eg.: Sleep(1000)
if ... else  :-)
while  
for  

the if .. else, while and for statement have the same syntax as in C
remember you're using a sort of advanced scripting system :-) so you can combine functions:

for (c=0;c<100;c++){ ...       //note: "c" is auto declared

while (a+=0.1 <= sin(z){ ....  

a = sin(0.1);
array c[20];
c = atan(a);
if (a*b = 1 && p<c[10]){ .... }else{ .... };

the random, sleep and time statement can be useful:

/* stops the script execution for 2 seconds */
sleep(2000); 

/* get a random position from -100 to +100 range
*/
object_position = random(-100,+100);


/* time is useful for sync effects */
currTime = time;
while (time<currTime + 5000)
        currTime = time;

Notes for non-programmers

the script engine has full support of functions and variables ... "compressing" code is vital (but not compulsory) for speed and readability, for example this code:

object STARSHIP diffuse(0,0,0);             //this sets STARSHIP object with diffuse color black
object STARSHIP diffuse(0.5,0.5,0.5);     //this sets STARSHIP object with diffuse color gray
object STARSHIP diffuse(1,1,1);             //this sets STARSHIP object with diffuse color white

is equivalent to:

COLOR = 0;
object STARSHIP diffuse(COLOR ,COLOR ,COLOR );
COLOR = 0.5;
object STARSHIP diffuse(COLOR ,COLOR ,COLOR );
COLOR = 0.6;
object STARSHIP diffuse(COLOR ,COLOR ,COLOR );

and, in a more appropriate and short form, it is also equivalent to:

for (COLOR=0;COLOR<=1;COLOR+=0.5)
   object STARSHIP diffuse(COLOR ,COLOR ,COLOR );

if you want to assign random colors to the STARSHIP object, you can specify:

COLOR = random(0,1);
object STARSHIP diffuse(COLOR ,COLOR ,COLOR );

or, better, put the functions directly into the statement:

object STARSHIP diffuse(random(0,1),random(0,1),random(0,1));



LOAD

the load function returns an index to an entity, for example an object, or a particle, or a texture:

SHIP = load("DISCOVERY");
newTexture = load("bigImage");

the load operation always refers to files already in the DATA folder, remember you can't use extensions:

SHIP = load("DISCOVERY");             //ok
SHIP = load("DISCOVERY.3DS");    //WRONG

the engine automatically detects the right extension and loads the object (if the format is supported, of course...).
Loading textures or vertex programs doesn't require allocation, so they can be reused later in other classes, for example:

lightTexture = load("lamp");
darkTexture = load("lampoff");
....
flare BigLamp texture(lightTexture);
flare BigLamp texture(darkTexture);
....
particle Smoke texture(darkTexture);


are equivalent  to:

flare BigLamp texture(load("lamp"));
flare BigLamp texture(load("lampoff"));
....
particle Smoke texture(load("lampoff"));

but the first one is nicer because the texture allocation is just one
This function varies from  class to class, so I put a better explanation in the chapters regarding the various classes (object, particle, flare etc.).

Please note, for GLSL shaders the load works using a name only with special suffix.
For Example
:

id lampShader = load("lamp"));

Seach for LAMP.FRAG and LAMP.VERT and combine all into a program, no problem if one is missing the engine uses only the part found (vertex or fragment).


DELETE

delete statement disposes of  the specified identifier:

myShip = load("DISCOVERY");
myFlare = new cFlare();
delete cObject(myShip);
delete cFlare(myFlare);

Once again, it is not necessary to dispose of all entities, as the engine automatically closes all opened resources on exit.
Use this statement only for your convenience ... for example if you want to dispose of an object and load another.

Keep in mind that you can use the "active" statement to disable an effect, or to hide an object, without disposing of it:

SHIP = load("DISCOVERY");
object SHIP active(0);    //object is now hidden


NEW

The new function allocates a new class, representing an object, effect, etc:

MYFLARE = new cFlare();

Usually classes can be allocated on-the-fly, only object class doesnt require "new" but "load", for example:

mySeaPlane = new cWater();                //right, this is an "effect operator", not a "real object"
myStarship  = new cObject();               //wrong, an object must have a geometry!!
myStarship  = load ("StasrhipMine");   //right, an object is allocated during loading

Like the "load" function, the "new" function varies from case to case, so check the intended argument.

SCENE

scene statements control camera(s), the general appearance of the scene and the user input (if enabled):

scene start starts the rendering process, usually called after a scene preparation
scene stop stops the rendering process
scene draw(mode) defines the current drawing mode 0=wire frame 1=solid
please note, some cards are really slow in wire frame mode
scene fogrange(near,far) sets the current range in which fog is present (from near the observer to far).
Fog is disabled by default : if you specify different values for near and far the fog effect  is enabled.
scene fogcolor(r,g,b) sets the current fog color (0,0,0=black, 1,1,1=white)
scene fov(angle) sets the current field-of-vision, or the angle of vision.
The camera uses an angle of 60 degrees by default, so fish-eye views, for example, can be defined as: scene fov(180)
scene clip(min,max) sets the range where objects are visible. Defaults are min=1 max=8000, you can increase max in very large scale scenes
scene camera(min,max,angle) this combines "clip" and "fov" in a single statement
scene color(r,g,b) sets the current background color (0,0,0=black, 1,1,1=white)
scene transp(level) sets the current level for alpha testing (range from 0.0 to 1.0, if 0 alpha test is disabled)
this level affects the
object transp(on/off) statement
scene fade(r,g,b,a,step) renders a fading transition, the final result is the specified color(rgb).
The transition is done by incrementing or decrementing transparency (from the value a in "step" steps).
For example:

scene fade(0,0,0,0,+0.1);   
means a transition starting with a black, invisible screen (because a=0) and ending with solid black, using +0.1 steps
scene fade(0,0,0,1,-0.1);   transition start with solid black (0,0,0 and a=1, solid) and end with the same color but full transparent
scene size(x,y) sets the view size (renderable area) to x and y dimensions
scene wantfps(framerate) sets the current framerate
scene shadowcol (r,g,b,a) set the global shadow color (rgb) and transparency (a) (default is 0,0,0,0.4)
scene tfilter(value) sets the texture filter to be used for any object of the scene.
By default the current texture filter is sets by the Settings dialog.
valid values and corresponding filters are:
0 = NO FILTER
1 = BILINEAR
2 = BILINEAR MIPMAPPED
3 = BILINEAR ANISOTROPIC
4 = BILINEAR MIPMAPPED ANISOTROPIC
5 = TRILINEAR MIPMAPPED
6 = TRILINEAR MIPMAPPED ANISOTROPIC
any other values are interpreted as BILINEAR MIPMAPPED.
Note: the ANISOTROPIC mode requires an hardware support, if the appropriate hardware isn't detected the engine automatically switch to a lower value. If you plan to use reflections onto a secondary texture (eg.:lightmaps) do not use any MIPMAPPED mode
scene swaptex(tex_id1,tex_id2) swaps the two textures
scene cleanup
free all


CAMERA MOVEMENTS

scene position(x,y,z) this sets the camera (observer) position thru x,y,z coordinates (see below)
scene rotation(rx,ry,rz) this sets the camera (observer) rotation thru angles rx,ry,rz (in degrees)
scene setspin(angle_x,angle_y) sets the spin camera at angle_x,angle_y ((the spin camera always looks in the center of the scene)
scene spincam(inc_x,inc_y) spins the camera by inc_x,inc_y angles (the spin camera always looks in the center of the scene)

you can position a camera with simple statements:

scene position(1,0,0);
scene
position(2,0,0);
scene
position(3,0,0);
scene
position(4,0,0);

or functions:

for (pos_x = 0; pos_x < 100; pos_x ++)
{
    scene
position(pos_x,0,0);
    sleep(100);
}

for (t=0;t<1000;t++)
    scene
position(random(0,500),random(0,500),random(0,500));

the best way to move a camera in a smooth movement is thru a "keyframer", a
keyframer makes a smooth trajectory where you define only the waypoints.
Click on the
keyframer link for more samples


USER INTERACTION

The following statements controls the user input relative to camera movement.
They are valid only if user input is enabled with
scene keybd(1) (ignored in debug mode)

scene keybd(0/1)
enables(1) or disables(0) the user input (ie: mouse AND keyboard)
scene speed(movement,rotation)
set the current speed and angle speed for the user input (eg.:the mouse speed)
scene focus(OBJECT)
switch the user control from the standard camera (-1) to spin (-2) to object OBJECT
scene collide(0/1)
enables(1) or disable(0) collision detection for the camera vs all objects

To gain more control about objects selection and status of keypressed buttons during script execution see the status function


CUBEMAPPING

scene cubemap this loads and enables cubemapping

Cubemapping is a very cool environment mapping mode, available only on newest videocards.
Cubemapping requires SIX textures, representing the environment, and these six textures are envmapped on the objects.
To enable cubemap you must have SIX textures named cubemap_xxx where "xxx" is the orientation (left, top, right, bottom, front and back) for example
CUBEMAP_FRONT.TGA and CUBEMAP_BOTTOM.JPG are both valid, the orientation follows the "standard" defined by nVidia in their demos:

All six textures must be equal in depth (eg.: all of them 24bit per pixel) and size (eg.:all of them 256x256 pixels) ... sorry this is imposed by hardware.
The cubemap will be applied automatically on objects with envmapping textures, if the hardware can't support cubemapping the engine uses automatically the standard envmapping.
To apply a standard envmapping on a object check the
object statement.
Tip: since cubemap is better if it's coherent with the visibile background ;-) you can define a
skybox using the SAME SET of  textures, for example:

SKY = new cSkybox;    //create a skybox
skybox ("cubemap");     //load a skybox with the same standard (cubemap_left etc etc);
skybox active(1);

scene cubemap;           //activate cubemap, now reflections on the object are coherent with environment!!

It's possible to enable a separate set of cubemap for every object, check the texturing chapter for more info.
It's possible to enable realtime cubemapping over an object, check the
texgfx chapter for more info.

VERTEX and FRAGMENT PROGRAMS

It is possible to apply a vertex program (also know as vertex shader in DirectX programming) or a fragment program (also know as pixel shader) on every object .These programs are very powerful programs running straight on the GPU (leaving free your cpu ...and requires hardware support of course).
The use of GPU programming is only limited by your imagination, because they can control :colors, texture coordinates, lighting and vertex position in realtime .
These program must be written and placed in the scene file then we instruct a main scene to load and apply on objects.
Since vertex and fragment programs can be shared by different objects they must be loaded like textures and assigned in the general "scene" class.

 
(left: sample vertex colors, right: cel shading)

scene vprog(OBJECT_ID,SHADER_ID)
scene shader(OBJECT_ID,SHADER_ID)
scene glsl(OBJECT_ID,SHADER_ID)

assign the previously loaded vertex program SHADER_ID on the object OBJECT_ID.
If "glsl" is used the engine uses vertex (if present) or fragment shader (if present) for the object, see the load section
scene fprog(OBJECT_ID,SHADER_ID)
 
assign the previously loaded fragment program SHADER_ID on the object OBJECT_ID
scene  vpparm(SHADER_ID,p1,p2,p3,p4)
scene shadparm(SHADER_ID,p1,p2,p3,p4)
pass the four parameters (p1,p2,p3,p4) to the vertex program identified by SHADER_ID.
Use of these parameters is optional and depends from the vertex program itself.
scene  fpparm(SHADER_ID,p1,p2,p3,p4) pass the four parameters (p1,p2,p3,p4) to the fragment program identified by SHADER_ID.
Use of these parameters is optional and depends from the fragment program itself.

the following example loads a vertex program and assigns it to an object:
....
tekkaman = load("blade");
object tekkaman active(1);
....
perturbVP = load("perturbVP");
scene vprog(tekkaman,perturbVP);

if the shader is used once and for just a single object you can compress code:

scene shader(tekkaman,load("perturbVP"));

for convenience a shader can be called by scene and object, the following statement are equivalent:

scene vprog(tekkaman,perturbVP);
object tekkaman shader(perturbVP);


if you need to send a parameter to the shader call:

scene vpparm(perturbVP,0,0,-100,time);    //shader "perturbVP" receive 0,0,-100 and the current time

In the Chimera "SDK" distribution you can find some samples of vertex programming.


OBJECT

The object class is the core of the engine, because without objects, it is hard to make a scene :-), acceptable object format may be 3DS, OBJ, MD2 and others.
It is possible to apply a
vertex program to every object.
When first loaded,  the original file will be converted in GFX format, which is smaller and more suitable for the engine.
The original object file may contain a single object with a single material or multiple object and material definitions.
Materials are a good source of effects because an effect (envmapping, bumpmapping and so on...) can be assigned on a specified material.
Material effects are automatically applied if the corresponding texture is found, for example, material covered by texture "TERRAIN.TGA" will show bumpmaps  AUTOMATICALLY if "TERRAIN_BUMP.TGA" is found (see
texturing)

ID = load (fileName) load an object-definition from a file (file definitions are not considered in this reference)
delete cObject(ID) delete an object
object ID active (0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the ID drawing
object ID update force an update to entire object (usually you donít use this statement)
object ID diffuse (r,g,b) specify a diffuse color for the object (valid range 0..1);
object ID ambient (r,g,b) specify an ambient color for the object (valid range 0..1)
object ID specular (r,g,b) specify a specular color for the object (valid range 0..1)
object ID blend(a) set a transparency level for the object (valid range 0..1)
object ID alpha(a) change the transparency level of the object (valid range 0..1)
object ID lighted(0/1) illumination is cast(1) or not cast (0) on this object
object ID smooth(0/1) turn on/off the "smoothing" effect of lights on a lighted object
object ID transp(0/1) turn on/off the alpha test for this object
to change the alpha level use the
scene transp(level) statement
object ID fog(0/1) turn on/off the fog effect for this object
object ID drawmode(0/1) switch between solid rendering and wireframe
object ID lmmode(0/1) switch between lightmapping and shadowmapping (only if object uses lightmaps)
object ID envmode(0/1) set current envmaps drawing mode (only if object uses envmaps)
object ID bumplevel(1) set current bumpmaps height (only if object uses bumpmaps), default height is 0.008
object ID deftex(numTex) specify the current texture to be applied to the object
remember you can use the
Load statement, eg. object starShip deftex(load("bigtexture"));
object ID mattex(obj,mat,tex) specify a texture only for a sub-object and relative material
note: the file DEBUG.TXT contains a full description of object/subobjects and material
object ID matcolr (obj,mat,r) specify a new RED level only for subobject <obj> and related material <mat>
object ID matcolg (obj,mat,r) specify a new GREEN level only for subobject <obj> and related material <mat>
object ID matcolb (obj,mat,r) specify a new BLUE level only for subobject <obj> and related material <mat>
object ID matcola (obj,mat,r) specify a new ALPHA  level only for subobject <obj> and related material <mat>
object ID cull(CULL_TYPE) specify how object is oriented, default 0=front faces, 1=back faces, 2=front & back faces
object ID test(TEST_TYPE) specify a full depth test (1) or none (0)
object ID mask(0/1) enable or disable writing on depth buffer for this object
object ID vprog(SHADER_ID)
object ID shader(SHADER_ID)
load and enable a vertex program on current object, please read the vertex program section about this effect
object ID fprog(SHADER_ID) oad and enable a fragment program on current object, please read the vertex program section about this effect
object ID tmode(OBJID,filter) specify the blending filter for the subobject OBJID (-1 = entire object), filter vary from 0 (default) to 10
object ID texture(textureID)
assign a global default texture
object ID matrix(onOff,p1,p2,p3) assign a scale matrix with p1,p2,p3 values
object ID lmreset completely reset the lightmaps coordinates (see radiosity and so on about it)

DEFORMATION

These statements control the realtime deformation of an object

object ID vertex (vertex,x,y,z) move the vertex (vertex) to position (x,y,z)
object ID x_value (vertex,x) change the (x) value of (vertex)
object ID y_value (vertex,y) change the (y) value of (vertex)
object ID z_value (vertex,z) change the (z) value of (vertex)
object ID x_array (vstart,vend,x) like "x_value" but extends value (x) from vertex (vstart) to vertex (vend)
object ID y_array (vstart,vend,y) like "y_value" but extends value (y) from vertex (vstart) to vertex (vend)
object ID z_array (vstart,vend,z) like "z_value" but extends value (z) from vertex (vstart) to vertex (vend)

As an example, you can dinamically ondulate a surface to recreate water or flag effects, or morph an object into another.
To specify (vertex) identifyer you can use key 3 on the
keyboard (not keypad), this show you all vertex number of all object.

for (int t=0;t<6.28;t+=0.001)
    object Dummy y_value(0,sin(t));    //"ondulate" vertex 0 of object "Dummy" along y axis

for a range of vertices the following code:

for (int numVertex=0;numVertex<100;numVertex++)
    for (int t=0;t<6.28;t+=0.001)
        object Dummy y_value(0,sin(t)); 


is equal to:

for (int t=0;t<6.28;t+=0.001)
        object Dummy y_array(0,99,sin(t)); 

see also vertex programs about deformation

TEXTURING NAMING CONVENTION

Assuming only one effect will be applied on a specific material for speed reasons except for lightmaps (effects are applied through multitex ARB in one pass only, if possible),  the texture naming convention to implement effects is:

<name>.image_extension
 
this is the original texture name, for example "image.tga"
note: to enable transparency you MUST use a 32 bit TGA or equivalent, JPEG doesn't support transparemcy
<name>_ENV.image_extension envmapping is enabled if a corresponding file "image_env" is found
note: if a global
scene cubemapping is defined then  all envmaps will be replaced by cubemaps
note: see
object ID envmode(0/1) for additional effects
<name>_BUMP.image_extension bumpmapping is enabled if a corresponding file "image_bump" is found
note: this function requires an active light to work;
note: see
object ID bumplevel(n) for additional effects
<name>_LITE.image_extension lightmapping/shadowmapping is enabled if a corresponding file "image_lite" is found
note: see
object ID lightmap(0/1) for additional effects
<name>_NORMAL.image_extension dot3 "tangent space" bumpmap is  enabled if a corresponding file "image_normal" is found
note: this function requires an active light to work
<name>_SPECULAR.image_extension dot3 specular bump is enabled if a corresponding file "image_specular" is found
note: this function requires an active light to work
<object_name>_cubemap_<side>.image_extension specify a separate set of cubemaps only for this object
object_name must be the real filename (eg.: for water.3ds >> water_cubemap_right.tga and so on...)
side is the orientation (left, top, right, bottom, front and back) so, for the water.gfx object, you must create: water_cubemap_left.tga, water_cubemap_right.tga, water_cubemap_top.tga, water_cubemap_bottom.tga, water_cubemap_front.tga and water_cubemap_back.tga
usually the global cubemapping is valid for every object covered by a environment mapping texture, but a separate cubemap can be enabled for some special effect, for example: dynamic cubemapping between different reflecting object (see reflection chapter) or dynamic cubemapping over an object only, but placed in a scene where other object are reflecting the global cubemap

Added textures, or simply "effects" can be different in sizes and formats from the base texture.
Some examples .... Imagine having a ship containing a lot of materials (and a lot of texture). Now let's say you want to assign an envmapping (cubemapping. if defined, is automatically applyied in place of the standard envmap) to the right and left engine and to the cockpit. These objects are covered by the textures
ENGINE.TGA and COCKPIT.TGA (the object will look as the one in the left image, below)
If you create two textures named
ENGINE_ENV.PNG and COCKPIT_ENV.PNG (actually the same, i.e. the middle image), the result will look as the image on the right.

   

Now suppose I wanna apply transparency to cockpit.
Transparencies are NOT represented by another texture but are within the same texture, so I open
COCKPIT.PNG with an image editor (let's say Photoshop or GIMP), and add an alpha channel. This specific, gray-scaled channel represents transparency. Solid white  means opaque, and solid black is fully transparent, fading from black to white simulates different degree of transparency - as an example, in the textures below I added some white to the border to simulate a dirty effect on the glass (the granular spray tool will do this nicely):

   

We can use this effect in a creative manner. For example: transparency is not just useful with glass objects, but also for defining fences or complex structures, (such as trees, fences, metallic carpentry etc) by just using a flat surface and a transparency texture:

Please note Chimera contains an automatic "alpha tester" for sorting alpha object.

Now we want to apply bumpmapping to the central surface.
Bumpmaps require an active
light to work, but we already have a light active, so if the base texture is this BODY.TGA (second image) we can create a grayscaled texture calling it BODY_BUMP..PNG  (third image)and the result will look as the image on the right:

   


Now about glows or "lightmaps": a lightmap is a secondary texture applied to the base texture to define the level of brightness and color of the base texture.
The
object ID lightmap(0/1) statement controls the blend mode of the lightmap, in the default mode "black" is trasparent and the lightmap increases the brightess of the main texture, in the alternate mode the lightmap "darkens" the main texture to produce dark, shadowed zones (this is the common trick used by the 99% of the games to show complex but static shadows in the main ambient, for example the classic light filtering thru the steps of a stairway).
The engine can apply also a glow effect on these lightmaps, to enhance quality.
Let's consider my loved stardock: on the left there is the base texture
BASE.JPG, on the right is BASE_LITE.JPG (the same texture, this time processed by altering the contrast and brightness of the first one):

lightmap

the lightmap colorizes the base texture and is NOT affected by lighting.
In the default mode the result is (see images below): in  the left image the base texture with a soft light coming from the left; in  the second image just the  lightmap,  in the third image the two textures are blended together (notice the "windows" are lighted in the dark side), in the fourth image the effect is optionally enhanced with the fullscreen glow effect

lmap

Now about dot3 bump mapping (or "tangent space bump") and specular bump mapping: they require an active light to work and vertex program enabled on your board,  if the base texture is this MARBLE.PNG (image on the left) we can create a normalized texture calling it MARBLE_NORMAL.x or MARBLE_SPECULAR.x (image on the right, note: "_normal" and "_specular" are only naming convention to achieve the proper effect, the normalized texture is the same):


here the result: the first image on the left is the base scene, the middle image (dot3 bump mapping) is obtained with the normalized MARBLE_NORMAL.x and the image on the right (specular bump mapping) is obtained renaming the normal texture in MARBLE_SPECULAR.x :

There are a lot of tools helping you create the normalized map, the previous sample was created with the NormalMapFilter, a Photoshop plugin made freely downloadable from nVidia web site.
For OS X you can also use my free NormalMapGenerator software, in Misc Stuff section of my website.

You can also assign a "moving" multitexture (like an AVI) and make it "play" on a material: this is a textgfx effect, applied after the object is loaded.
Static shadows and lightmaps can be generated by the internal radiosity processor.
See also vertex programs about texture effects.


SHADOWS


To implement dynamic shadows you need a light and an object casting shadow (duh!), two or more lights produce two or more shadows.
The target object and the "fake" (the shadow caster, can be the same object) object are defined into costructor (see sample).
Basic statements are:

ID = new cShadow (0)
delete cSshadow (ID)

shadow ID setlen(p1)
"len" is the shadow volume lenght (default 100)
shadow ID nolight(p1)
cast a shadow with or without a light enabled
shadow ID volume(p1) shadow show or hide the entire volume projected (not only the flat shadow), useful for "rays" effect
shadow ID active(p1) enable/disable shadows on object ID
shadow ID color (r,g,b,a) set the shadow color (rgb) and transparency (a)
shadow IDdefobj(obj1,obj2) set the master object 1 and the "fake" object 2
some examples...if the basic script is :

/* oad an object */
CUBE = load("CUBE");
object CUBE active(1);

/* load ship */
SR4 = load("SR4");
object SR4 active(1);

/* define a light */
LIT = new cLight(-1);
light LIT move(-500,0,-500);
light LIT active(1);
 

/* build the shadow class */
myShadow = new cShadow(0);
shadow myShadow defobj(SR4,SR4);
shadow
myShadow color(0,0,0,0.8);
shadow
myShadow active(1);

scene start;

in this image: left standard shadow, middle shadow with volume, right: shadow with volume and high color (1,1,1,1)
 

   

A little trick of the trade: because shadow implementation is very slow on old hardware, many games and demos do not calculate the shadow using the real object but using a simplified, invisible object. Consider these two models: the left one uses a good 2K poly resolution, the right object is the little brother, 400 poly and no texture, which is never put on screen but is used for shadow casting:

Chimera supports the use of "fake" objects for shadows, in the first script you can add:

/* load fake/small ship */
SR4Fake = load("SR4Fake");        //load fake model
object SR4Fake active(0);
             //notice fake model isn't active
....
shadow myShadow defobj(SR4,SR4Fake);

notice the fake ship is NOT active, and you DO NOT need to reposition or rotation it in concert with the visible ship,as it is all self-managed by the engine.
Static shadows can be generated by the internal radiosity processor.

//TODO : Chimera supports also PCF Shadow Mapping :)


LIGHTGLOWS

Fullscreen glow (or "lightglow") is a cool effects to enhance the lighting quality of the scene, in depth the effect enhance a give a sort of "bloom" at any lightmap texture, see in the example from left to right: the model with diffuse texture and lightmap texture, in the right the same model with lightglow applied.
Please note it works fullscreen so it works automatically on every lightmapped object.

lightglows


ID = new cGlow() create a texture effect on the fly
delete cGlow(ID) delete a texture effect
glow ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0)
glow ID color(r,g,b,a) assign the RGBA value
glow ID settings(p1,p2,p3)

glow ID numelems(p1)

glow ID offset (p1)


simple sample of activating a glow (once, since is a fullscreen effect)

myGlow = new cGlow(0);
glow myGlow settings(512,2,2);
glow myGlow color(0.6,0.6,0.6,0.6);
glow myGlow active(1);



LIGHTBLOOM


Fullscreen lightbloom (or "bloom") is a cool effects to enhance the lighting quality of the scene.
Lightbloom enhance the lighted areas with a photorealistic diffuse glow, this effect do not requires any texture to works, the work is indipendent from the number of polygons.

lightbloom



ID = new cBloom() create a texture effect on the fly
delete cBloom(ID) delete a texture effect
bloom ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0)
bloom ID color(r,g,b,a) assign the RGBA value
bloom ID fullscreen(p1)

bloom ID settings(p1,p2,p3)

bloom ID numelems(p1)

bloom ID offset(p1)

simple sample of activating a lightbloom (once, since is a fullscreen effect)

myBloom = new cBloom(0);
bloom
myBloom settings(1024,4,2);
bloom myBloom color(0.6,0.6,0.6,0.6);
bloom myBloom active(1);



 BLUR

Blur is the standard effect to create "trails" using multiple images/buffer overimposed, its used for "speed" effect and more.
Like the glow and the bloom is a fullscreen effect so all the scene is included and do not requires special parameters.


ID = new cBlur() create a texture effect on the fly
delete cBlur(ID) delete a texture effect
blur ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0)
blur ID color(r,g,b,a) assign the RGBA value
blur ID duration(p1)
set the persistence
blur ID scale(p1,p2)

simple sample of activating a lightbloom (once, since is a fullscreen effect)

myBlur = new cBlur(0);
blur
myBlur duration(0);
blur myBlur color(0.5,0.5,0.5,1.0);
blur myBlur scale(1.0,2.0);
blur myBlur active(1);



CSG

Real-time CSG is a cool feature that enables dynamic addition and subtraction between two solid objects.
Like shadow-casting, it is a bit heavy for old hardware so ... use them, if possibile, with low-poly count objects.

ID = new cCSG (0) create a texture effect on the fly
delete cCSG(ID) delete a texture effect
CSG ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0)
CSG ID opmode(p1)
add or subtract
CSG ID object1(obj_id)

CSG ID object2(obj_id)

we load two intersecting object, a CUBE and a BALL, and a light just for fun:

LIT = new cLight(-1);
light LIT move(1000,0,0);
light LIT active(1);

CUBE = load("CUBE");
object CUBE move(-10,0,0);    //moves to intersect BALL
object CUBE lighted(1);
object CUBE active(1);

BALL = load("BALL ");
object BALL lighted(1);
object BALL move(10,0,0);    //moves to intersect CUBE
object BALL active(1);


myCSG = new cBlur(BALL,CUBE);
CSG
myCSG opmode(0);
CSG myCSG object1(BALL);
CSG myCSG object1(CUBE);
CSG myCSG active(1);

scene start;

with CSG operations we have three possibility (from left to right):

CSG myCSG object1(BALL);    
CSG myCSG object2(CUBE);
CSG myCSG opmode(0);

CSG myCSG object1(CUBE);    
CSG myCSG object2(BALL);
CSG myCSG opmode(0);

CSG myCSG object1(CUBE);    
CSG myCSG object2(BALL);
CSG myCSG opmode(1);


in the third example the operator creates the shared volume between BALL and CUBE so the result is the same (by exchanging object1 with object2)

Note that  this is all in realtime, so if you rotation the BALL or move the CUBE the resulting object is always the result of the add/subtract operation.


TEXGFX

texgfx is an operator to control texture effects. For example texture scroll, multitexture and reflection effect.
It is possible to apply a tex effect on every object texture, supposing the object has a texture already applied or, at least, defined texture coordinates.

ID = new cTexgfx(OBJ_ID) create a texture effect on the fly and assign it to OBJ_ID
delete cTexgfx(ID) delete a texture effect
texgfx ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the ID operation
texgfx ID defobj(obj,subobj,material) assign the desired effect on an object <obj>, sub-object <subobj> and material <material>. <obj> is the object identifier returned by new, the other two are defined in the object  structure itself. You can also read the the DEBUG.TXT file where subobjects and materials are listed;

SCROLL

Move a texture on a material

texgfx ID shift(x,y,speed) Scrolls the texture assigned to a material (see "assign") by <x,y> steps in <speed> milliseconds
note: <steps> must be in range from 0 (no movement) to 1 (movement by the size of texture)
for example 0.5 means the texture scroll for half his size

this is a sample code from the Horizon2 scene, we set a random shift over previously loaded cloud_object object

cShift = new cTexgfx(cloud_object);
texgfx cShift assign(cloud_object,0,0);
texgfx cShift shift(0,random(0,1000)/100000,10);     //this shift ranges from 0 to 0.001 every 10 milliseconds
texgfx cShift active(1);

MULTITEXTURE

Assigns one or more new texture(s) to a material and changes it periodically:

texgfx ID addtex(TEX_ID) You can assign more than one texture and change them at regular intervals
texgfx ID change(speed) To change the textures every <speed> milliseconds
texgfx ID target(textureType) assign the desired effect on a specific texture type <ttextureTypes>, corresponding effect are:
0 = the effect replace the main texture
1 = the effect replace the envmap texture (imagine the envmapped "fire" onto the OneRing...)
2 = the effect replace the lightmap texture (it can be used for illumination)
3 = the effect replace the bumpmap texture (not really useful)

this is a sample code from Horizon2 scene, after loading 30 textures we set a random change every "random" milliseconds:

totTex = 30;
tex0 = load("tex0");
load("tex1");
load("tex2");
......
load("tex30");

Rotor = new cTexgfx(cloud_object);
texgfx Rotor assign(cloud_object,0,0);             //assign the "rotor" effect to object "cloud_object", object 0 material 0
for (t=0;t<totTex;t++)
    texgfx Rotor texture(tex0 + t);                     //assign texture from n to n+30
texgfx Rotor change(random(2000,8000));        //assign random change time
texgfx Rotor active(1);

REFLECTIONS

A texture can be used as a secondary picture of the scene. This kind of texture is created on the fly and applied to an object and requires a "virtual" camera, positioned where you want, to take shots of the scene and transferred to the texture, so you can simulate reflections, picture-in-picture or external screens, etc

texgfx ID position(x,y,z) camera position
note: if the target is the cubemap (999) the correct values are:
(0,0,0) = ignored, cubemap is taked from the center of the object;
(-1 or +1,-1 or +1,-1 or +1) = the camera position is "mirrored" onto the specifyied plane for correct reflection (for example a water surface must have (0,-1,0) where the reflected cubemap is taken from opposite camera y position)
texgfx ID angle(x,y,z) camera rotation
note: if the target is the cubemap (999) this statement is ignored
texgfx ID reflect(speed,future,angle) enable shots. Shots are taken every <speed> millisecond (I suggest you to leave this value as high as possible, because taking a shot is time consuming). The shot is taken at current texture resolution so the larger is, the higher the shot resolution is, and the more time consuming the process will be.
The shot is taken using a field of view by <angle> degrees.
Pass 0 to
future
By default leave
angle = -1 (in this case the engine use the current field of view), if the target is the cubemap (999) this parameter is ignored
texgfx ID target(textureType) assign the desired effect on a specific texture type, textureTypes and corresponding effect are:
0 = the effect replace the main texture
1 = the effect replace the envmap texture (imagine the envmapped "fire" onto the One Ring...)
2 = the effect replace the lightmap texture (it can be used for illumination)
3 = the effect replace the bumpmap texture (not really useful)
999=all the environment is reflected onto the cubemap (the general cubemap or the object's cubemap if defined)

the kind of texture to be replaced can be defined with the target statement: the first image from the left is the original scene, in the second image the particle is reflected onto the primary texture, in the third image the reflection is mapped onto the lightmap (secondary) texture:

reFlect = new cTexgfx(FLOOR);
texgfx reFlect move(0,-200,0);    //reflect the scene from the following angle and position:
texgfx reFlect angle(90,0,0);
texgfx reFlect reflect(20,0,-1);
texgfx reFlect target(0);             //the reflection replaces the lightmap (like a light)
texgfx reFlect active(1);

Its also possible to map the surrounding environment straight to the cubemap (a standard cubemap must be present):

scene tfilter(3);
scene cubemap;

reFlect = new cTexgfx(Ball);
texgfx reFlect reflect(10,0,60);    //in this case 60 is ignored
texgfx reFlect target(999);
texgfx reFlect active(1);
 

To enable reflections over a secondary texture you must avoid to use mipmapping filters in you scene, use instead a non mipmapped mode, for example:

scene tfilter(3);    //bilinear anisotropic


RADIO

The Chimera engine contains a lightmap generator based on the Radiosity algorithm.
Radiosity assures the full handling of global illumination, shadows generation and efficient light distribution but, like any other raytracing legacy process, it is very slow (time heavily depends by the numbers of vertices) and requires some attention to the parameters.
The process is completely driven by the script and can be used once because the radio class -optionally- saves the generated lightmap texture (the "lightmap" is a secondary lighting textures overlapping the main texture, see the
object chapter about lighmaps) for every object. This way when you launch the scene again you can use the lightmap from the previously processed scene WITHOUT having the radiosity processor redo all the calculations from start.

Take a look at the following images:

the one on the left is the original scene, in the center a new image-file generated by the radiosity processor (managed by the engine as a lightmap) , in the third image the resulting scene.
You may also disable saving the resulting lightmaps to disk and make a scene with interactive calculation every launch.

It's important to understand that Radiosity DOES NOT HANDLE point lights (i.e. invisible light sources): EVERY object, particle, flare in the scene works as a light source, ok it seems absurd but it's amazing: imagine a scene where all object are subjected to illumination  and a circle of particles is dancing in the middle of the scene, or with a simple skybox outside the window... then all the objects are lighted by all these "light" sources, with corresponding  colors and level!
Another example: a dark alley with dark windows: place a lightmaps on these windows (so they seems lighted) and place a flare on a street lamp, both flare and lighted windows act as lights brighting the scene and making proper shadows!
In short, in building a scene to be rendered with the Radiosity algorithm, keep in mind the following :
- disable (or delete) any "real" realtime "opengl" point
light (do noth bother too much with this...the radio process does this automatically);
- put the "ok, I'm lighted" flag on every object you want to be part of the radiosity lighting process (eg.:
object myFloor lighted(1) );
- put the "ok, I'm NOT lighted so I AM a light" flag on every object you want to act as light source (eg.: object myNeonPanel lighted(0) ...  object myMoonSphere lighted(0) );
OR:
- create flares or particles (flares and particles cannot be "lighted" so they always act as a light source)
or eventually both the solutions.

To obtain the best results there are two concept to understand: the polygon subdivision and the number of the passes of the rendering.
Polygon subdivision represent the precision level of the resulting render. Since the process works with vertices is important to "slice" large polygons in several smaller polygons to improve precision (and slow render time) ... ok ... imagine to have a floor made by two triangles (see image on the left, below).
That floor is too simple to cast shadows behind the wooden boxes because in the "box zone" there is just a sigle vertex, its possible to improve the object with a level 2 subdivision (the image on the center) or a level 3 subdivision (image on the right). Every level splits any triangle in four triangles.
The subdivision level depends from the complexity of the object itself.
In the statement table there are a couple of statements regarding general subdivision or specific object subdivision.

About rendering passes: the lenght of rendering loop (how many passes) depends after all on how much you are satisfied by the scene.
Usually Radiosity requires several passes to "work" really as a true radiosity process. Take a look at the following image: in the first passage Radiosity calculates the illumination level straight from light to object (first image on the left, notice the hard shadows and low level of illumination of the floor and the cube), THEN, in the second pass, every object accumulates light from the surrounding objects (please note that, in the right image, that the shadow is softer and the floor acquires illumination from the cube, and vice versa):

 

Another example, this time with coloured light sources:
left image:  in the original scene there are three unlighted objects- a red cube, a blue cube and a green cube working as lights;
middle image: the scene after one rendering pass: the walls and the middle cube are lighted by the three cubes;
right image: walls, floor and the middle cube interact with the color of each other doing a correct diffuse lighting.


radiosity class basic statements are:

ID = new cRadio(-1) allocate the new radiosity process
delete cRadio(-1) delete the radiosity process ID (only one process at a time is supported)
radio calc
begin the radiosity process

optional parameters (to call BEFORE the begin process) are:

radio litpower(light_multiplier) (0-255, by default 1) increase or decrease the brightness of lights, reducing  the required number of passes
radio lmsize(texture_size) (by default 256) set the size (in pixels) of the resulting generated lightmaps
radio scrsize(buffer_size) (by default 128) set the offscreen buffer size for calculations, bigger is slower but more precise, smaller is fastest
radio savemode(0/1) (by default 1=on) save the lightmaps on the disk (1) or dont save the lightmaps (0)
- use 0 to test if the scene is lightmapped correctly ... until you decide to exit, very useful during testing renders
radio lmangle(degrees)
radio lmoangle(OBJECT_ID,degrees)
(by default 120) set the acceptable incident angle for all the object present in the scene
some materials may require a narrow angle (for example 60 or 90 works good with metal materials)
if you want to specity angle for specific material use
lmoangle:
it's the same as lmangle
but specify angle only for an object, eg.: radio myRad lmoangle(myShip,60)
radio polydiv(subdivision_level)
radio polyodiv(OBJECT_ID, subdivision_level)
(by default 1 = no recursion) sets the subdivision level for all the object of the scene, every increase of level increases rendering time exponentially by a power of three , since  every triangle is splitted in other four triangles:  in a scene with a rectangular floor made with two triangles, polydiv(1) processes the original 2 triangles, polydiv(2) treats them as 8 triangles, polydiv(3) treats them as 32 triangles and so on;
polyodiv is the same statement but refers to an object only, if you imagine a well built scene with decent (i.e. high polygon count) objects  and a poor two-triangle floor, you can enhance just the floor only using, for example:
radio myRadio polydiv(1);
radio myRadio polydiv(poorFloor,3);
radio lowshadow(brightness_level)
radio darklevel(brightness_level)
(0-255, by default 0 ) ok, these (equivalent) statements dont not sound like a serious radiosity but ... c'mon, really do you want to wait helplessly as the process runs for hours? :-) anyway ...values under "brightness level" are untouched by the light multiplier, helping in shortening the process by maintaining the shadows at the "proper" darkness despite using a high value of lightpower to get decent results in a few passes.
Maybe sounds difficult but it's really simple: just imagine the
litpower acting like  a brightness control forcing the light to saturate the scene without waiting hours,the darklevel works a bit like a saturation/contrast treshold, darkening and maintaining the dark zone; finally .... these parameters are stricly optional
radio texreset resets all lightmaps, useful only for long, repeated processes in a scene
LAMBERT.PNG optionally you can use a texture with alpha channel, named LAMBERT.TGA, as a filter for surface incident light.
If the file is present in the data folder everything is completely selfmanaged by the radio process.
There are some example files of this texture in the SDK


the shortest script to achieve radiosity is, for example:

myObj = new ("damned_alley");        //load some object
.....
streetLamps = new(...);                    //load some flare
....
scene start;
.....
new cRadio(-1);
radio begin;
delete cRadio;

in this mode (without parameters)  the engine automatically saves the lightmaps in the data folder (take a look, you must have a damned_alley_00_lit.tga file).

Multiple passages can ben done simply using the script syntax, for example you can do a three pass render with:

pass = 3;
while(pass > 0)
{
   new cRadio(-1);
   radio begin;
   delete cRadio;
   pass--;
}

now, something more complex to produce the four scene pass in the image:

backyard = load("walls");                //load the objects and
object backyard lighted(1);             //..specify they are to be lighted 
....
woodenboxes  = load("box");     
object woodenboxes lighted(1);
....
simplefloor  = load("floor");
object simplefloor lighted(1);
....
posterflares  = new cFlare(-1);        //load the flares and put these onto the wall poster (no, I'm not sponsored by Diesel Jeans (tm) :-)
....
dklevel = 1;                                  //sets the dark level untouched by light multiplier
litpowa = 10;                                //sets the initial light multiplier
iterator = 4;                                 //sets four pass render
while(iterator > 0)
{
    new cRadio(-1);                            //create process
    radio lowshadow(dklevel);           //sets the dark level
    radio polydiv(1);                          //leave the original polygon subdivision
    radio polyodiv(simplefloor ,3);    //...except for floor, it's a simple object so we can split it in 32 triangles
    radio litpower(litpowa);               //sets the light power multiplier
    radio lmsize(256);                       //sets the size of the lightmaps (256x256 pixels)
    radio lmangle(160);                            //sets the light angle for all the object
    radio lmoangle(simplefloor ,110);      //....expect for floor, we want it more reflective
    radio savemode(1);                    //instruct the process to do a save of the lightmaps at the end of the process
    radio begin;                              //start the process
    delete cRadio;                          //when done it clears the memory

    iterator--;                                 //pass -1
    litpowa = 1;                            //reset the lightpower (because from the second pass there is more "light" around)

   ( .... and back to the top for another pass ... )
}


WATER

Water surfaces are controlled by the properties of the water operator.
This effect is applicable on an object's surface, and these surfaces must be defined in a object.
For example, you can easily create a landscape, and a "sea" as a sub-object, represented by a plane (in 3DStudio), or a grid of vertices (25x25 is enough).
Then we apply the water effect on this "sea".
If you hate prebuilded waves and want more customization use the
fluide operator.

ID = new cWater(OBJ_ID) create a water effect on the fly, and assign it to object (OBJ_ID), assuming subobject (0)
delete cWater(ID) delete a water effect
water ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the water effect
water ID object(obj subobj) assign the effect on object (obj), subobject (subobj)
same as texgfx or other operators, the full list of object / materials can be found in DEBUG.TXT
water ID speed (refresh,impulse) specify the refresh speed of wave (by default 10ms) and the impulse speed (default 10ms), "impulse" specifies the time elapsed from one wave creation to the next
water ID wave(waveType,waveHeight,waveForce) specify type of wave.waveType can be set to:
0 = hill wave - a bump moving in the "sea"
1 = linear wave - a wave which goes from side to side of the "sea"
2 = point wave - e.g. that caused by a raindrop in the "sea"
waveHeight is the max height of wave (default=30)
waveForce is a fine trim and by default leave 0.02
water ID coord(x,y) other than "wave" you can specify the exact coordinates where wave is generated, useful for "driven" surfaces, so you can generate a wave in the place where a drop is falling etc.etc.,
NOTE:  (x,y) represent the rows and columns of your grid, NOT the real spatial coordinates !!
water ID sorttriangles may help with misaligned objects


left image: original object - center: hill random wave - right: linear wave

this snippet is taken from the "Distant Shores" scene, it loads a grid and enable the water fx on it:

//load sea surface
SEA = load("seaplane2");
object SEA scale(80000);
object SEA move(+740,-1000,+700);
object SEA rotation(-180,0,0);
object SEA diffuse(1,1,1);
object SEA active(1);
object SEA fog(1);

//add water effect to SEA object
H2O = new cWater(SEA);
water H2O speed (50,10);
water H2O wave(0,2,0.02);    //"hill" wave, 2 is a very low height (and 0.02 is the default force trimmer)
water H2O active(1);


FLUIDE

Fluide surfaces are controlled by the properties of the fluide operator (similar to water operator, but with more handling parameters).
This effect is applicable on an object's surface, and these surfaces must be defined in a object.
For example, you can easily create a landscape, and a "sea" as a sub-object, represented by a plane (in 3DStudio), or a grid of vertices (25x25 is enough).
Then we apply the fluide effect on this "sea",

ID = new cFluide(OBJ_ID) create a fluide effect on the fly, and assign it to object (OBJ_ID), assuming subobject (0)
delete cFluide(ID) delete a fluide effect
fluide ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the fluide effect
fluide ID defobj(obj subobj) assign the effect on object (obj), subobject (subobj)
same as texgfx or other operators, the full list of object / materials can be found in DEBUG.TXT
fluide ID speed (refresh) specify the refresh speed of the fluide (by default 10ms)
fluide ID addimpulse (row,col,amplitude,frequency) enable an "oscillator" on row,col with amplitude (by default 40.0) and frequency (by default 20.0)
amplitude and frequency depends of the size of the target object
NOTE:  (x,y) represent the rows and columns of your grid, NOT the real spatial coordinates !!
fluide ID addperturb (row,col, height) change the height of a vertex, nearby vertices respond accordly, this is a simplifyed form of addimpulse where the surface if perturbed without using an oscillator (eg.: using a for loop with addperturb to create rain effect)
NOTE:  (x,y) represent the rows and columns of your grid, NOT the real spatial coordinates !!
fluide ID duration(time) specify life (in ms) of the oscillator, by default 2 seconds (2000 ms)
fluide ID wavetime(n)
fluide ID waveweight(n)
a couple of fine tuning parameters:
wavetime (by default 0.004) represent the "fluidity" or speed of the surface;
waveweight (by default 0.0002) the "weight" or the force of the oscillator
fluide ID sortfaces may help with misaligned objects
fluide ID update

this snippet is taken from the "MoonBay" scene, it loads a grid and enable the fluide  fx on it:

//load sea surface
wSurface= load("seaplane2");
.....

//add water effect to wSurface object
myPerturb = new cFluide(wSurface);
fluide myPerturb assign(wSurface,0);
fluide myPerturb speed (10);
fluide myPerturb wavetime(0.001);
fluide myPerturb addimpulse (50,50,2,100);
fluide myPerturb active(1);


FLARE

Flare class controls the properties of flares - i.e. lighting textures.
Members of the flare class can be used to create light effects such as lamps, sunlight, lens flares, etc.
Flares are either linked to the vertex of an object (e.g. a jet engine) OR freely positioned in your screen, independent from  any object independent.
You can use a single flare to create all the lights on an object - engines, navigation lights, cockpit lights and so on, or use multiple emitters from a single flare class (i.e. having the same look) to define each light.
Flares can use more than one texture, and textures can be swapped at specified intervals, to simulate light flashing and so on.
You can also cast an automatic (but customizable) "lens flare" from the same emitter.
In the example below, the engine glow is made using a single flare class with two emitters, appended to two object vertices - the engine nozzles:

ID = new cFlare(OBJ_ID) create a flare on the fly and assign it to OBJ_ID or standalone flare if OBJ_ID=-1
delete cFlare(ID); delete a flare
flare ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the ID drawing
flare ID test(testtype) set the current depth test for this flare and its emitters. testtype can be:
0=no test, flare is always visible
1=standard depth test, flare is partially occluded by object and doesn't fade
2=flare is not occluded by the object as long as the center is visible, then fades when occluded with a cool effect (as in  the Unreal(tm) FPS);
flare ID speed(10) used if test=2 (occlusion flare) to specify the fader time in millisecond
flare ID color(r,g,b,a) set flare color, usually leave  this at 1,1,1,1 (default) and use the texture colors
flare ID size(size) set the size of the flare
flare ID texture(TEXTURE_ID) load texture <texturename> , you can specify multiple load to obtain multitexture
flare ID change(speed) set <speed> for texture change, only if you have defined more than one texture for a flare

now the flare can be "appended" to an object vertex or it can be standalone (sun etc.)

flare ID position(x,y,z) only for standalone flares: position a standalone flare to (x,y,z) coords
flare ID add(obj,sub,vertex) link flare on a vertex, "move" is unused in this case because flare is assumed to be updated by the coords of the vertex accordly with the object, parameters are:
OBJECT (the ID you are using for an object)
SUBOBJECT (number, related to object structure)
the vertex of this subobject
You can check the subobject id and vertex id by pressing "1" or "2" on the keyboard and verify the object structure thru the usual DEBUG.FILE
You can read also the DEBUG.TXT file where subobjects and materials are listed;
flare ID offset(emitter,x,y,z); set an offset for an <emitter>. The emitter is in local space and if already related to an object where flare is linked, this statement is ignored if flare is standalone

Some examples....

How to create a distant sun:

SUN = new cFlare(-1);
flare SUN texture(load("SUN"));
flare SUN move(14500,-16000,+500);
flare SUN size(10);
flare SUN speed(10);
flare SUN color (1,1,1,1);
flare SUN active(1);

How to put engine flares, then flashing  lights onto a starship, using three textures:

/**************** load the object ***************/
SHIP = load("starship");   
object SHIP active(1);
obj_engine = 0;


/****************engine flares ***************/
ENGINES = new cFlare(SHIP);
flare ENGINES texture(load("FLARE_BIG");
flare ENGINES add(SHIP, obj_engine, 20);    //add emitter to vertex #20
flare ENGINES add(SHIP, obj_engine, 57);    //add emitter to vertex #57
flare ENGINES offset(0,1,0,0);                     //light offset otherwise flare is "in" the model
flare ENGINES offset(0,1,0,0);
flare ENGINES active(1);


/****************positional lights ***************/

LITPOS = new cFlare(SHIP);
flare LITPOS texture(load("FLARE_BIG"));
flare LITPOS texture(load("FLARE_MEDIUM"));
flare LITPOS texture(load("FLARE_SMALL"));
flare LITPOS size(1);
flare LITPOS test(2);
flare LITPOS change(50);                //flare cycle from big to small every 50 ms
flare LITPOS add(SHIP,31,1032);    // notice a single LITPOS can be used for three lights
flare LITPOS add(SHIP,31,1214);
flare LITPOS add(SHIP,79,204);
flare LITPOS offset(0,-1,0,0);
flare LITPOS offset(1,+1,0,0);
flare LITPOS offset(2,-1,-1,0);
flare LITPOS active(1);

Flares can be linked to an object vertex. If you plan to move a set of flares thru keyframer, you must create a hidden object (a triangle is ok), then apply keyframer onto this object, and use the same fake object to generate particles.

LENSFLARE

A "lensflare" can be appended to the same emitter of the flare, for the lensflare you do not need to specify a texture because sets of lensflare are already defined for your convenience, it's also possibile to set the "brightness" of the screen when the camera is looking in the flare direction (sunlight effect),  Here is a visual of a lensflare appended to the a flare emitter (the cyan one, see previous image)

flare ID lens(size,bright,shape,filled) use this statement to add a lens-flare to a standard flare. Lens flares are calculated and do not require textures. The parameters are:
<size> the size of the components
<bright> the level of brightness cast on the screen when a flare is pointing toward the camera (set to "0" if you dont want this effect)
<shape> is the number of sides for the lensflare component, for example "6" to draw a series of hexagons, so the more <shape>,the more lens flares are rounded
<filled> is how the flare is drawn. "0" is not filled, so the flare is empty with borders, "1" is the opposite.
flare ID set(numSet) select a <numSet> set of lens-flares (by default set "0" is used). There are some (4) separate sets of flares, in different colors and shapes (see below), and more are to come in future versions!

the "distant sun" code is now:

SUN = new cFlare(-1);
flare SUN texture(load("SUN"));
flare SUN move(14500,-16000,+500);
flare SUN size(10);
flare SUN speed(10);
flare SUN set(0);                    //choose the flareset
flare SUN lens (0.6,0.8,12,0); //modify some parameters...
flare SUN color (1,1,1,1);      //this is ignored except for flareset #3
flare SUN active(1);

let's analyze the parameters: flare ID set(0...5) use predefined flare set n, ranging from 0 to 5 (for now), indicatively these sets are (from 0 to 5):


 

Please note that flareset #3 (in blue in the upper image) is a special set of flares, which doesn't use the preset colors but a color set defined by user.
To produce the following flare just pass
flare SUN color (1,1,0,1);

As a first parameter of flare SUN lens (0.6,0,12,1) we have the dimension of the flare, and this depends from the scene.
The second parameter of
flare SUN lens (0.6,0,12,1) defines the brightness of flare (when observer "looks" in the flare direction), this is the difference between
flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,0)  (in the previous image) and flare SUN lens (0.6,0.8,24,0) below:

the third parameter of flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,0) defines the number of sides of the flare, this is the difference between
flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,0) (below, first image) and flare SUN lens (0.6,0,6,0) (below, second image):

the last parameter of flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,0) defines if flare must be filled or not, this is the difference between
flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,0)  (below, first image) and flare SUN lens (0.6,0,24,1) (below, second image):


PARTICLE

particle statements control the properties of particle systems.
Particle systems can be dynamic or static, generated by spare points or from an object's vertex, and point-defined or volume defined.
Like
flare particle system can be linked to an object vertex or leave alone, a single system can use more than one emitter.
Some visual examples (from left to right):
standalone particle system, generated from a point, with all-axis random acceleration;
standalone particle system, generated from a point, with Y vertical acceleration;
standalone particle system, generated in a a defined area (and not from a point);

   

Particle systems linked to an object can act both in LOCAL and WORLD space. Local space means that particle generation, distribution and movement are relative to object orientation, and in global space are relative to "real" world orientation. For example, looking at the flare sample, appending a single particle system to a ship, and defining two emitters related to the two engine ship is a nice way to simulate gas exhaust... then if you move the ship, if the PS (particle system) is in local space, gas is coherent with the ship and will rotation with it, while in world space the PS leaves trails (altough is always fixed to the vertices).
PS's are dynamic by default (because they are used largely for simulating dynamic entities like fire) but you can "freeze" them, just in case you need say, a galaxy... ;)

ID = new cParticle(OBJ_ID) create a particle system on the fly and assign it to OBJ_ID or standalone if OBJ_ID=-1
delete cParticle(ID) delete a particle system
particle ID active(0/1) enable (1) or disable(0) the ID drawing
particle ID total(tot) defines a PS to manage (tot) particles at a time, with multiple emitters. This number is shared evenly between emitters (e.g. 300 particles with 3 emitters, every emitter will generate 100 particles);
particle ID rgb1(r,g,b) define the starting color of the particle, color will be interpolated between "life"
particle ID rgb2(r,g,b) define the ending color of the particle, color will be interpolated between "life"
particle ID size(size) define the size of the particle
particle ID test(testtype) define the depth test for PS, 0=no test (always visible), 1=depth tested
particle ID blend(blendmode) define the color combine between particles:
1=(default) saturate:  every particle add the color to other particles (eg: a fire effect)
0=opaque: every particle is "opaque" like objects (in this case only 32bit textures can define transparencies)
particle ID texture(TEX_ID); assign texture TEX_ID to a PS (you can use load, eg.: particle Test  texture(load("bigmesh"));
particle ID life(n) define the mean life of a particle in <frames>, if you want to freeze use "dead"
particle ID dead(0/1) define static or dynamic PS:
0=frozen ("life" parameter is ignored)
1=dynamic, new particles are added as old particles die
particle ID direct(x,y,z) define the direction vector for particle movement
particle ID accel(x,y,z); define the acceleration vector for particle movement
particle ID radius(n) define a general radius, representing the "spread" size of PS, the larger the more "spherical" the emission is
particle ID speed(n) define the update timer (in ms) of the PS
particle ID volume(x,y,z) define a volume containing particles, by default volume is equal to (0,0,0) so initially a PS has a single-point source, so by specifying "volume", you are instructing the engine to use a "box" as an emitter, instead of a point, so new particle are generated in random positions inside this "box"
particle ID casual(n) use 0=rgb colors or 1=a random generated color at every particle created (in this case "rgb1" and "rgb2" will be ignored)
particle ID single(n,x,y,z) position a single particle <n> at <x,y,z> coordinates (local or global, depending on the PS), see the last example for positioning a galaxy :-D

For a particle system lnked to an object use:

particle ID space(n) defines if a PS - linked to an object - will act in
0=local (the direction of emission is rigidly oriented with object)
1=world space (eg:: simulate exhaust trails )
a standalone PS ignores this parameter because it is always in world space
particle ID add(obj,sub,vertex) like for flares this adds an emitter to an object <obj>, at sub-object <sub>, and vertex <vertex>. You can check subobject and vertex number with key "1" or "2" in Chimera.
A PS can have multiple emitters, but properties (colors, dead etc) are applied to all the emitters of the PS. You can also read the DEBUG.TXT file where subobjects and materials are listed;
particle ID offset(emitter,x,y,z,) like for flares this permanently moves an <emitter> by <x,y,z> from the current <obj, subobj, vertex> position

Standalone (not object linked) particle system can use:

particle ID position(x,y,z) standalone PS: move the PS to <x,y,z> world coords (object-linked PS will use object position)
particle ID rotation(x,y,z) standalone PS: rotation the PS by <x,y,z> angles (object-linked PS will use the object rotation)

To create a single standard emitter:

FIRE = new cParticle(-1);
particle FIRE texture(load("SUN"));
particle FIRE move(14500,-16000,+500);
particle FIRE size(10);
particle FIRE rgb1(1,1,0.5,1);    //set starting color to yellow
particle FIRE rgb2(0,0,0,1);      //set enging color to black
particle FIRE active(1);

now add a slow movement on the Y axis

particle FIRE direct (0,0.2,0);  
particle FIRE accel (0,0.2,0);

By now, tired of fire, we add this cool PS to the usual double-engine of the usual boring ship (the code is near the same as flares!!!):

SHIP = load("starship");
object SHIP active(1);
obj_engine = 0;

ENGINES = new cParticle(SHIP);
particle FIRE texture(load("FLARE_BIG");
particle FIRE add(SHIP, 0, 20);    //add emitter to vertex #20
particle FIRE add(SHIP, 0, 57);    //add emitter to vertex #57
particle FIRE offset(0,1,0,0);
particle FIRE offset(0,1,0,0);
particle FIRE active(1);

The next advanced example produces, thru simple math, concentric waves of particles:

scene move (0,0,-160);

SYS = new cParticle(-1);
particle SYS texture(load("STAR"));
particle SYS total(250);
particle SYS size(5);
particle SYS rgb1(1,1,1);
particle SYS rgb2(1,1,1);
particle SYS dead(0);
particle SYS active(1);

dist = 8000;
rings = 5;
ringstar = 50;
dr = 1100/(rays-1);
n = 0;

for(ir=1; ir<=rings; ir++){
    r = dist+(ir-1)*dr;
    for(it=1; it<=100; it++){
        t=n*6.283185308/ringstar;
        particle SYS single(n,r/100*cos(t),r/100*sin(t),0);
        n++;
    }
}

scene start;
while(1){
    for (t=0;t<360;t+=0.01){ particle SYS angle(t,t,t); }
}

As particle systems can be linked to an object vertex, if you plan to move a particle system thru keyframer, you must create a hidden object (a triangle is ok), then apply keyframer on that object.


LIGHT

light statements control the properties of lights, i.e. the illumination level of the objects and the entire scene.
A "light" is an invisible entity (at least .... until you append a flare ;-) and in that case we can only decide the position and the colors, but a light can also be "linked" to an object, like flares and particles, so the best way to make moving dynamic lights is to link this entity to a moving object.
NOTE: Although the Chimera engine has no light limit, some standard openGL implementations do not support more than 8 lights.

ID = new cLight(OBJ_ID) create a light nd assign it to OBJ_ID or standalone light if OBJ_ID=-1
delete cLight(ID) delete a light;
light ID active(0/1) activate (1) or deactivate (0) a light, If you want to kill a light only for a selected object use object OBJ_ID lighted(0);
light ID diffuse(r,g,b) assign diffuse color (rgb) on light ID
light ID ambient(r,g,b) assign ambient color (rgb) on light ID
light ID specular(r,g,b) assign specular color (rgb) on light ID
light ID exponent(exp) define spot exponent value
light ID cutoff(value) define spot cutoff value
light ID attenuate(value) define the attenuation factor for the light ID, without this value the light is (by default) infinite
light ID direction(rx,ry,rz) define the direction of the light ID, without this value the light is (by default) omnidirectional

like particles and flares the light can be positioned "stand alone" or attached to a moving or still object:

light ID position(x,y,z) move the light ID to position (x,y,z)
light ID object(OBJ_ID) assign light to object (OBJ_ID) so light moves accordly

Important notes about lights:
- Light controls
bump-mapping and shadows, without light these effects are disabled;
-
Shadows are cast by ALL lights defined, be aware that too many lights casting shadows slow down the scene;
-
Bump-mapping depends from first light only;
- you can position a light with a
keyframer only by applying a keyframer on an object (visible or invisible) and linking the light to the object.



//TODO : Chimera supports now Volumetric Light / Light Scattering and the usual "GodsRays" coming from a single obiect



SKYBOX

skybox statements controls the appearance of the skybox , i.e. the background of the scene landscape,
There can be only one skybox at a time, but you can dynamically create and dispose of them.

new cSkybox create a skybox object (please note no entity_id is returned...there's only one skybox at a time)
delete cSkybox delete the skybox
skybox active(0/1) activate (1) or deactivate (0) skybox drawing
skybox ("texname") load the skybox textures with name beginning with "texname"
the disposition is the same as the real
cubemap
skybox size(n) set the skybox size to (n) units. By default skybox is sized like the scene "far" parameter.
Sizing skybox has no real value except to extend the "far" viewable area without cutting big objects, remember to extend the scene far limit according to the skybox (or viceversa)
skybox rotation(x,y,z); rotation the skybox by (x,y,z) degrees on a corresponding axis
You can rotation a skybox continuously, to simulate, for example, a sunset, or you can rotation skybox to position a cubemap accordingly
skybox color(r,g,b) sets skybox color to (rgb) value, to simulate sunset and other effects...

to create a decent skybox, you must have six textures named "picname_xxx" where "xxx" is the orientation (left, top, right, bottom, front and back). For a skybox and a cubemap, for example SPACESTATION_FRONT.TGA and SPACESTATION_BOTTOM.JPG are both valid, the orientation follows the "standard" cubemap defined by nVidia in his demos

snippet from Night Fly scene:

scene cubemap;            //enable and load cubemap reflections

SKY = new cSkybox;
skybox ("cubemap");    //skybox uses the same textures so lanscape is coherent with reflected stuff
skybox rotation(0,0,0);
skybox active(1);


KEYFRAMER

The keyframer (framer in short) class is an abstract class that builds an interpolated path, derived  from a series of control positions.
The path can be assigned both to camera and objects, theoretically with just 4 control points you can define a circular path.


the keyframers used by stars from Stardance scene
(use V key in debug mode to display the keyframers)

ID = new cFramer(OBJECT_ID) create a path on the fly
this path will be assigned to object OBJECT_ID, or to the main camera if "-1"
delete cFramer(ID) delete a path
framer ID active(0/1) enable(1) or disable(0) the path (disabling stops camera or object)
framer ID object(OBJECT_ID)
assign a path to OBJECT_ID, or to a camera if OBJECT_ID is "-1"
framer ID speed(ms) specify execution time of every frame in ms, this ensures the same execution speed on any PC
framer ID loop(0/1) the path will be looped(1) or terminated(0) after last control point
framer ID start; starts execution of path (you can call start many time without re-defining the framer)
framer ID total(points,frames); define the number of control points and the default frames execution for each point
framer ID addkey(point_number); [backward compatibility: use total] add a control point
framer ID totalkeys(point,frames) [backward compatibility: use total] define how many <frames> uses the control <point>
framer ID position(key,x,y,z) the control point <key> is positioned at (x,y,z);
framer ID rotation(key,x,y,z) the control point <key> is rotationd by (x,y,z)
framer ID trimangle(n) fine tuning of interpolated angle (default = 0.7)
framer ID trimpos(n) fine tuning of interpolated position (default = 0.7)
framer ID freeangle(0/1) 0 = default, 1=the angle isn't imposed by the keyframer, leaving the user free to rotation object or eye position

a path is defined by a series of control points, each of which has a distance of a certain number of frames from the next. Imagine a flat circular path... You can define this path using 4 control points, and since control points usethe same convention as the "C" language , i.e. arrays starting with 0 not 1, we have for example:

point #0:    x = -10 y = 0 z = 0        //west
point #1:    x =   0 y = 0 z = +10      //north
point #2:    x = +10 y = 0 z = 0        //east
point #3:    x =   0 y = 0 z = -10      //south

you first have to define the total control points you will need, we define 4 control points, every point uses 300 frames to move the object (or the camera) to the next point:

CIRCLE = new cFramer(-1);
framer CIRCLE total(4,300);

We define the control points, and we also specify the rotation, although in this specific case, the rotation is unused:

framer CIRCLE move(0,-10,0,0);
framer CIRCLE rotation(0,0,0,0);
framer CIRCLE move(1,0,0,+10);
framer CIRCLE rotation(1,0,0,0);
framer CIRCLE move(2,+10,0,0);
framer CIRCLE rotation(2,0,0,0);
framer CIRCLE move(3,0,0,-10);
framer CIRCLE rotation(3,0,0,0);

finally we start keyframer:

framer CIRCLE start;

If you want to vary the speed of execution (for example if you want to accelerate for half the circle), you can specify a different number of frames for every point:

framer CIRCLE frames(0,300);
framer CIRCLE frames(1,200);
framer CIRCLE frames(2,100);    
framer CIRCLE frames(3,200);

if you do not want to specify the number of frames when defining the path (e.g. because you are building a path with some formulae),you can allocate the control points one at a time at every step, for example:

CIRCLE = new cFramer(-1);
framer CIRCLE add(0);           //add a point...
framer CIRCLE frames(0,300);    //... for 300 frames
framer CIRCLE move(0,-10,0,0);  //define the point
framer CIRCLE rotation(0,0,0,0);
framer CIRCLE add(1);           //add another point...
framer CIRCLE frames(1,200);    //... for 200 frames
framer CIRCLE move(1,-10,0,0);  //define the point
framer CIRCLE rotation(1,0,0,0);

.....

You may use status to control path completion and/or object position, this an example of a keyframer construction, execution and deletion after it's finished:

ID = new cFramer(-1);
framer ID total(3,300);
framer ID move(0,3226,-5760,136);
framer ID rotation(0,97,48,0);
framer ID move(1,2987,-2983,-77);
framer ID rotation(1,116,61,0);
framer ID move(2,2315,-806,-479);
framer ID start;
while( status cFramer(ID)) sleep(50);
delete cFramer(ID);


DEFORM

deform class is an abstract class. Like texgfx, this class defines geometric operations to apply to an object, like spin, scale etc.
you can apply more than one deform on an object, or define more than one effect per deform instance.

ID = new cDeform(OBJECT_ID) create a deform object on the fly. This effect will be assigned to object OBJECT_ID
a deform class CANT be standalone (obviously)
delete cDeform(ID) delete a deform class
deform ID active(0/1) enable(1) or disable(0) the effect
deform ID object(obj,speed);
assign the effect to an object <obj> to be executed at <speed> (in ms)
deform ID speed(speed) change execute speed to <speed> milliseconds 

these are specified effects:

deform ID spin(x,y,z) enable a constant spin to an object, by <x,y,z> degrees on respective axis
deform ID position(x,y,z) enable a constant movement to an object, by <x,y,z> steps on respective axis
deform ID blend(r,g,b,a) enable a constant color change by <r,g,b,a> steps
deform ID scale(x,y,z,speed) enable a constant scale-change by <x,y,z> steps on respective axis at <speed>
(WARNING: the scale effect is CPU intensive for large objects!)

Please remember: the deform effect is constant, you do NOT need to control it. For example, this script shows a rotating planet:

EARTH = load ("planet");
object EARTH active(1);

ORBIT = new cDeform(EARTH);
deform ORBIT spin(0,0.2,0);        //spin around Y axis by 0.2 degree steps
deform ORBIT active(1);

scene start;

If you want to stop the planet, simply specify:

deform ORBIT active(0);

or delete the effect:

delete cDeform(ORBIT);

Note:

ORBIT = new cDeform(EARTH);
deform ORBIT spin(0,0.2,0);        //notice the spin around Y axis by 0.2 degree steps
deform ORBIT active(1);

it's basically like:

for (angle=0;angle<3000000;angle+=0.2)
    object EARTH rotation(0,angle,0);

the difference being  that in the former case,  deform operates in a parallel thread (not "breaking" the script flow).



STATUS

status function returns the "active" state of an entity and other information about positions etc, it's very useful to check the status of a keyframer (running or not), positioning of the objects (to make something interactive) and keyboard/mouse user selection.

ACTIVE STATUS

currenlty is usefull only with keyframers because they go "disabled" automatically

is_active = status cDeform(ID) "is_active" is 0 (inactive) or 1 (active)
is_active = status cParticle(ID)
is_active = status cFlare(ID)
is_active = status cWater(ID)
is_active = status cFluide(ID)
is_active = status cTextgfx(ID);
is_active = status cSkybox(ID);
is_active = status cObject(ID);
is_active = status cFramer(ID); is_active" is 0 when keyframer has stopped
is_active = status cLight(ID) "
is_active = status cBloom(ID)
is_active = status cGlow(ID)
is_active = status cBlur(ID)
is_active = status cShadow(ID)
is_active = status cCSG(ID);






the scene execution is frozen until keyframer has completed:

framer ID start;                                   //start keyframer
while( status cFramer(ID))                   //wait while status is true (active)
     sleep(50);   
delete cFramer(ID);                            //delete and continue execution


POSITION STATUS

Positional status (eg.:status cObjPX(ID)) is useful when you want to interact with the object and you dont know the exact position:

current_position_X = status cObjPX(ID); return the current x coordinate of object ID
current_position_Y = status cObjPY(ID); return the current y coordinate of object ID
current_position_Z = status cObjPZ(ID); return the current z coordinate of object ID
current_rotation_X = status cObjRX(ID); return the current x angle of object ID
current_rotation_Y = status cObjRY(ID); return the current x angle of object ID
current_rotation_Z = status cObjRZ(ID); return the current x angle of object ID

and, for the camera:

current_position_X = status cCamPX(); return the current x coordinate of the camera
current_position_Y = status cCamPY(); return the current y coordinate of the camera
current_position_Z = status cCamPZ(); return the current z coordinate of the camera
current_rotation_X = status cCamRX(); return the current x angle of the camera
current_rotation_Y = status cCamRY(); return the current x angle of the camera
current_rotation_Z = status cCamRZ(); return the current x angle of the camera

For example: you have an object STAR, and you apply a keyframer on STAR, so the STAR moves and you dont know the exact position, 'cause keyframer is interpolating between positions, but you want to move a light accordingly with the STAR object ... you would recover the position thru cObjPX,PY ... and apply that position to light:

STAR = load("STAROBJECT");
LITE = new cLight();
STARPATH = new cFramer(STAR);
......
framer STARPATH start;              
while( status cFramer(STARPATH)){
    x = status cObjPX(STAR);
    y = status cObjPY(STAR);
    z = status cObjPZ(STAR);
    light LITE move(x,y,z);
}

or, in the shortest (and less readable) form:

while( status cFramer(STARPATH))
    light LITE move(status cObjPX(STAR),status cObjPY(STAR),status cObjPZ(STAR));


USER DETECTION

current_object = selection(0) return the current object ID selected by the user (in the center of the screen), or -1 if no object selected
current_state  = keystate(key_number) return the current state (0=up 1=down) of the key_number button
Valid key_number are, for example, 49=spacebar, -1=mouse button left, -2=mouse button right, positive number are the scancodes of the keys
if you dont know the scancode for a desired key simply keep a look to the debug console or at the debug.txt file (any keypressed is reported here).

in this sample "status" monitors the spacebar key, if it's down rotations the object CUBE:

angle_y = 0;
while(1){
    isClicked = status keystate(49);
    if (isClicked)
    {
        angle_y += 2;
        object CUBE rotation(0,angle_y,0);
    }
    sleep(100);
}

in this sample "status" monitors detection of an object by the user thru the right-mouse button, if this happens the color of the selected object changes to yellow and previously selected object color is restored to white:

NONE = -1;
oldObject = NONE;
while(1)
{
    isClicked = status keystate(2);
    if (isClicked)
    {
        currObject = status selection(0);

        if (oldObject != currObject && currObject != NONE)
            object oldObject diffuse(1,1,1);

        if (currObject != NONE)
            object currObject diffuse(1,1,0);

        oldObject = currObject;
    }
    sleep(100);
}


enable the keyboard, assign the right rotation (in 2 degree step) of the scene on the right cursor arrow.
With status we can replicate (or customize) the camera movement, for example this this code is equivalent:

angle_y = current_camera_y;
while(1){
    if (status keystate(39))
    {
        angle_y += 2;
        scene rotation (0,angle_y,0);
    }
}