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Recent Posts by Conan Zhang

Parallax Occlusion Mapping

Parallax Occlusion Mapping As textures allow artists and programmers to make basic meshes appear to have more color detail, they can also be used to make basic meshes appear to have more geometric detail. The two common techniques used to achieve this are displacement maps and parallax occlusion maps. The former actually tessellates the geometry…
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Metals & Environment Maps

Metals & Environment Maps Rendering metals poses an interesting problem because they have no diffuse. This means that specular lighting is what gives them their distinctive look. However, currently our rendering capabilities are only limited to specular highlights, when metals need the additional component of specular reflection. Specular reflection is when you can actually see…
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Physically Based Rendering and Roughness Maps

Physically Based Rendering and Roughness Maps Part of being a graphics programmer is making decisions on how much to accurately simulate light in reality. These choices create trends in the graphics industry, where today physically accurate lighting is the most popular rendering technique. One of the main reasons for this is that by simulating realistically,…
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Normal Maps

Normal Maps Using lighting, we can simulate bumps and divots on objects using normal maps. Normal maps are a texture that indicate the geometric normal of a texel, which can be used by the fragment shader to simulate more detail than just using vertex normals. Building Normal Maps Since normal maps are just textures, they…
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