Friday, December 31, 2004

Tricky portal/pointer code

I am working on having the user's laser pointer do the right thing when you pick through a portal. What should happen is the laser beam should break into pieces when it transitions through a portal. For example, now when you select an object in the mirror, the pointer simply points directly to the object from the avatar instead of bouncing against the mirror first. If you attempt to manipulate an object that is in a different space on the other side of a portal, the laser points to the position in the current space of where the object is in the remote. This looks bad and can be confusing.

The main reason I am doing this is in support of the CAD system, as picking through a portal is a central part of that UI, and it really needs to work in an appropriate way. Unfortunately, this is kind of complex. What has to happen is I have to add a laser segment into every space that the pointer traverses a portal to. And of course, this must be replicated - and it needs to be removed after every local render. My concern is that this may be a very expensive process and not worth the resulting payoff. I know there might be some speed enhancements by keeping the remote laser segments around longer, but I really don't want to worry about that yet.

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