OK, time for some explanation:
These are meshes created using ‘Vertex Displacement Mapping’. The displacement image used to create the distorted sphere form is behind each mesh. I’ve experimented with this technique before (and been less-than-impressed by the resulting framerates), but this time I’ve tried to add lighting by using a normal map in the Fragment shader. Normal map creation is also something I’ve tried before, but this time I tried a different method of creating it, based on modified Sobel filter code Desaxismundi very kindly sent me. I’m not altogether pleased with the results, which show a lot of ‘stepping’, but it’s an interesting experiment.
The first set of five snaps use simple, diffuse-only lighting. With the others, I’ve implemented the velvet lighting effect I mentioned in a previous post. Looks a bit odd on a ‘spiky’ form. More crystalline than soft and velvetty, I think, but it’s still a nice look. I’ll try a version with Phong lighting too, but I want to produce a set of portable, generalised Phong lighting Vertex and Fragment shader functions that I can easily apply to other projects, rather than just hacking-together something that works for this specific case.