Today’s tutorial is about selecting and moving 3D models with a cursor.
Recently I stumbled across an article from Shawn Hargreaves about Cubemaps and Environment Mapping, which is used to reflect the environment or any picture on an object’s surface. I like the idea generating Cubemaps from a 2D texture, because its a simple, quick, but non realistic solution. In the Reach Graphics Demo on XNAHub a 3D model is loaded through a custom Model Processor, which converts a 2D texture to a Cubemap and assigns it to the also converted Effect Class of the loaded 3D model.
This tutorial is about custom shaders within the XNA 4 framework. A shader (in CAD tools often called material and in XNA called effect) is a programm executed on the graphics card to manipulate the visual presentation of an object or a whole scene. A shader can describe the surface of an object and how it interacts with light (e.g. matt, glossy, shiny, reflective, bumpiness, color). Shaders can also be used for motion (morphing, water, hair), for shadows or for post effects (motion blur, depth of field). This tutorial is about integrating shaders into a XNA 4 game engine not about writing shaders in HLSL code.