Nov 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM

I have a major project I'm working on and need to know if Balder supports the following:

1.) Lighting... ambient, diffuse, and specular with definable light sources (a simple point light will be fine)

2.) Normal maps

3.) HLSL or GLSL shaders

4.) Z-Depth sorting (Kit3D has a major problem here)

5.) On-the-fly modification of my geometry, I have a basic building and need to allow the user to change it's dimensions in real-time

6.) Fully compatibale with Silverlight

7.) Soft shadows would be ideal

Nov 3, 2009 at 2:02 PM
Edited Nov 3, 2009 at 2:42 PM


I'll walk through point by point:

1. We have lighting - something called OmniLight which is the same as a Point Light - supports ambient, diffuse and specular

2. Not supported at the moment 

3. We're working on a spike to utilize WebGL. Silverlight does not have hardware acceleration for 3D yet, entire rendering pipeline today is software. We draw all the pixels ourselves, not relying on any primitives in Silverlight. This is basically for performance as well. Using Silverlight primitives proved to be too slow. We were down at 12-15 FPS with a simple model (roughly 1000 polygons), and can now maintain a FPS of 60 for 3 times as complex models. We're working on optimizing this further - and will be able to push the limit even further. 

4. Today the depth sorting is using ZBuffering - so it is "perfect". We're looking though to other mechanism in order to provide better performance. Most likely we'll end up with a solution were you can pick the accuracy of the rendering, so it will be optimal for your application.

5. You can inherit from Geometry or Mesh (if you're loading from disk) and modify vertices, materials and faces on the fly. In either of these objects, there is something called GeometryContext, which has methods such as SetVertex(), GetVertex().

6. 100% Silverlight compatibility - no extra stuff needed. It works on all browsers (Safari, Chrome, Opera, IE, FireFox) and on both Windows and Mac. Due to limitations in the current Moonlight implementation, we do not support that yet. We have ideas on how to support Moonlight as well, but we're holding back a bit for the next major release of Moonlight.

7. Shadows has not yet been implemented. It is something we haven't discussed yet, but is something the engine must support. 


We're very open for suggestions to changes and additions to the engine, so please don't hesitate to make your case.

Jul 9, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Hello everyone!

I've been reading the mailing list, and am happy to see how much progress the Balder team has made, as well as seeing the communitity grow.

I'd like to re-visit the above suggestions to see if they have been addressed.

Also in another thread {Re: Is Balder dead? [Balder:40527]} I had asked if we could specify which SL container object Balder would render into. At the time it was only the root container in the Silverlight page.

That was the main reason I had chosen at the time not to attempt using Balder. It was critical that my 3D scene be placed within a nested Canvas or Grid object on my page. Has this been addressed?

I see a lot of great work going on, and would love to see an update to these specific issues

Thank you, and keep up the good work!



Jul 9, 2010 at 10:51 PM
Yes it does, i use it inside a normal canvas... Just download the lastest source and check in samplebrowser solution :)
Jul 10, 2010 at 4:26 AM

I've got my Balder viewport stashed in a user control and plan to use it in several apps when completed -- no problems at all

Jul 10, 2010 at 5:32 AM

I can also add an update to the list above : 

1. Lighting has improved and will improve a lot more over the next few weeks. There is point-light (called OmniLight), directional and view light

2. Looking into this, hopefully have it in there soon

3. Looking into a managed shader model, as there still is no hardware support in Silverlight

4. Yes

5. Modifications can be done on the fly - look at HeightMap for a reference

6. Still fully Silverlight compatible - and can be placed inside any container in Silverlight.

7. Shadows not implemented yet. Still something I'd like in there.