by Hugh Malan
In 2004, as graphics hardware and OpenGL Shading Language compilers became capable of handling significantly complex shading tasks, 3Dlabs commissioned Pandromeda to develop a demo that would push the envelope of what was possible. The result was a demo called RealWorldz, where entire planets and everything on them were modeled mathematically and synthesized on-the-fly with OpenGL shaders. Even the shader source code was generated programmatically in this demo.
Rather than look at the actual shader code, this chapter focuses more on the architecture, the algorithms, and the concepts that went into the RealWorldz demo.
RealWorldz was conceived to be a real-time demonstration of the state of the art in OpenGL ...