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Issue 1.3


Lights, Camera, Action!

Mastering RB3DSpace's Camera object and light properties

Issue: 1.3 (December/January 2002)
Author: Joe Nastasi
Author Bio: Joe Nastasi is the developer of a spacecraft simulator, A-OK! The Wings of Mercury, which was created with REALbasic. Joe, who has been a programmer since 1977, has been a full-time REALbasic consultant since version 1.0 and is the author of the REALbasic Explorer series featured on the Real Software web site. He lives with his family on the New Jersey shore.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 7,363
Starting Page Number: 38
Article Number: 1320
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Excerpt of article text...

In the last column, we covered loading and moving objects, including the Camera object. Now, let's go over the details of the Camera object and it's properties.

Into The Lens

In many ways, the Camera object acts like a real camera. If objects are too close or too far away they become fuzzy, unless you adjust the focus or stop down the iris to increase the depth of field, or the area where all objects are in focus.

The Camera object has similar traits, except if an Object3D falls out of the Camera's "depth of field," it won't be visible at all! There are two properties, Hither and Yon, that control the size of the Camera's "depth of field." Hither sets the starting point and Yon sets the ending point of the area where objects will be visible.

But there's more to this than just visibility. Object3Ds outside the area defined by Hither and Yon do not need to be processed. For example, objects that are behind the Camera do not have to be processed by Quesa and OpenGL because anything in front of the Hither value (on the Camera's Z axis) will be ignored. Imagine if all the objects in your 3D world had to be processed even if they were not seen. The process of eliminating objects that are not in view is called "culling" in 3D-Speak.

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