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FAQ - Frequently asked questions

What is the SoftPixel Engine?
The SoftPixel Engine is a graphics library for C++ and designed to write 2d & 3d multi-platform applications. You can write realt-time 3d video games and other graphics applications with hardware acceleration. One of the special properties of the SoftPixel Engine is the extreme simplicity but still support for modern graphics effects using different renderers (OpenGL or Direct3D9), Shaders (GLSL or HLSL) and further features.

Why I should use of all engines this one?
The SoftPixel Engine was created because there were no available 3d engines which made me happy. I needed a graphics library with the following features:
  • Open source: the SoftPixel Engine is defeated under the zlib/libpng license, so it's free and open-source.
  • Easy to use: I really think I can say that the SoftPixel Engine is one of the most easy-to-use 3D engines in the world wide web. Since the beginning of its development I allways tried to find the geatest common denominator, between simplicity and performance.
  • High level: high level programming with large abstractions is another reason why this engine is so much easy to use. It has a complete object-oriented design.
  • Multi platform: this engine runs under MS/Windows, GNU/Linux and Google's Android.
  • Multi renderer: supported renderers are OpenGL, OpenGL|ES 1, Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 11.
  • Sub systems: this engine has some very useful subsystems which are: CollisionManager, PhysicsEngine, SoundSystem, NetworkSystem and an own GUI.
  • Lots of file formats: also very important for good game development is to have a 3D engine which supports a lot of common file formats in both 2D images and 3D models. JPEG, DDS, 3DS, MS3D and B3D are only a small subset of the supported file formats. To see the full list take a look at the features site.
  • High performance graphics: to be able to develop high performance graphics GLSL, HLSL, compute shader and tessellation must not be missing.
  • Flexibility: creating custom meshes is completely flexible by using a custom vertex- and index format for mesh buffers.
  • Good object handling: there is no difference between the transformation between meshes, lights or cameras which makes the object handling simpler.
  • Many standard primitives: Most 3D engines only have a couple of standard primitive like a cube and sphere but no more. This engine has a large library of procedural meshes which can be auto.-generated in real-time. Meanwhile, already 17 standard primitives are supported.

How fast it is?
The SoftPixel Engine is very high optimized to get the highest performence which is possible. Well, anywhere is always a limit. Generally in 3d applications the most problem is not mostly the count of polygons but the count of objects. All objects must positionated, scaled and rotated reverse to all the cameras. Don`t forget this when you write a fire effect!

How many triangles is the engine able to render?
I tested it with over 260.000 triangles. 70 FPS although I have just an old ATI-graphics-card, with a new nvidia G-force-graphics-card it should be able to render over million triangles! My test was a maximal-high-detailed ring (torus), but if OpenGL do not render all triangles on the screen it should be able to render more too. The SoftPixel Engine is using the VBO OpenGL extensions to use the full power of the graphics-card. That is to say that they VBOs (vertex buffer objects) run in a hardware-based loop and not in a for-loop which would be slow. The VBO informations are also safed in the VRAM of the graphics-card and not in the PC RAM.

Am I able to develop the SoftPixel Engine on?
Yes, you are! The SoftPixel Engine is OpenSource so you can develop it further. The rules to join the developer-team are explained under the license topic

What is HLC?
HLC is the shortcut for "Hermanns Lukas Computersoftware". It is a little 'one-man-company'. My father created it for me so that I learn about business working and writing cash basis accounting. So far I have not done a lot of money but that wasn't anyway my reason.

Why is this an English website?
Although the creator of the SoftPixel Engine is German this website is English because it`s an IT-product. All people should be able to read the text of it. The second reason is that I try to teach myself in the English-language.

How can I join the HLC Game Board forum?
Register in the HLC Game Board and send a mail at that you want to join our community. Since there is more and more spamware in the forum the administrator needs to activate your account.

SoftPixel Engine and SoftPixel Engine webpage © 2008 by Lukas Hermanns