Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I’ve just got the opportunity to download and test one of the greatest add-on solutions for XNA GS-based projects that one may find these days:

Sunburn Lighting and Rendering Engine.

This product, from Synapse Gaming, saves lots of time for us, XNA Game Creators, when we have to cope with both, the design and implementation of a 3D rendering pipeline for our PC and XBOX 360 games; in particular:

  • Dynamic lights and shadows,
  • Forward and deferred rendering, and
  • Post-processing.

As a matter of fact, Sunburn integrates flawlessly with XNA GS by extending its Application Model, where needed.

But, how come? … ok, before moving onto some tech words (in part 2), just watch the following two videos that really blew my head off:

1. PowerStation Demo (deferred rendering):

Nice, hu?! The source code that produces those great realtime renders serves as a kick off for a pro-like FPS project with little to almost none modifications (btw, the demo project is available in the company’s download page).

Now let’s watch the second video …

2. Reflection-Refraction Demo (forward rendering):

As you can guess and see, this example demands more GPU power. Yeap, the calculations are more intensive here as you approach to three floating orbs, but it does well.

Despite the fact that the app used to record this videos on my desktop PC pushed down the FPS count more than in a normal situation, you can see that the action flows smoothly.

An we’re talking here of a ‘Release’ full-screen compilation targeting the PC and using a high-definition back-buffer of 1280x720.

On my Core 2 Duo desktop PC with a GeForce 8600 gfx -as you can see a standard desktop nowadays- results were indeed promising. For the first demo, the average frames per second count was above 30, and for the second one, above 25.

Accompanied by a set of sample projects, articles and full VS integration, this add-on, in the “flavor” that meets your business’ needs, is a “must have”.

Now, what editions can we find? And, which are the differences among them? This comparison chart answers both questions plus indicates the usual price for each:

“Wait! Why did you say ‘usual’ price?” Glad you ask and here’s the best part … since Synapse Gaming is now a Creators’ partner, all premium members can get the following discounts:

  • SunBurn Community: $100 discount, or
  • SunBurn Pro: $50 discount.

Nice …

Ok, this is it for today. On part two, will be getting a bit into the code side of one of these samples.

‘till then,

> Link to Spanish version.


  1. I've been curious about Sunburn for a while now, but haven't had the time to review it. I can't wait to see your breakdown, man!

    Thanks a lot!

  2. It's a really good addon. With lots of potential for extending the Application Model in an easy way.


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