Horde3D - Next-Generation Graphics Engine


Horde3D is a small open source 3D rendering engine. It is written in an effort to create a graphics engine that offers the stunning visual effects expected in next-generation games while at the same time being as lightweight and conceptually clean as possible. Horde3D has a simple and intuitive interface accessible from virtually any programming language and is particularly suitable for rendering large crowds of animated characters in next-generation quality.

Horde3D finally reaches version 1.0.0 [2017-09-17] Mainnews

After a long period of beta testing, we finally decided to publish a first stable release of Horde3D. Thanks to the contributions of the community (special thanks to Irdis), this is not only a change in the version number, but also brings exciting new features available with todays GPUs, like geometry, tessellation and compute shaders. This is also the first release, only available through our github repository. While the SourceForge page is still available, we will close it sooner or later. Feel free to use our forums to comment on the new release.

Next professional Horde3D game soon available [2013-09-18] Mainnews

After some impressive videos posted a year ago, it seems like "Sword of justice" is going to grow up and will be published as "Timelines: Assault on America".

Official github repository testing [2013-09-17]

Although development with git is still something new to us, we're started to use an official Horde3D development repository at github.

New github repository with experimental D3D and OpenGL ES support [2013-09-06]

After some first steps of OpenGL ES support in a community SVN branch, our talented community developer attila from DogByte Games has released his work on github. Feel free to contribute by testing the implementation on your own platform and maybe report bugs and improvements in the forums.

New mobile app using Horde3D [2013-07-29]

The guys from the Neuland Multimedia GmbH developed an augmented reality app using Horde3D. If you looking for a fireside you may want to take a look on this app.

New commercial game using Horde3D [2013-05-20]

After they brought us already the very entertaining Offroad Legends, the developers from DogByte Games just released their latest game called Redline rush! Check it out on the ios App store.

Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 5 released [2011-05-31]

After a long period of SVN updates without any release packages, the Beta5 release is finally out and brings a plenty of bug fixes and performance improvements. On the core engine side, there are several updates to the shader system which remove all fixed-function dependencies. Besides that, several smaller enhancements to overlays, particle systems, animations and in-game profiling were done.
ColladaConv got an important update and supports batch processing of input files now, so that a whole asset repository can be recompiled automatically. Moreover, the parsing speed was improved by using a faster XML parser and applying various other optimizations.

Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 4 available under Eclipse Public License [2009-08-01]

The new Beta4 release features an improved API which is clearer and less verbose. Moreover, the enhanced API provides more powerful access to resource data and has better support for dynamic content. Besides the API enhancements and many smaller fixes, Beta4 features updates to the animation system and a more familiar CgFX-like shader effect syntax.

The new release is distributed under a different license now, namely the Eclipse Public License. This license is less restrictive than the LGPL and allows static linking as well as development of proprietary extensions.

Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 3 released [2009-03-16]

The latest Beta3 release is available for download. It brings a few substantial improvements. Beta3 features a refactored shader system with a cleaner and more powerful FX-like file format along with support for automatic shader permutation generation. The performance of Beta3 has been optimized considerably, for example by the introduction of an enhanced LOD system. Another new feature is support for loading textures from DDS files. Besides these major upgrades, there are many smaller API improvements, optimizations and bug fixes. Finally, Beta3 features improvements to the Collada Converter such that it supports a wider range of DCC tools.

Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 2 released [2008-09-16]

The new Beta2 release is available for download. It contains many bugfixes and smaller updates reported and contributed by the community. Besides these, it brings some noticeable improvements like increased shadow quality and extended occlusion culling. A further important enhancement is the expanded support for dynamic resource updates. On the Collada side, the compatibility was improved by supporting non-baked animation data. Finally, the previous makefile system has been replaced by CMake-based build scripts.

Horde3D Scene Editor [0.7.0] released [2008-04-24]

A new Horde3D Scene Editor is available for download. It links against the Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 1 and brings a lot of new features with it. You can download the new version from the project's website .

Horde3D SDK [1.0.0] Beta 1 released [2008-04-12]

Finally, Horde3D is getting stable. For the first 1.0 release which is still considered as Beta due to the possibility of a few bugs, we have implemented a plenty of new features: Occlusion culling, API based render-to-texture, software skinning, stereo rendering, sorting of nodes and support for orthographic projections. Besides these new features, we did the usual smaller improvements and optimizations. The new version is hosted on sourceforge now where it is also on the subversion. Go to the download site for the links.

Horde3D SDK [0.15.0] and Terrain Extension released [2008-03-30]

Our next version of Horde3D is available for download. It brings a plenty of new features. The most important among these are an extension mechanism with an exemplary advanced Terrain node implementation, the realization of pipelines as resources and improved sample shaders (see screenshots). A corresponding update of the Horde3D Editor is also available. Head to the download site to get the new files.

New domain: www.horde3d.org [2008-03-17]

The Horde3D website is available now via the new domain www.horde3d.org. Please update your bookmarks. We hope you enjoy having a shorter and more memorable address for Horde3D!

Horde3D SDK [0.14.0] released [2008-01-26]

A new release of the Horde3D SDK is available for download. It brings a plenty of smaller improvements like support for Photoshop files, improved COLLADA support and many other things (see ChangeLog). Since several people using ATI cards had problems starting the samples from 0.13 we have ported them from SDL to GLFW which will hopefully work better.

The new Horde Editor 0.5 with many new features and the latest Mac SDK are also available now. They are both linked on the download site. Thanks to Volker Wiendl and Tristam MacDonald for that!

Horde3D SDK [0.13.0] with HDR lighting [2007-11-07]

A new version of Horde is available now. Among the new features are support for HDR textures and ray collision queries. Besides a plenty of smaller improvements at the engine core and Collada converter the Knight sample was updated to show how HDR lighting can be implemented with the Horde3D configurable rendering pipeline. Check out the new screenshot or head directly to the download section to get the complete SDK.

Horde3D SDK [0.12.0] brings cross-platform compatibility [2007-10-01]

The next version of Horde3D which is available now makes the complete engine code platform independent and adds support for Linux builds. Furthermore a basic Parallel Split Shadow Map implementation was integrated which can improve shadow quality in many situations. In addition to a plenty of smaller changes and improvements the resource manager was updated to support reloading of resources.

Besides the new release there are some other great news: Two weeks ago Horde has won the IVA GALA award where it was presented in the tools section. In case you don't know, IVA is an international conference on intelligent virtual agents that was held in Paris this year.
A remarkable project comes from some students of the elite study course in Software Engineering at the University of Augsburg. They have used Horde3D for realizing a tangible interface based music instrument. Their framework is open source now and is available along with some videos from their project site.
Many thanks go to Volker Wiendl who has already done a physics integration and is currently working on some sophisticated tools for Horde. A first preview version of a quite useful scene editing tool is available on this site.

Xenakis tangible music table

Horde3D SDK [0.11.1] with massive performance improvements [2007-08-04]

This maintenance release brings some enormous performance improvements of up to 30 to 50 percent on newer hardware. Furthermore it fixes some bugs and solves problems with the Knight sample on older hardware.

Horde3D SDK [0.11.0] with particle systems [2007-07-04]

The new release features the Horde3D Integration Library which offers a simpler and more efficient way to integrate Horde with other middleware like a physics engine. Another important new feature are particle systems which are fully integrated into the pipeline making it possible to let particles cast shadows or receive other effects like motion blur. The documentation got a plenty of updates and has a usage guide now that should help you to get started. Finally the SDK includes a new sample application which shows how to do animation blending, use the new particle systems and apply a cool post processing effect (see new screenshot).

In other news: Volker Wiendl has released a Physics Demo which shows how to use the new integration library to integrate the Bullet Physics Engine and Martin Burkhard updated his Horde3D .NET Wrapper.

Horde3D SDK [0.10.0] with flexible rendering pipeline [2007-04-30]

The latest version of Horde3D features a completely rewritten renderer. Besides some heavy performance optimizations to reduce call overhead, a flexible and configurable rendering pipeline has been introduced. The engine offers the possibility to define render targets and fill them with data using a simple XML syntax. These targets can be bound in subsequent rendering steps making it possible to do a plenty of post processing effects. Thanks to the new rendering architecture it is also possible now to use standard forward rendering instead of the deferred shading which was default up to the previous version. Additionally the release brings a plenty of bugfixes and smaller improvements. The camera is represented as a scene node now and the animation system was extended with a very convenient additive blending mode. Head to the download section to grab the new release!

In other news: A new Horde .NET wrapper maintained by Martin Burkhard is available now. You can get it from the pyropix homepage.

Horde3D shown at CeBit [2007-03-17]

The University of Augsburg is proud to be present at the German computer expo CeBit. We show a virtual anatomy assistent which is an interactive augmented reality application with a character commenting the user's actions. The project uses Horde for rendering and advanced animations. For more information see the official project site. You can find us in Hall 9, B20.

Horde3D SDK [0.9.0] with advanced animation system [2007-03-04]

The latest version of Horde brings a completely new animation system. It is possible now to use layered blending and mixing with masks in order to apply several animations to a model. Smoother animations for joints and rigid mehses can be achieved using inter-frame interpolation. Furthermore the engine now offers access to the joint data which makes it possible to apply dynamic animations or ragdoll physics. All scene nodes are fully hierarchical and thus it is possible to attach objects to joints. Besides these changes the engine received some improvements to the API which make the interface more flexible and intuitive to use. For more details have a look at the updated feature list.

Horde3D SDK [0.8.0] released [2007-01-08]

The next version of Horde is out now. It features an improved shadow implementation which is more than twice as fast as the previous one while quality is better when viewing shadows from near distance. Additionally some modifications have been made to the scene management. Joints are part of the scene graph now and new functions were introduced which give access to the vertex data for collision detection or integration of a physics engine. Furthermore many functions were added to retrieve object states and Horde3D can now be used for AR applications thanks to a dynamic texture update function. Finally the compatibility of the Collada tool was greatly improved. See the Change Log for a complete list of improvements.

Horde3D SDK [0.7.0] with facial animation support [2006-11-30]

A new release of the engine SDK is available for download. It adds morph target support which makes it possible to use facial animation and specifically lip synchronization.

Horde3D SDK [0.6.1] released [2006-11-07]

A service release for the latest Horde3D SDK is now available. It fixes problems with shadows on ATI cards and adds support for cube reflection mapping.

Horde3D [0.6.0] with soft shadows [2006-11-01]

A new version of the Horde3D SDK is now available for download. It features a basic shadow mapping implementation with softening of shadow edges (see screenshot). In upcoming releases the quality of the shadows will be increased by using some sort of perspective adaptation.

Interview on 3d-test [2006-10-28]

I have answered some question about Horde3D in an interview on 3d-test. You can find the interview here. In other news, I'm currently working on a basic shadow implementation for the engine which will soon be ready for release.

Horde3D [0.5.1] now open-source [2006-10-06]

The source code of the complete Horde3D SDK including engine and tools is now available for download. The package includes project files for Visual Studio 2005 and is compatible with the VC++ Express Edition which is available free of charge from Microsoft.

Horde3D SDK [0.5.0] released [2006-09-25]

The first version of the Horde3D SDK is now available for download. It includes the compiled binaries, the complete documentation and a sample application with source code that shows how to use Horde3D with a simple crowd simulation (Screenshot). The source code for the complete SDK will be released later when it is finally cleaned up.

Horde3D web site launches [2006-09-10]

The website for the soon to be released open source graphics engine Horde3D is now online. You can already have a look at the features and documentation of the engine to get a comprehensive impression of what Horde3D will offer. We hope you enjoy this ambitious project.

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