930 will have some new options for attached objects. One is to declare a “glass” object. When an object is declared to be glass, it is moved to the very end of the drawing order – even after the cockpit object.
- It takes pressure off the interior cockpit object. The interior cockpit is the only object that can have manipulators, so texture space in the interior cockpit object is quite valuable. By allowing translucency in an attached object, you can put your window textures somewhere else and save texture space for the cockpit object.
- It gets around the current weirdness where the interior cockpit object is drawn last but the exterior cockpit object is drawn first. The glass object is always drawn last. Period.
- It sets us up someday for some kind of shadowing scheme in the cockpit. This is a bit pie in the sky, but most pixel-based shadowing algorithms go a bit bonkers on translucent geometry; by flagging the whole object as “glass” we can simply omit it from shadow calculations.
The 921 draw order has the exterior cockpit object drawn first (if drawn) and the interior cockpit object drawn last (if drawn). This made sense at the time – the exterior cockpit object was being used primarily for a pilot figure, with windows in the ACF paint – so it had to be drawn before the ACF fuselage. The interior cockpit object has to be drawn last because the coordinate system is changed to a super-close-to-the-user coordinate system that has to be drawn last.