Take a look at this video:
When he talks about the “displacement mapping” he actually says, that it is a pixel-shader-Effect of “Parallax Mapping”. Isn´t displacement-mapping purely done by a vertex-shader?
So might it be possible, that the UnrealEngine 3 actually uses that fake displacement-mapping effect which was discussed around a month ago on this board? And if so, why would he need ShaderModel 3.0 for this?
I think the video is very impressive, although the high-dynamic-range stuff wasn´t presented in all its glory.
so they are using the parallax mapping method described by mogumbo? if this is really the truth then they should at least mention from where the idea of this tech came. shame on epic!
Displacement mapping as a concept is not exclusive to vertex shaders. I think in this case it’s a grey area, it’s semantics. It is what it is, it probably qualifies as some sort of displacement mapping although it has problems especially at silhouettes. It wouldn’t have been too difficult to put in.
FYI many people are throwing this in their games because support is relatively easy and example code is out in the wild. I’d be surprised if Doom 3 didn’t add it.
I’ve even seen demos of popular middleware that now has a demo that implements Parallax Mapping they threw in there after reading the OpenGL.org thread.
P.S., there’s absolutely no shame on Epic. They use many techniques published by others and the post on opengl.org was not the first publication of the technique, as was discovered in the thread.
Their demo was glorious, the detail in their characters and gothic level design was inspirational.
Actually, what kind of technique do they use for shadows here? It looks great.
It could be depth-shadows, but those have a lot of problems regarding quality. So either they use insanly high resolutions, or they use something else.
But stencil shadows seem to be out of questions, because those are soft. Any other thing they could be using?
BTW: Does anyone know, if we will get depth-cubemaps sometime? I really don´t think depth-maps are that useful, as long as we have to use 2D textures.
It looks just fine with stencil shadows even without zbuffer modification in the fragment shader which you might even be able to use with it.
As for the Unreal 3 engine, it uses both stencil shadows and image based shadows. It had audio the guy mentioned this. They seem to be able to mix & match them easily.
All I’ve got to say is freakin wow! That has to be one of the most awesome real time 3d gfx renderings I have seen in a long time. Just when I thought doom 3 and Half-Life 2 looked awesome, UnrealEngine 3 just owns. You know when the original Unreal was released my first reaction to the graphics was “omg these graphics are UNREAL!” Kind of ironic that the game happened to be the word I used to describe how good it looked. Since then I really couldn’t say that again in any unreal based game. Sure each one looked better than the last but only by a small bit. UnrealEngine 3 gave me the exact same impression as when I seen Unreal 1 for the first time “omg these graphics are UNREAL!” :eek:
I was kind of suprised to hear the guy speaking (was that Sweeney?) mention they are using shadow volumes there. I figured since they were all nice and soft they were using some kind of hardware shadow mapping or something. Cool! Also seeing they are using the parallax mapping is really cool. It’s an easy effect to do yet so darn cool looking. Good stuff.
It was something wrong with the download there so the file wasn’t available. I find another file, filmed with a handheld video camera by “DemoCoder”, is it the same? I didn’t almost see anything due to bad colors and compression but the things I saw was really stunning! The hobby coders are getting more and more seperated by the big teams because all this effects must take months to create, but it looks bloody brilliant!
Would really wan’t to see all this in real time, that would be almost UNREAL!
I think the biggest gap is the content and tools to make it. The coding is attainable in a lot of ways but you need a real mix of talent, great tools and a lot of time to create anything approaching this quality.
Agreed. I remember when the resource package for a game would fit into a thimbal (Quake 1). Now, a typical artwork package is truly astronomical
in size, 6 gigs for UT2004, or so. Oh well… I guess my barn yard art will have to do for now.
I’ve always had a profound respect for the artists. I don’t care how much magic you weave into your engine, it’s all going to look like monkey spunk without them.
When I said that the hobby coders are getting more and more separeted from the big teams due to developing time I also meant developing the tools. I presume that most high end engines comes with a complete set of new tools to make use of all it’s new features and therefore is a part of the engine development.
Portal: I also share your respect for the artists. Just imagine if all games would have “coder art” in them, that’s a scary thought!
Well I don’t like the term coder art, it’s a dismissive conceit, I’m a coder but I’ve generated some pretty pictures in my day with my own art that rivaled anything artists were doing in the same time frame. The best teams and individuals have a mix talent that works together IMHO. This cuts both ways, the best artists also have a technical grasp of their subject. I’ve seen both programmers and artists struggle because of deficiencies in other disciplines that they really need to get to grips with to reach their potential.
Some graphics coding requires an artistic eye for example intergrating environmental effects with other effects and 3D modelling for real-time systems is a highly technical discipline.
How in gods name can you tell if the shadows are soft or not through those compression artifacts?
Splinter Cell:Pandora Tomorrow, Far Cry, Prince of Persia:Sands of Time.
These games appear to do much more than this unreal3 demo, appart from the parallax mapping maybe.
I agree, with the incredibly bad compression artifacts it’s hard to say anything about the shadows. If they used wedge shadows, the sharpness of the shadow would be dependant on the occluder-to-light distance, and although it’s hard to say from the videos, i’m under the impression that’s not it. It more looks like antialiased cube shadow maps, but i might be wrong.
dorbie: I’m sorry if I offended you in any way, I was trying to use humour and ironi. Perhaps I failed.
My theory isn’t based on the video at all, it’s based on the audio
Sweeney says the shadows are soft, and while I agree you can’t really tell from the video, I’ll take his word for it. He also says the shadowing is stencil-based. The combination of these two made me think of penumbra wedge shadows. I don’t have any better arguments to support this theory, it was just a thought.
eeeko, I’m not offended, when I am you’ll know
Nuydens, I though Sweeney said they had both soft image based shadows and sharp stencil based shadows. He did say the character shadows were soft but I don’t think he claimed that specific shadow was stencil based. I think he was very clear saying they have both soft and sharp shadows in the scene that are image and stencil based and of course there’s no reason why these can’t mix & match. Stencil test can play with texture modulation of the results. It’s a pragmatic approach that makes total sense you just get squeezed on texture units but you have plenty of those now and newer hardware you can replace texture units based operations with shader instructions with mixed results.