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Old 16-Mar-2011, 20:06   #1
Farid
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Beyond3D Q&A with Visceral's Technical Art Director Doug Brooks on Dead Space 2

It's time to dwelve deeper into the horror filled world of real-time rendering world, where you have less than 33 milliseconds to make your decisions. Your guide into that world of visual deception, Alex -more known under his AlStrong alias on the forums- decided that it was time to kick start back into motion an old Beyond3D tradition, developer interviews.

The first entry in that series renaissance is long talk with Doug Brooks, Visceral Games Technical Art Director, on the Dead Space technology.

Doug candidly reveals quite a few interesting details on Visceral's renderer, including a timed breakdown of each processing parts comprising a single frame of Dead Space 2, or the eye opening fact that eye lashes of characters can be the most processing intensive part of a rendering engine!

You can find the whole interview here.
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Old 16-Mar-2011, 20:32   #2
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Wooo, awesome, off to read it...

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Old 16-Mar-2011, 20:35   #3
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Woot!
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Old 16-Mar-2011, 20:53   #4
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Boo! On ditching AA completely.

Interesting comment on AF, something taken for granted on PC due to the small performance hit, but evidently engenders a much larger performance impact on consoles.

Good read all around, great job AlStrong.

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Old 16-Mar-2011, 21:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent_Buddha View Post
Interesting comment on AF, something taken for granted on PC due to the small performance hit, but evidently engenders a much larger performance impact on consoles.
Yeah, the thing is that PCs have the texture bandwidth and raw # of filtering units to use, but at least the devs can be selective about it. It's just like back in the Doom 3 days when there was some discussion about their in-game AF vs IHV control panel AF.
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Old 16-Mar-2011, 21:29   #6
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Hehe, yeah, eye lashes are tricky, we render them as geometry (only way to look good enough in CG) and it takes a hell of geometry AA to get it right in any renderer.

Pretty cool topic for the first article, reading now!
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Old 16-Mar-2011, 21:46   #7
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Hm, so it's not a fully deferred renderer, "just" a light pre-pass one. Still pretty impressive and the interview also goes to show how important it is to have artists familiar with the tech.
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Old 16-Mar-2011, 22:00   #8
Farid
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The eye lashes issue, as minor it might seem, drives through the point that the breaking point of an engine, performance wise, could be anywhere. And without the proper debug and performance measurement tools, you could be left wondering what in the world is causing such a significant drop in your frame rate.

It's details like that you have to remember the next time you want to discuss the difficulty to port or optimize a game engine on a platform. Even if, theoretically, something should be simple or irrelevant enough to be brushed aside, doesn't mean that, in the facts, that holds true.
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Old 17-Mar-2011, 01:41   #9
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One or more of the NV MSAA compatibility hacks have a side effect of killing lighting if you accidentally alt tab and come back in.
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Old 17-Mar-2011, 16:54   #10
Cyan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farid View Post
The eye lashes issue, as minor it might seem, drives through the point that the breaking point of an engine, performance wise, could be anywhere. And without the proper debug and performance measurement tools, you could be left wondering what in the world is causing such a significant drop in your frame rate.

It's details like that you have to remember the next time you want to discuss the difficulty to port or optimize a game engine on a platform. Even if, theoretically, something should be simple or irrelevant enough to be brushed aside, doesn't mean that, in the facts, that holds true.
Ok... so like I was at the beauty parlour the other night... rendering all those people there properly would be a bit challenging for the engine. In games is more important because you are looking at the finer details in cutscenes, and if they don't render eye lashes properly, characters will look like one of these sheep dogs with the fur all over their face...

Big philosophical and intellectual debate I am having here... but I don't know what to say about those performance dips for such an apparent irrelevant thing. I have the game, still in the first stage, but aside from the lack of AA it looks okay to me.
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