Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2020]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by BRiT, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. PSman1700

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    The controversy and debates/chaoses this Halo Infinite trailer created could be some way to gain PR and attention? :p
     
  2. function

    function None functional
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    I think they've got the basis of a very promising engine, especially when combined with next gen lighting techniques. But this was the wrong way to try and sell it, the wrong way to try and sell XSX, and the wrong type of reveal running on the wrong hardware.

    I think Craig will ultimately be proud of Slipspace... ;)
     
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  3. mpg1

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    Could this be variable rate shading?..
     
  4. PSman1700

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    Yes, that's what i get from the DF analysis, there's much room for improvement, and that seems to be the whole idea behind Infinite i think. They can update and improve over time, they indicate that with saying there will be a patch short after launch to include ray tracing. Over the years the graphics could be on a whole different level.
    This fits their cross-gen strategy, a rolling generation. The downside is that you wont get 'forbidden west' like graphics day one.

    Edit: The advantage of this strategy is that you can improve and improve over time. A traditional game like HZD gets released with these graphics, and theres basically no room for improvement, they are static. Halo gets ray tracing in a patch.... more patches might add and improve on things. Ofc there are limits, but if the engine is constructed for this it can go long ways i think. See star citizen.
     
    #884 PSman1700, Jul 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  5. function

    function None functional
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    Well @Dictator has said that neither XSX or PC cards are officially specced for 3x3 areas of shading, and that does appear to be the size of at least some areas of some stages of the shading in some situations (as far as I can tell!).

    And yet there do seem to be differences in rasterisation (and potentially G-buffer lighting if Halo Infinite uses it) and shading / texturing resolution for some objects. I mean, it feels like it could fit with VRS, but it shouldn't be based on what we know.

    Yeah, I definitely get the feeling they're building a platform for Halo games that can scale from the personal encounter to the epic battle. And it's cross gen, and it'll be built on with new technologies. They way MS presented it was a big mistake and undersold what what 343 are actually doing.
     
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  6. Globalisateur

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    He also does pixel counting for all the games he covers: usually with min, average-ish and max resolution and provides the screenshots for his pixel counts. He gives us another perspective. For instance he was the one who discovered that Gears 5 resolution was highly variable and could get as low as 1080p on XBX. He has also a good eye to find reconstruction artefacts.
     
  7. dskneo

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    guys, no one here has the IQ of 80. People get attached to brands religions sports clubs and consider different opinions as an attack on their beliefs to the point of being an activist of a console brand! It starts to dominate their lives and only themselves cannot see the ridiculous of their arguments.

    The first "internet" console war I witnessed was in 2005 and I learned that all I have to do I just scroll down a bit faster looking for the stuff that is actually worth reading, like the stuff from Alex.

    As for DF work, it can be interpreted as technical analysis if you are a sane person, or as a conspiracy if you are not. Alex being the new guy I would recommend him to not give people the satisfaction of a response.
     
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  8. iroboto

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    I'm going to say that I'm disappointed at reading some of the responses and support of said responses that insinuate that Alex is doing damage control here for Halo or that Alex speaks with authority. This is a technical forum and we discuss technical aspects to graphics good and bad. Alex has produced to the best of his ability his understanding of what makes flat graphics for Halo and proceeded to do so in a way that is understandable for a wide range of audiences. This is actually the exact type of discussion we should be praising here. And the type of discussion that goes into console wars belong in another forum.

    There are great deal of senior rendering programmers here on this forum who could provide the same or more insight on this, but they won't because quite frankly, it's a pain in the ass to do so and as I understand used to speak here openly until pushed out by rabbid fandom. See exhibit of calling DF MS's marketing arm above.

    If viewers walked away from his video have a glimmer of hope that things could be improved and you think that is 'damage control', I think you've need to examine yourself. Alex provided what Holmes on Homes would, he came in saw a big problem, showed you why it was shitty and proceeded to explain how it could be fixed. This is no different than home owners being told by contractors what's wrong with their house and showing them how after some renovation the result could still be positive. If you have a problem with the latter, because it threatens Sony studios graphics authority, then you're highly engaged in nothing more than console warring.

    Even if Alex is biased towards a positive outlook for the game, and side note a shit ton still needs resolution, it's still the proper position to take for any journalist looking at a work in progress. A journalist should never be actively wanting something to fail unless you're actively trying to get something to fail. It's not the wrong position to take a positive stance for a game for a game that is incomplete. Most of the time game companies will show you something better than the final product. I don't think this will likely be the case with respect to Halo.

    Alex did exactly what he was supposed to do; to critique the issues for what 343i is attempting to do with their technology, he did not critique it for being what it's not or what he wanted from it. And that is proper criticism. He or The Cherno has no clue what the intentions are with the graphics, if it's art design, or anything else on the matter, they can only assess what it is. It doesn't look good to any of us, and that's fine. But that's separate for evaluation of the technology being leveraged explaining the pros and cons and how to rectify or account for it.

    Since a few of you seem to be critiquing Digital Foundry; many of you are criticizing their journalism not for what it is, but for it not being what you want it to be. In this case, when a video pops up talking about the technical aspects of why lighting looks flat in Halo; you criticize the video because what you wanted was for DF to instead go and slam every single thing they could possibly find or see.

    The latter is a projection of your wants and desires and they failed to meet that expectation. DF did not fail at producing the video they set out to make.
     
    #888 iroboto, Jul 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  9. Karamazov

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    hopefully these kind of people are marginal, if the like-meter of DF videos is any indication, the majority of us are civilized enough to watch those with objectivity.
    Then, personnal insults or worse, death threats, should be punished.
     
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  10. jayco

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    Yeah, during the reveal lighting seemed to be one of the major issues. RT will do wonders for this game, however, in a game so vast it may be a substantial hit on performance. Sadly AMD is a “bit” behind NVIDIA in this area.

    Lighting is extremely important, it can make flat textures look vivid and beautiful textures look completely wrong. I do some modeling on blender from time to time and I follow a guy on Reddit who started modeling some months ago and he already does wonders like this:


    If you look at the texture he uses for most of the scene, it's basically a flat grey color but it’s lighting (it’s ray traced btw) that makes that scene look beautiful. He explained he works in the movie industry precisely doing lighting, so his scenes come to life thanks to very detailed models and very good lighting.

    On the other topic, when your work is exposed to public opinion it will always generate some praise and some criticism. Of course, insults and pejorative terms do not add anything to the conversation, but well founded criticism is always good as it makes you think and maybe reach new conclusions. Concern trolling, calling someone a fanboy, excessive use of smiles... never leads to anything.
     
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  11. function

    function None functional
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    Indeed, it's going to be very interesting to see how well RDNA 2 ray tracing performs. Nvidia will be on their second gen of RT hardware at around the same time. And they have DLSS, which is unlikely to stop at version 2.

    I think Halo Infinite would benefit more from the extra depth that next gen lighting would give than being 4K, and if they need to lower the resolution so be it. Once the game has its RT patch they could default to that, but give the user the option for the older, simpler system if they preferred to stay at maximum resolution.
     
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  12. mpg1

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    Seen it mentioned somewhere else but wondering if they have created some sort of weird hybrid VRS solution so it could be implemented on both Xbox One and XSX. Maybe it's software based on Xbox One and hardware based on XSX?...
     
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  13. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I think Alex covers both hardware and software styles here.
     
    #893 iroboto, Jul 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  14. Xbat

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    It's 4k because it's the easiest use
    of the extra power available on Series X.
    Other changes would probably be problematic on the lower tier hardware.
     
  15. function

    function None functional
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    I didn't see anything in that about none VRS supporting hardware....? Good video though!

    It's an interesting idea. I don't know enough to say for sure. But ... I don't see why you couldn't. I imagine you could calculate a value for one pixel, and then apply it to an arbitrary number of other pixels. Maybe through some kind of intermediate buffer.

    Looking at Halo Infinite, it would appear to be very coarsely applied at perhaps the level of an object. Such a general application would, I think, work best with a square area like a 2x2 or the 3x3 mentioned earlier. The benefit of 3x3 would be that you could use the centre pixel of the nine, and all the hardware to find that point and fetch a texture sample is already there and very fast.

    So if you were doing this, at some stage between generating a g-buffer and post processing, you may also be dropping your texture fetch requirements by 8/9 ths. Depending on how you did this it could lead to visible texture aliasing though, depending on the LOD of the texture used. Which, come to think of it ... I think we're seeing in some of the Halo Infinite shots.

    So yeah, I guess it could work on Xbox 1S and X1X too. And if that is what's going on, X1 and X1X would seem to be the primary beneficiaries of it as you say.

    Seems plausible to me, anyway. I'll run with that for the time being. :-D
     
  16. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I think Alex mentions how developers in the past handled some 'light' variants of VRS in games like Crysis etc.
     
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  17. function

    function None functional
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    I must have missed that! Will watch again tomorrow. Cheers.
     
  18. Pete

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    You’re right.*

    An explanation is not an apology. If Alex is wrong factually about something in the “Halo Infinite ... flat?” video, then specify it. As iroboto mentioned, this is the technical subforum: fewer feelings, more facts. It should be easy to shoot Alex’s explanations down if he makes so many mistakes. A mistake in another video is not a valid reason to dismiss this video. Even a broken Alex may be right twice a console generation.

    I can’t believe it needs to be said, but a quick reaction video (that actually agrees with the vitriol the gameplay trailer received!) can’t be expected to cover every disappointing aspect of the trailer, even though it covers quite a few. I was confused why John and Richard weren’t completely confident that PS5/XSX CPU would be easily 2x as powerful (thus allowing 60fps) as current ones, but I’m not going to slag them off as unprofessional cheerleaders for one perceived oversight.

    As for the good old days of PS360 A/B comparisons, you have to admit even some of those were nitpicky. Yes, 28fps avg on 360 is better than 24fps avg on PS3, but neither are ideal and both are sub HD. We’re talking about technical nitpicks (right up my alley) that are generally secondary to gameplay and more tolerable than, say, a bad camera. Sure, I’d like to know how RDR2 plays on XbX vs PS4Pro, but the subset of gamers who own both and choose purely based on performance (vs what their friends play) has got to be small. What’s wrong with DF branching out?

    Alex, sometimes the hate you’ll get isn’t worth the time to respond to. Easy to say, I know. I wonder how much people’s complaints that you don’t sound disappointed enough in the Infinite clip are colored by the tone of your voice. It’s more chipper than, say, Richard’s or John’s. Maybe you don’t convey grave disappointment / family insult as well as Richard “I can’t believe it’s CGI” L. or John “I can’t believe it’s open world” L. A couple more reaction vids with them and you’ll get the hang of it. Or just change your name to Alex L.

    *I expect a console mod to delete this post as mostly snark, but it had to be said. There’s too much righteous vitriol over petty BS.
     
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  19. zed

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    I did.
    With the excuse of most things take place in shadow, as shown twice in the video with the following graphic
    [​IMG]
    I pointed out this is not true, most actually takes place in the directional light (or where dir light covers a fair chuck of the screen), as I said actually go back and watch the video you will see this to be the case. the problem is like I showed with a screenshot from my game is they needed to increase the contrast between shadow and lit, very easily rectified, they choose the best time of day to showcase the game, sunlight low in the sky, so plenty of contrast between lit and shadowed, and dark enough that FX stand out, if it took place at the midday sun, then thouse explosions look way worse mate. Of course this still is not gonna look as good as games with baked static lighting in the shadowed parts (increase the AO then ;) j/k) . OK so Ignore that, only consider dynamic lighting, like I said is why do all these other games that manage open world and dynamic lighting look so much better WRT lighting ? i.e. this was not really addressed. Its true perhaps they are going for a raytraced solution, hence the low polygon count, that was my initial thought, but the more I thought about it and like at all the other technical things that just aint good, I dont have high expectations with the studio.
     
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  20. iroboto

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    there was also some serious pop-in issue with respect to shadows. So what may have appeared as 'no-lighting' or 'flat-lighting' may have actually just been, shadows delayed for so long that you'd think it was the fault of averaging the values
    everywhere.

    Check out the infamous no shadow nadda lighting control stand. Keep your eye fixated on it long enough and when he's finally beside it both lighting and shadows suddenly appear on it and the other items around it
    [​IMG]

    So I'll forgive anyone thinking they are in constant shadow, and thus unable to cast shadows within shadows, when in reality, their renderer is borked here.

    it may also be an issue with their time of day rendering depending on how they did it.
    Here is the sun at 3min
    [​IMG]

    And the sun and lighting again at 6min
    [​IMG]

    So I'm not sure entirely with the sun being obscured what is happening.
     
    #900 iroboto, Jul 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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