Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2021]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by BRiT, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    seen on discord, a server mate there shared this.

    [​IMG]

    also this

    32:9 support :shocked:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DSoup

    DSoup X
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    Maybe you don't play games with heavy cinematic aesthetics like games from Rockstar, or many Sony first party studios.

    Lighting in games has been more defined, arguably more controllable but also more limited, because of the limitations of technology, most gaming lighting is miles form realistic. It's really easy to have a lot of light here but none here - because those are nascent traits of the limited technology. Once you start raytracing, that desire to have more realistic lighting - just like movies - means you now sometimes have to fight the realism. The role of the lighting directors is to do exactly that: to combat the way natural properties of light to not illuminate more than you want it to. Or illuminate spaces that it naturally wouldn't. But whilst simultaneously also looking natural, not weird from certain angles because the player has just moved into or out of shadow and between a light source and an area.
     
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  3. snc

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    if you compare Returnal to Resogun its like biggest jump in history of consoles :D
     
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  4. Allandor

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    Well, sometimes the horsepower of newer machines is just needed so developers can make the games they "dream" of, even if they are not so "talented" (I don't mean this in a negative way) in optimizing for the hardware. It is the same as with "The Medium". Not that some developers could make this game run better, but the new consoles had the power they needed to achieve their goal with the team, time and budget they had.
     
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  5. cwjs

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    Did the returnal video get posted already? Really surprised about the performance dipping below 60 in isolated cases after learning that it's double reconstructed up to 4k -- TAA reconstruction to get to 1440p, and then checkerboarded up to 4k. Game looks amazing though.
     
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  6. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    DF written Article @ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-returnal-absolute-housemarque

    Returnal: how a tech powerhouse puts PS5 through its paces
    The Housemarque factor.

    Housemarque has struck gold again with Returnal - an atmospheric, horror-infused shooter that has dominated my attention since I first loaded it. Think of it is as a 'bullet hell' shooter, merged with a Metroid-like design and roguelike mechanics. Combine this with a story and an aesthetic that merges HR Giger-like influences with Sci-Fi elements from Sphere, Solaris, Prometheus and many more, and you have an original, distinct and intense experience. It's also absolute Housemarque, delivered with the studio's signature technological excellence.

    In a sense, we're looking at an evolution of the firm's prior works. Despite fully transitioning now to Unreal Engine 4, there's still the same focus on a super-busy scene driven by a multitude of GPU-accelerated article - and there are so many varieties that all dazzle. Even smaller actions in the game are significant from a technological perspective, to the point where even opening a door leaves fizzling dust in its wake. I absolutely adored the matter translocation effect, where your character dissolves into constituent pieces of matter, which are then shot as energy to the next location before reforming. In fact, particles don't need to particles - you can see fully formed 3D orbs. The game is packed with physicalised particle effects, to the point where the husk of an enemy carcass disperses to uncanny effect as you walk through it.

    ...
     
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  7. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    It would be interesting to get a Developer DeepDive presentation for Returnal. At the very least I'd like to see the image comparisons at each step: at 1080p, 1440p Temporal Reconstructed, and final Checkerboard Reconstructed 2160. I think the game looks nice, but still curious how each step impacts the image.
     
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  8. snc

    snc
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    I'm curious now to check how good is their quite unique reconstruction but will wait for price drop
     
  9. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    I'm also curious if any aspect of their setup is dynamic. On a hypothetical 5Pro with 50% more GPU available or a BC PS6 with 100% more GPU, would the game adjust or would the devs need to issue a patch.
     
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  10. ChuckeRearmed

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    I wonder if Nintendo's bet on DLSS will allow it to go toe to toe with other consoles, considering that even Returnal has internal resolution 1080p with two upscales basically.
     
  11. cwjs

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    I dunno about toe to toe. If returnal barely runs at 1080p on a ps5, what resolution would it render on a switch? 240p?
     
  12. DavidGraham

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    The question is why 1080p though? The game has simple geometry, few characters on screen, no extensive reflections, limited physics ..etc. It's also probably very light on the CPU.

    Maybe the extensive particle effects are tanking the performance by eating through the shared memory bandwidth on the PS5?

    Another interesting thing, the game has no ray tracing whatsoever, it is just using RT hardware on the PS5 to accelerate the rasterized lights and GI, in another words, it's using the RT cores to increase performance but not to increase visual quality, which is an interesting usecase.
     
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  13. cwjs

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    The game looks like it has tons of geometry on characters, lots of overdraw from the particles, massive gpu particle counts, lots of light sources, and super high res volumetric fog (sometimes multiple layers at once), and a lot more. I dunno, looks expensive to me.
     
  14. Shortbread

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    Unreal Engine(s) based games have always taxed game consoles in one form or another. Outside of maybe a couple of fighting games, I can't think of one modern UE-based console game that is running in native 4K/30fps, let alone 4K/60fps.
     
  15. ToTTenTranz

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    Toe to toe with consoles consuming 200W with N7P SoCs? No.
    Unless Nintendo is going for a >80W handheld using a N5 SoC at targeting a lower resolution (spoiler alert: they aren't).
     
    #1615 ToTTenTranz, Apr 30, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  16. iroboto

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    I do. I think it's just going to come down to me thinking you're over attributing the amount of labour required (if any at all and likely less if you don't have to do both pipelines) vs the big elephant in the room which light baking. Vs you thinking I'm under attributing the amount of labour there is vs light baking. I guess we can agree to disagree. The only thing I have to work from here are developer claims on iteration times.

    At the end of the day, at least for me, Metro RT looks a generation of ahead of any game we have out on the market in terms of lighting. And they had significantly less budget than the major studios like rockstar, and Sony studios. And they did this in very little time I should add.

    So, while I agree big budget studios could sit there curating the most perfect lighting scenario, at the end of the day, these small studios can run this real time GI and compete fairly well at the high end with a fraction of budget. You don't seem to think so, but I think this game still holds onto it's artistic style while fixing a lot of lighting issues. It looks incredible imo.
     
    #1616 iroboto, Apr 30, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  17. snc

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    what rt cores ? rdna2 don't have rt cores, it use fixed function in tmu for rt calculation
     
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  18. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    @Dictator a question if you'd entertain it about the Returnal image rendering path, "If you're playing the game on a 1080p display what steps are taken? Does it merely have a downsampling step applied after the Temporal Reconstruction into Checkerboard Reconstruction step? Does it skip any of those steps to provide straight up 1080p image?"

    Thank you as always.
     
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  19. scently

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    Can someone please explain how you achieve a 4k CB image from a 1440p res that has been reconstructed from 1080p? AFAIK CB reconstructs from a half res and half 4k is 1920 by 2160 and not 1440p or 1080p.....
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    Put this another way. 3D animated movies (Pixar, Dreamworks, etc.) have had access to and used RT in films for many many years.

    RT didn't solve their lighting. It made some things easier but they still require lots of jiggery do in order to attain the lighting look that they desire. Sometimes that means not using RT for lighting.

    And that is when the director and artists have 100% control over what the camera is looking at.

    Now, take the camera out of the control of the creator and give it to the viewer. Suddenly the lighting in those Pixar movies breaks down depending on where the camera is pointed.

    In games, if you're just going for a realistic look with no concern about using lighting as an artistic tool (other than just changing the color of the lighting), then RT is, in most cases, an obvious and easy win.

    If you want to use it artistically, you will need to put more work into it than say Pixar does in order to get the look you want. Because you no longer get to determine where the camera is looking at any given moment in time.

    I've already used Horror games as an example where control and use of lighting in non-realistic ways is often used and is beneficial to the mood of a scene. Again take the case of a Strong light beneath the face of a monster so that the face is dramatically lit while the rest is in shadow. To use RT, you'd have to somehow limit bounces to only affect the face. You'd have to limit the distance it can travel so it doesn't say hit the ceiling (unwanted) bounce to unintentionally light the rest of the room (unwanted). Or any sort of leakage to anything other than the facial features of the creature.

    Another case would be where you have a spotlight that illuminates one portion of a room or even only one object in a room but doesn't touch anything else in that room. Conventional lighting techniques handle those with ease, but with RT you have to have the tools where you can severely limit any light propagation. Perhaps those tools already exist, and thus this is a non-issue.

    Film, both real life and 3D rendered spend lots and lots of time finding ways to do these things. This includes going through and hand editing individual frames of film in a given scene to achieve certain lighting effects.

    Conventional game lighting is both a curse (you have to hand place almost everything and figure ways around the limitations) and a boon (you can hand place everything and the limitations are beneficial). We've yet to see how a game artist will approach RT lighting when you start requiring something more than just natural light propagation. It may be that we'll just see a continued mix of RT lighting with conventional lighting techniques (where the limitations potentially make it easier to control what is lit and not lit).

    I'm a huge proponent of RT in getting rid of unwanted and disconcerting work arounds like AO (thank you Metro: Exodus), but I'm not ready to hand wave away potential problems when it comes to the artistic use of lighting (as seen in Metro: Exodus with characters faces).

    Regards,
    SB
     
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