Graphical effects that were ahead of their time

Discussion in 'Rendering Technology and APIs' started by OCASM, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Voxilla

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    Not really voxels, but just a textured height field.
    What about next one, including GPU depth adaptive tessellation (still) very fast, long before (2003) that was in hardware.
    http://users.belgacom.net/xvox/

    [​IMG]
     
    #21 Voxilla, Feb 17, 2017
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  2. jlippo

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    There were plenty.

    Like Dark Forces being first FPS game with up and down looking.
    Perhaps he didn't account games that weren't post doom shooters.
    We had games like FPS shooter Driller from 1988. (better environment and less shooting in Castle Master 1989.)
    If he meant textured games we had Ultima Underworld released before Wolfenstein3D.

    Doom being heightmap renderer. (Old voxel renderers would fit the naming somewhat, as they were heightmap ray-caster/marchers. (Doom is not.).)
    Descent being first game to populate world with 3D enemies. (There were plenty of games before it, Starglider 1&2, Midwinter, Elite Frontier and so on..)
     
    #22 jlippo, Feb 17, 2017
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  3. Voxilla

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    Before the mass extinction caused by (the comparatively low tech) PC, there were many more 3D games on Atari/Amiga (68000), Archimedes (ARM), and before that on all the 8 bit computers (Z80/6502)...
     
    #23 Voxilla, Feb 17, 2017
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  4. Voxilla

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    Doom is still kind of heightmap, as you can not be on 2 different heights (z0 or z1) at the same (x0, y0) coordinates.
    Quake was real 3D as using full binary space partition based on random planes.
    A software based renderer can be found at the bottom of: http://users.skynet.be/fquake/
    This actually being an enhanced port to PC (including bilinear / persp correct texture sampling on the CPU), of an original version that was running on ARM.
    (Note ARM didn't even at the time have an instruction for division)
     
    #24 Voxilla, Feb 17, 2017
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  5. HTupolev

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    It's not correct even if we restrict the discussion to post-Doom shooters. Marathon supported a very modern mouse free look scheme in late 1994, for instance.

    Jlippo isn't talking about how the geometry is defined, but rather rendered. Doom is not heightmap-rendered, it's forward-rendering clipped polygonal geometry as it traverses a BSP tree.

    "Heightmap" is also a pretty imprecise way of describing the level geometry format. There are arbitrary polygonal 2D regions with defined heights, the representation isn't a texture.
     
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  6. Voxilla

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    Fact is that the BSP planes in doom are perpendicular to the xy plane. Imagine putting a bunch of cards on a table straight up.
    That makes texturing pretty easy as you map only straight vertical lines (very similar to prior height map renderers).
    (Textures for ie floor/ceiling in the xy plane are rendered with a different algorithm)
     
    #26 Voxilla, Feb 18, 2017
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  7. jlippo

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    Yes, it certainly made it more feasibly to have fast texturing.

    Not entirely sure which games could be called heightmap renderers. (First time hearing the term for texturing.)

    Wolfenstein?
    It was by my understanding a raycaster one ray per column, distance used to determine wall height etc.
     
  8. HTupolev

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    I'm aware of how Doom's geometry constraints aided in texture projection, I'm not understanding what that has to do with it being a heightmap renderer.

    I think you're using "heightmap renderer" in a very different way from how I'm envisioning what the term means. I'm imagining something like Outcast, where a ray-casting method is used to render terrain geometry that's defined by a heightmap texture.

    When I hear the term "heightmap" I think of a texture where the data at each texel specifies the magnitude of an offset at that sample location.
     
  9. Voxilla

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    Outcast is using different methods for texture mapping, one is for the bumpy floor, another one is for vertical walls...
    The height map is actually two textures, one specifying a height offset, another one is the actual texture.
     
  10. Voxilla

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    See here how Outcast looks like, rendered with polygons:
     
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  11. HTupolev

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    If by "the actual texture" you mean the diffuse/albedo/whatever, I wouldn't consider that to be part of "the height map." It's an attribute of a surface whose geometric shape is defined by the heightmap. The height map itself is the texture containing the height offset.
     
  12. Voxilla

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    Still they are very closely related, like with prebaked shadows etc, a small shift between them would make the world look completely wrong.
     
  13. jlippo

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    Yes, they usually share uv.
    You can have detail textures and so on if needed.

    Outcast also had map which told which voxels were verical and had information of wall direction, so it can be properly textured.

    This reminded me, do you know how the voxel character tech worked?
    I have basic understanding of possibilities, but no idea how it would be fast enough or what limits it would have.
     
    #33 jlippo, Feb 18, 2017
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  14. Voxilla

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    No idea, I was not part of the development team, but did some experimental work based on GPU polygons (as shown in the video)
     
  15. Laa-Yosh

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    Er, Outcast has not used voxels for the characters, those were good old 3D polygon models...
     
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  16. Voxilla

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    One of the most impressive early 3D games (running on an 8Mhz ARM processor in 1987) IMHO
     
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  17. Voxilla

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    Next one is from 2009
     
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  18. Voxilla

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    Yes, pretty evident from the video, especially if they are point sampled.
     
  19. jlippo

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    Ups, jumped a bit from subject there.
    And yes, Outcast had some gorgeous polygonal characters and other objects.

    Meant the tech used in Blade runner, Lands of Lore 3 and some other games.
    It was axis aligned, but rotation was it quite efficient and cost in storage was quite close to traditional sprite.
    I do suspect it was stored as a array around Y axis, but never got the idea how to make it fast enough or what the limitations were in terms of shape.
     
  20. OCASM

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    I leave for a month and the thread flourishes :lol:

    2008:


    Another one is fur shading in Star Fox Adventures (2002). Still a rarity these days:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It was also used for grass (it even has some movement):

    [​IMG]

    The cutscene at 24:04 - 25:45 shows all of this (bonus grassy area at 28:45):

     
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