Potential for Megatexture on Wii?

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Nano, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Nano

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    Hi,

    Megatexture is a much talked about approach to rendering as of late, giving amazing potential for 'limitless' texturing and more freedom for the artists.

    Whilst we have seen examples of huge textures used on GC/Wii level hardware in a simpler form, to what extent do you think something more akin to the approach Carmack is using for Tech 5 is feasible on Wii in terms of virtualizing textures and offering several layers of interaction?

    I remember in an interview Carmack alluded to it being possible to port Megatexture to the Wii platform, but its interesting to think about actual implementation and possible cost.

    Thanks.
     
  2. sebbbi

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    I doubt we ever see megatexturing on Wii. Couple of reasons:

    1. The decompression of DCT and recompressing it to DXT on fly takes a lot of performance. On PS3 you can do this using SPUs, and on XBox 360 you can do this using the GPU or using a spare hardware thread (one of six). In one iD tech interview, they list the virtual texture system as one of the features that gain most from multicore systems. With virtual texturing you have more threadable background tasks. Wii has only a single core CPU and it's GPU is not capable of doing more general vector math (it does not have pixel shaders). It's hard to find the needed resources to do the required background decompression/recompression on Wii.

    2. Megatexturing is not conventional texture sampling, much of the megatexturing magic is done in pixel shaders. Wii does not have pixel shaders. Doing all the same operations without using a pixel shader is difficult and very inefficient.
     
  3. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    OT
    Is the project using virtual texturing you're currently working on is secret or you may let slip some hints about it?
    /OT
     
  4. Nano

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    Thanks for the answers :smile:

    Are there any alternative's in terms of getting an incredible amount of surface detail, or using unusually large texture formats?

    What other approaches to texturing impress you on Wii or would you like to see? I have some awareness but its great to hear the opinion of others.
     
  5. Cheezdoodles

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    Not on the wii haha
     
  6. Svensk Viking

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    Not sure if it was Megatexturing he was talking about, but he said they could get very good graphics on the Wii if they closed the environments a bit

    Besides, he has even said positive things about MT on the iPhone
     
  7. I.S.T.

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    Which has a much more modern GPU.
     
  8. Li Mu Bai

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    You mean programmable colour combiners? (pixel shaders) While not solely "dedicated" for this task the TEV can do multiple shader operations, what comes into question is how the tasks of the CPU & GPU working the graphics in tandem as opposed to a dedicated graphics subsystem & how well the paralelism is effectively executed between the two, resource allotments, memory efficiency, etc.
     
  9. sebbbi

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    Our virtual texturing system resembles more the virtual texturing system of LittleBigPlanet than megatexture. Real time generation and modification of the virtual texture is important as user created content is really important part of the game.

    iPhone (3GS) GPU has pixel shaders, Wii doesn't.

    TEV is just a name for standard multitextured fixed function pipe. It's nothing really programmable. All the old PC DX7 fixed function hardware could do the same things (and you even had DOT3 combiner in addition to EMBM combiner). You can do a lot of things with fixed function hardware as well, but you need to have crazy lookup textures and lots of multipassing to achieve even some simple things possible with pixel shaders.
     
  10. Teasy

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    sebbbi, how much experience do you have with Wii?
     
    #10 Teasy, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2009
  11. Nano

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    Well he said;

    "We could port the Megatexture stuff over, we could port most of the engine over there, but you wouldn’t be able to use the same set of original content."

    Which sounded like Megatexture specficially, and then the tools on top of that. Just not the content from Rage.

    That's what I gathered...
     
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