Kevin Vance - I want to talk about graphics for a second. I <3 graphics. Take…

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01:24 am

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
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I want to talk about graphics for a second. I <3 graphics. Take a look at this Age of Empires 3 screenshot.

Ships with reflections

Look at those reflections! Sunrise on the water, and ships over that. Beautiful! Sure, it's probably totally staged and the game never looks like this. I don't plan on buying this title, so I'll never know.

Water in the distance (it does not look like water)

And on the other side of the screen, the water fades off into the distance, and stops looking like water because without the ripple effect, it's the same texture repeated over and over again. Half-Life 2 and every other game with water also has this problem.

And I get the feeling the industry is going to attack this problem by loading gigabytes of memory onto new graphics boards and sending out George Lucas to film the caustic patterns in his bathtub at 1080p-24. Is there a reason why we're not using procedural textures yet? Are pixel shaders too dumb? To slow? Is PCI Express still too slow to offload this onto the CPU? WILL THESE QUESTIONS EVER BE DESTROYED BY ANSWERS?

Current Music The Prodigy - The Way It Is
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[User Picture]From: duinlas
2005-11-01 12:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if that is staged. Because when you think about staged elements, you usually go with stuff like faces and amazing sooper effects. Those ships seem way too undetailed to be in a cutscene.
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[User Picture]From: wikle
2005-11-01 03:32 pm (UTC)
Looks pretty - wonder what kind of graphics capabilities it takes to reproduce it. Personally without knowing what the hell your talking about on the technical side. I'm of the opinion that the computer games industry is ruled by the lowest common denominator more often then not. So you have to take into account what a geforce 4 can produce.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2005-11-01 06:37 pm (UTC)
What I remember is that it looked good up close, but really awful from high places like some of the cliffs where water stretches out to the horizon.
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[User Picture]From: kartos
2005-11-03 05:14 am (UTC)

eh, but water at sea HAS patterns:P
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2005-11-03 05:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, I seem to remember it does. But is it really like that?
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