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Terrain and forest rendering in The Hunter


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#1 jmakitalo   Members   -  Reputation: 553

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:55 PM

Are you familiar with the game called The Hunter (released 2009 I believe, link)? I'm not a huge fan of hunting games, but I'm trying to make an online FPS with some realistic forest environments and then I ran into this game. The graphics are simply stunning. IMHO the terrain and forest look a lot better than in Battlefield 3 or ARMA 2. The terrain texturing is really detailed and sharp and yet there's not a sign of tiling. I could not find too much information about the technology (Avalanche engine), so how do you think they have made the renderer? The trees and foliage also look really great and they are rendered densely while still giving nice frame rates. I think they are using some sort of impostors for far away trees, but the density is still quite striking. The environment is also made successfully quite lively, as all the close up branches and foliage wave in the wind, there are all sorts of birds, butterflies, mosquitos, mice, and the sorts, going around. I recommend taking a look, it can be downloaded free of charge.

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#2 JimC1664   Members   -  Reputation: 179

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

It does look nice, but I don't think they do anything 'magic'. Good use of Dynamic Level of Detail, instancing and culling, also of course good artwork.
Also there is a case of priorities, making the forest look pretty would be high here.

Yeah, this is just my speculations obviously, I don't actually know anything.

-JimC

#3 jmakitalo   Members   -  Reputation: 553

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:32 PM

It does look nice, but I don't think they do anything 'magic'. Good use of Dynamic Level of Detail, instancing and culling, also of course good artwork.
Also there is a case of priorities, making the forest look pretty would be high here.

Yeah, this is just my speculations obviously, I don't actually know anything.

-JimC


Yeah, I'm sure it's not done by doing anything unheard of, but it would be nice to know if they used something like megatexturing for the terrain or if it's more like texture splatting. If it's the latter one, then it amazes me how many highres textures they must be using. How to achieve such a smooth frame rates with all the required texture samplings? My experience at the moment is that sampling around five highres textures and normalmaps for rendering the terrain, with some noise mixing, is a kill for pixel processing.

#4 Narf the Mouse   Members   -  Reputation: 318

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:42 PM

They probably dynamically generate the textures on the GPU/mipmapping.

#5 Tordin   Members   -  Reputation: 604

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:12 AM

comparing this game with BF3 & Arma2 is abit wrong. it´s not the same type of games and they do not aim for the same thing.

in bf3 you have large open space combats and i dont know of any forest fighting map. why would they go and do super tech around forests?
in arma2 you allso have large open spaces and you can fight in forests. they look pretty shitty in my opinion but then again, they have a ton of other stuff in the game.
so dose bf3 aswell.

the hunter´s, selling point is to hunt animals. And you happen to do that in a forest. so they probably have spent a lot of time working on that.

But from what i could say they use in tech is probably :
Volumetric clouds, to get that fluffy feeling cloud.
A realy good Lod system.
Cullers, they probably use some kind of Occlussion culling system to avoid draw stuff behind other stuff.
some nice shader system and cool particles.

But thats just what i think!

Edited by Tordin, 15 June 2012 - 01:14 AM.

"There will be major features. none to be thought of yet"

#6 jmakitalo   Members   -  Reputation: 553

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:44 AM

Of course the aim of these games is totally different, I was just boldly trying to compare the overall graphical look. BF3 and arma2 popped into my head first, since I think they are regarded as being state of the art also in drawing outdoors scenes. But lets forget about this comparison. It's not the point of the topic.

Mostly I'm struck by the terrain texturing. Some parts look like they could be procedurally done in GPU, but some, like rocks, are definetly not procedural. Even with rocky ground, it seems that they have a lot of very detailed textures mixed together. I just wonder how they managed to do this without totally overloading fragment processing by texture sampling. In my engine, I'm thinking of using textures and normalmaps for only closeup terrain and just mixing colors for farther away terrain. In Hunter they clearly use texturing also for far away terrain, but maybe with a bit more restrictively than for closeup. Don't know.

#7 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8885

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:51 AM

in bf3 you have large open space combats and i dont know of any forest fighting map. why would they go and do super tech around forests?

bf3 actually has quite a lot of trees on the outdoor maps, they are as much part of game mechanics as any other environmental feature and they look decent enough. Although clearly the game doesn't revolve around trees whereas in a game like the hunter you are permanently surrounded by trees, so they better look convincing.

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#8 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2565

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:07 AM

I googled a bit and saw a forum post about a graphics bug/glitch/whatever where the trees which were like 10 meters far appeared as rectangles with the tree in the middle and greenish color elsewhere, so id say they use impostors.

o3o


#9 jmakitalo   Members   -  Reputation: 553

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:21 AM

I googled a bit and saw a forum post about a graphics bug/glitch/whatever where the trees which were like 10 meters far appeared as rectangles with the tree in the middle and greenish color elsewhere, so id say they use impostors.


Ok, thanks for that bit. Probably impostors are a necessity for rendering such a large amount of trees and I think it works well in this kind of case, where there are always close up trees blocking the view, so that far away trees are not fully visible anyway most of the time. I think they are also using some sort of texture mixing for the tree trunks, as they are quite sharp and still have a lot of varying detail, like moss near the roots.

#10 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2565

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:30 AM

I also noticed that in-game some not-close trees will change and look completely different if you walk so you see it from a bit difderent direction. Not sure why is that.

o3o


#11 billybob647   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

I googled a bit and saw a forum post about a graphics bug/glitch/whatever where the trees which were like 10 meters far appeared as rectangles with the tree in the middle and greenish color elsewhere, so id say they use impostors.


no it happend to me and i just downloaded the game




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