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Finishing up reflections & other stuff

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I've just about finished up the "static" environment maps that will be applied to the vehicles. This is the low-end reflection that you can turn on. The high end is going to be real-time environment mapping.

I've fixed a few bugs today, I also made some progress on the "fallback" rendering methods my game is going to use. I also fixed shadowing being cast on the actors...the shadows are now working as expected. I still have to write the fallback shadowing system, which is just going to be basic projected shadows. They're going to have to work on hardware that doesn't support render targets or pixel shaders, so that's going to be interesting.

I've got over 50 different shaders I've had to write now....it's kinda lame...I can't wait until dynamic branching becomes a standard in shaders, so this kinda stuff will be a thing of the past.

Either way, I've got a ton of work to do, I'm going to get back to that while you check out these screenshots :-)

Yay...thumbnail previews today (I posted these on my site as well). I've got to update that more often :-)

I don't really care for anti-aliasing, though it does help the scene, I'm not a fan of the frame rate drop.

20 FPS isn't bad considering it's at 1280x1024 with 2 2048x2048 shadow maps...AND 4X AA....I'd say my game is fill-rate limited in this situation :-) I've got to create a way for the player to choose how much AA they want. *Adds to the infinite to-do list*

I can run the game at 1600x1200 and with 4X AA if I disable shadow maps and run in VS1.1 + Fixed Function mode, the game runs like a charm even on a pretty low end machine.

Check it:
1280x1024 with 4X AA @ about 20 FPS on my mid-range rig, totally fill rate limited by the shadow maps.
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The environment and models look stunning. I now remember where I saw some of these models before. You posted some screenies on Milkshape's site, right? Can't wait for milkshape to get weighted joints...

Anyway, it looks great.

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I personally agree on the performance drop on AA being a bit harsh. AA is essential for nice static screenshots (which is probably why so many people have noticed in your journal [wink]), but "in action" it's not too hard to live without.

One thing to try is to really drop the resolution - 1024x768 max, probably 800x600 and then crank up the AA (as high as it goes).

It's not guaranteed, but I sometimes find that a low resolution + high AA can give better results than high resolution + no AA. At least with the low-res+AA you don't get so much hit on your fill-rate performance [smile]


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Once thing that strikes me is the fact that in some screenshots, the car seem to be flying a bit above the ground. I can't say why exactly, but that's the feeling i have.

You could use a bit of anisotropic filtering, too :) < runs off >

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You win this round Laz ;-)

I updated the post with the AA stuff, and an image.

WOOHOO I WIN! Looks good too.

I wouldn't be concerned too much about the framerate drop just so long as you have an option to choose AA level like you said. I for one always turn AA on because it makes things look so much better and barely compromises any noticable performance on my machine.

mmMMMmmmm .... anisotropic filtering =P

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Ysaneya - Good eye. I've got to use a liberal z-bias for my shadow maps to not flicker, the problem is that the area from a few inches above the ground -> to the ground can't accept shadows which might make it look like the cars aren't truely in contact with the ground.

I've got a few ideas about how to fix that. Well...that might not be what you've noticed....all of the cars are actually a little bit off the ground due to some in-accuracies in the wheel size as well. I'll look into it.

Anisotropic filtering? I'll turn that on and see how things look. Thanks for the suggestions.

jollyjeffers - I agree with your thoughts on anti-aliasing. I just started the game up at 4X and 800x600 it wasn't very noticible, not like I thought it would be...though I know what you mean from other games like Counter-Strike: Source / Half-Life 2. I'll see if I can find a card that supports higher than 4X, and give it a go.

- Dan

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