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Ok so ive been lookin at some mods for this old ass engine, just to see if they have improved their look. and it seems that all the models look like crap, and in the wireframe mode they have horribly low poly counts. why dont/cant ppl who make mods make higher poly counts? does the engine max out at a certain value? how does that engine work with 3d models? and why dont current engines have the option to expand poly counts, if thats possible, im not too sure how game engines work, perhaps someone could clerify this for me Thanks.

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You said it yourself, its old ass

Its probably not optimized for modern graphics cards with 64+ MB of ram, when HL was made 64 MB was good enough for the system!

Modern games look soo good because of the 3D hardware and CPU speed, an old game can''t magically look good if it was ment for an old card even though the CPU is 2x fastre

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Half-Life == advanced Quake. It''s old. It''s outdated. It''s crap.

And yet, strangely enough, thousands of geeks are still obsessing over the pathetic little mod Counter-Strike, desperately trying to keep it alive.

But anyway, getting back to your original question, the models have low polys for a reason.

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Just out of interest, munkie... what is that reason? God created them so...??

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but it seems you don't realise that a game should be measured by its gameplay (in this aspect, I think the authors of CS have done really well) as well as its graphics. You may base your game purchases on eye-candy, but I for one tend to look a little deeper than that. BTW, I would hardly describe CS as a 'pathetic little mod' that is struggling to stay alive... it has been developed with the help of Valve and distributed commercially.

In answer to the original topic, I would have to agree with Cybertron... being a highly modified version of the original Quake engine, it was designed with TNT2 level hardware in mind... I actually think it has stood the test of time quite well. The engine is based on techniques that were more relevant before the current generation of graphics hardware, thus it cannot take advantage of all the newer features of said hardware.
I'm sure the engine can handle more polys... it just may not be in the meat of its efficiency curve on current systems. Try making some higher poly maps and/or models yourself and see how they well they run.

Something else to consider is that there may well be hard limits in the engine code for the number of polys a model can have (I don't know for sure, as I haven't looked at the source)... its a classic case of "640K syndrome"... "we'll never have that many polys..."

[edited by - Bad Monkey on June 26, 2002 10:18:25 PM]

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quote:
Original post by munkie
Half-Life == advanced Quake. It''s old. It''s outdated. It''s crap.

And yet, strangely enough, thousands of geeks are still obsessing over the pathetic little mod Counter-Strike, desperately trying to keep it alive.

But anyway, getting back to your original question, the models have low polys for a reason.


How''s about trying to answer the question??? Might want to elaborate on your answer... Don''t you think.... If you can''t answer a question, don''t post...



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munkie did u say TRYING TO STAY ALIVE ?? HAHAHAHHA dont make me laught... tell me ONE game that is played over the net more than cs...

[edited by - Metal Typhoon on June 26, 2002 11:15:35 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Bad Monkey
Just out of interest, munkie... what is that reason? God created them so...??


The reason was in the first sentence of my post. Trouble remembering things?

quote:
Original post by Metal Typhoon munkie did u say TRYING TO STAY ALIVE ?? HAHAHAHHA dont make me laught... tell me ONE game that is played over the net more than cs...


Notice how I said "thousands of geeks". It''s obvious I realize the game is overly popular. Perhaps because it''s so damned easy to win, everyone feels like a God in that game.

quote:
Original post by Metal Typhoon How''s about trying to answer the question??? Might want to elaborate on your answer... Don''t you think.... If you can''t answer a question, don''t post...


Good one, hypocrite. Unfortunately, I don''t see any relevant answers to the poster''s question in your post.

Why does Counter-Strike suck? Well, it''s blatantly easy to see the game simply looks horrible. You can get an equal gaming experience with more modernized graphics with Urban Terror 3.

The Counter-Strike community is a joke. The players these days all seem to be pre-pubescent little boys who do nothing but spam, text flood, camp, whine, moan, argue, and flame each other during games.

God forbid anyone in that game make a decent shot, less you be called a cheater. I kill three guys consecutively because I have nice hand-eye coordination, I get booted off for "cheating". It is pathetic. The community is so insecure and paranoid that they jump the gun on any good players, yet will flame any newbs.

By the way, Metal, I notice that most of your posts consist of excessively capitalized words, a lot of "yelling", and a suspiciously high level of excitement.. Well, maybe I should feel priviledged to get such overly exerted responses simply because I don''t like a mere mod to a video game.

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thats basically what i figured, i was a huge CS fan for a few years, until the cheating community took over, now im into SOF2 =D ... anyway, thanks for answering... CS needs to die =\

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I never thought I''d say this, but I agree with Munkie on this one. I miss the good old days of DWANGO. Playing Doom online kicked ass. It was such a thrill getting 4 people in the same game. And you didn''t deal with a bunch of 12 year olds showing how mature they are by using the F word in every sentence. Unfortunately, long distance costs put an end to that (at least for me ).

But to answer the original question, Half Life actually did have an expansion that allowed higher poly models. I believe it was introduced in Blue Shift and that CS uses it. Granted, the models still aren''t that high in polys, but they are higher than the original models of Half Life. I believe that''s the way it is, but I could be wrong.

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quote:
Original post by munkie

Good one, hypocrite. Unfortunately, I don't see any relevant answers to the poster's question in your post.



first if there is a POST button on this forum and my omouse pint can go there consecutively my hand can click ... therefore i can post anywhere

quote:

Why does Counter-Strike suck? Well, it's blatantly easy to see the game simply looks horrible. You can get an equal gaming experience with more modernized graphics with Urban Terror 3.



if that's so i wonder why hundreds and thousands of people keep playing..

quote:

The Counter-Strike community is a joke. The players these days all seem to be pre-pubescent little boys who do nothing but spam, text flood, camp, whine, moan, argue, and flame each other during games.



this is what's called "PLAYING RANDOMLY"

quote:

God forbid anyone in that game make a decent shot, less you be called a cheater. I kill three guys consecutively because I have nice hand-eye coordination, I get booted off for "cheating". It is pathetic. The community is so insecure and paranoid that they jump the gun on any good players, yet will flame any newbs.



your r such a .. that can't even ook for a decent serve where peole respect each other and know they don't cheat.. lan games would be # 1 for that...

quote:

By the way, Metal, I notice that most of your posts consist of excessively capitalized words, a lot of "yelling", and a suspiciously high level of excitement.. Well, maybe I should feel priviledged to get such overly exerted responses simply because I don't like a mere mod to a video game.



again there is a CAPS LOCK in a keyboard did u know that ? u can also use shift... yelling ?? since this is a wide open society caps lock don't MEAN YELLING TO ME OK ? thx..

@ virus... is there a free download or whatever of this engine ? or u need to buy or something ? i'm interested in it. like it was said before the engine was built when 64mb would suit more than the needs of it...



[edited by - Metal Typhoon on June 27, 2002 1:09:18 AM]

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the reason is not that hl is old. it can handle high poly counts, though not as well as modern engines. it supports 16bit textures, though many artists dont bother since their somewhat lazy.

the main dilema is that hl was designed for lower end systmes, thus mod authors dont want to discriminate against them by using detailed maps and models.

the engine just cant increase the poly count of things (well it could but it ussually leads to bad things). the reason is that doing this leads to extrapolation of vertices based on normals and could result in sharp corners becoming round or things becoming puffy looking. use an ati raedon with smoothVision (think thats what they call it) with hl. makes the models look decidingly different. though carmack alreday stated he wont support this feature in doom 3 since it screws up the shadows (card is rendering different data then what the game engine is sending it).

Metal Typhoon, you sir are a moron. using caps in any sort of text based forum (chat bbs, etc) is considered yelling or emphasising depending on usage. whether you care to believe this or not does not matter since you are not the majority. it would be like me associated typhoon with being an idiot. completely false based on the english language, but going by your logic it dont matter. also you dont seem to know what half-lfie is therefore you shouldnot be discussing anything.

most ppl play CS because they are too lazy/ignorent/scared/cheap to try any other mod or game. cs is not that good, its a decent game (which has gotten worse with each revision), but server admins never play the new maps and cycle between only a few. ppl dislike new maps before even playing them. assasination and escape maps disappeared because ppl could not understand them too well. too many ppl play cs as if it were deathmatch. camping is part of the game, deal with it.

whining, moaning, arguing, accustaions of cheating, and cheating are not "playing randomly" its being a moron. the quake community had respectful mature players. some where whiners and bad like cs players, but its was not the majority like cs is. other hl mods are far better then cs, but players being morons dont try them, thus you have few servers with few players which naturally means they ownt be too fun. ppl need to learn cs is just another mod, and move on.

oldschool gaming (dwango, server listings at stomped.com, qspy, freeware gamespy 3d before it become some business, etc) were great since most ppl were privalged to be playing online. now being online is nothing special, and very normal so any idiot can play games. thankfully though, most morons stick to cs, so games like quakeworld, quake2, quake3, ut, unreal, sof, sof2, other hl mods, other mods, etc can be played with ussually respectful players.


[edited by - a person on June 27, 2002 2:55:11 AM]

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mates, CS is fun, their are cheaters, but you wanna know why its so popular??
portability & gameplay
1.portability -- you try run Jedi Knight2 on a P166 with 2MB VRAM plug noone can argue with Carmaks Mid-High Latency Compensation Alogrithm!

2.gameplay -- yes it makes you feel like a god, would you still play any game if the AI was calculated with no compesation for error (aka AI) ie. the computer kicked you ass EVERY time? i doubt it unless you enjor bordom =/ mate, its the world of commecial buisness, you make a crap game, you loose.
i personaly like CS, but i aint no phenatic.

anyweyz, thats my 2c, now to answer the actual question...

the engine can handel higher polys, but it has no optimization to handle these "extra" polys, these days, alot of the data is passed to the gfx card for on GPU processing eg NV_VERTEX_ARRAY_RANGE & Version2 and VertexShaders/Programs, in the dayz of HL, the TNT was all they had and nVidia wasn''t as big cuz 3dfx and ATi and VideoLogic and Matrox and... etc etc. were still around, where as now only nVidia and ATi are left in the consumer markets so developers have alot more freedom with Vendor Specific Code etc.

hope it helps thanx.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The Half-Life OpenGL driver used glvertex3fv calls and that''s probably the worst way of passing data to the card. I''m not sure if this is still the case.

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quote:
Original post by munkie
Well, maybe I should feel priviledged to get such overly exerted responses simply because I don''t like a mere mod to a video game.


Hmmm... mere mod. Well that "mere mod" got the team that made it hired by the company that made Half-Life. Can you claim the same thing. I have never played CS, probably never will, but those guys are now working for a game developement house, so I don''t think "mere mod" quite covers it.
quote:
Original post by a person
thankfully though, most morons stick to cs, so games like quakeworld, quake2, quake3, ut, unreal, sof, sof2, other hl mods, other mods, etc can be played with ussually respectful players.


Yeah, I play some Quake 3 and don''t see any whiners there.

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Make it fast.

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quote:
Original post by Metal Typhoon
munkie did u say TRYING TO STAY ALIVE ?? HAHAHAHHA dont make me laught... tell me ONE game that is played over the net more than cs...

[edited by - Metal Typhoon on June 26, 2002 11:15:35 PM]



sure.
Diablo2.

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quote:
Original post by a person
it supports 16bit textures, though many artists dont bother since their somewhat lazy.



umm... from what i know, all textures in half-life engine are 256 colors. :-\

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quote:
Original post by shurcool
umm... from what i know, all textures in half-life engine are 256 colors. :-\



Nope. Textures can be 16 bit. Maybe you''re thinking of sprites?

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ah, CS.. I fondly remember teh beta days (started playing @ beta6.0 with the mucked up handgun aiming) with the old BY servers, and back then is was fun, ppl didnt play it like DM game as they do now, used to get team play, and the escape maps gave us some of the biggest laffs ever, heck there was a time when I played CS for 6h in a row without thinking.

but your right, they are paranoid to an extent, but the problem is they are justifiably so, with so much cheating going on (before i stopped playing for 6 months I was on a server and the top ''top players'' on each time both had an aimbot/wall hack as I followed ''em on chase cam to watch for this), now I only play clan matches and mostly on a 32 player server (which is mad death match and can be a laff)

As for the question, when HL was designed and released the best gfx cards on the market at the time was the Voodoo2 and the RivaTNT (TNT2 didnt appear until Aug/Sept 99, at least in the UK, I know coz I got one of the first ones to appear) and thus the game couldnt have high poly counts and was in 16bit mode coz of the Voodoo2s (which couldnt support 32bit mode anyways).

The engine has been updated over the years, however short of a rewrite of the rendering routines i dont belive we will see a huge increase in polycounts, HL2 will do that as its a whole new engine.
Also, alot of ppl are still running HL on very low end systems and valve dont wanna annoy them by bring the specs up to high.

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So we have a community of CS players in here too?

I would like to reiterate that when people accuse others of cheatings, most of the time is it justified. There are so many cheaters, that 9/10 when someone kills 3 people all with headshots in a row, they cheated. Looking at their kill ratio, and observering them in other rounds also can show that they are cheating. Also games where you see a few players with kill ratio over 3:1 and the rest are below 1, will usually have cheaters. Almost ANY person with higher than a 5:1 or 6:1 kill ratio is cheating too.

Best ways to know a cheater?
-Always get head shot. They also can''t seem to kill other people other than head shots.
-When they move into areas, they don''t check corners unless guys are actually there(wallhack).
-Seem to always know where you are exactly when they enter a room.
-When you are in the darkest spot and CLEARLY aren''t visible(there is a crate in de_dust where you are completely invisible), they still shoot you as if you were glowing.
-When they play, that are very nonchalant - jumping, seem to not value their life, yet they kill everything they encounter.
-Never miss with their weapon even on full auto.

*One thing that alone proved a guy a cheater was an awper, who when I WALKED up to from his side(90 degrees off boresight), as soon as I got too close, he INSTANTLY turned around, head shot and killed me, and in just as quickly of a motion faced the front again.

Also, keep in mind that HL gaurd, CS Guard, and any anti-cheat system don''t detect all cheats. They probably can only detect the newbies who don''t know how to get around them. I think I heard one way of getting around cheat detection software was to put the cheat software on a seperate hard drive as HL being that CS Guard and I think HL Gaurd work by checking the only HL is installed on only.

I was off topic, but now I''m done...

"Ogun''s Laughter Is No Joke!!!" - Ogun Kills On The Right, A Nigerian Poem.

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ok. speaking as the leader of a Half-Life mod,

all HL textures are 256 colours. CS:CZ will change this though.

valve released the code to their model renderer with the SDK.

the problem is, with HL, because it''s an old engine, it was designed for back in the days where if you used the CPU to cull a triangle, it would be faster than just drawing that one triangle if it was offscreen, or occluded, backfacing, etc.. Obviously, now it''s a very different story. As for the model renderer, it isn''t quite so harsh. The difference is that all the animation is done in software, there is no quake 3 style vertex weighted animation... And since HL has the ability to mix upto _9_ animations at any one time on any 1 model, things can get fairly slow. That considered, I think it still keeps up remarkably well.
Bring on TF2 I say.

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I agree, the HL engine is old and is slowly dying away but it still has some features that keep it a chugging along.



I know only that which I know, but I do not know what I know.

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The fact that there is such a prevalence of cheaters may excuse the paranoia of players, but it alone is merely one more reason to leave CS. Why bother with a community that consists entirely of either straight cheaters, or nervous freaks who jump the gun on the first headshot they encounter?

As a sidenote, I don''t see why you CS players think headshots are so hard. Perhaps its because most of your FPS skill is based on such a simple game. When you become a formidable railer in an incredibly fast paced game like Quake 3, which requires the utmost amount of reflexes against veteran players, you''ll find yourself making headshots nearly all of the time in CS. Retrospectively, you''ll also find yourself being banned all of the time.

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most hl textures are 8bit because as i said before: most artists are either lazy or want to support older hardware. it does not change the FACT that hl supports 16bit textures and any mod author or map maker can make use of this (some have).

backfacing culling? i hate to say it but opengl/d3d handle this sort of culling for you (either through hardware or software depending on the driver) thus if the coders at valve do their own backface culling when using the hardware renderer (either d3d or ogl) then they are complete idiots.

hl does not by default use weighted animations, this was an added faeture later in the engine development. a "test" of teamfotress Classic 2/hl2 engine stuff. its availible but does not need to be used. furthermore, if the ppl at valve were smart they would have updated the engine to be more efficent if they are adding features to the engine that are computativly intense. quake2 did the animation in software. quake3 does the animation in software as well unless you have a geforce3/ati raedon 8500 or above (ie hardware TnL support).

if valve did not upgrade the hardware support (ie making things more TnL friendly if availible, using more efficent rendering extensions, etc), but still adds features which raises the min hardware configuration to run the game decently then they are being quite stupid and ignorent.

also just having support for opengl/d3d hardware means that they are expecting ppl to use their 3d hardware. thus valve should have optimized the opengl/d3d code paths to take advantage of this. this dont mean they need to incorporate hardware TnL friendly code, it means they should have optimized it as much as quake3 (see below for more info).


some system requiremnts hl is targetted at, and how they have increased as "features" were added to the engine:

original HL:
min: pentium 133, 24 mb ram
rec: pentium 166, 32 mb ram, 3d accelerator

hl blue shift:
min: pentium 166, 32 mb ram, 3d accelerator
rec: pentium 233, 3d accelerator

counter-strike Retail:
min: pentium 133, 24 mb ram
rec: pentium 166, 32 mb ram, 3d accelerator

hl original release: November 1998


valve certainly increased the requirments themselves for blue shift since it contains the high poly model pack. though the counter-strike retail uses the same min specs from the original hl. though i doubt it would be playable on what valve suggests as a system spec.

now osme other games in the same time frame (ie within less then one year of release).

quake 3:
min:
pentium 233 mmx, 8 mb video card, 64mb ram
or
pentium 2 266, 4 mb video card, 64mb ram
quake3 original release: October 1999

unreal : sometime in 1998
unreal tornament release: November 1999
unreal and ut basically use the same engine, so have the same sys requirments
pentium 200 mmx, 32 mb ram


thus mere months seperate them. and system specs required show this. carmack went with the no software renderer route since 3d cards were pretty mainstream already. with the engine improvments made in the later patches, valve has upped the system requirments yet never mentions this anywhere for advertising purposes. thus saying hl is an old engine is no excuse for how things look. its up to the artists, since valve has increased the feature list and min rquirments. granted you cant have things looking like in quake3 since many things are simply not supported (like vertex shaders). ut or unreal look many times better then hl in general. mostly due to better art, map design, etc. quake3 on the other hand has pretty ugle maps, though user made maps look quite nice. some of the higher quality user made maps for hl look quite nice as well. this is why i find it so amazing that most cs maps look like crap. look at de_dust, very plain texturing. granted its supposed to be a desert base of sorts, it still lacks detail that some of the ut desert places look like. some of the user made maps like de_predator look marvelous. mainly because the artist spent time creating the map and textures. most maps included with cs look like crap and need some updating texture wise, as well as design wise. heck, many quake2 maps look better then hl maps. being that quake2 was released before hl, i find this pretty ironic, since hl cant even compete with an older engine. though really its the artists that are making things look bad. not using colored lighting, using washed out textures, high contrast lighting, and other nicities that make maps more pleasing. most of quake2 maps used 8bit textures, so explain how come they look nicer.

thus it seems to me that authors simply want to maintain the user base and are lazy about creating their own textures or spending time optimizing things. instead they use 8bit textures that have been made already as well as keep objects simple to avoid having to deal with having to deal with ensuring the map uses the polygons efficently to create nice looking scenes.

i know mod authors work hard, but by the same token they should care about their work and learn more about art so things look nicer. most mods have great looking models, just need to work on map design and textures for the map. look at the science and industry mod, nice looking maps and good use of lighting. nice textures as well.

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quote:
Original post by a person
most hl textures are 8bit because as i said before: most artists are either lazy or want to support older hardware. it does not change the FACT that hl supports 16bit textures and any mod author or map maker can make use of this (some have).

backfacing culling? i hate to say it but opengl/d3d handle this sort of culling for you (either through hardware or software depending on the driver) thus if the coders at valve do their own backface culling when using the hardware renderer (either d3d or ogl) then they are complete idiots.

hl does not by default use weighted animations, this was an added faeture later in the engine development.




you didn''t read what I and others have said.

ALL of half-lifes texture formats it supports directly are 8bit, where each texture has a unique pallet. be it wad, compiled textures, sprites, etc. Other mods have got around this by overriding HL''s openGL renderer, but that assumes that opengl is being used in the first place.

"i hate to say it but opengl/d3d handle this sort of culling for you"

that was my point.
back when HL came out, it _WAS_ faster to do backface culling youself, as it is requires the polygon''s verticies are translated onscreen first, then GL/D3D will check if the verticies are CCW/CW, and cull depending on what you set. Doing a simple dot with the normal was obviously a lot faster back then.

"then they are complete idiots"
it''s a legacy of GLquake. blame id. (half-life being built on quake 1''s engine)

"hl does not by default use weighted animations, this was an added faeture later in the engine development."

you''r confusing their animation system. vertex weighting is a technique where you tell the graphics card to weight vertcies, and provide (up to 16 I believe) matricies + weights for the card it''self to multiply with the vertex, weighting the result according to the weights passed... This is obviously A LOT faster than getting the CPU to do the same stuff.
the animation system in HL was updated, and is now used in a small number of mods. CS is a good example. I don''t believe TFC uses it.
Previously, the player model was slpit at a certain bone, so animation for the top half and bottom half of the body could be played speratly. To my knowlege, TFC still uses this system, but I''m not too sure.

basically, if you think that the best thing valve could do it completly rewrite the Half life renderer, then you''re quite badly mistaken. What they have done so far makes a lot of commercial sense, and seems to show through in how well HL has sold/lasted. The fact is it''s a fun game, and a powerful mod platform, even if CS was better as a mod than a product.

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quote:
Original post by RipTorn
"i hate to say it but opengl/d3d handle this sort of culling for you"

that was my point.
back when HL came out, it _WAS_ faster to do backface culling youself, as it is requires the polygon's verticies are translated onscreen first, then GL/D3D will check if the verticies are CCW/CW, and cull depending on what you set. Doing a simple dot with the normal was obviously a lot faster back then.




Please show why that's 'obviously true.' The D3D/OpenGL renderers certainly do _not_ do backface culling in software. That has always been faster on 3D cards.

Dotting the normal with the view vector only makes sense in software renderers.

The other kinds of culling that half life does (Frustrum culling and PVS culling) are still used by just about every current 3d engine around.

Half-life's poly pushing problems are probably more because it doesn't take advantage of hardware improvements and new techniques introduced since it's release. It's not because the techniques they used then aren't still appropriate now.

quote:

you'r confusing their animation system. vertex weighting is a technique where you tell the graphics card to weight vertcies, and provide (up to 16 I believe) matricies + weights for the card it'self to multiply with the vertex, weighting the result according to the weights passed...



I think you're confused. Vertex weighting commonly refers to systems in which vertexes are influenced by more than one bone. (Each vertex has a set of 'weights' for the various bones.) It's good for more realistically bending joints, among other things.

This has recently become possible in hardware, but I know that at least on my system (Athlon XP 1900 + Radeon 8500), doing vertex blends in software is still faster than letting the hardware do it. I know that Quake 3 doesn't use hardware blending(as you implied) because Quake 3 didn't even support boned animation. Team Arena added support for boned animation, though. IIRC, weighted animation wasn't added until later to support one of the other quake engine games.

quote:

This is obviously A LOT faster than getting the CPU to do the same stuff.



As I mentioned, using ATI's own hardware vertex blend example, the animation runs at a higher FPS in software on my machine. It's probably a performance win for people with expensive graphics cards and old cheap CPUs, though.

quote:

the animation system in HL was updated, and is now used in a small number of mods. CS is a good example. I don't believe TFC uses it.



The blending stuff isn't built into the half-life engine. It's right in the mod SDK code. Some mods have written better/different blending systems. Counterstrike was one of these.

[edited by - cheesegrater on June 28, 2002 10:01:42 AM]

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