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hakanpersson

3d Artist asking

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Hello there GameDev. I have a question that I have tried to find for some time. I work as a Technical Artist, which means making alot technical desicions. Most of the time - things very hard for me to know for sure. I am looking for a good knowledgebases and/or articles, more of the theory behind, than the code itself. Preferrably aimed towards the artist. Hope it was ok to ask this here, because on the opposite side of the 3d artist is often the graphic programmer:) For examle I have been looking for in-depth articles about which texture format to use, impact on performance etc. Articles like these are really nice: http://www.ericchadwick.com/examples/provost/byf1.html You really have to ask programmers, but I don't have anyone around me that knows these things that well, and often answers seem to vary completely depending who you ask. And I can only make assumptions what happens inside various vertex/pixel programs and so forth. cheers /Håkan

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I'm not sure how much you'll find that's aimed at technical artists rather than programmers but the best places to find out about what is and isn't efficient on 3D hardware is from the hardware manufacturers themselves. Both nVIDIA and ATI have lots of presentations and papers on their developer sites covering performance issues: developer.nvidia.com and ati.amd.com/developer. You'll also find some good information from Microsoft's Gamefest and Meltdown conferences: Microsoft Game Developer Presentations. ATI, nVIDIA and Microsoft do presentations at a variety of conferences: Siggraph, GDC, Gamefest, Meltdown, ATI and nVIDIA specific developer events, etc. but most of the relevant presentations end up on one of Microsoft, AMD or nVIDIA's developer sites. I believe you'll find several presentations there aimed more at artists than programmers but most of the detailed information is presented for a programmer audience.

There's no simple path to understanding the technical aspects of realtime rendering. You'll either have to plough through material aimed at programmers yourself to develop an understanding or you'll need to work closely with the rendering programmers on your projects to understand the implications of various decisions. Much will depend on the specifics of your project, on your target platforms and on the engine and tools you're targeting so it's always going to be best if you have a close working relationship with the engineers responsible for rendering on your project. The more knowledge and understanding you acquire for yourself from sources like those posted above though the better placed you'll be to understand the explanations of your programming team and to appreciate the tradeoffs specific to your project.

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*ack* I made an effort writing a long answer and wrote incorrect pass and lost the message.
So i'll keep it short..

Thanks for the reply Matt, the pages looks promising, Im a little bit of a programmer myself, so hopefully I can survive throught the hard parts and extract the good parts im looking for:)

/Håkan

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