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DirectX 11 Tessellation - Scalable Artwork

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[URL="http://www.nvidia.com/object/tessellation.html"]DirectX 11 Tessellation[/URL]

[quote]Scalable Artwork

For developers, tessellation greatly improves the efficiency of their content creation pipeline. In describing their motivation for using tessellation, Jason Mitchell of Valve says: “We are interested in the ability to author assets which allow us to scale both up and down. [b]That is, we want to build a model once and be able to scale it up to film quality[/b]…Conversely, we want to be able to naturally scale the quality of an asset down to meet the needs of real-time rendering on a given system.” This ability to create a model once and use it across various platforms means shorter development times, and for the PC gamer, the highest possible image quality on their GPU.[/quote]

Is that hype? Scaling down is a concept I'm familiar with, but scaling up? Does that actually work as advertised? Can I find more detail on this somewhere? Seems counterintuitive to me.

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You can certainly scale up as high as you want if you author with subdivision surfaces, provided that you can evaluate the surface in a shader. There's also more primitive techniques like PN triangles, which have already been in used in shipping games. And of course there's displacement maps and vector displacement maps.

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