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Medo Mex

Improving Graphics Scene

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Hi guys,

 

This is general question in D3D9

 

What techniques can be used to greatly improve the graphics scene so I can get highly realistic scene?

 

I have seen some games looking much better than others (especially First-Person Shooters), what are the most things that affect the scenes and make it look much better?

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Generally shader quality and size of textures do a lot but this is all up to the game in question and what their style is. There are no real general things you can do to make it super realistic beyond some extremely expensive shaders.

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Realism is predicated on a lot of different things.

Try buying and reading this book, it will expose you to many different techniques to fake or increase the realism in your games. It's a bit old, but still extremely relevant. Once you're done with that, this book will help take it to the next level, showing better ways to keep rendering physically plausible.

Now you may be thinking; that's a lot of work. It really is. If you're just looking for some marginal increases, take a look at SSAO post processing, and look up the various BRDFs you could add to your lighting.

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There are alot of things that can be done in order to increase perfomance. The beast optimization is not draw at all :). What i basically mean by that the less you draw the better. A way to handle that is to use a Scene partition algorithm, and depending on the type of game there are many out there you can choose from. Another thing you can look into is LOD(Level of detail), objects closer to the camera are drawned at full detail while things in the distance are drawned with lower amount of details. The same concept can be applied to textures in the case of mipmapping. That is just some of the few things you can do. Also make sure you use the correct data structure for what you are trying to do.

Hope that kind of give you an idea. Happy Coding :)

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I don't think there is a general answer to this question actually - it really depends on the type of scene you are going to be rendering.  In many cases, I think having good, high quality textures created by an artist is probably the single biggest thing you can do.  After that, the way that you light the scene is probably going to be the next most important thing.  If your lighting solution can create realistic shadows and semi-plausible global illumination estimation, then you will be pretty much as good as you will get without spending serious amounts of time and effort.

 

So that is my general list: 1. Textures, 2. Shadows, 3. GI approximation.  If you can nail all three, I think you will be doing pretty good.

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Yeah, photorealism is a very laaaaaarge topic.

 

From the technical/math stuff:

  1. HDR
  2. Physically based shading
  3. Linear space pipeline (vs gamma space)
  4. Environment mapping - either with real time or probes - for reflections.
  5. Good shadow filtering and shadow camera setups (i.e. CSM/PSSM)
  6. Global Ilumination
  7. SS Global Ilumination
  8. AO or SSAO
  9. Depth of Field
  10. God Rays
  11. Sub-Surface Scattering for human skin
  12. Custom Hair shaders
  13. Atmospheric Scattering
  14. Realistic Fog, possibly volumetric
  15. High quality diffuse textures, detail, normal, and specular maps.

And then there's aesthetics: The #1 Reason Your Render Looks Fake

 

And my list is incomplete.

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There is a difference though in "realistic look", and "realistic behaviour". Ray tracing for example I consider a realistic behaviour, while it does not provide the realistic visual, rather complicates it by consuming resources. Then as well, Depth of field is a realistic behaviour towards camera phenomena, not real eye experience fenomena. I do not see objects blurred when they are far away. am I normal? If you want to achieve realistic look, most benefitial aproaches are textures with extreme resolution, avoiding magnification of textures, and, using a texture filtering that has not been come up with yet... you should think of procedural textures without filtering applied. But then, the thing that will break realizm will appear right away, human actor. Realistic behaviour of human body in vertex defined mesh is very hardly reachable, even in off line renderers and movie studios.

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In a more simplistic sense, I personally find these things irritating in game visuals:

Polygon joins: if you don't disguise joins, they can completely ruin a scene. I mean a boulder on a terrain needs to either have foliage hiding the joins or some clever texturing.

Too much bloom: I think this can make a scene look too 'bloomy'.. It's almost like soft focus on a film when they want to make someone look prettier than they are.

Tearing: this is a huge no no for me, I refuse to play a game with it and it frustrates me that the developers have obviously put too much in and still release it with tearing instead of pulling things back.

Badly coloured smoke effects: Smoke that just doesn't match the scenery colour-wise is inexcusable

Badly rendered smoke effects: in the real world, smoke doesn't have hard edges

Badly rendered billboards: if you're using billboards to cheat, use them sparingly otherwise this cab look more cheap than realistic,

Collision: a person walking into a wall and continuing to walk just looks wrong - along with artefacts sticking into/out of things

Add chaff: scattering a few little rocks here and about and using decals can greatly help realism

Texturing: I'm more pleased to see cleverly placed textures than hi res ones, i.e. keep repeating textures to a minimum.

I think in general, if an effect doesn't look good, eg billboards a grass, rethink it or take it out

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It's easy to sum up good rendering in one word for me: subtlety. I see people complain about motion blur all the time in several games, but they never mention it about Portal 2. Why is that? Because it's subtle, they don't notice it's there but it adds to the feeling of movement. The same goes for everything else. People will say things like "bloom sucks!", when they're really saying "badly implemented bloom sucks!" without realizing it.

 

Matias had a good list, I'd definitely follow that. smile.png

 

 

There is a difference though in "realistic look", and "realistic behaviour". Ray tracing for example I consider a realistic behaviour, while it does not provide the realistic visual, rather complicates it by consuming resources. Then as well, Depth of field is a realistic behaviour towards camera phenomena, not real eye experience fenomena. I do not see objects blurred when they are far away. am I normal?

 

Close one eye and focus on your finger. I guarantee you'll see a blurry background. ;)

 

Eyes do have this DOF effect, but because we have 2 of them and we only focus on the center of our vision (hence what we're focusing on), we rarely notice.

 

In fact, the same thing applies to bad vision (I wear glasses). Imagine setting your camera to focus at ~1-2 feet then look around with it. That's exactly the same behavior as what I get with one eye. My eyes don't just magically blur stuff, they can't focus beyond a certain distance. smile.png

 

It realy irks me when this argument comes up, especially when we're talking about realistic images. People are very used to seeing the world through a camera because of pictures and movies. So when they see a realistic render that has lens flares and vignetting, they don't yell "FAKE!".

 

IMO, it's a silly idea to replicate an eye. There's so much more going on, with diffraction from eye lashes and such, that it just doesn't make sense. Besides, you're already looking through eyes anyway. ;)

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