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Captain Insanity

Pushing the limits

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Okay, I really need help on this one. Some of you may remember from my posts that I'm trying to make a first person adventure in a combination of 2D panorama and real time 3D. The plan was to have a panoramic pre rendered background to the game, and all interactive objects and characters rendered in realtime 3D clipped around an invisible mesh synchronised to line up with the rendered background in a processor saving maneuver like alone in the dark. Here's the problem - is it possible with current realtime 3D engines (and the hardware most consumers have) to pump out enough polygons to make the objects and characters detailed enough to be indestinguishable (or at least believably so) from the pre rendered background? I mean, with only a few objects to render per scene, can you make the meshes roughly as complex as those used in pre rendering, ie high poly count? Also, can current 3d hardware and engines support all the features one would need such as specularity, bump mapping, hardness and shine, and most importantly, oversampling and antialiasing? In my experience, all realtime 3d engines out there simply cannot hide those unsightly pixelated edges to polygons, which pre rendering programs mix with the background to smooth them out, and the most heavily bump mapped polygons still look completely flat from most angles. I ask all these basic questions because I am merely the designer, not the programmer, and know little of such magical things. All I really need to know is: do you lot think it's a feasable plan? Should I change it in any way? What is certain is that I can't do the whole thing in realtime 3D at the level of detail that I need. There aint enough processing power in any single home user's machine to do that. Edited by - Captain Insanity on December 30, 2001 5:25:41 PM

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I sympathize with your position. It sounds like the background is very detailed, shaded, blended, etc.

You will inevitably have to make compromises with the static background''s level of detail, or with game speed.

Your question highlights the fundamental distinction between prerendered and realtime-rendered models. The reality is that hardware will never do in realtime what it can do in advance.

The latest programming techniques and hardware bring the line closer, but the gap is still visible in every simulation on the market.

So...compromise, compromise, compromise.

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If I''m understanding you correctly, you want to have the interactive objects indistinguishable from the background right?

If so, you might try pre-rendering all the animations for those objects. That way you can get the quality you want on practically all systems.

-Lonely

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I can''t do that because the objects have to be interacted with in realtime and free space. They have to be warped, thrown, floated, burned, melted, broken over someones head, and anything else you can think of. I need them to be in realtime to allow for flexibility.

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