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Author Topic: GDC 2012 Demo FPS Work in Progress, Upcoming Graphics Improvements  (Read 3431 times)

HE-HERB

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We wanted to give a sneak at some of the upcoming graphics improvements, and some of what we'll be showing at the upcoming Game Developer Conference (GDC) next month.

Please keep in mind that the screenshot of the FPS demo is an early work in progress (some things like the player character aren't textured or fully modeled), and is here to provide context for the discussion.

The Hero's Journey screenshot only shows a modified HLSL shadow shader.


Multisampling Support
For the FPS demo, multisampling is set to 8x with the highest quality enabled.

Obviously, this will be exposed through the HeroBlade UI and HSL.


Shadows
There are a number of code and HLSL/fx shader improvements to shadows.

Today, you can already change how the shadow calculation and sampling works in the shadow shader.

The Hero's Journey Reference world screenshot shows the HLSL shadow shader modified to produce softer shadows by using a filter kernel.

The FPS demo screenshot basically goes all the way in the other direction and strips down the look of the shadows  to make the edges very hard.

And, the FPS demo is also using 4k x 4k shadow buffers.  Doing the math, that's about ~128 MB of GPU RAM just for shadows.


Terrain and mesh specular and normal differences
These are also changes you could make today.

In the shipping HLSL/fx files, the same specular helper function is called by both terrain and meshes.

For the FPS demo we made it two separate calls, and modified the mesh shader to give everything a faux metal look.

We also tweaked the normal bias and scale on the meshes.

Modifying the base mesh shader to make everything look more like metal is probably too extreme for any game where everything isn't all metal.

For the next major client release you will be able to specify a custom HLSL/fx shader in the HeroMaterial in Max or Maya, and that will be used instead of the default.




That's the big stuff.

Next up is completing the new assets, fixing up or replacing some of the mesh and texture placeholders (especially the terrain textures here in this shot), and, then some polish.

If there are additional shader or renderer changes with a big impact, I'll try and remember to cover those in an update

Cheers

« Last Edit: Oct 01, 12, 07:06:49 PM by HE-HERB »
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herb marselas
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A quick update ...

We're also experimenting with adding an ambient occlusion factor to the FPS demo.

These screenshots are both taken with
  • No Lighting
  • No Fog
  • No Shadows

The only difference is the addition of a simple ambient occlusion factor on the environment mesh (not on the player character or terrain)

« Last Edit: Feb 09, 12, 03:10:39 PM by HE-HERB »
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herb marselas
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Another quick update showing the use of the new custom shaders feature to render the weapon readout with it's own special shader so it's brightly lit even at night.

Custom shaders are specified in the HeroMaterial in Max or Maya.

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herb marselas
graphics guy