I'm worried about lag

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Nice, LOAF. Futurama, right? Anyhow, the Tutorial is around 25% complete. I've had a huge number of computer troubles in the past few days - first I needed to re-install Windows XP (I mean clean wipe) because the explorer.exe wouldn't stay open for more than a half-second. Then my motherboard failed, and fun was had by all. Yay. Back up and running now, and I've got the basic outline of the Tut worked out, and I've done the first 3 sections out of 12. There will be pictures and mucho information.
So, there's the update!
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
So, there's the update!
I was kind of hoping for part of the tutorial, actually. Even if it's only a quarter-complete, that'd be a big help to a lot of people here (and it'd be a good safeguard in case your computer explodes again :) ).
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
I'd love to - the problem is that while the text is about 2/3s complete, the pictures and diagrams are nowhere to be found. :D Anyhow, I've got it backed up in multiple places.
 

Cyberion

Master of Orion
Nice stuff there Howard, I wish I could texture like you can. For me texturing is a pain in the ***, nonetheless I'm trying and trying and I hope one day I'll be able to come up with something. You know they didn't build Rome in 1 day ;) For me reading your tutorian on "How you do it in Photoshop" will be the most helpful stuff ever.

Anyway great job there, it's very nice to see every work done by you and Brad. Keep it up.
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
Because I've seen some of those models you've made. They look too highly detailed to use in a game, just like the original model for the SWC Rapier is still to highly detailed to use in a game without the framerate going down. (although I was able to import the rapier into Flight Commander and experience little or no lag.)

Also, if you're trying to render too many ships at one time, you'll end up with massive lag, unless you implement some smart code that only renders what the player "sees," or the models that you rendered are models that you aren't using in-game.

Also, will I be able to mod this game when you release it?



Modern games like crysis have 1.5 million tris in just the environment.

BF2 mod guides list 8-10k tris per player model. (that's just one character. The environment + other players will be lots more). That's a 3 year old game.

10k tris in a model isn't a lot for today, given that you save a lot of overhead from being in space (barely any environment tris).

What's impressive about the models is the render quality. If you look at the same model in the editor, it's not nearly as 'lag-inducing' looking.



I'm curious, to what extent will the engine shading be dynamic, and what extent will be pre-processed (a-la baked) ?


-scheherazade
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Well, almost all of the shading is going to be dynamic. The only lighting we're baking in is the glow maps and the ambient occlusion. The ambient occlusion will interact with the environment - most likely in a simplified spherical harmonics setup. If that's not efficient - and on some lower end systems this setup won't be feasible - so the engine will shift to a flat color multiplied against the AO map based on the averaged lighting in the scene. On even lower-end systems the engine will just do a flat ambient color.
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
The ambient occlusion will interact with the environment - most likely in a simplified spherical harmonics setup.
Are you saying that you'll take the texel value AO(u,v) and intensify it as a function of the in-LOS 'sky' illumination function & angle? O(lights) rays per AO texel? (shoot me if I'm talking out my butt...)

Are you going to do any post processing effects?
Glow? (gaussian blur over emitters in frame buffer, added back to frame buffer)
Motion blur? (accumulation buffer)

Edit : Since you have normal maps, are you going to go for parallax mapping? It's only slightly slower than typical normal mapping, but the visual effect is really tip top.

-scheherazade
 
We are doing some post-processing effects like full-screen motion blur, some HDR glow effects, heat shimmer, and some others. The implementation of these at this point is hardly relevant, but we are not using an accumulation buffer for the motion blur.

As for normal maps vs. parallax mapping, as I'm sure you are aware, their usefulness varies depending on the situation. Therefore, sometimes we will be using parallax maps, sometimes normal maps, and sometimes another method entirely.

These types of choices are without a doubt the questions to be asked at the polish stage, which we have obviously not gotten to yet. I appreciate the interest in the implementation details, but I never like to lock down what methods we use. Rather, we provide as many options as are feasible so that we can tweak out the effect based on performance and visual integrity.

Hope that makes sense. :)

--Joel
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
Perfect sense.

I don't see the use in parallax everywhere. I was imagining when you're really close to a ship, like when it crosses your window as you follow really close from behind. Things like the tubes/pipes around the engine nozzles would probably liven up noticeably. (I'm guessing they're texture objects rather than polys)

Thanks for entertaining my curiosity. I'm trying to imagine how the rendering might look.

-scheherazade
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
Found an old post where you already covered this.
And I vaguely recognize having read it already (looks familiar)... whoops!
My apologies for being redundant/forgetful.

-scheherazade
 
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