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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:19 am 
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StarLion wrote:
sarpedon2 wrote:
*If we were to use PM on existing textures (which are mostly blurry and stretched in most areas), I think the results would be horrendous. We would have to replace the majority of the textures in the game in with Higher-Res textures, which while would be satisfying would need a lot of manpower and time.

High resolution textures might not be as important as you think.

Doom 3 had parallax mapping added to as a user-made modification. The parallax mapping mod uses Doom 3's original textures, most of which are only 256x256 resolution.

sarpedon2 wrote:
*Parallax Mapping has not yet been implemented much (or not at all) into online games due to the vast amount of Bandwidth needed to generate the 3d graphics of the PM.

Sorry, but that's hugely inaccurate. For starters, plenty of online games use parallax mapping; everything based on either the Unreal 3 engine or the IDTech4 engine has it for sure.

There's also no extra bandwidth required to enable parallax mapping. All of the textures, bump maps, and normal maps needed to make parallax mapping work are already part of URU. All that's required to enable parallax mapping is a pixel shader that uses these resources.

There's also nothing "3D" being generated with parallax mapping, it's merely a very convincing optical illusion. The parallax mapping shader shifts the pixels of a texture based on its associated bump map, relative to the position of the camera. This creates the illusion of walking around geometry, when in fact it's just the pixels on a flat surface eclipsing one another to make it look that way. Once again, this is all handled client-side, with no extra bandwidth required.


My apologies for getting that wrong. On the issue of textures, how does the parralax mapping in Doom 3 look though, cause some of the parallax mapping I've seen, the results aren't pretty and it perhaps due to the depth of the mapping. On another question, does Plasma 2 support bump mapping?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:25 am 
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Plasma has support for bump maps, but the only place they are used is in Eder Kemo. You can see the effects if you look at the railings or the pathways during a storm.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:05 pm 
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I thought they were used in The Cleft too


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Tweek wrote:
I thought they were used in The Cleft too


If they are, I haven't seen any indication in the texture files.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:55 pm 
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Paradox wrote:
Plasma has support for bump maps, but the only place they are used is in Eder Kemo. You can see the effects if you look at the railings or the pathways during a storm.

That would make sense. Only ages that have a day/night cycle or heavily use dynamic lighting would need bump maps (so shading on surfaces can be updated real-time). If all the lighting is static, you can bake the bump maps into the textures because they'll never change. This saves on an additional texture for every surface being loaded.

Nice optimization on Cyan's part, but it works against our purposes. That said, not all hope is lost; it's possible to regenerate an approximation of the bump map that was baked into a texture by extracting and processing the Luminance Channel of said image. It wont be perfect, but it will be better than nothing.

This sort of processing could be handled client-side with a script that reprocesses all the textures, saving on server bandwidth. It would take a while to run, but the results would probably be worth it.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:13 am 
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Just struck by an idea...do we have any indication of how easy to access the depth buffer of the Plasma engine is?

If we can get at the depth buffer, it instantly makes it possible to implement depth of field, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Crepuscular rays, and per-object motion blur. That would boost quality immensely without requiring any new resources be made.

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 Post subject: Re: Graphics facelift?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:48 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
MegalomaniacalBahro wrote:
Lens glare (in bright, sunny areas like the Cleft and Er'Cana) would add quite a bit

Just a quick comment that admittedly cherry picks one issue: lens flare. In URU, it's you. U-R-U. How often do you get a lens flare effect in your own living eyes? Immersion breaks if you suddenly become aware that the images you see are arriving through a mechanical iris. Just saying. Lens flare seems to be all the rage, including an excessive amount of it in Star Trek XI, an otherwise "stellar" movie. Overuse of any artistic style quickly becomes cliché. Complete this sentence: Just because you can do a thing...


It would make sense in third-person. Just saying.

And as far as over-use, I find that I quite frequently see excessive lens-flare every time I point my camcorder in the general direction of the sun.

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