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The pinnacle of Graphics

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Pinnacle
  • Graphics
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November 7, 2002 3:41:26 AM

Hi fellows,

I was just sitting here rendering a file in 3dsmax, and I came upon a few ideas I would like to share with you on what I think will be the pinncale of "graphics of today". Im sure theres lots of 3d displays and stereoscopic stuff thats possible, but im talking about general viewing on a regular monitor (22" and less for the most part)

I think we will have reached that "pinnacle" when we are able to display full screen graphics at 1600x1200 with 4x antialiasing at 32+ bits of colour at 60 + frames. All this under full raytracing demands with millions of polygons and basically a "3dsmax" scene, with all the texture, polygon, pixel options that you would have in any renderer such as 3ds, lightwave, maya, softimage, etc.

Imagine seeing some of the scenes you see on digitalblashemy.com running at 60+ FPS at 1600x1200 with no visible line artificats or issues.

I am excited about when that day will come. Here's the kicker, this will be all done WITHOUT graphics cards. I read a great thread a while back about how 3d cards are just a "current fad" that will be wiped out once CPU's are fast enough to deal with all the graphics chores again. It makes perfect sense to me, eventually the CPU WILL be fast enough to do everything on it's own without the need for extra EXPENSIVE graphics cards with compromising features.

However, I see this goal as being quite far off. Keep in mind all you renderers how long it takes for a large scene in 3dsmax with some heavy raytracing, shadows, complex lighting and tons of tricky little bezier curves in there. Scenes can take HOURS to render even on todays fastest desktops.

What do you all think? I know the 1600x1200 number is debatable (bigger always seems to be better) but I think for a 22" monitor that resolution looks fine to me with a little antialiasing. Or possibly such a high resolution that antialiasing doesnt play a role at all, which is another thought.

Anybody else agree, disagreem or will we see changing trends in the industry that will make us rethink the grand scheme of things.

thanks for reading, I look forward to opinions and comments about the "pinnacle of graphics"

More about : pinnacle graphics

November 7, 2002 11:24:02 AM

I agree with you that the CPU will not take over graphics processing anytime in the imagineable future. Here is my argument. Users have specific needs and wants. We want a fast a CPU for bovious reasons. We also want good and fast graphics. Until CPU's are so fast that there is no longer a demand for a marginal increase in speed, GPU's will remain separate. I don't think that will ever happen. For technical professionals dealing with extremely large calculations like protein folding, astrophysical modelling, and encryption/decryption, there is always a demand for a faster CPU.

For the basic user, the computer industry, hoping to sustain its life and profits, creates the demand. Unreal2003 is a great example. It was produced to humble even the most high-end gaming machines.
November 7, 2002 1:32:50 PM

By the time we get to the kinda complexity you're talking about, it'll be more like 16xFSAA and 64xAF...

Computer graphics are in their infancy still. With time, things will get much better, although I don't think high poly counts are the way to go.

It "costs" a lot less processing power to DOT3 bump-map and pixelshade one polygon then to render 10 "plain" polygons. Effects is where the industry is headed.

I don't see CPU taking over GPU any time soon, due to what the last guy said (forgot his name).

In my opinion, the pinnacle of graphics <b>as they are today</b> will come when GPUs can keep up with CPUs again. Back in the voodoo2 days, the graphics card was much faster then the CPU and was that way for quite a while. More recently the CPU has become far faster and the GPU is now usually the bottleneck. NV30 and R300 are a step in the right direction for this. I think the pinacle of todays style of graphics will come when the GPU can keep up with the CPU again.

As for beyond todays graphics, i think near-photorealism is obtainable within a 10 year time frame.


-Col.Kiwi
November 7, 2002 2:25:04 PM

Assuming that graphics cards will always exist, I think in the future it would be good to see graphics on the motherboad. Think about it, you could have a socket on the motherboard for the GPU and also a few slots for Graphics ram. This way you could update your graphics card at anytime, without needing the extra expene of a new PCB. The socket would be universal (for any brand) and each different type of memory will use the same slot design (by then perhaps well have DDR5). Or , perhaps even the chipset could be socketed...

My sig's faster than yours, and it overclocks better too....
November 7, 2002 5:55:08 PM

I don´t think that socketed GPUs would work out of the companies testing rooms, the chip is only the "brains", it needs the card to work. And card designs are so different that it would be impossible to make a universal board for all GPUs as technology advances.

I don´t think that we´ll ever see the "pinnacle". Technology goes forward all the time, it gets better, goes up - not down.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
November 7, 2002 7:49:11 PM

While I am all for Doom III's advancements, and am in love with them, I have a side that does not like what's coming after. Our goal is to reach photorealism, but if we achieve that at some point, graphics will be less important to focus and once the card is strong enough to create such graphics with any effects and animation frames possible, it could mean the competition for better cards will decrease, and there might be even a stop to making better ones!
It's the stop of innovation in a certain area that worries me.

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 7, 2002 8:32:20 PM

I agree fully. I love advancements in graphics, but I don't ever want to stop seeing new cards coming out with better features.

-Col.Kiwi
November 7, 2002 11:46:15 PM

Two Words:

<b><font color=red>VIRTUAL REALITY</font color=red></b>

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 7, 2002 11:54:57 PM

Two Words:
I agree!
November 8, 2002 12:24:11 AM

Please exploit that statement to its utmost possible extent!

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 8, 2002 2:29:26 PM

I'd argue that VR and 3D are entirely different things. The question he asked was really what we thought the pinnacle of 3D graphics would be. I see VR as something entirely different that will replace 3D at the end of its lifespan, much as real 2D (like EGA) replaced Tandy, and 3D replaced 2D, someday VR replaces 3D.

-Col.Kiwi
November 8, 2002 4:34:30 PM

I believe that achieving photorealism is still a long way off. I believe with still frames, computer graphics can get pretty close, but with games with a lot of movement? I don't think so. I don't think that we will have to deal with photorealism in my 'active' lifetime (maybe another 30 years if I am lucky). Instead I think that we will reach the level of graphics in monster's Inc. done in realtime. They don't necessarily have to look cartoony like Monster's Inc does, but even as lifelike as Sully's hair looked, it was still distinguishable.

The concern that I have is that as soon as we reach that level, there won't be much motivation to develop bigger and better things. Who needs a game to look exactly like real life if it can look as good as Monster's Inc. Games create a fantasy world to play in. I think that there is more of an appeal if they retain a small grain of a fantasy look. If you blow someone's head off in a game, do you really want it to look and sound exactly as it would in real life? That is just sick and wrong in my opinion and it would make me not want to shoot anyone. Doom III in my opinion has already crossed the line of acceptable violent graphics. But not for most people and there is no way you could replay some Doom III scenes on TV and have people believe they were real.

Anyway, these are just my opinions. I don't believe that we will see the video card be eliminated within the next 20 years, but I do believe they will eventually come out with acceptable onboard graphics. Onboard graphics with the same capabilities of the successor to the Radeon 9700pro might just be 'good enough graphics' for all games. Of course if you want to activate all the effects, add-in 3D cards will still be required. Technology is just a fun journey and I am glad I am here to watch it. I don't think I would have had near as much fun 100 years ago.
November 8, 2002 5:11:33 PM

Quote:
If you blow someone's head off in a game, do you really want it to look and sound exactly as it would in real life?


I never thought of it that way. Now I'm kind of disgusted. You know that it's going to get very close to crossing that line in the near future.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 8, 2002 5:17:31 PM

Sure, I guess I could buy that argument. I'm just saying that the graphics cards we'll have won't really go away or run out of things to work on.

Soon we'll have more photo-realism, then we'll have complete worlds to play in. Then men will get pregnant. :smile:

Anyone remember how amazing games like Tomb Raider looked to you back in the day? Now Doom III is supposedly it. One day you'll have graphics systems running VR holodecks for every possible use imaginable, including games. I could easily see better VR goggles with photo-realistic graphics in our lifetimes. Imagine playing a game like Dungeon Seige II in VR with photo-realistic, yet fantasy driven, graphics.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 8, 2002 7:18:26 PM

I'd like a VR goggle which transforms the world around you to its own fantasy equipment, so even an old man's cane will be looking like a sword for you to use. Of course then whacking your mom the Vile Swamp Creature would not amount to good news after playing!


--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 8, 2002 8:04:42 PM

I´ve got to say Lamoni, that was a pretty good post.

I don´t think "real" violence is a good idea either, thanks for getting us thinking about it. The reason games are fun is because they are a fantasy-world were you can play around and do stuff that you can´t in real-life. Would anyone here really wan´t to go through things that happen in Doom III, Resident Evil or Nocturne? Besides, government officialls would probably step in long before we would have "real" violence.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
November 8, 2002 8:28:24 PM

"Besides, government officialls would probably step in long before we would have "real" violence."

You're scaring me dude.
I mean, you know it's a game......right? Government involvement in sensoring *anything* is very very scary, my friend.

We can never stop improving technology, be it computer graphics, or the modern combustion engine. No, I wouldn't be satisfied if we stopped at "Monsters Inc" quality. I want my games (if that's what I am doing with my PC at the moment) to be realistic as possible. I want to be immersed in the game. I play these games so that I can do things I normally can't do in real life. Does that make me a sick person? No.

<font color=red> Mix it with the relish! </font color=red>
November 8, 2002 8:36:42 PM

I agree, technology will always go further, evolve. And I´m glad I still have time to see it advance.

Censorship is bad, but would you really have little 8 year old kids running the streets killing people in a game that looked exactly as good (as in real, not good/bad) as the violence on the news everyday?

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
November 8, 2002 8:49:07 PM

Stepping away from insane violence though, a game like Tony Hawk would be awesome if the graphics were more realistic; WWII fighters, The sims, Jedi Knight 2, Stronghold, etc etc.

Yes, MOHAA and SOF2 would be too much, but look how much we've been conditioned in the last 25 years.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 9, 2002 12:55:35 AM

I agree with you, and I also suddenly realized what Lamoni said about real violence.

I also can see Lomathix' point.

I do agree on censorship having its limits. We cannot live in a world censorless (there has been a discussion on this by me in the OTHER forum). I will never agree with someone who will not mind kids learning curse words and watching pornography. I will never do.
So as to violence.

But as we all agree, video games are fantasy. That bound is where it stops. If we achieve photorealism to almost feel like we shoot real people, I disagree, it has to stop there. If fantasy is added, you would see special effects, less photorealism, more VR FX. That is what we want, not reality in our eyes. Besides, I even would dare say sometimes VR or video games, look more beautiful than real life colors.

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 9, 2002 5:27:13 AM

Isn't it still fantasy if it looks real, but you really aren't there?

If you play GTA3 and it's photorealistic, but you aren't doing any of that in real life, isn't it fantasy?

This line is going to get crossed and people aren't going to like it.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 9, 2002 5:41:33 AM

oh geez, now we're getting into the politics of graphics :p 

I kinda wish I was being "born now". Im still only 22, and I have seen the evolution of computer graphics. But think, kids born today will be bale to see it at a point where things are a lot better then they used to be.

Simplcity was nice, but they have more time in life to ewnjoy the current state we have reached. Without spending all that money and RESEARCH on how to get things done on worse equiptment. For example, some people learned graphics editing on Photoshop 1.0. Well, lots of the stuff is an asset, but stuff has changed a lot for the better and they will have the advantage of the "greater state" Oh well, evolution is a part of life :) 

It's a shame that VR got put on the backburner. I remember that one game with the platforms with the big helmet. I just CANT remember the name, but why DIDNT they evolve on that theory. current 3d is great and all but we all know that true 3d immersion will be AMAZING.


Imagine Quake 3 with a VR helmet. It tracks your head movement , and you hold the gun in your other hand and aim manually. A LOT more immersive, yet we dont see progress on these ventures (at least i dont) It's all being done on making 3d look good on 2d platforms (monitors, etc)

Im sure someone could take 4-8 Radeon 9700 pro's and come up with some kinda VR solution with a tracking helmet.

they just DONT though. Maybe it has a lot to do with the great decline in Arcade's. Who wants to go to one when they have their Xbox or PC to play on at home.

*shrug*
November 9, 2002 12:22:01 PM

By saying that, it seems we are surrendering to bad technology than creating innovation. I disagree with your statement here.
From what my literature learning has taught me, fantasy means anything not possible or found in real life. If one day you saw a dinosaur on earth walking, is it fantasy?
Now if I asked this: If one day you saw an alien on earth walking, is it a fantasy now?

If you know what fantasy means, you'll know why one isn't and the other is, and that's what I am trying to say. Video games always have some fantasy element no matter what, that's because they are games with HUDS, scoreboards, tabloids, information text on the screen. But to come up with something that's reality but modified, where you can actually be offended killing people, is something I do not want to take part in, and I think a lot here agree. Not if they somehow started making a terrorist training video game with photorealistic appeal, can you imagine how it'd feel shooting innocent people in the game, and what its possible influence or sensitive content could cause?

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 11/09/02 09:22 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2002 1:44:39 PM

Eden you're starting to sound like a real software burner, or worse yet Tipper Gore.

The point is people have the freedom to choose what kind of video games they get to play. That is as it should be. As long as nobody's going to force doom 3 on anybody, then anybody has the choice of whether or not to play the game.
November 9, 2002 4:54:41 PM

I have to agree with Eden. I certainly wouldn't want my kids playing photorealistic first person shooters, and hope that some censoring body steps in before that happens. Even is it's just something simple like blood can't be red, thet would be enough for me.

IMHO, if you want to play a photorealistic FPS, and you WANT to see realistic blood, gore, etc, then you should seek professional help. The few times I have seen real life blood and gore it sickened me. And I'm glad that it did.

Some ex-military person wrote a book back in the eighties about a government conspiracy theory. He did make one or two valid points. For instance in WW1 and WW2, a military study found that less than 20% of the American soldiers involved actually aimed before shooting their gun. A few years after that study was completed, censor orginizations started allowing more violence on TV and in the movies. Then in the Vietnam war, the same study found that 80% of the American soldiers did not shy away from actually aiming their gun at an enemy soldier. That kinda made me wonder.

--------------
Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
November 9, 2002 6:05:39 PM

I never said there should be restrictions to what we play, I said that there is a limit to how far developpers should go for if one photorealism happens. That would mean any sexual content can be exploited to some degrees that can be very repulsive!

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 9, 2002 6:07:58 PM

Quote:
Eden you're starting to sound like a real software burner, or worse yet Tipper Gore.

I dunno who is Tipper Gore nor what a software burner does! Please explain!

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 9, 2002 6:35:19 PM

Tipper gore in Al Gore's wife. She's the one who got all the Parental Advisory stickers on music.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 9, 2002 6:39:47 PM

Eden, you're being overly conservative. As an adult, you are allowed to make decisions about what you want to see and do. As a child, your parents make those decisions for you.

It's up to parents to censor their children. Adults don't need censoring.

I'm all for innovation, and if we could have holodeck's tommorrow I'd take it. Beyond games, think about what it could do for the military and law enforcement, medicine and every other concievable form of education, and porn.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 9, 2002 7:28:41 PM

Yes but I am talking about what the guy here stated about how photorealistic violence would be.
THAT kind of thing is what I don't seem to like, like the others.
Why on earth would someone like to see someone else shot in front of him in a game, that looks so much like reality that you could live your life on the game, is beyond me.

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 9, 2002 7:28:47 PM

dhlucke explained Tipper for you.

The "software burner" was a bad attempt at a joke in reference to book burners from history.

I think it is fairly common through history to have book burning going on to force people to read whatever whos in charge wants.
November 9, 2002 7:42:29 PM

Then don't play the game. That kind of game would never sell anyways.

However as a military simulator it's invaluable.

<font color=red>
<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?dhlucke" target="_new">Forum Assassin</A></font color=red>
November 9, 2002 8:15:51 PM

"Why on earth would someone like to see someone else shot in front of him in a game, that looks so much like reality that you could live your life on the game, is beyond me."


Hmmm could get very much live the matrix if we lived our lives in a game :) 


Edit

Forgot to add as a military sim it would be good but when all sides has the technology to do it, imagine how fast it would be developed for even more realism?????? It would soon get to ST holodecks for the military<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mowgly on 11/09/02 11:19 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
November 10, 2002 1:07:24 PM

Hmm yea I agree with you on military ops. And I do think that not everyone will get enticed for a public version. I personally won't.

Besides why are some using the Doom III example? It's FAR from being realistic in killing, let alone who you're killing! This is classical fastasy violence at its best!

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 10, 2002 2:23:29 PM

Quote:
Then don't play the game. That kind of game would never sell anyways.


The sad thing is that that type of game would sell. And it's only a metter of time until someone writes it.

I never though that any of those deer hunter type games would sell either, but Walmart proved me wrong.

--------------
Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
November 10, 2002 5:55:31 PM

Actually it all depends on the developpers' morality who do it. And while I know Carmack loves Doom's style, I don't see him as someone who would go to that extreme. Can you imagine Mortal Kombat? :eek: 

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 11, 2002 6:19:40 AM

I think that generally todays parents have less control over what their children see and play. I mean, are you going to go with your child to a friends house just to make sure they don´t do anything inappropriate?
I agree that we have the choice to play or not play a game, but the tempatation might be to big.

Wars and other shocking events can lead to psychological disturbances. Should we simulate a situation from a war just because we can? Would it be fun to run around dead bodies with the constant fear of getting shot?
Even if you couldn´t feel any pain from penetrating bullets, and even if you could well be able to tell the difference between reallity and a game, then the situation could still affect you in a negative way.
We have no problem telling the difference between a game we play on a 19" screen and real-life but the situation is different if you would "live" the situation inside a "holo-deck"

If some of the things you see on sites like rotten.com don´t make you feel bad then there could be something wrong with you.


<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
November 11, 2002 4:29:49 PM

Indeed...yet the benchmark for acceptance or not of government reaction should be based in the reality of a scenario not its potential. A nation that governs via isolated example soon loses most freedoms. My opinion of "Gaming" is simple. The more realistic the better. How else will we as a species invent the better breed of humans our DNA manipulative powers give us if not by provable example?

I want to die like my Grandfather...in my sleep...not screaming in terror like his passengers.
November 11, 2002 6:04:58 PM

But what provable examples are we setting by showing how bodies can be split in two now at home without a real chopping axe?

--
The worst of enemies shall be prone to later be the best of friends. -Eden
November 12, 2002 6:56:14 PM

This issue is conflicting.
We wan´t better graphics, but what have we become if we enjoy severe violence in a game that looks and feels as real as everyday life.

<font color=red>I´m starting to feel like a real computer consultant.</font color=red>
!