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Gaming Effects Versus Hollywood, Part II

The Elements

In order for the naked surfaces of 3D objects to appear properly, lighting, some shadow, and a texture (wallpaper) are required. There have already been plenty of example of water in its liquid form, but how about in the frozen state? Bioshock simulates the structures of ice crystals rather well already, but the shine on the surfaces is still rather unnatural. Whether this is due to a lack of transparency or complex patterns is difficult to say, but the overall impression just doesn’t quite work.

Fire appears to be a fascinating element, and PC simulations of flames are very advanced. In Far Cry 2, for example, fire is used as a method of destruction—trees and grass burn properly, and grow back later.

Stalker has done a good job of driving forward representations of cement, stone floors, brickwork and moldy wallpaper. The textures appear very realistic under the lighting used.

Wood sometimes looks better and sometimes worse, depending on the texture quality; Gothic 3 has snow-covered wood down well.

Plain metal is still a major problem, with reflecting materials almost always avoided. Matte surfaces don’t work and are only improved by strong lighting.

Bricks profit from the depth effects caused by Parallax Mapping and the fine surface shadowing by Bump Mapping.

  • lucuis
    It can only get better :)
    Reply
  • roynaldi
    Wasser -1, Wasser -3, -5, Wasserfall, Bewegungsunscharfe*.....

    German Tab names for the pics... Very Nice guys!
    *movementSharpness!?!?
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    Part 1 had german names for the images too. I don't see how that is of any importance though as the titles for the respective pages were translated. Some of the games were in german too in case you missed it btw (bioshock amongst others)

    Anyway. I read the article and can't help to somehow be disappointed. Sure it's well written and explained, but somehow there's something missing! it seems to be more of the first part and not enough hollywood somehow. There are like 85% gaming screenshots, 8% reallife and the remaining 7% are hollywood. Also the article only covers stuff hollywood uses and games do too - nothing mentioned of stuff that pc's cant do yet other than visual enhancements that aren't treated as manipulatable objects - but then hollywood doesn't really supply that either, as all their stuff is static each time it's displayed.

    In short : not enough hollywood, and too much pc tech.
    Reply
  • thr3ddy
    roynaldiWasser -1, Wasser -3, -5, Wasserfall, Bewegungsunscharfe*..... German Tab names for the pics... Very Nice guys!*movementSharpness!?!?Bewegungsunscharfe
    Reply
  • thr3ddy
    Crap sorry about the double post. Bewegungsunscharfe = Motion blur.
    Reply
  • Why are there no examples of the Source engine in these articles? The physics is unparalleled in a lot of ways. The new cinematic physics engine? Hello? What they do with characters alone (mostly in animation/facial animation) is amazing. I also don't notice any Gears/UT3 examples, which is just weird.
    Reply
  • Tis a shame you mention water graphics and have no references to Uncharted.

    @Anony-Guy the first example was UT3 engine (stranglehold. I must admit though gears 2 had better water graphics.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I remember a cool water effect in Giants. If you ran through a body of water, the water would appear to react to your legs, and waves of water would rush up against the them. Of course, this wasn't really the water reacting, it was just a secondary effect being drawn at the point where the legs met the water. It still looked cool for a game from 8 years ago.

    I'm surprised there were no examples of water from Serious Sam. SS had transparent water, shadows cast underneath by the ripples on the water surface, etc..., and again, all back in 2000/2001. The Serious Engine was so impressive when it came out, far better than Quake III and UT, the other options at that time.
    Reply
  • cruiseoveride
    Where is the Playboy Mansion PC vs Real life comparison????
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    What they need is better ripple effects now. When you walk through water, your character needs to slow and teeter more. Each stride should make noise, not just a general noise of sploshing. When you drop a gun in water, it needs come out dripping wet. When you swim, you need to do it in lunges, not smoothly. When the tide rolls in, the sand needs to change a bit over time. Your footprints need to disappear with each wave, etc. These little things aren't that hard to implement, and should not be taking up much system resources. I think it's just laziness on the part of most developers. There's always this "time limit" and "budget" that interfere as well...but then you have a monster giant corporation like EA who is spending money on stupid things like SecuRom instead of producing great games that will make sales.
    Reply