Unreal Engine Plans

A post to the BeyondUnreal Forums (thanks HomeLAN Fed) has word from Epic's Tim Sweeney on where they've been focusing their efforts for the next iteration of their Unreal engine. Here's a bit:
We already have polygon count where it needs to be. We're going to be focusing on per-pixel rendering and getting the quality of each pixel on screen as high as possible. So there's a bunch of different technologies there: dynamic shadowing technology, stencil buffer and shadow z-buffers. But the whole idea is that every object in the scene should cast realistic shadows with respect to every light source in the scene, and every pixel you see should illuminate properly that way. Of course that's easy to say and there are some solutions for that, like stencil buffering. But to do that properly you really want fuzzy shadows everywhere because most light and most environments are quite diffused and if you look around you very seldom see a really sharp shadow edge somewhere. So a huge amount of effort and processing power goes into implementing fuzzy shadows effectively in real-time. That's been a significant part of our R&D right there.
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7.
 
Re: Yeah but
Jan 25, 2004, 13:39
Quboid
 
7.
Re: Yeah but Jan 25, 2004, 13:39
Jan 25, 2004, 13:39
 Quboid
 
Water is what I'm looking for in future engines. Current game poly-based technology is pretty good for solids but not for liquid or gas. Gases are made up of sheets of transparent polys, while liquid is made from a pixel/vertex shaded polygon. Neither of those are very realistic but I've no idea how to improve this without the huge processing power required to do stuff like modeling the material as a 3D matrix of points at as high a resolution as possible.

Asside from that, lighting is where people seem to be concentrating and that makes sense. Poly count is now high enough so art quality is more important than the number of triangles, while the ~700 polygon Quake 1 models and their low-res textures would waste high detail artwork (not saying Adrian Carmack and the guys did a bad job). Games do need fuzzed shadows - the ones in 3dMark 2003's tomb raider ripoff are really quite nasty for most situations while the Doom3 alpha's looked like solid objects floating around (or so I've heard ), although no doubt these will improve.

Quboid

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