- Shadowing Hate Development Page - (080718)
One of Shadowing Hate's biggest features is its high-resolution texel depth. This means that all textures are drawn on 3D surfaces tighter than in vanilla Quake 4 to produce a more realistic appearance in its virtual worlds and the objects they contain, in all areas. Not only textures in maps and on models, but things like special effects and GUI are also higher resolutions with HD displays in mind. This is an original and "next-gen" approach to the project that is a rare thing to happen in the modding community, but has been my focus since the beginning of the project way back when it was for Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Coupled with the high-texel texturing is "detail mapping", which is a layer of ultra-fine semitransparent texturing at an even tighter texel depth, as seen in some Unreal engine games, or as used on terrain in ET:QW. Normally it's used over lower-res (loose-texel) surfaces, but in SH it's used to add even finer grain to the already detailed surfaces, to provide a seemingly never-ending depth of detail on surfaces. Needless to say, all this takes its toll on performance and SH has always been intended to demand more system power from players, but luckily id Software have once again come through with real-time technology that is versatile and configurable, that will allow players to fine-tune all of these aspects, to find a balance between rich visuals and playable performance. One of the main configurations is texture compression, which will effectively halve texture memory demands by automatically compressing the original images via the engine itself. This, however, causes much ugliness in visuals especially seen on what are otherwise neat and tidy normalmaps. Rather than get all technical about this, I present you with a couple of videos of the first of the SH MP maps, a small deathmatch map nearing completion, with a comparison between original uncompressed, and engine compressed. You will see the textures change back and forth in these "videos" and some can't even tell the difference, which is which. That's a good thing, actually. Choose "*_lo" if you have the conventional .8MP display, or "*_hi" if you consider your current display all .8MP+ "H.D.":-
• http://www.violationentertainment.com/temp/SHdm0textures080718_lo.avi - 800KB
• http://www.violationentertainment.com/temp/SHdm0textures080718_hi.avi - 1.5MB
Surely a difference can be seen, but the major difference is in the texture memory consumption, with SH here adding up to a whopping 256MB real-time in some places, which is practically the limit. As if by luck, dropping way back down to 32MB using compression, which is getting back down to Doom3 standards again. Notice in these shots the cement floor inside, which is covered in a sharper detail-map than everything else, it retains its clarity while the base texture underneath is affected by the compression, because the detail-maps are rendered different to everything else and can be turned off and on by the player easily, it's pretty much impossible for them to have any negative impact and by themselves cost virtually nothing in terms of texture memory. I guess the whole point of this development page is to prove that this enginenis still young, and can be pushed so much further than expected, especially in terms of texture use, which seems to be taking a step backwards in favour of extended fancy rendering tricks. It's nice to finally put all of these things to the test, which has been done before but not with such definitive results. If you'd like more information then register at the forums and PM me, I'll be happy to let you look through the private development pages about everything this project has to offer. There's a lot of information about things like detail-mapping and "cubemap" usage, how it will be used in SH and what impact this will have on its performance, and I can tell you that the results are very impressive in terms of performance, to the point where things may get pushed even further, with multiple detail-map and cubemap reflection layers working in harmony, later in development.
…›› There are more development pages for this project here.
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