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New antialiasing and exponential HeightFog were integrated into [w]tech to provide state-of-the-art graphics!

Posted by [WuTz]! on May 13th, 2012

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Before concentrating on the gameplay of Pulsedrive we want to implement some graphics features we would like to use in our game. Both new effects - SMAA and HeightFog - are techniques used by modern games like BF3 or Crysis 2.



"Enhanced Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing" is a screen spaced post procession effect which uses the contrast of the scene to smooth edges. This is also the reason why it outrules MSAA in deferred renderers, where MSAA can't be used in many cases. Also it is said that SMAA performs faster and better than Nvidias FXAA.

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Because it is a post processing effect and it uses the contrast of the the scene it even works with masked shaders like fences or grids:

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We have also decided to run the SMAA before our Depth-Of-Field effect. This enables very fine bluring without too much flickering as you may know from other engines.
Learn more about SMAA here: Iryoku.com



"Exponential HeightFog" is a great effect to create a homogenous atmossphere. For practical reasons we have integrated as global effect which is specified for each map and completely controllable via scripting.

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If you want to know more about the technique we are using, go here: Developer.amd.com (Page 15)

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Post comment Comments
Arcones May 13 2012 says:

That heightfog is gorgeous, great job!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dekaku May 15 2012 says:

looking at the pdf you linked too i started asking, if it would be possible to render any kind of smoke / clouds via this fog effect, of course only when at a near distance.

+2 votes     reply to comment
[WuTz]! Author
[WuTz]! May 15 2012 replied:

You can. There is a technique which allows you to turn any convex mesh you want into fog. It has been around for quite some time now, and we planned to make use of it as well.

Anyways, for smoke you are better off with some nice soft-particles, as you are with clouds. Perfect solution would be a Voxel approach, which is already possible, but pretty performance hungry. I remember it doing well for things clouds, though.

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