DF: The technology of Killzone Shadow FaIl

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#1 Edited by danabo (2474 posts) -

Snippets:

The ray-traced reflection system

Shadow Fall's reflection system also contributes to the often spectacular lighting effects work. Michal Valient previously explained the basics in Guerrilla's post-mortem of the PlayStation Meeting demo, but was on-hand to go into more depth during our visit to the studio.

"What we do on-screen for every pixel we run a proper ray-tracing - or ray-marching - step. We find a reflection vector, we look at the surface roughness and if you have a very rough surface, that means that your reflection is very fuzzy in that case," he explains.

"So what we do is find a reflection for every pixel on screen, we find a reflection vector that goes into the screen and then basically start stepping every second pixel until we find something that's a hit. It's a 2.5D ray-trace... We can compute a rough approximation of where the vector would go and we can find pixels on-screen that represent that surface. This is all integrated into our lighting model."

"It's difficult to see where one system stops and another begins. We have pre-baked cube maps and we have real-time ray-traced reflections and then we have reflecting light sources and they all blend together in the same scene," adds Michiel van der Leeuw.

Global illumination, anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion

"So for example, you want to have extra [light] bounce on one room and you don't want it in another because of contrast and brightness, we have the possibility to bake these things as long as we are not using this type of system. Iteration may be faster but it costs more performance-wise, of course. The quality would probably drop - the benefit of pre-baking certain things is that if you don't need it for your gameplay element in this area and you need a static light that is not adjustable, it's much more efficient to bake this sort of thing because of performance or quality I guess."

Guerrilla Games, GPU compute - and the future of PlayStation 4

GPU compute - seen as the area where PS4 is best equipped to give long-term results - has also been explored by Guerrilla for its first game. In the PlayStation Meeting demo, only memory defragmentation was handled by compute. In the final game, colour corrections and "force-fields" are also handled by the graphics core. Force-fields are another example of a fairly unnoticeable system that helps make the game look more natural.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

#2 Edited by clyde46 (41980 posts) -

Good read.

#3 Posted by danabo (2474 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

Good read.

I would give it 7/10

#4 Posted by _Matt_ (8324 posts) -

Ooh. Cheers for posting. I will have a proper read of this later ; will be a good read.

#5 Posted by clyde46 (41980 posts) -

@danabo said:

@clyde46 said:

Good read.

I would give it 7/10

GG have always been very technical, shame their writing suffers for it.

#6 Edited by Mr_Ditters (1905 posts) -

GG are masters at milking the potential out of hardware. Its unbelievable what they were able to do with 512 megs of ram and a weak video card last gen with Killzone 2. That being said I still stay KZ SF is an abomination--a good looking abomination. If only they could get some writers and some people to direct their amazing talent.

#7 Posted by killzowned24 (7066 posts) -

GG is the best. Dat MADDER audio and TSSAA!

#8 Posted by silversix_ (12533 posts) -

good engine, skilled devs with absolutely shitty story writers.

#9 Edited by remiks00 (1065 posts) -

"Lighting in our game consists of one key element which is basically the real-time dynamic lighting which is supported by pre-baked lighting for static and dynamic objects as well as a reflection system," says senior lighting artist, Julian Fries.

"We have pre-calculated reflections plus real-time reflections but it all starts with the dynamic lighting features we have for dynamic lights and the rest is basically supporting it."

"Real-time lighting is sampled and blended from a mammoth array of light probes dotted around the level -a small sampling of which you can see here.

Each pixel draws upon a blend of the light probes in order to produce the most realistic effect." It's the kind of workload that benefits immensely from running on a massively parallel processing system - something PS4 specializes in via GPU compute."

We've only touched the surface. We picked the force-fields, the colour correction system, memory defragmentation - that's what we use for the texture streaming.

Those are a couple of things we picked as isolated systems that really work well with compute, so we tried those. Most of our other stuff works with regular pixel shaders, even some post-processing effects, so we will be improving. "It's natural that we pick the post-processing effects and turn them into compute as that's much more efficient, so that's our next step -but we only had so much time for this game. I'm pretty sure we can improve a lot - there's a lot of room to explore."

______________________

These guys are pretty damn awesome. Seems like PS4 also has an evolved version of the CELL tech inside of the GPU (GPU compute).

@danabo I'm curious of why you highlighted some prebaked sentences. It's a bit misleading, made it seem like everything was prebaked.

#10 Edited by Mr-Kutaragi (1584 posts) -

No surprise why this game is console graphic king until infamous.

#11 Edited by seanmcloughlin (37503 posts) -

GG are wizards with tech. They make some of the best visuals around. I really wish the rest of their games held up as good.

The reflections in the game coupled with light bouncing everywhere is stunning to look at

#12 Edited by Heil68 (40405 posts) -

GG are technological wonders. The game is beyond stunning and massive. Looking forward to coop!

#13 Edited by KillzoneSnake (1536 posts) -

No surprise why this game is console graphic king until infamous.

I don't think infamous can beat it.

#14 Posted by hayato_ (5008 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@danabo said:

@clyde46 said:

Good read.

I would give it 7/10

GG have always been very technical, shame their writing suffers for it.

I didn't have a problem with the story. The sections they were presented at were terrible though. Thats where it suffered for me. I'd give it a 7.5.

#15 Edited by Tessellation (8770 posts) -

Prebaked Zone.

#16 Edited by murray69murray (121 posts) -
#17 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (11005 posts) -

I love how I can tell what a danabo thread entails before even clicking on it.

#18 Edited by seanmcloughlin (37503 posts) -

Prebaked Zone.

A LOT of games out there have pre-baked crap in them these days. Even BF4.

If you read the OP though you'd see they have a mix of dynamic AND pre-baked stuff in there

#19 Posted by I_can_haz (5672 posts) -

A technical powerhouse and easily the best looking next gen console game. I'm enjoying the campaign and MP. This game and BF4 are a blast to play and they both look gorgeous on the PS4.

#20 Posted by PSdual_wielder (10643 posts) -

Nice find TC. As the article shows, next gen is more about innovating on workflow when creating complex systems in games than just about high end graphics.

#21 Posted by sukraj (20586 posts) -

flopzone

#22 Edited by gpuking (2474 posts) -

@Tessellation said:

Prebaked Zone.

A LOT of games out there have pre-baked crap in them these days. Even BF4.

If you read the OP though you'd see they have a mix of dynamic AND pre-baked stuff in there

What's funny is that BF4 on ultra doesn't even have screen space reflection of any sort, that's why it's looking very old school compared to KZSF.

#23 Edited by MlauTheDaft (2735 posts) -

@Tessellation said:

Prebaked Zone.

A LOT of games out there have pre-baked crap in them these days. Even BF4.

If you read the OP though you'd see they have a mix of dynamic AND pre-baked stuff in there

Indeed, Prebaked is'nt necessarily inferior either.

#24 Posted by osan0 (12372 posts) -

nice read.

the GPGPU stuff interests me the most this gen. some interesting ideas there from GG but, as they say, they were only playing around with it for this game (which is understandable of course...its a launch title). it should be more interesting for their next game.

hopefully we will also see a similar article for their next game to see how things have evolved from the launch title. we wont really see what the PS4 and X1 can do until 18-24 months from now to itll be interesting to see how the tech evolves to make better use of the hardware.

#25 Edited by Animal-Mother (24996 posts) -

GG are wizards with tech. They make some of the best visuals around. I really wish the rest of their games held up as good.

The reflections in the game coupled with light bouncing everywhere is stunning to look at

It's a shame because they do. To me at least they're a middle tier crytek. Good visuals good tech, Games are a bit better than cryteks (IMO)

#26 Edited by Wasdie (48789 posts) -
@Tessellation said:

Prebaked Zone.

Prebaked is fine when the game can get away with it. Graphics aren't about the techniques you use but rather the end result. If you can achieve the same end result with a lot less of a performance hit, then that's what you should do. Even PC games prebake stuff when they can get away with it. Much cheaper on render allowing them to better utilize the hardware for other rendering.

All of real-time rendering is smoke and mirrors. There is no point in rendering detail that can't be seen or doesn't enhance the quality of the image just because you can do the rendering. That's just mindless fanboy drivel.

#27 Posted by seanmcloughlin (37503 posts) -

@gpuking said:

@seanmcloughlin said:

@Tessellation said:

Prebaked Zone.

A LOT of games out there have pre-baked crap in them these days. Even BF4.

If you read the OP though you'd see they have a mix of dynamic AND pre-baked stuff in there

What's funny is that BF4 on ultra doesn't even have screen space reflection of any sort, that's why it's looking very old school compared to KZSF.

Some parts of BF4s campaign look rough as shit too. Seeing reflections on door windows of exterior city scenes when you're in a hallway is very distracting.

It's very inconsistent

#28 Edited by Riverwolf007 (23172 posts) -

congrats on making the millionth killzone topic that wants to talk about anything other than gameplay.

#29 Posted by shurns (43 posts) -

@danabo: Good read. This is quite impressive for GG.