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Doom3 softshadows a future possiblity


jdude
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It's a heavy gpu pass, but from what I read, it'd probably be possible in TDM with a little keyboard grease.

 

Maybe it can be added as an optional feature for those people with SUPER COM PEWTERS until some lighter GPU instructions can be written.

 

What would be very nice is *AHEM* ACCESS TO THE RENDERER *AHEM* when the source code comes out.

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It's probably better than the hard line shadows we have, but the WHOLE shadow is soft, even right near the feet (for example) where it should be sharp. So it sort of is wrong in the other direction now.

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I was reading doom3world the other day about that. Something else I saw (though I could have my engines muddled up here) but id tech 4 source code isn't actually confirmed for release. Carmack was petitioning for it but it seems there's a complicated legal problem.

 

Make of that what you will.

 

EDIT

 

So that there's no confusion this is what I was referring to - http://www.doom3world.org/phpbb2/viewtopic...=13&t=23036

 

"At the QuakeCon 2009, Carmack said that he planned to petition Zenimax to release the id Tech 4 source upon the release of Rage"

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He can't guarantee that it'll be released, but thinks that it will. It would be some time after Rage, so not soon. I guesstimate late 2010 at the earliest, based on Rage's tentative "sometime in 2010" release date.

 

Fingers crossed, basically.

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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I ran into this Doom3World thread today before knowing we had our own thread about it (glad I did a search). It's worth adding the news that the guy has got soft-shadows working in Doom3 now and has a release so you can see it in-game. It's something players can tack onto Doom3 and Darkmod on our own now. May be fun until we get access to the renderer.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I wouldn't want to give the impression that this is something we're doing or supporting officially. It's quite the hit to the old fps anyway.

 

So maybe just on the internal forums (sorry public!)

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How exactly do you install the download he gave? When i replace the 2 files the game won't load.

 

Someone needs to figure it out then write a wiki entry on it so anybody that wants to try it can do it themselves. (Maybe in a new, separate section for "Fan Contributions & Tweaks").

 

I see there's a spawnarg that controls the amount of blur. I wonder if that is a global setting or custom to each object. If it's for each object, that's cool because then you can vary the blur by shadow-casting distance and even split up an object so the places closer to the ground get sharper shadows.

 

It might actually be good to have this come so close to release because then it encourages us to think about custom improvements that aren't part of the release. One response is just to say "It's not officially sponsored" and leave it to people talking about it in forums. But I think it might be better in the long run to set up a repository of custom additions, or like a self-contained separate part of the wiki like I mentioned -- custom objects, textures, AI, gameplay tweaks that people make or find from other Doom3 stuff out there. I think (eventually) we should house this stuff in a central location, links to stuff people can download and instructions on how to set it up in-game. It's still not official. But it sends the message that we are still friendly towards people contributing unofficial tweaks, with the footnote that users will have to set it up in-game themselves and "not officially supported" really means that (i.e., the game won't be changed just to make some fan tweak possible or easier). And then it will be like any fan tweaks that are added to commerical games. But being hospitable to tweaks will encourage a lot of fan participation in the Mod, I think. Well, I'm just thinking aloud anyway...

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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If this feature manages to get rid of the sharp pitch black shadows, it's a must have. They're basicly the only thing I dislike about DM's visuals and tend to ruin the atmosphere for me.

 

It's not feasible to use it right now, there is too much of a performance hit and we're already hitting performance harder than D3. It's just not an option to have it as a default TDM enhancement. I can understand not liking the sharp shadows, but they should hardly be a game breaking experience. When D3 is open sourced, that will be the time to add official "OPTIMIZED" enhancements. It's eye candy...not a priority.

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It's not feasible to use it right now, there is too much of a performance hit and we're already hitting performance harder than D3.

 

I totally agree.

 

The priority should be performance ans stability for now, then eyecandy.

Edited by Ladro
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Me too.

 

No problems with stencil shadows. It sure was an issue in Doom -- looks to me they optimised light count too much. Some surfaces ended up with no light at all and there was no ambient light.

 

But this is not a limitation of the engine. It depends on mapping skills how your lighting looks in Dark Mod. If you set up ambient light right there are no pitch black areas and if you are willing to spend enaugh time and effort you can always come up with hand painted light textures... ...custom made for each scene in your map. :)

 

For these hacked in soft-shadows: I take it they were some kind of post processing -- do they work properly with the light gem?

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But this is not a limitation of the engine. It depends on mapping skills how your lighting looks in Dark Mod. If you set up ambient light right there are no pitch black areas and if you are willing to spend enaugh time and effort you can always come up with hand painted light textures... ...custom made for each scene in your map. :)

For one of my old proof-of-concept WIPs, I used a directional light beneath trees to cast cool leafy shadows on a forest floor. They were like overhead projectors, except they projected shadows. Best of all: the blend lights I used to do this take up 0 fps unless I put the light entity in motion (and make the leafy shadows move for a really cool effect).

 

For these hacked in soft-shadows: I take it they were some kind of post processing -- do they work properly with the light gem?

There's no reason I can think of. The lightgem doesn't depend solely on whether or not you're being showered with light or if you're curtained by a shadow.

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  • 1 month later...

It's probably better than the hard line shadows we have, but the WHOLE shadow is soft, even right near the feet (for example) where it should be sharp. So it sort of is wrong in the other direction now.

 

It's more realistic that way nevertheless. Real life shadows are rarely sharp. Look at the shadows around you now, and they're probably blurred even where objects touch the surface, unless you have very powerful directed lights on.

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Yes that is a good point, I would choose slightly blurry shadows everywhere vs sharp shadows everywhere. But not if it taxes the system much. In that case I would choose better performance with sharp shadows vs choppy performance with blurry shadows. So the debate for me would be "how much" if affects performance. If only 1 fps, I would turn on soft shadows, and go from 45 to 44 fps. But if it's from 45 to 30 fps, I'll stick with the sharp

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Yeah, I have kindof a weak card to push my 24" monitor, 30% decrease in FPS would kill it for me. Although softer shadows would be nice. Still, if I get a better card I'll want the improved performance, not the same performance with better shadows.

 

The current ones (while not totally realistic) don't bother me that bad anyway.

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