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Programming Games

Rendering a Frame of Deus Ex: Human Revolution 81

An anonymous reader writes "Video games are among the most computationally intensive applications. The amount of calculation achieved in a few milliseconds can sometimes be mind-blowing. This post about the breakdown of a frame rendering in Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes us through the different steps of the process. It explains in detail the rendering passes involved, the techniques as well as the algorithms processed by a computer — 60 times per second."
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Rendering a Frame of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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  • Bad form.... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by x0ra ( 1249540 )
    The page is particularly annoying, especially the frame autoplay which gives strictly no control to the viewer to shorten the delay between the rendering stage... Too bad a website fails to pass its message due to a piss poor implementation...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It stops if you mouse over it.

  • Let's outsource the boss fights.

  • Vents (Score:4, Funny)

    by ehiris ( 214677 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @02:25AM (#49247799) Homepage

    Didn't know it takes that much to render the inside of vents.
    That game was played by finding vents and going through them.
    The police station mission was cool but the rest, vents, and more vents.

    • I guess it all depends on your play style. I spent nearly no rime in vents, but I prefer combat.

  • Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @04:13AM (#49248051) Homepage

    Over 500 draw calls per frame. I've only ever tinkered in basic OpenGL stuff, but does that seem like an awful lot to anyone else? I was always told to reduce draw calls and to use the newer OpenGL features as they were able to batch commands on thousands of vectors, etc. (or are we talking about different types of draw calls?)

    Especially as a lot of the work is done in shaders and shared between passes according to the article?

    Wonder what kind of texture etc. bandwidth that's pushing.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

      by fleeped ( 1945926 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @05:19AM (#49248263)
      No, 500 draw calls per frame is not *that* much. The majority of the calls are for different materials: For your toy project, that won't be a lot. For an AAA title, it's more like hundreds of material combos.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      500 per frame isn't even much. Based on some apitrace runs I've done, MMOs can easily hit a few thousand draw calls and 10k+ API calls total per frame.

      There's just that many things visible at once and batching the work is hard because of unique object graphics and legacy APIs used to support as many legacy Windows systems as possible.

      Intel must love these games --- no AMD CPU is going to run them well when half the work is in a single thread managing a bloated graphics API's state.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      500 draw calls per frame is tiny. This is actually a rather boring scene -- it's indoors, you don't need to render anything outside the walls (save for the room through the glass window in the back), and even then the scenery is somewhat sparse. In open world games or any game with a detailed horizon, this blows up to many thousands of draw calls per pass (so 10k+ for frame).

      Graphics pipelines are pretty good at stomping through draw calls as long as you don't make expensive state changes (e.g. changing ble

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      of course they do that.

      if you drew 1 triangle / draw call or old school like that, just the hand in the scene would exhaust 500.

    • We are up to 7000 draw calls being just about OK on the ps4/xbone.
  • I almost never run anything at 60fps. Saying you need it that fast is like saying you need gold plated ethernet cables to connect your stereo components or you can hear distortion.

    • Re:Frames (Score:5, Informative)

      by fleeped ( 1945926 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @05:26AM (#49248281)
      So you can't tell the difference between movie and home video? Source for you, in a any case:
      http://www.100fps.com/how_many... [100fps.com]
      Whatever floats your boat: I can personally see difference of 60fps to less, and I quite like 60fps.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        What's annoying is that none of these sites seem to give a straight answer to how many frames per second we can actually distinguish. Yes, even an extremely short flicker of light is detectable but can we notice the difference between a 60 fps and 250 fps video? Here's my proposal:

        1. Get some *extremely high* fps footage, for example the Phantom Flex4K can do 1000 fps for 5 seconds.
        2. Make interpolations that play at normal speed, like:
        7 -> 1 frame for 142.8 fps
        8 -> 1 frame for 125 fps
        10 -> 1 frame

        • Context matters a lot here. When I see a good frame in a game, I am not moving so everything looks great. But that's for the sort of games I have. 30fps is definitely good enough for lots of things, in an MMO 15fps is probably good. However I guess for testosterone fueled shooter games that higher FPS makes a difference just because the view point is changing so rapidly.

          Basically I can't see the problem with 15-20fps unless I take the mouse and jiggle it back and forth rapidly, which is something never

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @08:53AM (#49248953)

    Video games are among the most computationally intensive applications

    This is a joke right? Simulating fluid dynamics, simulating weather patterns, finding large primes, factoring primes, etc. are all far more computationally intensive. And that isn't even close to an exhaustive list. Rendering a video game is kiddy stuff in comparison.

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by westlake ( 615356 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @09:18AM (#49249107)

      Rendering a game is kiddy stuff...

      --- until you are expected to believer a theatrical quality experience while running a game on hardware costing no more than $500 retail list.

      • If it can be done on $500 consumer hardware it's not computationally intensive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a joke right? Simulating fluid dynamics, simulating weather patterns, finding large primes, factoring primes, etc. are all far more computationally intensive.

      Errr... factoring primes is one of the least computationally intensive problems possible. The factors are always 1 and the number itself. I think you meant finding prime factors.

      In any case you are being a bit pedantic. It is clear that the author was referring to computationally intensive retail software running on commonly available retail hardware. There is no mass-market for weather forecasting software or fluid dynamics simulators.

      • Errr... factoring primes is one of the least computationally intensive problems possible. The factors are always 1 and the number itself. I think you meant finding prime factors.

        I'm sure he means "factoring the PRODUCT OF large primes".

        It's an easy slip to make. (I've done it myself. B-b )

    • Video games are among the most computationally intensive applications

      This is a joke right?

      Barring being taken over and being used as part of a botnet for grinding out cryptocoins, the most computationally intensive program most people's computer will ever run will be a video game.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      yeah so how much does normal folk use their cpu/gpu time for that? they don't. furthermore, having latency on the results is expected in those.

      but the games use all the resources available quite often, due to you wanting to run them at as high settings as the computer permits.

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      A lot of the real-world tough stuff can apply to video games (but often doesn't because as you say, it's computationally hard to do realtime). However, some stuff like physics modelling did start to take off when it finally got adopted in games. Similarly, a lot of fluid dynamics/simulations are being looked at to improve game realism (which is useful for stuff from water flow to realistic body movement such as fat, breasts, or buttocks).

  • I love reading this stuff. I remember, back in the days of Amigas and Atari STs where I cut my 3D-programming teeth, it was a struggle simply to render each pixel of the frame buffer once, even at a juddery 10fps. Shadow maps! Bloom effects! Even the supercomputers couldn't do this stuff in my day, or would take hours of rendering time. A little bit sad that I left this world just as computer power started to make it interesting. Mind you, I think the most impressive 3D game of all time, in terms of getting
  • Pretty amazing, Really. But why does it still look worse then a modded eldersign? Now that is so impressing shit. Also, who stole all the colors? The death of PC gaming was herald by brown and tan in every game.

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