The process of generating an image or series of images from a model by means of computer programming.

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52
votes
9answers
15k views

Why are gaming graphics not as beautiful as animated movies?

I remember watching the Tomb Raider pre-rendered trailer, and wished those graphics could be in the game itself. Why there is such a big difference between the trailer and the actual game? I ...
50
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I get textures on edge of walls like in Super Metroid and Aquaria?

Games like Super Metroid and Aquaria present the terrain with the other facing parts having rocks and stuff while deeper behind them (i.e. underground) there's different detail or just black. I ...
38
votes
2answers
4k views

How to render realistic ice?

I am trying to write an ice shader in Unity that looks good and at least semi-realistic. If the following shot (found on Google) was CG, what would its shader include? (the foreground cave). I might ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do games ask for screen resolution instead of automatically fitting the window size?

It seems to me that it would be more logical, reusable and user-friendly to implement flexible, responsive UI layout over a 3d or 2d screen, which can then be run on any screen resolution. Some ...
31
votes
2answers
6k views

What is deferred rendering?

I've heard about deferred rendering and how using it can allow for "lots" of lights in a scene without a huge performance hit, but what is it and (from a high level) how is it implemented?
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Architecture a for a central renderer rather than self-rendering [duplicate]

For the architectural side of rendering, there's two main ways: having each object render itself, and having a single renderer which renders everything. I'm currently aiming for the second idea, for ...
21
votes
5answers
27k views

What is ambient occlusion?

I've heard about ambient occlusion and it looks nice, but what exactly is it?
21
votes
2answers
821 views

Out of bounds in AAA games

In many common AAA titles (Source engine games especially), when the player reaches an area 'un-catered' for, such as out of bounds, or noclipping under the map; a strange effect occurs on the screen ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Should actors in a game be responsible for drawing themselves?

I am very new to game development, but not to programming. I am (again) playing around with a Pong type game using JavaScript's canvas element. I have created a Paddle object which has the following ...
19
votes
4answers
879 views

How to prevent “underwater sight” in games

In many games where the player can go underwater, it seems like when you look where the top half of the screen is in the air, and the bottom half the screen is in the water, it's almost like the water ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

Coordinate system handling for 2D UI

Following on from the aspect ratios question, I'm interested to hear what other people are using when working on 2D UI systems (most likely their own home-grown solutions). Specifically, how do you ...
18
votes
3answers
10k views

outline object effect

How can I achieve an outline effect similar to the ones found in League of Legends or Diablo III? Is it done using a shader? How? I would prefer answers that are not tied up to any particular ...
17
votes
1answer
925 views

What problem does double or triple buffering solve in modern games?

I want to check if my understanding of the causes for using double (or triple) buffering is correct: A monitor with 60Hz refresh's the monitor-display 60 times per second. If the monitor refresh the ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Separating game data/logic from rendering

I'm writing a game using C++ and OpenGL 2.1. I was thinking how could I separate the data/logic from rendering. At the moment I use a base class 'Renderable' that gives a pure virtual method to ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Best technique to create oldschool (fake 3D) racing game?

What would be a good approach to develop the render system for an oldschool type racing game that uses a pseudo 3D scenery, like for example Outrun or Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge? There's an endless ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

Isometric rendering and picking?

I've been looking for a formula to plot (world->screen) and mouse pick (world->screen) isometric tiles in a diamond-shaped world. The ones I've tried always seem to be, well, off. What's the ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the graphics card do with the fourth element of a vector as the final position?

From this question it appears you would want a four-element position vector, as it is simpler to modify its position with matrix multiplication. On its own this would imply the fourth element should ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How do you programmatically generate a sphere?

Could someone please explain how it would be possible to create a sphere vertices, indices and texture coordinates? There is a surprising lack of documentation on how to do so and it is something that ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I unit test rendering output?

I've been embracing Test-Driven Development (TDD) recently and it's had wonderful impacts on my development output and the resiliency of my codebase. I would like to extend this approach to some of ...
13
votes
1answer
681 views

What is a texture atlas?

I've heard about this concept, but what is it?
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Should an object in a 2D game render itself?

I'm making a 2D street fighter-like game that is not tile based. Usually people recommend that entities be given to a renderer that render them, not them render themselves, but it seems the inverse is ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I create my own sky maps?

What are the methods/tools for generating realistic skies with clouds and atmospheric shading? FOSS alternatives and spherical projections get extra points.
12
votes
1answer
1k views

OpenGL - white edges on cubes

In a minecraft-like game I'm making, I get white edges on my cubes: It is much more noticeable in darker textures. The textures are being setup like this: glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I acheive a smooth 2D lighting effect?

I'm making a 2D tile based game in XNA. Currently my lightning looks like this. How can I get it to look like this? Instead of each block having its own tint, it has a smooth overlay. I'm assuming ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Seamless tilemap rendering (borderless adjacent images)

I have a 2D game engine that draws tilemaps by drawing tiles from a tileset image. Because by default OpenGL can only wrap the entire texture (GL_REPEAT), and not just part of it, each tile is split ...
11
votes
4answers
710 views

Is there a way to prevent users from adjusting their gamma correction to 'cheat' their way out of a 'dark' area?

In almost every game I've come across that includes a dark situation designed to change the way a user interacts with the environment, there are always some players who turn up their monitor's gamma ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What is an achievable way of setting content budgets (e.g. polygon count) for level content in a 3D title?

In answering this question for swquinn, the answer raised a more pertinent question that I'd like to hear answers to. I'll post our own strategy (promise I won't accept it as the answer), but I'd like ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

LOD in modern games [closed]

I'm currently working on my master's thesis about LOD and mesh simplification, and I've been reading many academic papers and articles about the subject. However, I can't find enough information about ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Deferred Rendering The Future?

Is deferred rendering the future of real-time 3d rendering on pc hardware (at least until raytracing becomes feasible)? I'm aware of the benefits (lots of lights, less state changes) and also trouble ...
11
votes
2answers
692 views

Good practices in screen states management? [duplicate]

I wonder what are the best ways to organize different screens in a game? I am thinking of it like this: Inheriting a base State class, and overriding update and render methods, to handle the current ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Rendering Unity across multiple monitors

At the moment I am trying to get unity to run across 2 monitors. I've done some research and know that this is, strictly, possible. There is a workaround where you basically have to fluff your window ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Synchronization between game logic thread and rendering thread

How does one separate game logic and rendering? I know there seem to already be questions on here asking exactly that but the answers are not satisfactory to me. From what I understand so far the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How many active shaders at one frame in the game (should I typically use)? 5? Or more like 100?

I have a question: how many shaders are usually active at the same time in one scene in modern games? I mean: I know that multiple shaders are being used (switching between them in each frame). And ...
10
votes
2answers
17k views

How Do I Do Alpha Transparency Properly In XNA 4.0?

Okay, I've read several articles, tutorials, and questions regarding this. Most point to the same technique which doesn't solve my problem. I need the ability to create semi-transparent sprites ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Information about rendering, batches, the graphical card, performance etc. + XNA?

I know the title is a bit vague but it's hard to describe what I'm really looking for, but here goes. When it comes to CPU rendering, performance is mostly easy to estimate and straightforward, but ...
10
votes
3answers
344 views

How do I make something I flash/blink more frequently as it gets closer to disappearing?

In my game when you kill an enemy they may drop something like a health pack or gold. I want this to have a time limit so that it eventually disappears if you don't pick it up. I want the item to ...
10
votes
4answers
11k views

Preferred way to render text in OpenGL

I'm about to pick up computer graphics once again for an university project. For a previous project I used a library called FTGL that didn't leave me quite satisfied as it felt kind of heavy (I tried ...
10
votes
1answer
841 views

How does pixeljunk shooter simulate its liquids?

I am really impressed by the liquids in pixeljunk shooter. I would love to know how they do it.
10
votes
3answers
428 views

Is showing a collision in slow motion computationally relaxing?

In a lot of racing games (Burnout Paradise, for example) when a collision is about to happen, the game play automatically switches to slow motion and carries on in slow sequence until after the ...
10
votes
1answer
309 views

Rendering only a part of the screen in high detail

If graphics are rendered for a large viewing angle (e.g. a very large TV or a VR headset), the viewer can't actually focus on the entire image, just a part of it. (Actually, this is the case for ...
9
votes
4answers
384 views

What exactly causes a surface to overlap another?

I cannot really figure out what causes one surface to overlap another. In a 3D engine I'm creating, my technique is failing in edge cases. My method is sorting the surfaces to be painted from the ...
9
votes
1answer
7k views

DirectX11, how do I manage and update multiple shader constant buffers?

Alright, I'm having a hard time grasping how constant buffers are bound to a pipeline stage and updated. I understand that DirectX11 can have up to 15 shader-constant buffers per stage and each buffer ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are some games using some dithering pattern instead of traditional alpha for transparency?

Recently, I have seen some 3D games (eg: GTA IV) to use some kind of ordered dithering to simulate transparency / alpha. The polygons are not transparent as usual, but instead render a dithering ...
9
votes
1answer
376 views

In OpenGL, what is “zero state” rendering?

Recently at a job interview, I mentioned that I taught myself modern OpenGL and rendering with vertex buffer objects because my university only taught the fixed function pipeline with immediate mode ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How come the 3d graphics and animations of MMORPGs are usually worse than non-online 3d games?

I have noticed that in general it seems like the 3d graphics and animations for MMOs and MMORPGs seem not as seductive and polished as the graphics for normal, non-online 3d games. How come this is ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I render terrain in a 2.5D perspective, like in the game Don't Starve?

I have experience in making 2D side scroller games such as Terraria, but now I want to challenge myself and make a game that has a 2.5D perspective. The game I am trying to mimic is Don't Starve. ...
8
votes
3answers
799 views

Why should I separate objects from rendering?

Disclamer: I know what an entity system pattern is and I'm not using it. I've read a lot about separating object and rendering. About the fact that the game logic should be independent from the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would you want multiple render targets?

In d3d11, you can bind multiple render targets ID3D11DeviceContext::OMSetRenderTargets. But why would you want to do this?
8
votes
3answers
920 views

CPU - GPU memory data flow [closed]

I'm a newbie graphics programmer and I've been wondering recently - how does model data (meshes and materials) flow from application (CPU memory) to graphics card (GPU memory?)? Say I have a static ...
8
votes
4answers
491 views

What types of effects or shaders would you teach in a rendering class? [closed]

I am looking for a list of topics that would be fun to learn and not too complicated to implement with a prototyping tool like FX Composer or Rendermonkey for an intermediate class of real-time ...