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I'm researching text rendering techniques for 3D applications, and I'm having a hard time finding information on the topic. Do you know of any other methods of text rendering that are actually used in current games or have a historical significance?

So far I have:

  • Using prerendered bitmaps of glyphs / strings as textures,
  • converting the glyph vectors to triangle meshes and rendering it as such,
  • signed distance fields (popularized by Valve's paper),
  • GLyphy.

I haven't managed to find anything else though.

Does anyone know what large engines, such as Source, Unreal, Unity, etc. use?

Sources would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, textures with glyphs and 2D polygons are probably what 99% of the games out there are using today. You might have a few niche cases where the game devs want more accuracy/resolution, then you can find stuff like the distance fields or vector graphics. But that's about it, AFAIK. Sorry, no sources to back this up either :P \$\endgroup\$
    – glampert
    Apr 26, 2015 at 3:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, yes, btw Nvidia once had the NV_path_rendering OpenGL extension, but I think they've dropped it a while back... \$\endgroup\$
    – glampert
    Apr 26, 2015 at 3:25

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There is also Resolution independent curve rendering using programmable graphics hardware from Microsoft Research presented at SIGGRAPH '05. Paper is available for download. Some information is also availble online at GPU Gems 3. I don't know if this method has been used in any games.

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