Questions tagged [graphics]

A very generic term referring to visual part of a game. Try to avoid unrelevant usage and instead tag for specific graphics type (2D, 3D), API, framework or a library you are using, if possible.

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112
votes
7answers
256k views

How do I get started making Android games? [closed]

I am new to game development. I am interested in developing 2D games for the Android platform. What is the best place to start with (i.e) What are the basics and how to proceed? I already have ...
72
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5answers
53k views

Which image format is more memory-efficient: PNG, JPEG, or GIF?

Which image format is more efficient to save memory? PNG, JPEG, or GIF?
65
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8answers
29k views

Where to start with game development? [closed]

I asked this earlier in this thread at stackoverflow.com. One of the early comments redirected me here to gamedev.stackexchange.com, so I'm reposting here. Searching for related questions I found a ...
62
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6answers
139k views

What is ambient occlusion?

I've heard about ambient occlusion and it looks nice, but what exactly is it?
52
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7answers
5k views

Why no night sky with realistic star constellations?

As an amateur stargazer I noticed that many games which have night scenarios use textures for the night sky where the stars seem to be arranged entirely randomly. It seems like they were created by an ...
51
votes
4answers
50k views

What are normal, tangent and binormal vectors and how are they used?

I would like to find out the following information: What are they? Example usage in game development (the area they are used in) About the following vector types: ...
51
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7answers
69k views

How can I draw outlines around 3D models?

How can I draw outlines around 3D models? I'm referring to something like the effects in a recent Pokemon game, which appear to have a single-pixel outline around them:
46
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12answers
10k views

How can people recognize what engine a game uses, based off its graphics?

With many games, you can say "oh, that's the Unreal Engine, for sure", or "this was made with an upgraded Rockstar Advanced Engine". We can often recognize the engine used for a game just by looking ...
45
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2answers
9k 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 ...
44
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13answers
4k views

How to make some monsters appear more dangerous than others?

My game is an open-world co-op MMO with retro graphics, permadeath and no leveling system. The problem I'm facing, is the fact that I don't know how to make some monsters appear harder than others. ...
42
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3answers
11k views

What is the purpose of the stencil buffer ? More precisely, what is a stencil in computer graphics?

I read the stencil word a lot, and I don't have a clue what is its real purpose in computer graphics. Seeing the picture in black and white on wikipedia, I'm still having problem with it. Why do we ...
38
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7answers
22k views

About floating point precision and why do we still use it

Floating point has always been troublesome for precision on large worlds. This article explains behind-the-scenes and offers the obvious alternative - fixed point numbers. Some facts are really ...
36
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1answer
9k views

Rendering SVG art directly in XNA

Suppose I have a bunch of 2D art in some vectorized format such as SVG. Is there an easy-ish way to render that directly without having to implement a full SVG renderer myself? Of course I could ...
35
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2answers
5k views

How can I procedurally render irregularly shaped health bars?

The issue of the traditional rectangular or heart-based health bar is something well-understood and easily solved. But what is the accepted solution for more "creatively-shaped" health bars, like the ...
34
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10answers
7k views

What makes a game look “good”? [closed]

I am working on a 3D space game using OpenGL and C++ and I am planning to focus on giving the game modern, eye-catching graphics, but the more I think of it the more I realise I don't really know what ...
34
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4answers
30k views

What's the difference between mesh and a model?

Which one is created first? For example if a team worked on a graphical asset of a car, what would be a model and what would be a mesh of the car?
34
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3answers
18k views

How can I make a good-looking explosion particle effect?

I'm not much of an artist, but I'm trying to make decent particle effects in a 2.5D game. I'm making a replica of Wii Play's "Tanks" and I can't quite get the explosions to look good. I'm not going ...
33
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5answers
5k views

How can I test my game for epilepsy-safety?

I've been developing a game which is rather blinky in terms of color and brightness contrasts. It's an iPhone game, so the screen will be quite small, but I've heard about Wipeout XL failing the ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you author HDR content?

How do you make it easy for your artists to author content for an HDR renderer? What kinds of tools should you provide, and what workflows need to change, in going from LDR to HDR? Note that I'm not ...
32
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7answers
10k 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 ...
30
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5answers
2k views

24-Bit Colordepth not enough?

I noticed that in very soft gradients, the 24-Bit colordepth is not enough as you can see the transitions of the color. This pops out the most in dark scenes or night skies. Why doesn't anybody ...
30
votes
4answers
58k views

What are some good books which detail the fundamentals of graphics processing? [closed]

The best book on the nitty gritty of graphics that I've found is Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Graphics-Principles-James-Foley/dp/0201121107 However, as ...
30
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3answers
15k views

How can I make this style of 2D “glowing” graphics?

I'm comfortable with the basics of building a 2d sprite based game in XNA, where all my objects are simply .png images that I move around. What things do I need to learn next to be able to develop a ...
30
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4answers
30k views

How can a programmer learn to draw 2D assets? [closed]

Are there any good tutorials for someone who wants to create 2D graphical game assets? Drawing classes for absolute beginners, preferably teaching skills that can be as relevant as possible to games - ...
28
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3answers
68k views

Moving an object in a circular path

I want to move one object (dot) in a circular path. How should I change the X and Y coordinates to accomplish this?
27
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3answers
54k views

How can I include vertex color information in .OBJ files?

The .obj files I export are missing data for vertex colors. Is there a way to include color information in the .obj file? If not, what are the alternatives?
25
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3answers
7k 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 ...
25
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4answers
13k views

Bezier curve arc length

See also: same question on Math.SE How can I find the arclength of a Bezier curve? For example, a linear Bezier curve has the length: ...
24
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11answers
13k views

Do I really need to use a graphics API?

Is it necessary to use graphics APIs to get hardware acceleration in a 3D game? To what degree is it possible to free of dependencies to graphics-card APIs like OpenGL, DirectX, CUDA, OpenCL or ...
23
votes
9answers
18k views

Tips and Tools for creating Spritesheet animations

I am looking for a tool that I can use to create sprite sheet easily. Right now I am using Illustrator, but I can never get the center of the character in the exact position, so it looks like it is ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Does a detailed texture take longer to render?

Let's say I want to render a square; its texture is "square.png." Is it easier for the computer to render it if the texture is just a plain color? And what about if it is a very noisy texture with ...
22
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3answers
4k views

Are there 3D projections other than orthographic and perspective? [closed]

The question is pretty much in the title. Are there notable 3D projections other than orthographic and perspective that could be used in a 3D system such as OpenGL? In particular, are there any that ...
21
votes
4answers
14k views

Why is Y up in many Games?

I learned at school that the z-axis is up. It is the same in modeling software like Blender. However in many games the y-axis is up. What is the reason?
19
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8answers
7k views

What all should be happening during the “Loading” screen?

Do I just need to be creating instances of all of my graphics into memory that are loaded from file? What is the best way to handle this? Do I just need some sort of assets manager that creates ...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

How are physics or graphics components typically built in a component-oriented system?

I have spent the last 48 hours reading up on Object Component systems, and feel I am ready enough to start implementing it. I got the base Object and Component classes created, but now that I need to ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

3D theory before graphics APIs? [closed]

I'm a software engineer and I'm hoping to move my career towards game development. I'm reading a book right now on 2D using C++/DirectX. When I get into 3D I know I want to do it correctly. For ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

Rendering oily/polluted water?

Any shader wizards out there have an idea of how to achieve an oily/polluted water effect, similar to this: Ideally, the water would not be uniformly oily, but instead the oil could be generated from ...
18
votes
7answers
23k views

What are some cool examples of procedural pixel shader effects? [closed]

What are some good examples of procedural or screen-space pixel shader effects? No code is necessary; I'm just looking for inspiration. In particular, I'm looking for effects that are not dependent ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

What should every graphics programmer write [closed]

I've seen this question on SO, but here i want it to focus on GFX. So in your opinion what applications/features should every aspiring GFX programmer write/change to get better? Community wiki since ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

What does the term “channel” mean when used in regards to computer graphics?

I was studying terminology for computer graphics, and this statement came up that confused me. The image can have alpha channels for transparency. I tried searching for the meaning of the term "...
16
votes
2answers
16k views

OpenGL: VBO or glBegin() + glEnd()?

I recently was given this link to a tutorial site from someone who I gave the original OGL Redbook to. The third header down says distinctly to forget glBegin() & glEnd() as the typical render ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

Pleasing isometric hexagons

What angles and long-side/short-side ratios give the most aesthetically pleasing and graphically regular isometric (squashed and flat side up) hexes, that additionally resolve to whole pixel sizes for ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I improve or replace my programmer art? [closed]

Say I'm a programmer who has done his own sprites or 3d models which would fall into programmer-ish kind of art. What steps can I take in order to improve or replace my own art?
16
votes
1answer
18k views

How can I easily create cloud texture maps?

I am making 3d planets in my game; these will be viewed as "globes". Some of them will need cloud layers. I looked at various Blender tutorials for creating "earth", and for their cloud layers they ...
16
votes
5answers
12k views

boolean operations on meshes

given a set of vertices and triangles for each mesh. Does anyone know of an algorithm, or a place to start looking( I tried google first but haven't found a good place to get started) to perform ...
16
votes
5answers
32k views

How can I draw an outline in Unity3d?

I am trying to highlight a rectangle of arbitrary height. I thought the easiest way to do this would be to create a separate "box" gameobject that outlines the rectangle. I've tried with both a ...
16
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I query available video memory using DirectX?

How do you query the amount of VRAM available when using DirectX?
15
votes
5answers
7k views

How did they make the screen move in Dangerous Dave?

I've made games in BASIC when I was a child, and I was curious about how the graphics were done in the 1988 version of Dangerous Dave made in C++; especially because they didn't have any worthwhile ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How to render infinite universe?

I'm curious what are the best practices in game development industry to render 3d universe? To be more specific: The data points are given and static. Each point has position, color and size; The ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Where do I start if I want to independently learn game graphic design? [closed]

I want to learn how to create custom graphics, not use freely available resources. But I have been looking around for articles or tutorials on how to start with 2D game design in general, and I can't ...

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