Course Description

Advances in the real-time graphics research and the ever-increasing power of mainstream GPUs and consoles continues generating an explosion of innovative algorithms suitable for fast, interactive rendering of complex and engaging virtual worlds.

 

Every year the latest video games display a vast variety of sophisticated algorithms resulting in ground-breaking 3D rendering pushing the visual boundaries and interactive experience of rich environments. The focus of this course lies in bridging the game development community and the state-of-the-art 3D graphics research, encouraging cross-pollination of knowledge for future games and other interactive applications. 

 

This course is the next installment in the now-established series of Siggraph courses on real-time rendering, bringing the newest and best of graphics practices and research from the game development community, and providing practical and production-proven algorithms.

 

This year the course includes speakers from the makers of award-winning games, such as Bungie, Valve, DICE, Crytek, Avalanche / Disney, Naughty Dog; middleware providers such as Geomerics; and the leading IHVs such as AMD and Intel. The talks will cover wide range of relevant topics such as character rendering and shading models, global illumination, shadowing solutions, a plethora of practical production systems for game development, such as artist-directable water flow pipeline, destructible environments, and particle effects.

 

This is the course to attend if you are in the game development industry or want to learn the latest and greatest techniques in real-time rendering domain!


Halo Reach (Xbox 360)
Developed by Bungie
Published by Microsoft (Fall 2010)


Syllabus

Introduction: Graphics Feature Development for Games

Natalya Tatarchuk (Bungie)

Rendering techniques in Toy Story 3

John-Paul Ownby, Robert Hall and Christopher Hall (Avalanche / Disney)

A Real-Time Radiosity Architecture for Video Game

Sam Martin (Geomerics), Per Einarsson (DICE)

Real-Time Order Independent Transparency and Indirect Illumination using Direct3D 11

Jason Yang, Jay McKee (AMD)

CryENGINE 3: Reaching the Speed of Light

Anton Kaplanyan (Crytek)

Sample Distribution Shadow Maps

Andrew Lauritzen (Intel)

Adaptive Volumetric Shadow Maps

Marco Salvi (Intel)

Uncharted 2: Character Lighting and Shading

John Hable (Naughty Dog)

Destruction Masking in Frostbite 2 using Volume Distance Fields

Robert Kihl (DICE)

Water Flow in Portal 2

Alex Vlachos (Valve)

 


Introduction: Graphics Feature Development for Games

Abstract: In this talk we cover the practical motivation for graphics feature development for games, describe the requirements for successful integration of visual elements into games and introduce the speakers for the rest of the course.

 

Presenter:

Natalya Tatarchuk

Affiliation:

Bungie

Bio:

Natalya Tatarchuk is currently working on state-of-the art next-gen game graphics algorithms and the rendering engine at Bungie, LLC.  Previously she was a graphics software architect and a project lead in the Game Computing Application Group at AMD Graphics Products Group (Office of the CTO) where she pushed parallel computing boundaries investigating innovative real-time graphics techniques. Additionally, she had been the lead of ATI’s demo team creating the innovative interactive renderings and the lead for the tools group at ATI Research. She has published papers and articles in various computer graphics conferences and technical book series, and has presented her work at graphics and game developer conferences worldwide.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 8th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (8.29 MB)

PDF Slides (1.4 MB)

 

 

 

 


 

Rendering techniques in Toy Story 3

Abstract: We will talk about the evolution of the lighting and shadow techniques used in Toy Story 3.   We will discuss not only the technology behind those methods that ended up in the final game, but also some of the alternatives that were tried along the way and why these failed to meet our needs (either technically or from our artists’ standpoint).  Among other subjects, we will discuss our approach to ambient lighting, screen space ambient occlusion, and shadows.

 

Presenters:

John-Paul Ownby, Robert Hall and Christopher Hall

Affiliation:

Avalanche / Disney

Bios:

John-Paul Ownby has worked at Avalanche Software for three years.   He has been primarily involved with creating and maintaining the shader system, which includes how materials are authored, how shader features are organized and put together, and the shader code itself.  He is happiest when he is making artists happy, and has been known to find it hard to say “no” to new feature requests.  John-Paul has degrees in Computer Science and Piano Performance.

Chris Hall is a programmer at Avalanche Software working on graphics technology.  During the last two years, he worked on Bolt, and Toy Story 3 specifically developing improved ambient lighting using spherical harmonics.  Additionally he has worked on particle lighting and various post processing effects.  Previously, he received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at Utah State University.

Rob Hall is currently working at Avalanche Software as a programmer for the last two years.  During this time, he has implemented effects in post processing, shadows, and deferred rendering.  He graduated from Utah State University with a BS (2006) and MS (2008) in Computer Science.   His current interests include shadows, global illumination, and GPGPU.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 8th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (121 MB)

PDF Slides (16.8 MB)

Video (21 MB)

 

 

 


 

A Real-Time Radiosity Architecture for Video Game

Abstract: This talk focuses on an architecture and set of techniques for producing real-time radiosity in video games. We describe Enlighten, a middleware toolkit for computing real-time radiosity, and demonstrate how the technology is used in and was shaped by its integration into the Frostbite game engine. We describe Enlighten's architecture, covering its separation of direct and indirect lighting, mixed use of CPU/GPU resources, and Enlighten's target projection and relighting system. We will demonstrate how the workflow, content pipelines and run-time systems for Enlighten function in the Frostbite Engine to achieve real-time radiosity for use in video games.

 

Presenters:

Sam Martin (Geomerics)

Per Einarsson (DICE)

 

Bios:

Sam Martin is presently the lead programmer at Geomerics where he works on Enlighten. There he fell in love with lighting as he nurtured their real time radiosity SDK from its conception. In a previous relationship with computational geometry he developed the navigation system behind Lionhead's Black & White 2 - a tale he may put on paper some day. There was also a fling with Lionhead's early core tech team, and he doesn't forget the good old times he had with Intrepid and Kuju London. His relationship with patterns and algorithms is going strong, but the temptations of drumming in samba bands and Cambridge beers have been known to lead him astray.

Per Einarsson is a Software Engineer working on the Frostbite engine at EA DICE. His current focus is improving Frostbite's lighting & rendering systems and working with Sam on integrating Enlighten in Frostbite. Before joining EA DICE, he was a researcher of various image based lighting & rendering techniques at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 7th 2010)

PDF Slides (3.15 MB)

Video (135 MB)

 


Real-Time Order Independent Transparency and Indirect Illumination using Direct3D 11

Abstract: This talk describes a fast method of constructing linked lists on the GPU using new features in Direct3D 11.  Two applications of linked lists are order independent transparency (OIT) and indirect shadowing.  For OIT, a linked list of fragments is constructed during rendering at each screen pixel location.  A post-pass sorts and resolves transparency.  By using Direct3D 11, construction is integrated in the graphics pipeline and can take advantage of standard hardware features such as depth buffers and MSAA.  The indirect shadowing technique stores scene triangles in a 3d grid structure and uses raytracing to determine if an indirect light is blocked by scene geometry.

Presenters:

Jason Yang, Jay McKee

Affiliation:

AMD

Bios:

Jason Yang is a Senior Member of Technical Staff leading AMD's physics initiative. He received his BS and PhD from MIT.

Jay McKee works as a lead programmer on AMD's Game Computing Group with a primary focus toward creating real-time rendering demos for AMD GPUs. Prior to AMD, he was a render programmer at Crystal Dynamics working on render technology and special effects for PlayStation 3®/Microsoft Xbox 360® Tomb Raider @tm titles.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 10th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (11 MB)

PDF Slides (5 MB)

 

 


CryENGINE 3: Reaching the Speed of Light

Abstract: We present the expertise of making the generalized and balanced real-time rendering pipeline. The techniques in this course notes are carefully filtered to provide the most reusable concepts for real-time graphics. The problem of efficient and compact data representation is discussed for the majority of stages of the rendering pipeline in CryENGINE 3. The layered decomposition of the physically-based lighting model is discussed in details as well as the tools provided for complete artistic control over the image. The lighting consistency discussion of this chapter can be used as a checklist for design of an advanced real-time lighting pipeline.

The list of techniques and accurate approximations described in this course notes can serve as a cookbook for design of real-time visualization engine.

Presenter:

Anton Kaplanyan

Affiliation:

Crytek

Bio:

Anton Kaplanyan is a software engineer and member of the Research Team at Crytek. During the development of CryENGINE 3 he was responsible for multiple researches on graphics and performance optimizations for current generation of consoles. Currently he is busy working on the next iteration of the engine to keep pushing future PC and next-gen console technology. Prior to joining Crytek he received his M.S. in Computer Science at Moscow University of Electronic Engineering, Russia in early 2007.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 10th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (103 MB)

PDF Slides (8.9 MB)

Video (78 MB)

Normals Fitting Texture (to be used w/ the shader code described in Appendix A)

 


 

Sample Distribution Shadow Maps

Abstract: In this session we present an extension to Z-partitioning (cascaded shadow maps) called Sample Distribution Shadow Maps (SDSMs). SDSMs optimize the placement and size of a fixed number of Z-partitions by analyzing the shadow sample distribution required by the current frame. They build on the advantages of current state of the art techniques, including predictable performance and constant memory usage, while removing tedious and ultimately suboptimal parameter tuning. We show that SDSMs run efficiently on modern graphics hardware and produce significantly higher quality shadows than static Z-partitioning schemes. Furthermore, SDSMs save development time since they avoid the manual placement and maintenance of shadow partitions that is typically required by other Z-partitioning schemes.

 

Presenter:

Andrew Lauritzen

Affiliation:

Intel

Bio:

Andrew Lauritzen is a software engineer on the Advanced Rendering Technology team at Intel. He received his M.Math in computer science from the University of Waterloo in 2008 where his research was focused on variance shadow maps and other shadow filtering algorithms. His current research interests include lighting and shadowing algorithms, deferred rendering, parallel programming languages and graphics hardware architectures.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 7th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (6.7 MB)

PDF Slides (3 MB)

Video (78 MB)

Additional links: Project page, Demo ZIP

 


Adaptive Volumetric Shadow Maps

Abstract: In this session we present Adaptive Volumetric Shadow Maps (AVSMs), a novel real-time volumetric shadow algorithm for high-quality shadowing from participating media such as hair and smoke. The key contribution of AVSMs is a new streaming compression algorithm that can generate an accurate but compact representation of light attenuation functions. AVSMs do not make assumptions about the type or spatial distribution of occluders, providing higher quality volumetric shadows than other real-time methods while performing competitively with existing solutions.

 

Presenter:

Marco Salvi

Affiliation:

Intel

Bio:

Marco Salvi joined the Advanced Rendering Technology at Intel in 2008, where he focuses his research on new shadow algorithms and graphics hardware architectures. He previously worked as a graphics engineer on multi-platform and PS3-exclusive games where he was responsible for architecting renderers, performing low-level optimizations and developing new algorithms such as Exponential Shadow Maps. Marco received his M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Bologna in 2001.

 

Materials:
(Updated August 10th 2010)

PowerPoint Slides (6.1 MB)

PDF Slides (1.8 MB)

Video (36 MB)

Additional links: Project Page, Demo ZIP

 

 


 

Uncharted 2: Character Lighting and Shading

Abstract: This talk covers the shading models used for the characters in Uncharted 2.  This presentation will describe which lighting sources are used in which rendering passes.  Specific shaders will be discussed, including skin, hair, and cloth.

 

Presenter:

John Hable

Affiliation:

Naughty Dog

Bio: