Two years ago Digital Production interviewed Wolfgang about hair rendering in Tomb Raider and -generally- about the special effects world in games. The article is in German:
Check out the Star Citizen talk:
Confetti worked on many of the effects covered.
In the nearly six years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful and most colorful year. This year we got the chance to work with many AAA teams and help them fulfill their vision of a great game.
At the beginning of the year we worked on Murdered – Soul Suspect on a wide range of visual effects and engine optimizations.
For AMD we worked on CPU optimizations for the new Futuremark Benchmark.
After more than a year of working on Star Citizen, we finished our tasks in the second half of the year. We worked on a wide range of rendering challenges like Nebula particles and distribution, Volumetric Explosions, Order-Independent Transparency and on the Capital Ship Damage system.
Our first customer Qualcomm works with us since more than five years. We are very proud of that relationship. This year we spent some time in the Qualcomm offices in San Diego and India.
Super Evil Mega Corp has a winner in their hands with Vainglory. We are proud to add new features to this game and enjoy working on new features.
Transistor has one of the best user review scores on Steam. We feel honored to have been asked to help bringing the game to new platforms.
Amazon Game Studios is becoming a technology powerhouse. We help by adding features to their engine.
We had and still have a great time on working with Dolby on future monitor technologies. Extending Unreal Engine 4 to run a wider range of color and brightness values is a challenge just right up our alley 🙂
AMD involved us with optimizing the GPU usage of Dirt 4. Like its predecessors the game looks super awesome and now runs a bit faster 🙂
We also worked on a wide range of new tech that we developed in-house, like for example Volumetric Explosions, new PostFX and others. Our middleware packages Aura, Ephemeris and PixelPuzzle evolved and are running efficiently on PC, PS4 and XBOX One.
For more than a year we worked on the game Star Citizen. We worked on the following features:
- Nebula particles and distribution- we invented a new spherical particle that holds up under 3D and we wrote a distribution tool to allow artists to place those particles efficiently
- Order-Independent Transparency for particles
- Capital ship damage system
We worked on some of the rendering features of Murdered: Soul Suspect:
You can find a work in progress movie of Volumetric explosions here:
We are still working on the possibilies. If you split up a Michael Bay explosion in phases you can use four:
1. “Lightning” – first part over brightens the scene
2. Glow – this is the glowy part that is still white / yellowish
3. Orange glow + dark smoke
4. Lots of smoke …
We are getting better with 3 but 1 is too faint, 2 is ok and 4 is not enough.ties how to mix 2D and 3D effects … currently most of this are 3D volumetric effects.
We are co-organizing the real-time rendering day on FMX again. So next week we will be in Stuttgart. We will also give a presentation on “Dynamic Global Illumination Systems” on Wednesday. Drop by and say hi!
Wolfgang will be giving a presentation at the Sony booth at 5pm on Wednesday on “Optimizing Compute Shaders for AMD GPUs”. This presentation is based on the work we did last year for a bunch of AAA games. This even will be broadcast live on Twitch.
Theater presentation will be on this website on Friday …
We also will be at the Intel booth on Wednesday morning to show off the first game that has Volumetric Explosions (Blackfoot Blade :-)).
In the nearly five years of Confetti’s existence, this was by far the most exciting, most successful and most colorful year. This year we got the chance to work with many AAA teams and help them fulfill their vision of a great game.
At the beginning of the year we worked for AMD with Crystal Dynamics on Lara Croft’s hair in Tomb Raider. Later on we worked with the team at Industrial Toys on Midnight Star, then for AMD on the Ruby demo, doing optimizations and hair rendering. We did some special effects work for Avalanche NY by providing them with top-notch implementations of Screen-Space Reflections and Screen-Space Skin. For Intel we ported DOOM III BFG to OpenGL ES 3.0 and Ubuntu 13.10 to prepare it for Steambox usage. For Cloud Imperium / Star Citizen we worked on building a tool that can generate Nebulas. We invented a new volumetric looking particle effect for that. We added an explosion effect that is three dimensional, generating procedural geometry. Later in the year, we were working on CPU and GPU optimizations for Battlefield 4 for AMD. We were quite proud of the games benchmarks on AMD platforms. We also did consulting work for Bigpoint, Qualcomm, Insomniac and Horizon HPC.
Our middleware packages evolved quite a bit this year. We have now three different versions of Aura; our real-time global illumination system. One for open-world games, one for indoor environments and one for movie rendering. Aura is still the only real-time solution that doesn’t require pre-processed data and works on characters and with an unlimited number of lights. PixelPuzzle -our Post-Processing Pipeline- was the first postfx pipeline that runs completely in a non RGB color space. The Depth of Field effect, world-class in performance and aesthetic, stands unrivaled in the industry.
The quality of our skydome system’s cloud lighting was improved and at the same time the algorithm to generate atmospheric scattering was made more generic, so that there is a wider range of different looking skies that can be mimicked.
We have now optimized packages for PC, XBOX One and PS4.