Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games
Welcome to the fourth generation of this course, presented at SIGGRAPH 2009 on Monday,
August 3rd, 2009! (Previous years’ course contents can be found here
for those who are interested). The course was presented as a two-part course (Part I
and Part II
), covering a series of topics on the best innovations and practical techniques
prevalent in state-of-the-art rendering of several award-winning games and forward-thinking
rendering research that will be found in the games of tomorrow.
in the real-time graphics research and the ever-increasing power of mainstream GPUs
and consoles continues to generate 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 fourth installment in the now-established series of SIGGRAPH
courses on real-time rendering, bringing the 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 several award-winning
games, such as Bungie, Media Molecule, Crytek, Black Rock Studio; as well as representative
from leading graphics IHVs. The topics cover practical methods of global illumination,
postmortem on lessons learned throughout development of an award-winning game, designing
pipeline for rendering thousands of lights in real-time, techniques for effective
foliage and shadow rendering and many other ‘bleeding-edge’ production secrets!
Full Course Notes PDF (To appear in the near future
Morning session (Part I)
Chen, Tatarchuk – Lighting Research at Bungie
Abstract: The talk focuses on the latest directions for lighting research
in Bungie, such as high-quality real time lighting with advanced atmospheric rendering
and continuous time of day, as well as efficient prefilterable soft shadows. The
speakers will also explore fast methods for generation of pre-computed global illumination
using modern GPUs.
, Course Notes Chapter PDF (to appear
Kaplanyan – Light Propagation Volumes in CryEngine 3
: In this talk a new technique for real-time computation of the
first bounce of diffuse global illumination will be introduced. We present the light
propagation volume - a completely dynamic solution using spherical harmonics irradiance
volumes for light field finite-element approximation, point-based infusive volumetric
rendering and a new light propagation approach.
Our implementation proves that it is possible to use this solution efficiently even
with the current generation of console hardware. Because this technique doesn't
require any preprocessing stages and fully supports dynamic lighting/scene/cameras,
it's possible to harmoniously integrate it into an extremely complex cross-platform
engine (CryEngine 3
) with a large set of graphics technologies without requiring
additional production time.
, Course Notes Chapter PDF (to appear
…), Video: Global Illumination (Download AVI)
, Video: Massive Lighting (Download AVI)
Engel – The Light Pre-Pass Renderer: Renderer Design for Efficient Support of
: This talk will describe a renderer design that allows a huge
number of lights while being very efficient on the current generation of graphics
hardware. This technique provides easy support for MSAA, as well as allows significantly
larger number of dynamic lights as compared to other rendering styles (for example,
as forward rendering or typical deferred rendering). An additional benefit of this
renderer pipeline is lower bandwidth utilization. Our technique can be implemented
on a wide variety of consumer graphics hardware, including scaling the technique
to work on DirectX8-level hardware.
The talk covers the idea behind the design and outlines the advantages and disadvantages
of this renderer design when compared to a Z Pre-Pass renderer or a Deferred Renderer.
We will cover practical examples of this renderer as utilized in popular video games
developed by such companies as Crytek, DICE, GSC World and Insomniac, among some.
We will also cover future directions and modifications of the original technique.
, Course Notes Chapter PDF (to appear
Afternoon session (Part II)
Moore, Jefferies – Rendering Technology at Black Rock Studios
: This talk will describe a number of graphics techniques used
for the upcoming Disney Entertainment game “Pure”. These will include the method
for rendering ground cover in Pure to add detail to the playable surface and give
the tracks an organic feel, including plants, grass and small shrubs; applying irradiance
volumes as a post-process; G-buffer MSAA edge detection using centroid interpolation
sampling; and GPU management of a memory pool. Additionally, the talk will also cover the methods for integrating deferred shading and shadowing in Split / Second, and using irradiance volumes for lighting.
, Course Notes Chapter PDF (to appear…), Video: Pure (No Foliage)
, Video: Pure (With Foliage)
, Video: Split / Second
Yang – When Fuzzy is Good: Advances in Filtering Techniques
Abstract: We will present current rendering research at AMD in anti-aliasing (AA),
glossy rendering, and depth of field. The latest generation of graphics hardware
provides direct access to multisample anti-aliasing rendering data. By taking advantage
of these existing pixel subsample values, reconstruction filters can be computed
using programmable GPU shader units. Summed-area tables are a data structure that
can be leveraged to implement spatially-varying, constant-time filtering. When used
in the standard “forward” direction, they can be used to approximate glossy reflections
and image-based lighting. When used in the “reverse” direction, they can be used
to implement a novel technique we refer to as filter spreading, which naturally
mimics the effects of real lenses, such as a limited depth of field.
, Video: Raytracing
, Video: Summed Area Tables
Evans – Graphics Engine Postmortem from LittleBigPlanet
In this presentation, the makers of the award-winning LittleBigPlanet
some of the lessons learned and production decisions behind the graphics engine
that made the immensely customizable and cohesively stylized world of LittleBigPlanet
, Course Notes Chapter PDF (to appear
…), Video 1
, Video 2
, Bungie, LLC
- Hao Chen, Bungie, LLC
Hao Chen is the graphics architect and one of the engineering leads for Bungie Studio,
where he currently leads the research and development of Bungie’s next generation
graphics engine. He was the graphics engineering lead of Halo 3. Prior to that, Hao
has worked on numerous game titles for Microsoft and Bungie on the Xbox and PC platforms,
including Outwars, AMPED1, AMPED2, and Halo2.
- Natalya Tatarchuk, Bungie, LLC
Natalya Tatarchuk is a graphics architect at Bungie where she's working on state
of the art next-gen game graphics algorithms. 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.
- Alex Evans, Media Molecule
Alex Evans is Technical Director at Media Molecule. He is universally acknowledged
as one of the games industry’s technical innovators. A graduate of Cambridge University, Alex got his first taste of the software industry
working at Bullfrog Productions during his holidays. On graduating, he joined Lionhead
Studios full time and fast became a key member of the team, developing cutting-edge
graphics technology for titles such as Black & White, Black & White 2, The
Movies and The Room. His R&D work led to his invitation into Microsoft’s exclusive
“Graphics Arbitration Board", a small group of top developers who help shape the
future of 3D graphics on the PC. By night Alex turns his creativity to a more musical
direction and his visuals and films have been shown around the world, most notably,
on tour with Warp Records and the London Sinfonietta.
Alex's technical contributions to the cult PC internet game Live For Speed and Mark
Healey's Rag Doll Kung Fu, along with his longstanding links with the demo scene
(where he is known as Bluespoon) inspired him to develop games in a small and highly
creative environment. In 2006 Alex co-founded Media Molecule with the Rag Doll Kung
Fu collaborators Mark Healey, Dave Smith and Kareem Ettouney.
- Anton Kaplanyan, Crytek GmbH
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
- Jeremy Moore, Black Rock Studio
Jeremy Moore is the lead engine programmer for the Core Technology Group at Black
Rock Studio in Brighton, UK. He has been working in the games industry for over
a decade with spells at Mirage Technologies, Blade Interactive Studios and Video
System. At Black Rock he spent four years working on SCEA's ATV Offroad Fury games
on both PS2 and PSP. Amongst other things he was responsible for the acclaimed network
play implementation. He now specializes in real-time graphics.
- David Jefferies, Black Rock Studio
David Jefferies is the technical director of Split/Second at Black Rock Studio in
Brighton, UK. He started off as a programmer at Psygnosis in 1995, where he worked
on the Global Domination and Wipeout 3 teams. After a time at Rare, David joined
Black Rock in 2003 where he has led the technical development of MotoGP'06, MotoGP'07
- Jason Yang, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Jason Yang is a Member of Technical Staff in AMD’s Office of the CTO focusing on
parallel computing using graphics processors. He is currently the technical lead
for game physics on the GPU. Other projects he has been involved with include HD
video decoding, shader based anti-aliasing, encryption, and Stream Computing. He
received his PhD in computer science and his BS in electrical engineering and computer
science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 and 1999 respectively.
- Wolfgang Engel, Rockstar Games
Wolfgang was working for the last four years in Rockstar's core technology group
as the lead graphics programmer. Now he is taking a sabbatical to do some research
into next-gen graphics. He is the editor of the ShaderX books, the author of several
other books and loves to talk about graphics programming. He is also a MVP DirectX
since July 2006 and active in several advisory boards in the industry.
For an encore presentation of all the course content outlined above, please visit the SIGGRAPHEncore page
to download and view each presentation in video form.