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clint-ruin
11-01-2004, 10:33 PM
Shaders.

They're a bugger.

Maddox knows just how much of a bugger they are.

The PF community knows just how much of a bugger they are, given the 3 million threads about water quality and "screen door"ism.

I was wondering if there is interest in the community and at Maddox in taking open submissions for shaders to be included in the game. Not necessarily as a free for all, but for evaluation and possible inclusion in the next patch.

I think it's safe to say that there is room for a significant rewrite and re-optimisation for various rendering systems out there. Even Doom 3 - worked on by some of the greatest gods of realtime rendering around - had room for about 25% performance improvement after some of the default shaders were rewritten [see http://www.megagames.com/news/html/pc/doom3enhancetheexperiencept2.shtml ] specifically for ATI hardware.

This thread here on SimHQ is not exactly encouraging: http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=114;t=000955

I would like it if I could get the game to run as well as possible on the hardware I have. Not to have laggy reflections, screen door effects, and off coloured water because someone at MG thinks that's how it should be. If the fix for this is to hardcode a slower rendering system even than the default PF one, I'm sorry - that is not a fix.

clint-ruin
11-01-2004, 10:33 PM
Shaders.

They're a bugger.

Maddox knows just how much of a bugger they are.

The PF community knows just how much of a bugger they are, given the 3 million threads about water quality and "screen door"ism.

I was wondering if there is interest in the community and at Maddox in taking open submissions for shaders to be included in the game. Not necessarily as a free for all, but for evaluation and possible inclusion in the next patch.

I think it's safe to say that there is room for a significant rewrite and re-optimisation for various rendering systems out there. Even Doom 3 - worked on by some of the greatest gods of realtime rendering around - had room for about 25% performance improvement after some of the default shaders were rewritten [see http://www.megagames.com/news/html/pc/doom3enhancetheexperiencept2.shtml ] specifically for ATI hardware.

This thread here on SimHQ is not exactly encouraging: http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards/bbs/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=114;t=000955

I would like it if I could get the game to run as well as possible on the hardware I have. Not to have laggy reflections, screen door effects, and off coloured water because someone at MG thinks that's how it should be. If the fix for this is to hardcode a slower rendering system even than the default PF one, I'm sorry - that is not a fix.

ArgonV
11-02-2004, 12:00 AM
I agree... This effect is not present on any Shader 3 games out there right now but this one. Now this may be because of HOW the IL-2 render works... And how the water is drawn. Or it might because of some shortcuts taken and some code not fully implimented or optimized. I won't judge the programmers, but I would like to know the workings behind what's going on with the water...

Philipscdrw
11-02-2004, 03:21 AM
Would this be transferable to BoB?

clint-ruin
11-02-2004, 03:38 AM
It would be very unlikely that specific targetted shaders for PF/Il2 would be usable in BOB.

Just to clear up what I'm talking about, I mean the shaders that control how water, reflections, and other effects are drawn. We have access to post-filter shaders in ATIs recent drivers, and those are fun, but you can't actually go in and change specifically what the game is telling your card to do when it assembles the images you see in the game.

You can intercept OpenGL calls on the way to the graphics card with a utility such as 3dAnalyse or GLIntercept.

GLIntercept here: http://glintercept.nutty.org/

What I want to know is if it's worth anyones time to bother parsing these GL call logs and seeing what can be optimised for specific graphics cards. While I can see what PF is doing, I can't actually make it do things any differently - no way to do this without access to the source file containing PFs shaders.

clint-ruin
11-02-2004, 04:31 AM
Hmm, seems Maddox's antiintercept goes to hookable DLLs as well as Softice style debuggers. Thanks guys.

WWMaxGunz
11-02-2004, 04:56 AM
Is this in all graphics settings?

I don't have problems with the water in FB, I hope PF has some way to see it like that.


Neal

Philipscdrw
11-02-2004, 05:31 AM
To be completely honest, I don't have a clue what you are talking about, what a shader is, what you propose, the amount of time it would take (for the community or for Maddox & co.), if it would work, or if it would open up the game for exploitation (if it was possible to make objects (aircraft and ground targets) significantly more visible against sky, clound, land and sea.

clint-ruin
11-02-2004, 05:55 AM
Exploits are a possibility already with postfilter shaders, driver hacking, etc. There is pretty much nothing any game can do about this [though the people at Punkbuster try].

Simply knowing what the shaders do in the game doesn't actually help you cheat, though. Put it this way - you can go and not only look at them but modify them to your hearts content in games such as FarCry and Doom 3. But that won't be of much use for cheating unless everyone else you connect to is using the exact same code.

I'm just saying - flying around with one plane, on the Coral Sea Online map, no other objects, with water/shaders set to max - I am pretty sure that there is room for significant optimisation work to be done here in PF. Not only does it look like goatse, but it runs incredibly slowly given that it's drawing one flat surface and some fluffy clouds.

The proposed solution from MG seems to be to cure the tubgirl-looking problem by making things even slower, for everyone, whether they like it or not. That's not exactly filling me with joy here.

If you want to learn about what pixel/vertex/"fragment" and other terms are referring to, there was a decent guide put up at K5 last year here: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/10/28/9853/1617

If you want it simpler than that: think of them as being a kind of eye candy that uses raw math manipulation to generate cool looking effects, rather than using a bitmap texture, or a "real" 3d model.

KG26_Alpha
11-02-2004, 11:34 AM
Very interesting
As i think theres a Open GL bug with the AI renders/shaders on shipping smoke bomb dust mg/canon ground puffs and flak bursts, causing alot of lag and slow down for older setups, a change to Dx seems to instantly cure it.

clint-ruin
11-02-2004, 12:10 PM
For the effects lag - make sure you are running with effects=1 or effects=0 in your conf.ini. Other things to try are setting shadows=1 rather than shadows=2, and setting the landscape shading to Medium rather than High. Generating the sheer number of shadows from 20/37mm flak explosions seems to cripple the game when there are enough going off at once. Setting "trilinear" rather than anisotropic filtering might also help - pretty sure all those smoke puffs get the full aniso treatment - they dont need it.