everytime i see a new arma screenshot i try to found any "evidence" of normal mapping on there, but so far only that shiny tank made me have some suspicious of it.
only recently (3 months ago) i started making some experiences with normal maps and realize the power of such technology.
to be honest i really dont bother to test/try other games(yes i'im a nostalgic) but after watching some titles (like FEAR) i was impressed with the quality of those textures. many other titles are using normal mapping, so from what i was told , so i guess this is becoming a standard on new games.
from one of the 1st bis interviews i'm almost sure i remember them saying that arma uses bump mapping. well...bump mapping isnt that bad at all, but it hasnt the same power of normal mapping.
for the tech guys here, that look to screenies with diferent eyes from the common player, is there any suspicious about this?
another tech feature is culling (almost sure its called this). i recently saw a demo of a 3d engine that uses this technology. its basicly a feature that allows a 3d engine to ONLY render what is visible on the camera view. it has some controlable parameters, and fov (field of view) is the most important one. it works combined with lod feature, so it's really friendly to the fps of a game. i remember someone skilled from ofp forums telling that ofp renders ALL the visible/invisible objects loaded in a map. that's why we lag like hell on maps with hundreds of models.
i can only wish that arma engine has something similar to this. make our missions less laggy with a similar technology.
i'm not sure if this features are only possible to use in small scenarios games like fps. really hope their not.
hope i'm not asking anything taboo here, so plz coment if u have any info about this.
OFP already renders only what's "in view", place 500 objects, start looking away frmo it, then turn towards them .
Also, ArmA will have streaming terrain, IE only the stuff within (example) 7 KM is loaded into the memory (not thesame as being "rendered").
Long story short: Rejoice!
- ArmA most propably uses "normal mapping", as OFP elite does. I would say that normal mapping is just a form bump mapping, but some people use the terms a bit differently...
- OFP already does backface- and occlusion culling (Thats what the view geometries are for)
I'm not a modeller or developer but OFP must do some of this stuff because it still has the largest playing area with the most units on screen at once (with competent AI) of any other game since the beginning of gaming.
normalmaps bring more realism to texturemaps on addons as bump maps do.
Normalmapping is a form of bumpmapping , BUT it uses RBG insted of greyscale maps . normalmaps can do better transitions between high and lower heightvalues and you can bake polys on a lower poly model. look at farcry and polybump.
the technique is nothing else then normalmapping in a sophisticated way.
panem et circences
Normal mapping can be used for basic bump mapping or for faking high poly detail.
Creating and using normal maps
If the screenshots we've seen that are associated with ArmA are a measure of the technology we will see in the final product, I can tell you for certain that it uses normal map technology.
edit: I was sort of getting confused between game 2 and ArmA. I just looked at a bunch of screenies here to help distinguish them (I was only been exposed to a few from each game until now). Looking at the ArmA shots, it does not look like there are normal maps- at least not in most shots. Most of the lighting in those pics is not really great conditions to judge, though. There looks like some normal-map action happening in the newer shots.
Normal mapping doesn't guarantee realism- just as any other graphical technology doesn't guarantee it- but it does allow for greater lighting detail. The best normal maps I've seen in a game are in the Lost Coast demo for half-life 2. That game combined photorealistic textures with some very subtle normal mapping to achieve a result to blended that your eye accepted it as one composition, rather than a model with a texture and a normal map.
Careful implimentation can achieve realism, and like so many other graphic technologies, this is rarely done. Mostly, normal maps are used to add detail and punch to the images, adding to the overall eyecandy. Either would be alright for ArmA, but I think that you can tell by the tone of my text which I prefer.
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Lets qoute a developer from BIS once again:
Originally Posted by [b
thanks for answering my question BergHoff! i missed that part of the interview where they mentioned without any doubt the use of normal mapping.
to the other posts...i know what's normal mapping, otherwise i wouldnt mentioned it. and also know the difference between the traditional bump mapping (greyscale textures) and the normal mapping (uvw colored map). i made some simple tutorials related to normal mapping and yes the results are awsome. that's exactly why i was so interested to know if arma is gona use it. but hey! i can be tottaly wrong and normal mapping can be just an eye candy for the kids and smokes the 3d engine just to process it.
by the way...is there any reports on that? since its solid that we gona have normal maps on arma, could it be a rock in our foot relating gameplay? really hope not, and i think i'm gona start to learn how to make a decent model with normal maps and custom shaders.
and FYI..i'm really not an "eye candy" games customer. it's down on my priority list...but hey who doesnt like good graphics anyway!?
ok now i'll go back for arma countdown...
Good luck bis crew!