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Submitted by Esa Salminen, posted on July 21, 2000

Image Description, by Esa Salminen

This landscape picture shows outdoor engine features of our new 3D engine, this is done very short period, so all the optimizations not ready yet. More screenshots and demo found to our homepage.

Esa Salminen

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

July 21, 2000, 11:24 AM

non-doubtable THE BEST landscape scene i have ever seen. Period


July 21, 2000, 11:29 AM

Agreed.. This even looks better than the Dagath Moor(sp?) Demo that comes with the geForce.. very nice.


July 21, 2000, 11:31 AM

Very nice! The demo ran at 65fps on my GeForce @ 800x600 w/ hardware texture and lighting.

There's some vertical texture tearing on the sky in one place; I think you might be going off the sky texture by half a pixel. The fog isn't quite thick enough in the distance to hide the far clipping plane, so you can see objects pop up there. I'd increase the resolution of the trees too; everything else is so realistic it is sad to see tree pixels.

The engine is really beautiful, though! Keep up the good work.

TIP: I'm assuming you're doing the reflections by drawing the scene upside down with some blue faded into the vertices, then blending the water over it. If this is the case, try fading out reflections with height (depth), so that the tops of the trees are almost invisible in the reflection but the bases show up clearly. You can do this easily by computing the per-vertex coloring as a function of y (or z, depending on your axes). Perfect reflections (like in Deus Ex) look too good to be real. Fading out with distance from the reflecting surface enhances the realism and adds depth.



July 21, 2000, 12:47 PM

Yeah, looks great, really nice work. :)

Rui Martins

July 21, 2000, 01:12 PM

Just repeating, but it's worth it

"Kick Ass" Picture !

Now I must really try the engine demo !

Keep up the good work !

And if it get 65 frames on a G-Force (unoptimized), I would really like to see it again, when it is optimized !

see ya

Foxtrot Uniform

July 21, 2000, 01:18 PM

Wow. I'm very impressed. >= 60fps on my Athlon 900/GeForce 2, at 1024x768x32. (Not that I'm surprised to get that kind of performance on that kind of machine :-)

A couple things I can think of that would make the demo even better:
first, detail texturing up close. Filtered textures are nifty, but up close they still look like a bunch of texels -- only they look like blurred texels instead of pixelated texels. Some sort of tiled noise texture would go a long way. Second, the view distance culling seems to be z-based, rather than range-based. It's as annoying here as it is in Force 21 and Ground Control, because features that I can see at the side of the screen pop out of existence when I turn to face them. Would range-based culling be so hard to accomplish? (I wouldn't think so, but I haven't seen the code for the engine. :-)

Just minor complaints, though: this looks really good!


July 21, 2000, 01:49 PM

I'm not if this is just my system but I had some terrible issues with clipping the demo. I got great FPS but these issues didn't seem to be in relation to the screenshot. I posted a screenshot at
Did anyone else experience issues like this?


July 21, 2000, 02:06 PM


reflections dont get worse the farther the object is from the reflection surface. watch an airplane fly over a lake, u can see it just fine. Im guessing u r getting it confused with objects actually in the water, they would be dimmer the deeper in the water they are

Garett Bass

July 21, 2000, 02:15 PM

The demo runs nicely on my PII400 w/ TNT, at ~32fps, but the trees don't look right. Where they should be transparent, I see black texture instead. I'm running Win2k with the 5.32 nvidia reference drivers.

Esa Salminen

July 21, 2000, 03:01 PM

First I want to thanks to yours appreciated words. We going to rewrite almost all code and changing some renderstate settings. We already tested newer version where we changed tree rendering settings and these looks better now.

I think reason of bugs that occurs depends on that display card don't support all our used features, but I'm not sure. We tested this demo with Voodoo3 and GeForce2 cards without any bugs, but trees looks little too thick with Voodoo2 card. Now this thing is fixed. More bugs report you can send directly to us. I hope that next version don't causes so many bugs.

Esa Salminen

Alexander Blach

July 21, 2000, 03:02 PM

Yeah, I got the same tree problem. And I get ~50 fps in 640x480x16. (Celeron 525, DX8, TNT 2)
Well... I don't think that it is the BEST landscape I've ever seen. It just has some good textures and the right colors. Nothing that special.


July 21, 2000, 03:23 PM

shut the up .

Michael Edey

July 21, 2000, 04:02 PM

may or may not be "the best * I've ever seen" but it *does* look *really* good. So often we see games/demos that focus so much on the tech and neglect the little things (like making it playable, of nice to watch :).

"Sprint 'fly rocks.", M.E.

"Sanity is not statistical", George Orwell - "1984"


July 21, 2000, 04:56 PM

Very nice


July 21, 2000, 06:02 PM

Very neat indeed... however.. On my TNT2 with the latest drivers from nVidia... the trees aren't drawn with transparencies. Anyone else get this problem?



July 21, 2000, 06:04 PM

Hey, i don't want to be flamed, but honnestly i don't think it's the "best landscape scene" ever seen. It's
quite good actually, but:

1. The trees are quite ugly with their black border :(
2. Too much fog ( did i say i didn't like too much close fog ? )
3. Water looks like ice when you walk on it. I don't know if it's lacking waves animations, or simply if there is
too much reflections ...
4. The camera is very low, almost on the ground's level.. quite strange. I also found it to be quite slow to turn

The demo ran fine ( around 25 fps ) on my P200+Vaudoo2. The loading time was quite long though :(
( almost 3 minutes ). Keep up the good work !

( Did i already say i didn't like too much close fog ? )

Alexander Blach

July 21, 2000, 06:13 PM

Quote: Very neat indeed... however.. On my TNT2 with the latest drivers from nVidia... the trees aren't drawn with transparencies. Anyone else get
this problem?

As I already tried to say: I do have the same problem on my TNT2.

Furthermore I can only agree with what vsaneva said: it looks very nice but it is nothing special.

Oh, and please, don't do something like saying: "Shut up".


July 21, 2000, 06:36 PM

Lance EJ,

What fading reflections simulate is not attenuation from a medium (whih is what makes objects underwater fade off), but defocussed reflection, as from an imperfect reflector. Objects close up are relatively in focus, but diverging reflection rays defocus far off objects.

Look at the reflections in a dull piece of metal. Objects very close appear normally, but objects far off blend into the material color because they are so defocussed.

I'm out of town for a week, but I'll add this to a my raytracer and post a screen shot when I get back to demonstrate what I mean. It looks really nice and doesn't give the illusion that you are looking down at another object. I think some of the ATI card demos did this (I learned it from a friend there).



July 21, 2000, 07:42 PM

Nice looking demo you got there! It ran great on my Voodoo2 with the odd stray polygon but it didn't have any textures on my Rage ATI Pro. This Screenshot shows you what it looks like. Looks very nice though :)

I had the same problem back in the DX6 days with my 3D stuff. With my card it appears that even though I could successfully lock the texture surface, writing to it had no effect at all. So when uploading I simply created a midway system memory surface, wrote the texture to that and then did a Blt() into the video memory texture. I seem to recall when distributing the EXE that various other cards had the same issue also (they were your dodgy, 3 cents Bob, car boot deals though).

Oh and please lighten up Ysaneya, last time I saw you post was on how crap you thought the Halo engine was (Archaean boards).

Nice work guys, keep improving it...

- Chaunatuin

Esa Salminen

July 22, 2000, 03:43 AM

I collection some bug list in here and what I think what bug is.

1. Black borders for trees
This is fixed for now.
2. Transparencies with TNT
This is little bit odd, because we used colorkey to do trees transparencies, but I think this work now too. System is changed.
3. Clipping bug
Clipping bug that Elixir mention is weird, we working on it.
4. Textures gone with ATI Rage Pro
We used D3DX library (coming with DirectX 7.0) texture loader. I think textures not gone only too mutch fog on it, because tree borders can be seen.

I think it take couple days to fix all the bugs and I notify when new version is out.

Esa Salminen


July 22, 2000, 06:29 AM

> Oh and please lighten up Ysaneya, last time I saw you post was on how crap you
thought the Halo engine was (Archaean boards).

That's just that i see so many people claim that the Halo engine is the best engine
ever created, that it rocks, etc..
Why should i think like them ? I'm not saying the Halo engine isn't good; i'm just
saying it is not the best one. And yes, i have seen all the videos, the buggy, etc..
While i think the characters and vehicles are very nice, the landscape is less than
impressive. That's just my opinion, btw.



July 22, 2000, 08:16 AM

Wow, i would like to view this with 3d glasses, do you calculate the shadows on the water?
There's a big dark part at the end of the lake.

Alex Taylor

July 23, 2000, 04:35 AM

There were some issues with color keying and nvidia chips. We've had similar problems with a piece of software we're developing. Apparently something they had to take out because a version of internet explorer had issues with it.

Esa Salminen

July 31, 2000, 02:00 PM

It's seems to all bugs are fixed for now. Demo loading time it's mutch shorter (couple seconds) and frame rate is mutch better also. New version found to our homepage.

To MrDevlin, yes these are shadows, but not really calculated yet. I think shadows give better view to water.


August 02, 2000, 11:19 PM

I think halo water is cool, but landscape isn't the best. This landscape iss pretty nice. Remember that your capabilities might be great but if u cannot choose right colors then u are losing. Sometimes design can hide lack of capability.

But anyway, it took a pretyt bit of work to make that landscape, I think, and it's rpetty nice.

I like a lot in halo, and i like that buildings are finally being mixed with terrain in more than just starseige tribes, etc... but they can make more spectcaular landscape
look at lithtech engine demos


PS: I like bungie!! Loved MYTh!

"What direction you should go in depends very much on where you want to end up." - a famous cat :)

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