Please post a +1 here and add your support for an industry wide leap across the remaining distance needed to get us to photo-real textures use across the board along with the necessary VRAM increase, by 2015, for appropriate photo-realism oriented games like, ie. Crysis and Skyrim. As you can see below, the performance hit between low and high resolution textures is usually tiny. Theres just not much reason not to.
To need to get the attention of every developer of the types of games we love and encourage them to increase the available texture resolution, along with detail, such that all textures look photo-real when viewed from as near as .5 meters away. This isn't to mean games with stylized graphics like WOW or Borderlands although they could also benefit. Additionally, to get all graphic hardware manufacturers to support a sharper increase in VRAM demand in their next cards with any performance optimizations while encouraging hardware <-> software industry collaboration.
Besides the obvious visual benefit of life-like surfaces and scenery, there is a strange phenomenon in the game industry. Artists generally make textures at high resolutions of 2048x2048 or 4096x4096, or higher, then for the purposes of making it all fit into the memory of existing graphics cards, downsize the final result with the bump/specular/AO/normal map at a lower resolution. The high rez copy often just sits on a hard drive somewhere going to complete waste!
Negligible performance impact: For many, the following charts won't be any surprise. Notice the miniscule difference between the texture resolution settings in these benchmarks, that's the important part, not the benchmarks themselves. If you look at the difference between the high and low example in Black Ops 2 for example, you can see that theoretically, you could double the texture resolution of the highest setting with barely any performance impact as long as it fit in VRAM.
[note: I could only find Nvida benchmarks for this, but there is no doubt that equally performing ATI cards have the same tiny performance impact of raising texture detail]
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Battlefield Bad Company 2
"A performance graph is not provided, as reducing texture resolution by itself doesn't necessarily result in any significant change in FPS." ....
WHYS FROM THE 3RD DIMENSION:
Since i've switched to 3D for many years now, it been great and i'll never look back, but one of the challenges it has is that it can help low resolution textures stand out. For example, when you look at the charred husk of a car that caught fire in 2D, it all looks like one big charred mess and looks ...well, a mess, but when 3D comes in and separates everything on the 3rd axis to where it is supposed to be and every tiny detail of the 3D model becomes apparent, all of a sudden the window frame in front of you takes center stage, if thats what your looking at, all of a sudden the textures become very apparent and singled out and they usually aren't as pretty as they could be.
Its also more problematic on a big screen (2D or 3D) which gives you a bigger FOV (or a small screen with a big FOV like the Oculus Rift, same thing) because things are spread across a larger area. While big screens/FOVs are great for 3D because the size depth cue can then match up with the object's position in the 3rd dimension, it again makes low resolution textures more apparent.
WHY FROM THE FUTURE:
With 4K screens coming out, which will likely drive down the cost of 2560x1600/1200 screens pretty soon, average resolution use and screen size will continue to climb. As many high resolution screen owners can attest, these screens show tons of fine details, but in many games the texture resolution becomes a massive bottleneck to image quality.
HIGH RESOLUTION INSPIRATION
and much more here: http://www.pinterest.com/t8394/high-rez-texture-inspiration/
Remember to post!
I'll be posting this on several large forums, but please do also in the forums of the games you love and link to them from here so we can keep track of the interest.
07:13 AM by