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Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Carmack Talks Doom 3 Rendering
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A very technical new interview with John Carmack of id Software has been posted at Beyond3D. Those with a slightly more technical knowledge of computers and video hardware will likely find it a fascinating read, as the Q&A gets much more in-depth than the average interview. Because Carmack has so little time for features such as this the answers are short, but the question have been derived from posts to the site's forums and cleaned up for clarity. Here's an excerpt:

Beyond3D: It appears the models are low in poly count. Knowing what I know, it would appear that the reason for this, specifically with regards to your engine, is because of the shadow volume based lighting. With higher poly counts, your engine's speed would suffer. Am I correct? And how would ATI's TruForm look?

Carmack: The game characters are between 2000 and 6000 polygons. Some of the heads do look a little angular in tight zooms, so we may use some custom models for cinematic scenes.

Curving up the models with more polygons has a basically linear effect on performance, but making very jagged models with lots of little polygonal points would create far more silhouette edges, which could cause a disproportionate slowdown during rendering when they get close.

TruForm is not an option, because the calculated shadow silhouettes would no longer be correct.

For more on the ATI/Nvidia debate, rendering pipelines, and lighting techniques, head over now to read through the full interview.

id Software
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