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 Mar 09, 2006 - 09:59 AM - by Michael
* Tech of Colossus

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Playstation2/Sony
DyingDuck's got a look at the technology that went into Shadow of the Colossus, which was a stellar title cursed graphically by its release on the PS2, instead of hardware that could have better handled it.

Still, an interesting look, there are some amazing insights into the programming. It's stunning to think how much they did with how little the PS2 had left to offer them.

Originally, 3D graphics performed on a computer, is something designed to make an image which is close to the actual world. There is a huge variation in brightness in the actual world, from intense brightness down to gloomy darkness, but the human eye and the camera cope by adjusting the exposure, shutter speed of the camera, and the opening of the pupil, etc. Regarding 3D graphics, we process the light intensity of the actual world using a similar large range with high accuracy (HDR rendering), and the simulation of the camera and the eye will happen at a later stage (tone mapping).

It is difficult to perform true HDR rendering for PC GPUs before the DirectX 8 generation which most current consoles use, as these render only to 16 million-color framebuffers containing 8-bit RGB channels. (Technically it is not impossible but it would be too slow to be of any practical use). Because of this, the pseudo-HDR rendering has become popular in game graphics.

With Xbox 360 and PS3, it is possible for each RGB channel to be 16-bit floating point (FP16) , as the hardware was designed from scratch to be able to cope with HDR rendering. But there is no such potential for that on PS2. When you think of the graphics of Shadow Of The Colossus, pseudo-HDR rendering springs to mind.

 

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