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20 Jul 2024, 00:00:00 (PRT)

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Using Shader Model 3.0
Posted in: Graphics
Posted 2023-01-23 at 05:18 by papadanku

Hello all,

There are comments about how Project Reality's graphics are dated. However, recent updates have shown us that Project Reality has potential for graphical enhancements without using third-party tools such as ReShade. I will discuss a technical upgrade to Project Reality: the adoption of Shader Model 3 (SM3).

What is a shader model?
A shader model determines our capabilities and limitations when programming shaders. A shader model also determines how the shader compiler compiles shader code. Each shader model version has more capabilities and less limitations than the previous version.
What we did
We rewrote and documented Battlefield 2’s shaders for SM3. This endeavor was difficult because it was done by one person and there was a lack of resources about BF2's shaders. Thankfully, members from the Forgotten Hope 2 team were able to share knowledge on how BF2 renders things.
Why Shader Model 3?
SM3 introduces more DirectX features that we can use for Project Reality. Below is a truncated list on what SM3 brings to the table for Project Reality.
  • Derivative instructions
  • Dynamic branching (useful for soft shadows and parallax mapping)
  • High precision shading
  • Higher register and instruction limits
  • Special texture instructions (useful for sharper texture filtering)
  • Vertex textures (useful for 3D water/terrain)
Project Reality has potential for graphics upgrades by changing only the game’s shaders. We plan to make these new shaders permissible for other people to use and modify for their own modifications (and maybe their own games ). I want to thank the Forgotten Hope 2 team again for providing information that helped us make this change sooner than expected.
Have a happy 2023!

Updated 2024-06-21 at 08:08 by papadanku
Views: 71912 | Comments: 7

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Total Comments: 7
  1. Old Comment
    Strepto's Avatar
    Very cool. The work on circular fog and logarithmic Z-buffer are all great. If you are able to improve further that would be fantastic
    Posted 2023-01-30 at 20:20 by Strepto Strepto is offline
  2. Old Comment
    bad_nade's Avatar
    You guys are relentless And the ole Refractor engine keeps on giving.
    Posted 2023-02-01 at 22:08 by bad_nade bad_nade is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I can't believe what you guys keep on achieving with this engine! Hopefully a shader update could result in longer viewdistances in general.

    Specially looking forward for a shader that allows pilots to always see the ground no matter their altitude. And I don't mean the vehicles/units/buildigs, those must disappear after certain range but just the terrain must be always visible no matter the altitude. Just like on a real plane no matter if you are 30.000 feet in the air you always see the ground.

    The most annoying or at least the most "age showing" engine limitation is how the ground turns into fog when you are on an air asset.

    Anyways, keep on doing your magic guys!
    Posted 2023-02-02 at 21:24 by Valmont Valmont is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Why not making it core, meaning that it will be a core part of the game that everyone has and can't change it? So that everyone is on the equal ground.
    Posted 2023-02-03 at 11:33 by LEGIYA LEGIYA is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by LEGIYA View Comment
    Why not making it core, meaning that it will be a core part of the game that everyone has and can't change it? So that everyone is on the equal ground.
    The new shaders are now part of the core game. People can still change such shaders, but they cannot launch the game with locally modified shaders :v

    Appreciate all the feedback everyone
    Posted 2023-02-18 at 00:17 by papadanku papadanku is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Wow, my mind is literally blown! It never ceases to amaze me what the guys at PR and FH2 can coax this ye olde engine to do. Mad kudos on making these developments available to the wider modding community as well. Upstanding folks you all are!

    I always wished for total removal of fog, and normals being able to be used in ground textures, but parallax sounds way more promising!

    The FH2 guys responsible for their amazing shaders did outstanding work. I always loved the fact they had some of the best features that nobody ever could seem to replicate in any other mods.

    Please do keep us updated! This is going to be such an amazing gesture to the modding community at large. Thank you to all involved and who continue to modernize the Refractor 2 engine!

    Any ETA on when this stuff will be disclosed to the community? Excited to take my mod Battleground 44 to the next level graphically. XD
    Posted 2023-02-28 at 00:46 by Anthony817 Anthony817 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Michael Z Freeman's Avatar
    Would love to see a decent water shader using this. For some reason water shader eye candy always does it for me :P
    Posted 2023-07-27 at 16:17 by Michael Z Freeman Michael Z Freeman is offline

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