Video: Johan Andersson BF3 Keynote From GeForce LAN
October 24, 2011
By James Wang
There are two things Battlefield fans love talking about: Battlefield 3 and Frostbite 2, the engine that powers the game's gorgeous visuals. Although DICE has promoted the engine heavily leading up to the game's release, just exactly how it works has nevertheless remain shrouded in secrecy.
At NVIDIA's GeForce LAN 6 event in Alameda last week, we invited Johan Andersson from DICE to unveil once and for all the intricate internal workings of the most talked about graphics engine of the year.
The one hour presentation is filled with wonderful tidbits that will sure to delight any graphics geek or aspiring 3D programmer. We learned that the reason why the lighting looks so good is because it's based on radiosity--a technique that simulates how light bounces around in an environment. We learned that because the engine uses deferred shading, it supports hundreds of lights at once instead of just one or two as in Bad Company 2. Rocket smoke looks so good because each particle reaches light and reacts to shadows. And DirectX 11 is used to add real geometric detail to mountains and terrain as well as to speed up lighting calculations.
Johan revealed that a lot of the technology in Frostbite 2 is the result of collaboration between NVIDIA and DICE. HBAO (Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion), a technique that adds richness and detail to shadows, was developed by NVIDIA graphics engineers and integrated by DICE. So was the clever shader-based anti-aliasing option "FXAA" that smoothes-out jaggies without killing your performance.
You can check out the full presentation video below.