Epic’s Samaritan Demo Shows The Future Of Graphics, Today
March 9, 2011
By Andrew Burnes
Epic Games wowed attendees at last week’s Game Developers Conference with a presentation of their new Unreal Engine 3 technology and advanced DirectX 11 development features, now available for professional and amateur developers to use courtesy of Epic’s free Unreal Development Kit. The presentation revolved around a showing of Samaritan, a real-time tech demo running on three NVIDIA GTX 580 graphics cards. We must emphasise “real-time” as many attendees struggled to believe that the demonstration was running as a game would, in real-time without any trickery.
Set in a futuristic Blade Runner-esque Washington D.C., the tech demo ran through a connected sequence of scenes, each showing off each new effects that DirectX 11 and the other advances made to Unreal Engine 3 allow. The demo was not pre-recorded or pre-rendered, and as such Epic were able to interrupt the presentation to adjust the camera, or focus on specific features in further detail.
GeForce.com will have an in-depth examination of the engine’s new technology next week, but in the meantime here’s a brief rundown of the new features on show in the screenshots and video:
- Image-based reflections that allow surfaces of any shape to reflect an approximate version of scenes, with varying glossiness across surfaces, anisotropic HDR highlights and anti-aliasing.
- Subsurface Scattering (SSS) that simulates the light that scatters inside semi-translucent materials, which makes character skin come alive.
- Anti-aliased masked materials that super sample the edges of masked and alpha-tested materials, resulting in highly realistic hair.
- Deferred rendering with MSAA support.
- Bokeh depth of field providing close to film-quality DOF, with artist-controllable Bokeh.
- High-quality dynamic shadows cast by multiple realistically rendered light sources.
To download a high-definition, 1080p video version of the demo, click here.