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Game Test 2: Firefly Forest

A forest gets filled with magic fireflies in the night. The moon is nearly full, illuminating the forest with a bluish faint light. The magic fireflies have flickering bright green lights that playfully move around the forest.

This scene is a nice example of a smaller scale outdoor scene with rich vegetation. Immediate visibility is not so far, and there is a skybox surrounding the whole scene. There are a large number of trees, all swaying in the light breeze, the branches swinging separately, and there is dense vegetation on the ground. The vegetation on the ground is actually one of the key interests in this scene. It is dynamically distributed where needed, according to the camera movements. Its level of detail is also dynamically altered depending on the distance to the camera. The other key interest in this scene is the amazing lighting and dynamic shadow system. This scene really is ideal for showing the benefits of perspective shadow maps.

  • The ground material is like the metals in game test one, but with added diffuse, diffuse detail, normal and normal detail maps. The rock surfaces also have a specular map. The tree branches are also a modified metal material without a specular map and with a diffuse cube map and no bump mapping. The sky material does a procedural light scattering.
  • The moonlight is directional, generating dynamic shadows using a 2048x2048 resolution depth map. The illuminating firefly is a masked point light,  hrowing shadows using a 512x512x6 cube depth map.
Pure Mode

The different in performance between competing RADEON X800- and GeForce 6800-series solutions is pretty negligible, especially given framerate of about 13 per second, but it exists and clearly favours NVIDIA’s hardware across all resolutions.

The RADEON 9xxx shows advantage over the GeForce FX-series, but NVIDIA’s new mainstream fighter GeForce 6600 GT manages to score inline with the GeForce 6800 product, not talking about older-generation offerings.

We should pay attention that NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 gets a noticeable boost when functioning using Shader Model 2.0b or Shader Model 3.0 render-paths.

Eye Candy Mode

With full-scene antialiasing 4x and anisotropic filtering 16x ATI’s RADEON X800 shows its capabilities and manages to catch up and even outperform rivaling GeForce 6800 series in some cases. Still, we should pay attention to extreme performance of the GeForce 6600 GT that operates with Shader Model 3.0 and brings itself in a row with more expensive graphics cards.

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