CryENGINE® technology is world famous for its award winning rendering and CryENGINE® 3 is no exception. CryENGINE® 3 is the fastest, high-end renderer in the world, with new features specifically designed for console platforms.
Benchmark-setting graphical performance, near-photorealism in indoor and wide-open outdoor environments and extra-ordinary real-time special effects are some of the hallmarks of CryENGINE® technology. With CryENGINE® 3, scalability across multiple platforms is a further evolution to enable great looking games – regardless of the target platform.
Natural Lighting & Dynamic Soft Shadows
CryENGINE®3 features near-reality natural lighting at a low cost on multiple platforms, and creates soft shadows that dynamically respond to natural movements in real time. High-resolution, perspective-correct and volumetric smooth-shadow implementations are also included in CryENGINE®3.
Irradiance Volumes is a system for creating high performance lighting that is able to simulate radiosity and add color to reflected light. So, for example white light hitting a red object will produce a pinkish reflection on nearby surrounding objects. In addition, Irradiance Volumes allow developers to effectively place as many lights as they need, even with overlapping radii. This makes it very good for cut-scenes and high quality interior lighting. Basically, this is like having the regular deferred system, plus a special volume in which there are norestrictions to overlapping lights and you get simulated radiosity.
Real-time Dynamic Global Illumination
CryENGINE®3 features a novel real-time dynamic global illumination solution, fully optimized for current and next-generation platforms. For the first time, without pre-computation or geometric limits, you can experience light-bounces, color bleeding and specular effects in a real-time game engine – unified for all static and dynamic objects
Light Propagation Volume
Light Propagation Volume (LPV) is a scalable technique for approximating indirect illumination in fully dynamic scenes for real-time applications, such as video games. LPV uses lattices and spherical harmonics to represent the spatial and angular distribution of light in the scene. LPV does not require any precomputation and handles large scenes with nested lattices. It is primarily targeted at rendering single-bounce indirect illumination with occlusion, but can be extended to handle multiple bounces and participating media.
Particles now support full motion blur and can also receive shadow and lighting information from environment probes and global illumination. This greatly improves particle lighting consistency.
CryENGINE®3 now supports DX11 hardware accelerated tessellation on all meshes, including animated characters. Artists can now enable tessellation in real-time! CryENGINE®3 features support for three different types of tessellation, all of which can be mixed so as to significantly increase the quality of asset rendering in-game. With displacement mapping CryENGINE®3 can now represent silhouettes and complex geometric shapes, previously impossible with current generation bump mapping, through displacement mapping.
The other two tesselation methods are designed for mesh refinement, taking a coarse, or low-poly model and using tessellation to create an higher-fidelity and much smoother mesh. As these methods are all editable in real-time in CryENGINE®3 SandboxTM, artists can easily decide which assets should use such features, finding an ideal compromise
Real-time Local Reflections (RLR)
Reflections are one of the biggest challenges in real-time rendering, particularly for deferred rendering and lighting engines. Before DX11, only reflections for surfaces such as water; or environment probe reflections have been possible. CryENGINE®3 now introduces a new method: Real-time Local Reflections (RLR). RLR approximates ray-traced HDR reflections local to objects. This technique allows for any kind of curved surface in the scene to reflect the nearby surroundings efficiently in real time. This includes immensely complex objects with self-reflections, which are not feasible with cube-map or planar reflections.
Parallax Occlusion Mapping (POM)
Parallax Occlusion Mapping (POM) returns in CryENGINE®3, optimized for all platforms and can now be used to add self-shadowing and the appearance of depth on all surfaces. CryENGINE®3™s POM efficiently approximates surface displacement in tangent space. Due to it's low cost on all platforms, self-shadowing support and simulation of macro details, POM grants a viable alternative to tessellation on all surfaces.
SSDO-Screen Space Directional Occlusion and Contact Shadows
Crytek introduced SSAO in real-time gaming and now enhances it with the new technique of Screen Space Directional Occlusion (SSDO). SSDO allows any number of lights to be included in the calculation of Ambient Occlusion (AO); and for the color of all lights to be taken into account. SSDO improves physical lighting accuracy and provides dynamic contact shadows, even from the efficient CryENGINE®3 deferred ambient lights. The new CryENGINE®3 DX 11 renderer allows contact shadows to be cast from every single light source in the game environment!
The unique CryENGINE®3 deferred lighting solution allows the efficient rendering of a vast number of light sources with per-pixel shading. It can also considerably simplify engine performance tuning across multiple platforms.
Eye Adaptation & High Dynamic Range (HDR) Lighting
Eye adaptation is used to simulate the human eye's reaction to sudden or extreme changes in lighting conditions, such as a dark, indoor environment suddenly transitioning to a bright and sunny outdoor setting. HDR allows scenes with extreme brightness and contrast ranges to be more realistically rendered.
Screen Space Ambient Occlusion
First pioneered by Crytek in 2005 and now used in most high-quality graphics engines, SSAO provides a real-time simulation of ambient light occlusion, allowing the real darkening of edges and corners as in the natural world. This high-performance solution creates a low overhead on all platforms, with a very high-quality result. CryENGINE®3 provides improved visual functionality alongside the fastest implementation of SSAO available on Xbox 360TM, PlayStation®3 and PC.
Color correction is a post processing effect that takes a frame rendered by the Engine and changes the appearance of colors in various ways. These typically include effects like Hue & Saturation, Contrast & Brightness, Luminance & Color Curves, Sepia, etc.
Uber Shader Technology
CryENGINE® 3 Shaders are written once in a high level language, then compiled automatically to each platform. The shader output is optimized based on the artists' settings and the 3D environment in which the shader is used. This creates unique, high-performance effects, such as "cloaking" or wet, muddy and frozen surfaces, which can be layered together and combined with other shaders such as metal, glass and a full range of similar visual effects.
CryENGINE®3 supports real-time per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections, refractions, volumetric glow effects and animated textures to simulate effects including windows, bullet holes and shiny surfaces. It also takes advantage of the unified shader architecture of current and next-gen hardware. The combination of deferred lighting and this technology lets CryENGINE®3 avoid the traditional shortcomings of solely using uber shaders.
The blend layer feature of the Illum shader allows mixing a second set of textures with the base set to get more variation on tiled surfaces. The blending is primarily based on the vertex alpha channel and a generic blend map. The vertex alpha determines where the blend layer should be visible on the surface of the mesh.
Independent from the geometry tesselation, you can achieve smooth as well as very sharp transitions between the layers. A low number of vertices is sufficient for good looking results. A very useful feature of the blend layer is that a heightmap can be used as blend map. This makes the blending follow the structure of the base texture.
Normal Maps & Offset Bump Mapping
CryENGINE® 3 includes normal mapping and offset bump mapping, for all supported platforms, to give a sense of depth to a surface texture applied to a polygon, to achieve realistic levels of detail without needing hi-poly models, for example the relief surface structure of a brick wall or a cobblestone street.
Pristine Motion Blur & Depth of Field
Motion blur can be applied both to individual objects (object-based motion blur) and to an entire scene (screen-based motion blur), while depth-of-field effects can be defined easily with the multi-platform WYSIWYP editor. CryENGINE®3 now implements the highest quality for these effects at a low cost, across all supported platforms.
High Quality 3D Water
CryENGINE®3 water and ocean surfaces can be modified according to wind and wave direction, generating soft shoreline effects automatically where the water meets the shore or bank, depending on the shoreline contour and water depth. In the same way, caustics simulation creates the most realistic-looking moving shadows and highlights in underwater environments that are available in real-time 3D.
All water volumes can now use DX11 hardware tessellation. Mesh geometry is dynamically tessellated, varying by the distance from the camera. This allows for a very high amount of geometry details close to the camera and eliminates geometry aliasing. Shading has also been updated: now supporting sub-surface scattering and wave crest foam approximation. CryENGINEÂ®3 water also offers a more accurate surface normal computation, even allowing shader based ripples to interact with the CryENGINEÂ® physics system.
Designers can use these illumination effects to create visually stunning light beams and shadows when light intersects with solid, highly detailed geometry. They can also be utilized to generate god-ray phenomena in skies, on earth and through water.
Volumetric, Layer & View Distance Fogging
Clouds, smoke, visible gases and fog banks are all rendered realistically. This allows physical phenomena such as ground-hugging, realistic reduction in visibility and contrast or interaction with dynamic lights and shadows to be displayed
Realistic Infinite Worlds
CryENGINE®2 introduced incredibly interactive photo-realistic worlds, with huge natural environments that responded to player input and game events as if in the real world. CryENGINE® 3 continues with this benchmark level of interactive realism in worlds limited in size only by the development budget thanks to intelligent streaming of game data.
Natural World Effects
CryENGINE®3 features the most natural-looking environments available in real-time – adding enhanced natural lighting to its existing large-scale natural world representations.
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