Video Display Terms Video Display Terms
Video Card Setup Terms and Examples that Help You Understand Game Detail Settings

eye Antialiasing: Antialiasing

Also called Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) or simply Antialiasing (AA) for short. As the name implies, this is a method which counteracts the effects of aliasing. What's Aliasing? Well aliasing is the jaggedness and pixelation you see on computer images particularly noticeable on things like the straight edges of walls, or the outline of buildings and terrain in 3D games. These jagged edges can even "sparkle" somewhat when you are moving around in a 3D environment. That effect can be overcome in two ways: by increasing the resolution at which your game displays (e.g. from 640x480 to 1024x768), and by the use of Antialiasing, or both. When AA is enabled, it uses your graphics card's hardware to blend the edges of the jagged lines and hence produce a smoother image.

AA example antialiasing

The higher the level of Antialiasing applied (usually in steps of 2x, 4x, 6x and 8x), the progressively smoother the image, but the greater the strain on your graphics card in recalculating the image to produce these smoother images. Also, the higher the level of AA the greater the blurriness you may notice, and the graphics may in fact become too "cartoon smooth" in appearance.


eye Anisotropic Filtering: Anisotropic Filtering

Also referred to simply as Anisotropic (or AF) for short. This is a method which makes textures (the surfaces of all 3D objects) appear cleaner and crisper. Raising the resolution of a game is one way of improving texture appearance, however textures receding into the distance may still become noticeably blurry and their finer features may become indistinguishable even at very high resolutions. Anisotropic Filtering is used to enhance the details of textures, and to reduce the blurriness which occurs on textures that are further away. The higher the level of Anisotropic Filtering applied, the clearer the textures will appear, but the greater the strain on your graphics card in filtering the image to produce the clearer representation of textures. Also, at very high levels of AF the clarity of distant textures may be unrealistically high.

Anisotropic Filtering


eye Mipmap: mip map

A process that stores in memory multiple copies of a textured bitmap at various resolutions, allowing the texture to appear smooth when the camera moves closer to or away from a surface. You'd see a high-resolution image when close to an object, for example, and a lower-resolution image when you move farther away from the object. The word derives, not from millions of instructions, but from multum in parvam, or many in few.


Notice how the texture is distorted in the distance without mipmaps, but with mipmaps the texture is smooth and does not become distorted in the distance.


When a scene is rendered in OpenGL textured objects are drawn at varying distances from the viewpoint, some close and some distant. As a textured object moves away from the viewer the texture must be filtered down so it can be applied to the smaller object. The problem that arises from filtering the texture down is that as objects move further away from the viewpoint the texture map may flicker due to the filtering. The solution to this annoying problem is mipmapping. Mipmapping is the process in which a set of filtered texture maps of decreasing resolution are generated from a single high resolution texture and used to improve accuracy during texture mapping. Each individual mipmap is a distinct texture, it may look like the original, but it is a downsized and filtered version of the pervious mipmap level. Mipmapping allows OpenGL to apply the appropriate level of detail for a texture when rendering rather than shrinking the original texture.

eye Environmental Map Rendering: Rendering enviromental map rendering E map examples Environmental Reflection Materials (3 Examples) Inconsistent map projections can be a problem in many areas of mapping. For example, satellite photos may be overlaid on digital elevation models in order to create realistic terrain models. It is important in this case that both the digital elevation model and the overlay image be of the same projection. Even this is not entirely sufficient as there are other distortions that can cause mismatches even if the projections are common. The problem is, if the model does not exactly coincide with the true shape of the car (and none do), errors multiply and compound the further away one moves from the datum. Such a model anchored at a datum will assign a certain Y and X to every point on the surface. So will a different model anchored to a different datum. The problem is that they will not be the same values. When environmental mapping a simulation race game car, it's important to try your best at duplicating the games natural own environment reflections. You wouldn't map clouds on a reflection if the sky was cloudless for example. Depending on the reactions of a map on a model you're designing, it usually is the hardest thing to accomplish correctly. Choosing the wrong look can make all your hard work of making your model look like garbage. If you stick with it too long at times, you do get frustrated. The best thing to do is put it away for a day or so, come back to it when your clear again and you will find that this helps from going backwards in learning. Another important thing I found was to record the steps you took and what was done in them steps. I have noticed that many times after finishing an object and being satisfied with the final, I have forgotten many of the steps it took to get to this point. Though I should blame my forgetfulness on age, but to convince myself of that always takes a bite on the ass before I start documenting production. There is nothing like disciplining yourself with mistakes that could have been avoided. Be sure to back up them mapping test files you make and don't give up until you're satisfied with it. If you are not a 100% on the final map of the reflection then it will probably end up being an annoyance during game play for you.

3D Vocabulary / Acronyms

This is a complete listings of every geek and tech used 3D Vocabulary word with Acronym to
help describe the word being looked up. Layout in alphabetical order for your convenience.
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