DirectX 12 and Ashes of the Singularity

By on October 13, 2015 2:40:00 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1497

Screenshots are hard.   What looks good in motion doesn’t necessarily look good standing still.

So what is the hype about Ashes of the Singularity about? These are just giant land ships right?

What the big deal isn’t the detail you can have on a single unit.  Homeworld was doing that years ago.  What DirectX 12 makes really practical is that you can have thousands of these units in this detail.

 

Let’s take a look at these two screenshots:

image

This is the Hyperion zoomed in.  I could zoom in further but you will get pixilation at some point since DirectX 12 doesn’t make texture size disappear. Smile

The point of this screenshot (click on the thumbnail to see a bigger version) is to look at how the light is affecting the unit and its parts. This unit has a series of guns, each with its own firing solution, it has its own personal line of sight. But let’s focus on the lighting of it.  This image hasn’t been photoshopped. It’s just a print screen.  You get the detail without the noise and you can have thousands of these.

 

Now, let’s zoom out:

image

You’ll want to click on this to see more what I mean. But notice how clean the unit remains zoomed out. It’s not noisy. It’s still crisp, distinct.   There’s no such thing as full-screen antialiasing in this game because it’s not doing deferred rendering. It’s rendered much the same way a movie CGI scene would be. 

Not to be confused with the art style or art quality

Now, someone might say they don’t think these shots look good.  That’s an artistic call.  The rendering system won’t save a game from bad art or just bad taste.  It has nothing to do with realism. What it does mean is that your objects are rendered like physical objects and not like scenes in a video game.

Ashes of the Singularity’s Alpha will be going onto Steam early access next week for those who are really really brave and have high end hardware.

42 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 2:46:50 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Looking great!  I love what DX12 is giving us!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 2:58:06 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

"This unit has a series of guns, each with its own firing solution, it has its own personal line of sight."

In that picture I see 4 tiny twin turrets down each side and one giant quad one in the middle. (plus maybe some I missed?)  Does this mean all 9? turrets independently target for every one of these units in the field of play?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 3:28:37 PM from Stardock.net (Stardock Games) Stardock.net (Stardock Games)

Yes.  They'll attack multiple targets simultaneously.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 4:16:56 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Nice! so you are still in Alpha, how much better will the Hyperion unit and other units will change? are you guys still working on the look of the Units?

The Hyperion look really nice, but will it look better in beta build or V1 release?

What about the ground/landscape? right now it looks really bad, will you guys make it look much better?

And last question are we getting some kind of interaction between the units and the ground/landscape?
like if the Hyperion move on top of trees, will the trees get destroyed? and things like that.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 4:42:23 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting ASADDF,

are you guys still working on the look of the Units?

none of the gun barrels have any black to represent the hole. it's astonishing how bad that makes them look. and zooming in still makes units and structures get out of focus and it looks terrible.

it's not an incredibly demanding thing to ask : 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 4:59:24 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Am I understanding that your issue is that the end of the barrel isn't colored black?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 5:00:20 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

What about the ground/landscape? right now it looks really bad, will you guys make it look much better?

Compared to what?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 13, 2015 8:59:12 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I am talking about the trees and rocks on the Ground.

 

 

If you look at them they look very pixelated, or have very low pixels or quality, sorry i am not sure how to call it.... i compare it to TA! lol, the units interact with trees and i think that nice to have something.


And Frogboy the Hyperion looks really amazing never mind tatsujb. i don't see anything get out of focus. or let him explain what does he mean with that.

I asked that because the game still in Alpha, and its looking amazing so far about the units, I was just asking if you guys are still working on them to make them look even more awesome!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 6:52:19 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Am I understanding that your issue is that the end of the barrel isn't colored black?
yes. i didn't post screenshots because i didn't know if this part of the forum is also private.

but also the out of focus bit.

I posted about that in the bug reporting thread. http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/467513/page/3/#3584552

(having to type links by hand is getting tedious. this would be lovely to get fixed)

Quoting ASADDF,

let him explain what does he mean with that.

yeah maybe that'd be nice. I personally don't see a correlation with what you deduced and my post. I didn't say the word "hyperion" if you read well.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 8:11:04 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

The unit looks great, the ground looks tolerable by itself, but together there's a huge detail mismatch that looks jarring. You have this crisp clear unit sitting on top of this muddy ground texture. It makes either the ship or the ground look out of place vs the other.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 11:45:38 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

The detail on the ground vs. the units is an interesting and controversial topic.

There's a reason why this is done: You want the units to pop. You'll see this in a lot of games where the background is muted or even has a desaturated color palette.  If the ground were the same level of detail as the units, you'd have more trouble distinguishing what matters and what's background.

Even if it was desirable to have more such detail, DirectX 12 doesn't change the laws of video memory. You want big maps or do you want tiny detailed maps?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 1:17:22 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

The detail on the ground vs. the units is an interesting and controversial topic.

There's a reason why this is done: You want the units to pop. You'll see this in a lot of games where the background is muted or even has a desaturated color palette.  If the ground were the same level of detail as the units, you'd have more trouble distinguishing what matters and what's background.

Even if it was desirable to have more such detail, DirectX 12 doesn't change the laws of video memory. You want big maps or do you want tiny detailed maps?
about my guns and out of focus units. what's going on  ?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 2:24:44 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Out of focus on extreme zoom is a depth of field effect from the Temporal AA system.  The black (or lack thereof) on the guns is a choice of the artists not to paint that spot.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 7:01:01 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting TheRealWarpstorm,

The black (or lack thereof) on the guns is a choice of the artists not to paint that spot.

it's hideous and it has to go. 

I'm mainly talking about the prometheus

facing the front of the barels you'll see whitish-grey on the flat face of the front of the barrel (the color of the whole length of the barrel) and when it fires the ambient light on this face makes this issue even more glaring. 

it's hard to get immersed in so-called scale when the units have finishing touches akin to fisher plastic toys. 

(sorry I'm not trying to be mean. I otherwise find the artists' modeling to be top-notch. it's just I'm hoping my vocabulary will break the illusion that this is fine)

Quoting TheRealWarpstorm,

Out of focus on extreme zoom is a depth of field effect from the Temporal AA system.
something has to be done about this. it makes the game look unprofessional. the ones buying the game aren't going to like this.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 14, 2015 7:41:07 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Tat, you would do so much better if you quit trying to act like you are speaking for some unknown majority.

As for temporal anti-aliasing, you can turn it off in options.  For me, I like it.  It makes the game look better and it helps, at glance, to tell what's near and what's far because that's how the real world works.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 5:54:50 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Tat, you would do so much better if you quit trying to act like you are speaking for some unknown majority.
what do you mean ? 

 

you mean the majority much prefers no barrel holes? that's impossible 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 8:19:21 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I have to agree that the units don't fit the terrain. I think the units would still "pop" with better terrain. And too much pop is not a good thing. There feels like enough separation already by way of the units all floating. If you make the separation even greater it isn't a good look.

If we are talking about graphics I also think the smoke effects look a bit washed out and not substantial enough.

Sorry, not trying to sound ultra critical but I feel these two things have been issues from the beginning.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 1:56:10 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

im abit concerned about the whole direct X 12 thing. Will the game still use direck X 11 for those who dont want to be forced to upgrade to windows 10?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 2:05:30 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting megas64,

im abit concerned about the whole direct X 12 thing. Will the game still use direck X 11 for those who dont want to be forced to upgrade to windows 10?

 

game uses both

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 2:55:09 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

good to know i just wish the douchebags at microsoft would stop trying to force people to upgrade to windows (spy on you forever) 10

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 4:05:10 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting megas64,

good to know i just wish the douchebags at microsoft would stop trying to force people to upgrade to windows (spy on you forever) 10
I dream just as you do. 

uhm. I feel like I shouldn't let you go without first giving you a couple things. 

 

this link : http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/08/30/windows-10-spying-on-windows-7-and-windows-8/

and this set of commands to paste into an ADMIN cmd (just in case you get those updates or win10 anyways):

echo ## BEGIN Windows 10 privacy settings ##>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 vortex.data.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 vortex-win.data.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 oca.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 oca.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 watson.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 watson.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 choice.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 choice.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 df.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 reports.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 services.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 sqm.df.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 watson.ppe.telemetry.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telemetry.appex.bing.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telemetry.urs.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 telemetry.appex.bing.net:443>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 settings-sandbox.data.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 vortex-sandbox.data.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 survey.watson.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 watson.live.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 watson.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 statsfe2.ws.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 corpext.msitadfs.glbdns2.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 compatexchange.cloudapp.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 cs1.wpc.v0cdn.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 a-0001.a-msedge.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 statsfe2.update.microsoft.com.akadns.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 diagnostics.support.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 corp.sts.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 statsfe1.ws.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 pre.footprintpredict.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 i1.services.social.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 i1.services.social.microsoft.com.nsatc.net>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 bingads.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 www.bingads.microsoft.com>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
echo ## END Windows 10 privacy settings ##>>%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AdvertisingInfo\ /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AdvertisingInfo\ /v Id /f
reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AdvertisingInfo\ /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add “HKCU\Control Panel\International\User Profile\ /v HttpAcceptLanguageOptOut” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\InputPersonalization\ /v RestrictImplicitTextCollection /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\InputPersonalization\ /v RestrictImplicitInkCollection /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\InputPersonalization\TrainedDataStore\ /v HarvestContacts /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Personalization\Settings\ /v AcceptedPrivacyPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
powershell.exe -command "Get-Service DiagTrack | Set-Service -StartupType Disabled"
powershell.exe -command "Get-Service dmwappushservice | Set-Service -StartupType Disabled"
reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection\ /v AllowTelemetry /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 15, 2015 6:16:37 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

gonna have to agree on the terrain looking pretty bad/blurry. there has to be a better way to make units pop than making the terrain look like its from 2005

seems like a very odd design choice.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2015 12:59:16 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

The detail on the ground vs. the units is an interesting and controversial topic.

There's a reason why this is done: You want the units to pop. You'll see this in a lot of games where the background is muted or even has a desaturated color palette.  If the ground were the same level of detail as the units, you'd have more trouble distinguishing what matters and what's background.

Even if it was desirable to have more such detail, DirectX 12 doesn't change the laws of video memory. You want big maps or do you want tiny detailed maps?

Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I want the ground and units to have equal detail. It's more that the mixing of any two different aesthetics come with its own set of rules to help them mesh. Both aesthetics look fine independently, it's just when I look at them together something seems to be missing to smooth the transition.

An example for me is League of Legends with its incredibly low graphic detail budget. The (new) map is this somewhat blurry, painted style while the characters themselves have a relatively crisp cartoon style. It didn't look quite right when they initially showed it but after a few revisions they got the character shadow, outline and map saturation right that made the two styles click together.

Sadly I know nothing about graphic theory so I can't offer proper constructive criticism, all I can say is "something looks wrong" and point vaguely in the area.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2015 4:06:14 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

In regards to the comment I made about smoke. Just had a quick game and the smoke from projectiles and general explosions is looking more solid/dense than it was so thanks for that nice change. Not sure if it came in today's patch or the one from a few days ago.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
October 16, 2015 5:34:12 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

To be frank, I'd rather the devs focus on gameplay than graphics, if they have limited time and have to choose where to allocate man-hours. Graphics will catch peoples eyes for a few seconds, but gameplay will keep people playing for years (or not).

I didn't initially notice the barrels weren't black. Now that I know they aren't...I still don't care. How long do I admire the look of a unit while playing a game? 0 seconds. How long do I admire the look of the terrain while playing a game? 0 seconds.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000797   Page Render Time: