3D Textures

A Facet of the nfiniteFX Engines

Developers are constantly looking for ways to improve the speed and flexibility of their games and applications. While visual effects such as lightning, volumetric fog, and explosions are all possible with a series of 2D textures, the implementations are neither flexible nor efficient.

Now, the NVIDIA nfiniteFX Engine delivers the first true 3D texture technology aimed at consumers. NVIDIA's 3D texture technology allows for more flexibility, performance, and ease of implementation than traditional texturing techniques. The nfiniteFX Engine can use a 3D texture from any angle or orientation. As a result, NVIDIA's 3D texture technology gives developers the ability to create effects that cannot be implemented with a standard 2D texture approach.

What is a 3D texture?
A 3D texture contains information in three dimensions, as opposed to two. The addition of the third dimension gives developers access to a depth component of texture information, as well as width and height. Thus, NVIDIA's 3D textures enable developers to think in new ways when texturing objects.

In effect, 3D textures make hollow objects solid with true 3D material properties such as wood grain or marbling. Traditional 2D textures can only describe the surface of an object, but 3D textures can also define its interior. For example, a vein of color that runs through a marble statue can only be described using a 3D texture, because it runs through the center of the statue and emerges on the other side.

  By utilizing NVIDIA 3D textures, developers can now create banks of fog that not only vary in width and height, but that also vary in density and depth-as illustrated in this image.

What can NVIDIA nfiniteFX Engine 3D textures do?
NVIDIA 3D textures can produce the following effects:

  • Volumetric Fog—provides depth and density to fog effects, rather than just height and width
  • Imposters—allow for the perception of correct look and orientation when the camera moves, without excessive calculation
  • Functions Lookup—functions such as depth-of-field effects and BRDFs can be stored in a 3D texture, saving both time and effort
  • Procedural Textures and Noise—explosions, lightning, or plasma effects can be created with NVIDIA's 3D texture technology

As the first usable and efficient implementation of 3D textures, NVIDIA's 3D texture technology delivers more true-to-life multimedia experiences to more people. With such realistic effects as fog, depth-of-field effects, and lightning, mainstream consumers now have access to unparalleled multimedia environments. With the power of the nfiniteFX Engine, combining Pixel Shaders, Vertex Shaders, and now 3D textures, games and multimedia applications can come to life with vivid personality and ambiance.

Pixel Shaders
Part of the nfiniteFX engine, Pixel Shaders alter lighting and surface effects that replace artificial, computerized looks with materials and surfaces that mimic reality.

作为 nfiniteFX 引擎的组成部分,顶点阴影处理器用于给复杂的角色和环境增添生命力和个性。例如,通过顶点阴影处理,开发者可以创造出这样的效果:角色微笑时,脸上会出现真实的酒窝或皱纹。