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Thread: Sonic R "Pixie Dust" Revealed!

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    Framemeister Expert Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner Tower of Power's Avatar
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    Default Sonic R "Pixie Dust" Revealed!


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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    Cool!

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    He's great at communicating complex concepts to laypersons.

    I particularly liked the explanation of single "transparent" polygons being drawn line by line. Still seems like it would have been better to use in most cases over dithering.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    He's great at communicating complex concepts to laypersons.

    I particularly liked the explanation of single "transparent" polygons being drawn line by line. Still seems like it would have been better to use in most cases over dithering.
    There was also a big performance penalty for using transparencies, so AFAIK they wouldn't be practical in a lot of cases even if the visual artefacts were bearable.
    Last edited by Silanda; 05-23-2018 at 06:56 AM.

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silanda View Post
    There was also a big performance penalty for using transparencies, so AFAIK they wouldn't be practical in a lot of cases even if the visual artefacts were bearable.
    Sonic R shows that the balance can still result in a good amount of polygons with shading/lighting for a fully 3D environment.

    I wouldn't expect that much to be used in the average 3D game.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Raging in the Streets bultje112's Avatar
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    very interesting. I have to say sonic r still looks so impressive to me. I liked and still do like it's graphics more than mario 64.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    Sonic R shows that the balance can still result in a good amount of polygons with shading/lighting for a fully 3D environment.

    I wouldn't expect that much to be used in the average 3D game.
    Sonic R only used polygon transparency for the shields and the turbo chargers rainbow tail.

    The background fading used VDP2 transparency, which has 0 additional cost for drawing, its only tradeoff is that you need to use sprite types with enough colour control bits - so you lose some colour depth depending on how many transparency steps you want to use.

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    Further proof that going with quadrilaterals was a very crazy idea from the start. All that work just to match what the PSX could do natively!

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    I still don't know why Sega chose quads. None of the theories make sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    I still don't know why Sega chose quads. None of the theories make sense.
    It would work if your environment is nothing but textured rectangles and you use VDP1 to draw sprites over that.
    Basically a system designed to run Doom.

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    Outrunner Mad Moham's Avatar
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    I think it would be worth having a thread specifically for the Gamehut material, so that we don't have to start a new thread every time he posts another relevant video.
    I had my ring penetrated on Takeshi's Castle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    I still don't know why Sega chose quads. None of the theories make sense.
    They already had finished hardware to draw quads, and when the Saturn was designed the grand standard of 3d was Starfox, Doom, and Virtua Fighter. Designing entirely new silicon for triangle rendering would've taken very long, and it would still need to be capable of running the existing Sega library (so they can easily make ports).

    Anyway the real issue wasn't the pixel overdraw, it was the lack of speed on the system. And also, transparency was additive, which just didn't look as good in practice.

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    The Saturn wasn't even the only system to use quads. The 3DO did too, and although it was less powerful it didn't have the transparency issues that the Saturn did. PO'ed would have been problematic to port to the Saturn, for example, because of its quite extensive use of transparency. The Nvidia NV1 also used them.

    If quads were a development of scaled and rotated sprites, I guess there's some sense in why they were used even though it turned out to be a mistake in the long run.

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    IMO the best 3D game out at the time of the Saturn's development would have been Daytona USA. It renders in quads (look closely at the cars, even the wheels are made up of rectangles) as do all games on Model 1 and 2 hardware.

    So, I could see it making sense for Sega to stick with that for their console, since it had worked for them on the arcade side. Problem was, even in 1993/1994 triangles were already the industry standard.

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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    IMO the best 3D game out at the time of the Saturn's development would have been Daytona USA. It renders in quads (look closely at the cars, even the wheels are made up of rectangles) as do all games on Model 1 and 2 hardware.
    And both those systems had no hardware support for 3D transparent effects and had to use the Mesh effect in various parts of their programme. I don't think Quads was the issues as the 3DO showed (some lovely transparent effects in early games like Crash N Burn and Stellar 7)just that SEGA didn't foresee the need for Transparent effects on 3D polygons, when the Saturn could handle 2D ones and then also had the VDP II where 5 of its planes could be made transparent via hardware support. Seems a SEGA thing with the Mega Drive having no hardware support for colour layering and then the Saturn, Model 1 and 2 also lacking for transparent effects.

    Sonic R using some nice misting, but games like Street Racer and the 3D sections to Sonic 3D Island also used similar misting as did Blam Machinehead and Tunnel B1. But almost any Saturn 3D game had to use a Mesh effect at some stage
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