11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Started by MrButsch, July 28, 2014, 04:32:58 PM
QuoteThe Nintendo 64 had some glaring weaknesses that were caused by a combination of oversight on the part of the hardware designers, limitations on 3D technology of the time, and manufacturing capabilities. One major flaw was the limited texture cache of 4KB. This made it extremely difficult to load large textures into the rendering engine, especially textures with high color depth. This was the primary cause of Nintendo 64's blurry texturing, secondary to the blurring caused by the bilinear filtering and limited ROM storage. To make matters worse, because of how the renderer was designed, if mipmapping was used the texture cache was effectively halved to 2KB. To put this in perspective, this cache could be quickly filled with even small textures (a 64x64 4-bit/pixel texture is 2KB and a 128x64 4-bit/pixel texture is 4KB). Creative developers towards the end of Nintendo 64's lifetime managed to use tricks such as multi-layered texturing and heavily clamped small texture pieces to simulate larger textures. Conker's Bad Fur Day is possibly the best example of this ingenuity.(...)this game the Factor 5 team decided they wanted the game to run in high resolution mode (640x480) because of how much they liked the crispness it added. The machine was taxed to the limit running at 640x480 though, so they absolutely needed to scrape every last bit of performance they could out of Nintendo 64. Firstly, the Z-buffer could not be used because it alone consumed a huge amount of the console's texture fillrate. To work around the 4KB texture cache the programmers came up with custom texture formats and tools to help the artists make the best possible textures. The tool would analyze each texture and try to choose the best texture format to work with the machine and look as good as possible. They took advantage of the cartridge as a texture streaming source to squeeze as much detail into each environment, and work around RAM limitations. They wrote microcode for realtime lighting, because the SGI code was poor for this task, and they wanted to have even more lighting than the PC version had used. Factor 5's microcode allowed almost unlimited realtime lighting, and significantly boosted the polygon count. In the end, the game was more feature-filled than the PC version (quite a feat) and unsurprisingly, was one of the most advanced games for Nintendo 64.(...)(actual hardware performance is detailed below): 235x224 to 640x480 flicker free interlaced screen resolution.Hardware Z-BufferingHardware Anti-aliasingHardware Texture Mapping (32x32 pixel texture maps)Tri-Linear filtered MIP MappingPerspective Correction (Inverse Texture Mapping)Environment Mapping32bit RGBA pixel-colour frame buffer21bit colour outputStereo 16bit PCM audioCapable of 64 channels at 44Khz
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