33. Designing Real-Time 3D Graphics for Entertainment

Full Day / Intermediate

This course explores creation of real-time 3D games on platforms ranging from game consoles to location-based entertainment systems. Topics include the hardware architectures of game machines, visual simulation tricks, 3D modeling, character animation, and game prototyping, programming, and tuning to the metal. Recent efforts to enable reuse of content across platforms are also explored, including cross-platform renderers, game authoring systems, VRML, and 3D toolkits for Java. Speakers draw examples from development of actual games, tools, and production environments.

Who Should Attend
Programmers, modelers, and individuals with technical backgrounds in computer graphics who are interested in how 3D games are created.

James Helman
Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Andy Bigos

Steve Rotenberg
Angel Studios

Philippe Tarbouriech
Electronic Arts

Scott Watson
Walt Disney Imagineering

Tom Capizzi
Atari Games Corporation


8:30 am: Architecture and Performance of Gaming Systems - Helman

Software and hardware architectures, performance requirements and the graphical components that go into game systems including game consoles, personal computers and LBE systems. Portability and performance tradeoffs in cross-platform rendering toolkits. 3D rendering from Java.

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: Exploiting 3D Graphics Hardware on PC's - Bigos

Description of hardware features on 3D graphics cards, performance measurement, performance/feature tradeoffs, sorted vs. depth buffered rendering and resource management.

11:00 am: Tuning to the Metal - Tarbouriech

Stages in the development of a console game, from concept, prototyping to product. Working within speed and memory constraints. How differences between platforms impact program structure and tuning. Elements of game design and playability.

12:00 noon: Break

1:30 pm: Game Prototyping and Porting

Methods and software architectures for prototyping games and moving content from development systems to target platforms.

2:15 pm: Action! - Watson

Scripting languages, behaviors, real-time character animation, and portable game players.

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: Creating Compelling Content - Rotenberg

Bridging the gap between art and code, in particular creating tools and systems, e.g. AngelArts, that allow artists to create compelling procedural and behavioral content with minimal assistance from programmers.

4:15 pm: Panel Discussion, Q&A

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