SIGGRAPH 2015 to host sessions on modern rendering techniques used in Quantum Break and Horizon: Zero Dawn


SIGGRAPH 2015 is scheduled to hold a comprehensive course that deals with the state-of-the-art and production-proven rendering techniques and shaders used in modern games. Several well-known studios will be carrying out sessions on the rendering solutions used in their games. Participating studios include Bungie, Electronic Arts / Frostbite, Guerrilla Games, Studio Gobo, Remedy, Ready at Dawn, MediaMolecule, Epic Games, and Ubisoft Entertainment.

Among the prominently featured games to be showcased are Remedy’s Quantum Break and Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn. Ari Silvennoinen and Ville Timonen, Graphics Programmers at Remedy, will cover Remedy’s approach to multiscale global illumination in Quantum Break. An abstract of the session can be seen below.

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This talk will cover Remedy’s approach to multiscale global illumination in Quantum Break. Firstly, we present an efficient voxel tree structure and demonstrate its applications to world-space global illumination and to automatic specular probe generation using local visibility analysis. Secondly, to complement the large-scale illumination, we present our screen-space lighting solution which handles small scale ambient occlusion, reflections, and indirect lighting.

Similarly, Andrew Schneider, Principal FX Artist at Guerrilla Games, will present the developer’s technique for rendering real-time volumetric clouds in Hozion: Zero Dawn. An abstract of the presentation can be seen below.


Real-time volumetric clouds in games usually pay for fast performance with a reduction in quality. The most successful approaches are limited to low altitude fluffy and translucent stratus-type clouds. For Horizon: Zero Dawn, Guerrilla need a solution that can fill a sky with evolving and realistic results that closely match highly detailed reference images which represent high altitude cirrus clouds and all of the major low level cloud types, including thick billowy cumulus clouds. These clouds need to light correctly according to the time of day and other cloud-specific lighting effects. Additionally, we are targeting GPU performance of 2ms. Our solution is a volumetric cloud shader which handles the aspects of modeling, animation and lighting logically without sacrificing quality or draw time. Special emphasis will be placed on our solutions for direct-ability of cloud shapes and formations as well as on our lighting model and optimizations.

Unfortunately, the presentations conducted throughout the duration of this course will not be live streamed. However, presentation slides are expected to become available at some point in the future.

If you’re an aspiring game designer or an avid follower of the modern rendering techniques used in current-generation games, this is the course for you to attend.