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Wicked3D Voodoo2




Transformation and Lighting Engine

What is it?

In 3D graphics, the representation of the world consists in taking a database of vertices and triangle information and processing them to produce, eventually, pixels on the screen.

The path that this data goes through during this process is called the 3D pipe. There are 3 main stages to this pipe.

  1. Transformation - here the vertices(x,y,z coordinates) are operated on with a matrix multiplication to change the position of these points to represent movement of objects in the world, movement of the viewer, or other changes to the 3D world. This process requires an extensive amount of floating point math.
  2. Lighting – In order for the world to look real, it must represent objects as they would look in the real world which includes lighting effects. A color value is generated for each vertex which is used in the last stage. The color value is determined based on the properties of the object, the various types of lights which are being simulated, the relative positions of the vertices, the lights, and the viewer. This process requires an extensive amount of floating point math.
  3. Rendering – The final stage is to take these vertices and "connect the dots" and fill in the triangles thus created to display the objects. This process is usually done with H/W in the graphics board.

What does Metabyte's Transformation and Lighting Engine do?

Metabyte has implemented the floating point math for the Transformation and Lighting in an optimized fashion while still being compatible with DirectX.

What about DirectX 6.0? How will it affect your TNL Engine?

The current TNL engine works with DirectX 5.0. While Metabyte is making no announcements at this time, we may have a TNL engine for DirectX 6.0 at a later date.

What games currently support your TNL Engine?

Metabyte is currently in discussion with several large ISVs to support our Transformation and Lighting Engine. DirectX 5.0’s current implementation of T&L is inefficient. Game developers have traditionally done their own transformation and lighting because of this. Metabyte has removed this bottleneck and is now trying to inform ISVs that this highly efficient T&L engine is available now.

Which ISVs have agreed to support your TNL Engine in their applications/titles?

Unfortunately, we cannot comment on specific ISV’s during our negotiations.

Why doesn't my Quake2 run any faster with your card?

Quake2 is an OpenGL game. Our Transformation and Lighting Engine is designed for Direct3D applications/games.

Do game developers need special development tools to take advantage of your TNL Engine?

No. Our TNL Engine is completely transparent. Games just need to let Direct3D do the Transformation and Lighting to take advantage of our engine.

Are there any compatibility problems caused by your engine?

No. We have tested our TNL Engine extensively during and after development. Our driver is completely compatible with all games that work on the Voodoo2.

What are the expected performance gains of games that take advantage of DirectX5 transformation and lighting?

Many factors influence the performance benefit. 3D Winbench shows a 40% score improvement. Games that support our TNL Engine will show a wide range of gains depending on how they are designed.

Is the TNL Engine only available for your Voodoo2 product? (Will it work on other chipsets?)

Our TNL Engine is currently only available on our Wicked3D featuring Voodoo2 product. The technology will work on other chipsets and may be implemented on future products.

Can the your drivers/TNL Engine be used on your competitors' Voodoo2 products?

Currently, our drivers will install on our competitors’ board. However, our TNL Engine is disabled if it doesn’t detect a Metabyte Wicked3D featuring Voodoo2 board.

What do we want developers to do?

Main issue is to let DirectX do the Transformation and Lighting.

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