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The Real-time Volumetric Superstorms of 'Horizon Forbidden West'

Andrew Schneider  (Principal FX (Clouds) Artist, Guerrilla Games)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming, Visual Arts

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: No

Real-time Volumetric Cloud systems in Games have seen increasing adoption by game developers in the past few years. Many systems use a coverage/type map based modeling method combined with an optimized ray-march and shading solution similar to or expanded upon what was described in detail in the SIGGRAPH 2015 Publication, The Real-Time Volumetric Cloudscapes of Horizon Zero Dawn. This session will focus on explaining how Guerrilla expanded its Nubis cloud system to include tornadic superstorms, internal lighting and lightning flashes, a solution to render faster moving clouds with temporal upscaling as well as visual enhancements - all without using expensive simulations or lighting calculations so that the system could scale between current and previous-gen Playstation consoles.


Attendees will first learn about the real-time volumetric cloud system, Nubis, and how it was expanded to support large tornadic storm systems, internal lighting, lightning effects and further visual enhancements - all while preforming within a reasonable budget on PS5 and PS4 hardware. Attendees will also be presented with a solution to dramatically increase the speed of fast moving temporally constructed volumetric imagery.

Intended Audience

Graphics programmers interested in expanding the Nubis type cloud model will benefit most from this presentation. An understanding of HLSL shader code and volumetric modeling and lighting concepts is recommended.