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3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. 3Dmark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads. 3DMark is trusted by gamers and enthusiasts worldwide to cut through marketing hype and technical jargon to give accurate and unbiased guidance for PC hardware purchasing decisions. Coming Q3 2010.

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Deep Sea Trailer
The m ysteries of the deep are revealed with DirectX 11 tessellation and
volum etric lighting as subm ersibles explore the sea floor. Deep Sea is a demonstration of DirectX 11 technologies created using an early development build of the 3DMark 11 engine. The Deep Sea build of 3DMark11 does not represent the final scope of the benchmark and does not produce a 3DMark score. There are no plans to release the Deep Sea tech demo to the public. The Deep Sea video trailer was rendered by the 3DMark 11 engine using readily available DirectX 11 hardware, captured at high resolution and then compressed into video formats suitable for the Internet. The trailer features submersibles exploring the sea floor. Volumetric lighting illuminates the seabed with tessellation used to add rich detail to the rock, coral and manmade structures. Post processing is used to create depth of field and other lens effects. The music is an original composition.


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Tessellation: What is it?
Tessellation is one of the main features of DirectX 11 and something that gamers should be very excited about. Tessellation allows game artists to create highly detailed character models and environments without excessive demands on memory or longer loading times. Tessellation allows ever increasing levels of detail as you get closer to an object. And whereas in the past this detail came from using an image with greater resolution, with tessellation surfaces can be displaced giving a greater sense of shape and texture.

How will it be used in games?
Tessellation is a highly scalable technique that can be varied easily depending on the power of the dedicated hardware in the graphics card. 3DMark 11 includes game-like tessellation load presets designed to match the demands of future games and the ever improving capabilities of graphics hardware in years to come.

Where can I see it in the Deep Sea trailer?
In the 3DMark 11 Deep Sea tech demo tessellation is being used on the rocks and seafloor, the coral and the manmade pipes and structures. Tessellation allows the surface geometry of these objects to smoothly increase in complexity as the camera gets closer. As a result these objects appear more realistic, with greater detail and texture and smoother geometry on curved surfaces.

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Depth of field: What is it?
Depth of field is a post processing effect that adds a feeling of depth to 2D images by forcing the viewer’s focus onto a specific point in space. The depth of field technique in the 3DMark 11 Deep Sea tech demo trailer is also able to produce a bokeh effect. Bokeh is a term from photography and cinematography that refers to the aesthetic quality of the blurring in out-of-focus areas of an image, often most noticeable around small lights, highlights and reflections that fall outside the depth of field.

How will it be used in games?
While depth of field effects using simple Gaussian blur are often seen in games, additional real time effects such as bokeh are made possible by the extra power and flexibility in DirectX 11 hardware. Depth of field, bokeh and other effects seen in film are likely to become increasingly common in upcoming games. Find out more about bokeh: ****************en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

Where can I see it in the Deep Sea trailer?
The depth of field effect in the 3DMark 11 Deep Sea tech demo is used to shift the viewer’s focus from objects in the foreground, such as sunken pipes, to those further away such as the submersibles. Bokeh can be seen on the lights of the two subs when they move out of focus.

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Volumetric lighting: What is it?
Volumetric lighting is a technique that is used to show light rays interacting with the medium they pass through. Think of bright rays of sunshine streaming through a gap in the clouds, the cone of light from a lighthouse sweeping through mist and fog, or dust motes lit up in a room from a shaft of light coming from an open window for example. Volumetric lighting can also be used to create the effect of color change with distance, making the landscape closer to the horizon appears bluish for example.

How will it be used in games?
Volumetric lighting has many applications in games, from creating striking environmental lighting effects to setting the mood of a game. Showing light being scattered by the medium it travels through greatly adds to the sense of realism in an environment. Volumetric lighting can be used to highlight objects in a scene or guide a player’s attention towards a point of interest. It can also be used as a gameplay element, such as making a character’s flashlight beam visible as a cone of light in the air rather than just a circle of illumination on a far surface.

Where can I see it in the Deep Sea trailer?
Volumetric lighting is one of the most visible technologies in the Deep Sea demo. It can be seen in the way the light cast by the bright lamps on the submersibles is visible in the water it shines through. The 3DMark 11 engine uses deferred rendering which enables a large number of individual lights to be visible at the same time without dragging down performance.

DirectCompute: What is it?
DirectCompute is the name of a feature which allows developers to create "compute shaders" to us the processing power of the graphics card to run non-graphical tasks. Essentially, tasks that benefit from parallel processing can be taken off the CPU and given to the graphics card which is a better use of the PC's total processing power.

How will it be used in games?
Certain tasks such as such as post processing, physics and AI are very suitable for parallel processing. Assigning these tasks to the graphics card not only makes use of the additional processing power to deliver enhanced physics and AI for example but also frees up the CPU to do other things. Although compute shaders are general purpose, game graphics will also benefit as game developers find new ways to use the increased flexibility to create new effects.

Where can I see it in the Deep Sea trailer?
The post processing effects seen in the Deep Sea trailer such as lens flares, streaks and bloom have been implemented using compute shaders. Although these effects would be possible using traditional shaders the increased flexibility of compute shaders can lead to greater efficiency, quality and speed.

Multi-threading: What is it?
Dual-core CPUs are the standard today, the number of quad-core systems is growing rapidly, and CPUs with an even greater number of cores are already appearing yet until now DirectX was restricted to running on a single thread. With only one CPU core creating instructions for the graphics card there is a risk of the CPU holding back performance. Multi-threading in DirectX 11 adds the ability to use all available CPU cores resulting in faster processing and increased scaling.

How will it be used in games?
With multi-threading, DirectX 11 will take better advantage of all the available CPU cores resulting in better frame rates and less chance of slow down or stuttering when there is a lot of action on screen.

Where can I see it in the Deep Sea trailer?
Multi-threading does not create visible elements in the trailer, however the 3DMark 11 engine has been created to make extensive use of multi-threading to optimize performance and provide a benchmark load that will scale well with anticipated CPU and GPU developments.

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