Better lighting for better gaming

(via Joystiq)

A British company, Geomerics, has published some information on their work with geometric algebra which apparently will lead to better lighting, and therefore improved visual realism in gaming.  Certainly of no interest to most of the world’s population, but a big w00t announcement for many gamers.  Gameplay is what matters, sure, but improved visuals are almost always welcome, too.

Currently, lighting in games is a toss-up between three elements: in real life, light often changes position (e.g. as the sun moves across the sky); objects cast shadows, which are often quite subtle; and depending on your viewpoint, you can sometimes see light sources reflected in other objects. The usual method is to pre-calculate the shadows in a scene and paint them on the ground, but this means the light source must stay fixed. Thanks to next-gen computing power, spherical harmonic lighting can be used to generate soft, lifelike shadows from moving light sources, but without any of the shiny surface effects that complete the picture and add realism.

[tags]Gaming, Geomerics, Geometric Algebra[/tags]