Topics explaining how game engines render an artist's artwork.
Rendering for games usually means the scene has to be rendered in real-time, in response to the player changing the 3D world.
In real-time rendering, the scene needs to be re-rendered very quickly, at least 30 frames per second (fps). Rendering techniques for games are speedy hacks, they are "close enough" to create good results, without taking minutes or hours to render each frame.
Rendering for games is constantly evolving, as new consumer hardware gets faster and faster, allowing graphics programmers to implement ever-better rendering features. Games are increasingly adding rendering techniques that were once only used for non-real-time special effects rendering in movies and commercials.
These are some of the most famous rendering techniques or more correct shading techniques
- Lambert Shading
- Gourard Shading
- Phong Shading
- Blinn-Phong Shading
- Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)
- Physically Based Rendering (PBR).
- A Trip Down The LoL Graphics Pipeline by Riot Games Engineering.
- life of a triangle (GPU rasterization) on the Polycount Forums.
- Render Hell 1.1 by Simon Schreibt.
- Game Art Tricks by Simon Schreibt. See also the Polycount Forum thread Article: Game Art Art.
- The State of Rendering by Mike Seymour at fxguide.com - a great overview of rendering techniques, mostly those used in the VFX industry, but it provides an excellent background for bleeding-edge games-related rendering techniques.
- Brief Considerations About Materials by Pedro Toledo - a great explanation of how specular works in computer graphics, including dialetric and conductor surfaces, and why people use inverse-hue specular color maps. In the Polycount thread about this article, Jordan 'JordanW' Walker explains how gamma affects specular color as well.
- Model Presentation Polycount wiki page has links to rendering tutorials.
- Whitepapers has conference proceedings and research papers about game graphics.