Sony ICE Team Programmer Slams Megatexture Technique

Bryan McNett talks about the texturing technique’s flaws.

Posted By | On 11th, Dec. 2015 Under News


Remember MegaTextures, the fancy term introduced in id Tech 5 with R.A.G.E.? id Software’s technique involved using one large texture for static terrain as opposed to multiple small textures, thus allowing for less RAM usage but with strong amounts of detail for large areas. Of course, despite the technology Rage employed, it felt somewhat limited with its visuals at times – this is most likely due to the amount of RAM being limited for texturing.

MegaTextures are still used in modern games but Sony’s ICE Team graphics programmer Bryan McNett criticized the technique in a series of Twitter posts.

“Megatexture seemed weird even at the time. Force people to texture uniquely, and they’ll just paste a lot of unique copies of stuff.”

McNett further added that, “Sure the artists making the desert landcape didn’t *really* uniquely paint everything, so why make the computer texture it uniquely?”

When told that it allowed for an arbitrary number of decals and layers, McNett replied, “You’re right, but since overall perceived detail was much less than competition, felt like opposite.”

Also, the use of MegaTextures didn’t lead to a greater sense of freedom or a larger scale than what players were used to seeing either. As McNett pointed out, “People forgave Doom for looking worse than 2D platformers, *because* of freedom-of-3D. No such breakout freedom in Rage.”

Sure, Rage may have run at 60 FPS on the Xbox 360 but that was just about it. McNett finished by stating that, “OK so megatexture is a good idea, right. Which games today use it.”

What are your thoughts on McNett’s views and especially on the overall viability of MegaTextures? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Starman

    Trash !!!!!

  • Deeboy

    The last time they talked about something technical involving software it was about DX12. Now they are talking about mega textures something the Xbox esram is built for but hardly ever used. Coincidence? I think not. As long as devs stay on the traditional (old) path of development its an advantage for them and a disadvantage for the whole gaming industry. Developing with mega textures could cut development costs down. Why not support it?

  • Mark

    I’d like to hear GraphineSoft reply to McNett

  • bardock5151

    An obscure little nobody bashing the works of a man infinitely his better.

    • XbotMK1

      An obscure little nobody (bardock5151) bashing the work of a man (Bryan Mcnett) infinitely his better. lol

    • bardock5151

      Aww, little trollbot upset.

      Move on boy, you are the very definition of insignificant.

    • Mr Xrat

      Your tears are always delicious. 🙂

  • XbotMK1

    It’s funny seeing all these Microsoft drones like Deeboy, bardock5151, and Mark attacking Bryan Mcnett simply because he is a Sony dev when these corporate slaves don’t even know what he is talking about. If he was a Microsoft dev speaking how he doesn’t prefer Megatextures, you wouldn’t be seeing these comments. lol

    • Rodney Patrick

      STFU!! kill your self already idiot

    • Cypher-Unknown

      You look like you’re at that stage yourself.

    • Gamez Rule

      WOW!, you really are a troll. To even post that shows how heartless and irresponsible you really are as a person online.

    • red2k

      He is just trying to sell to the devs something stupid. Megatextures was incredible may be the gameplay sucks (Rage) but graphically was one of the best games from last generation.

    • Michael Norris

      No it wasn’t the game didn’t look good on Pc.

    • Truth™

      Maybe Sony should make less of a weak garbage console that handles megatextures next time 🙂

    • Michael Norris

      Maybe MS should make a console that can go above 900p.=) ,,I,,

    • Truth™

      Maybe they both could and I still would laugh at them 🙂

    • JoinTheRest

      atleast the x1 has more than one playable exclusives, actually atleast it has more than 5 compared to sonys 1 lol

  • red2k

    More damage control from Sony. He is anticipating that many devs are going to use an equivalent of megatexture this generation and he is trying to damage control because PS is not going to shine using that technology. I play a game with a similar tech for this gen and it looks outstanding.

    • MrSec84 .

      God the lack of logic in this comment of yours red2k is downright hilarious.
      When PS4 is the only console that can use fully fledged Partially Resident Textures, a technique which allows for up to 32 Terabytes worth of textures and the platform has a substantially more capable memory pool than both Wii U and XBox One combined this kind of a comment is hilarious.

      No one should be arguing that PC isn’t more capable, if you have the specs, but trying to make out like PS4 isn’t more capable than the competition (8th gen consoles) when it comes to tiling or anything else related to what a console is made to do is an outright lie.

      Only people that are clueless about hardware for gaming or graphics technology will agree or like this comment.

      Get more educated and stop spreading nonsense, it’s embarrassing for you.
      Just trying to save you buddy.

    • red2k

      Xbox One have over 100 gbs read an write at the same time with move engines. The only advantage of GDDR5 is the size… By the way I said and “equivalent” because partial resident texture is an old technique and DX12 have their own advantage version. I’m curious how you can say my arguments have “no logic” even without read my comment properly. You seems very stupid defending a guy that “casually” wake up a morning, 3 years after Rage launch and start to talk about the game with no reason.

    • MrSec84 .

      No Xbox One doesn’t, not even close, because once eSRAM or move units are filled their bandwidth becomes inaccessible for use, which is not so much of an issue for GDDR5 or HBM (XB1 has neither of those), because of their substantially larger storage capacities.
      DDR3 only offers 55GB/s in real world bandwidth, you can take that figure as is when comparing XB1’s memory to PS4’s, because they’re of the same size, when it comes to storage.

      As I said before eSRAM is tiny, a GPU of the same spec as in XB1 would require 84GB/s if we’re talking about 1-2GBs or 1024M-2048MB of storage, but eSRAM is only 32MBs, that has to be filled multiple times within a second of access time, but every time it has to hold an asset for each access cycle it’s bandwidth becomes inaccessible.

      eSRAM in XB1 is 32-64X smaller than the GPU it’s backing, the reason I say your argument has no logic is because there’s absolutely no mathematical fact behind it, thus no logic and you call me stupid, when you haven’t properly read the article in question yourself.
      eSRAM makes up for about 4-5GB/s that the GPU it’s backing requires, maybe the XB1 has the equivalent of 60GB/s, that’s it.

      Move Units aren’t even worth mentioning, because they’re even smaller.

      This Sony ICE Team graphics programmer has worked on everything from OG Xbox to 360, along with numerous Playstation titles, he didn’t just wake up and comment, he’s a long term professional in the industry.

      The only stupid person here in this comment section is you, defending Xbox Fanboy nonsense. Actually learn something, do some math before commenting and making yourself look like even more of a fool.
      Don’t try to make out like I didn’t understand your comment, you got caught out and I called you on your BS, now you’re hoping clueless fools will also buy your junk post.
      You’re talking illogical rubbish.

    • red2k

      Lol I your arguments only twist the discussion in order to talk about size advantage.

      First of all when you decide use tile resources or a equvalent is for decrease the size of the package not vice versa that’s why the advantage of size becomes irrelevant and speed and data movement becomes more important when you use tile rosouces. Second, The Xbox One is APU with a Embedded memory you can’t compare with other PC architectures because the efficiency or the architecture are not the same. In fact, the HBM offer a similar HW solution of X1 offcourse with a superior performance but from hardware perspective both are close.

      I’m waiting 1080p 60fps on Drive Club or 30fps lock on Blood Born or even 1080p on Uncharted multiplayer but the super memory size machine again can’t handle it 🙁

    • Gamez Rule

      Tiled resources allows you to address more texture space than you can fit in RAM. What it doesn’t allow you to do is fit more textures in RAM.There’s no correlation between RAM size and virtual texture resolution as the limiting factor is bandwidth, IE RAM and storage.

    • Cenk Algu

      clueless trying to teach hardware who has good infromations lol haha.Ahhh ok the PS4 has real 176gb/s haha

    • MrSec84 .

      Blind, baseless statements as per usual I see Cenk.
      I’ll take the word of an unbiased developer with experience working on a bunch of platforms over some clueless idiot like you thanks.

      LMFAO and you claim to understand hardware, when you show no shred of any understanding regarding it.

    • Cenk Algu

      My job is hardware as a 3d drawer. So what about you? Everything you told avove is nothing but useless trash. Hurts but facts:)

    • MrSec84 .

      You can make whatever claims you like, I highly doubt anything you say, unless it’s legitimately backed by an actual source (which you never provide).
      The fact you can’t even string together a coherent sentence disproves you being in such a role, because you would require an education to be able to do so, which you prove yourself to lack, with every post that you make on this and any other thread forum you post in.
      Anyone can make claims they work in X, Y or Z place on the internet, but I display knowledge which should hint at what I do, the fact you can’t understand it shows that you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.

      You haven’t broken down what I’ve written and provided any reasoning as to why my points are “trash” as you claim, in fact you can’t disprove it, because you lack the reasoning skills to do so and what I’m saying is actually the objective truth.

      How can I be hurting with your facts, when you don’t provide any?

    • Cenk Algu

      I can disprove everything you say just pick one haha

    • MrSec84 .

      Quit stalling, if there was anything there you could disprove you’d have attempted to do so already.
      If you can disprove my whole post, then do it, quit sidestepping, it’s clear you’re doing it to deflect from the fact you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Cenk Algu

      ROFL Does PS4 has 32TB Texture rendering capability? You are dreaming.The PS4 does not have 176gb/s bandwith.It has max.136..What did you say on N4G Just Cause 3 has better physics than CD3 without needing Cloud hahahaha.Not even close and running horrible on your most powerful console.:) eSRAM has even faster and more bandwith alone than GDDR5.So what do you want more? Please without a single knowledge dont talk trash again.L.I.P with your lovely PS4.

  • Mr Xrat

    Xbox gimp bait. I love it.

    As much as I liked the new Wolfenstein games, there was nothing about them to justify the “megatextures” tag.

    • Truth™

      And Sonycucks are angry because a technique a PC easily handles is useless on consoles and only screaming because one of their ICE team overlords (Who can’t get Uncharted to 1080P 60FPS) said so

      Hilarious, really. Sonycucks in tears once again

  • Truth™

    Rage runs fine on PC. Wolfenstien is incredibly well optimized. John Carmack knew what he was doing. Shame those potato consoles can’t keep up 🙂

  • Gamez Rule

    Like he asked…”OK so megatexture is a good idea, right. Which games today use it”

    I would like to know what games do too?

    • Greetingsfriend

      Far Cry 4 used a form of virtual texturing. Trials Evolution and the sequel used virtual texturing.
      Not many do. It’s not really a “graphics” technique. It’s more of a tool for the artists and their workflow.


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