Guerrilla Games’ principal tech engineer Giliam de Carpentier reveals how they approached checkerboard rendering on the PS4 Pro.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is probably the most technically impressive game on the PS4, all things considered. While Uncharted 4 probably looks better overall, the fact that Horizon looks as good as it does while also being a massive open world means that it comes out far ahead on any scale grading technical impressiveness.
It looks especially great on the PS4 Pro- indeed, Horizon is, for all purposes, the technical showcase for the PS4 Pro. It’s incredible how good it looks, because the game is not native 4K- like a lot of games on PS4 Pro, it uses checkerboarding to render a 2160p image. However, as it turns out, it uses a custom checkerboarding technique to achieve the desired results.
“There are different ways to do checkerboarding as well,” Guerrilla Games’ principal tech engineer Giliam de Carpentier told Digital Foundry. “You can have more information per pixel, or less information per pixel when rendering checkerboarding and depending on how much information you have, you can go for different checkerboard resolve techniques. We came up with one that doesn’t need a lot of extra data at the per-pixel level and that gave us some performance boosts as well in the rendering of the whole geometry and the lighting pass.”
Naturally, it is hard to argue with results, and the results for Guerrilla’s technique were truly breathtaking. This is precisely the reason why the world assets didn’t looked as washed out as a non-native 4K image would render. Using this custom technique Guerrilla were able to able to push in more data that allowed them to maintain the intricate details even at a higher resolution.