“Lighting and Simplifying Saints Row: The Third”

Lecture by Scott Kircher at GDC 2012.

Describes some of the key rendering technologies behind Saints Row: The Third. Main topics will be an update on Volition’s inferred lighting technology and our new automated LOD generation system. Neither of these systems existed in Saints Row 2. In particular, this talk will cover new rendering features enabled or enhanced by inferred lighting: Lit rain (each rain drop can receive light and shadows from any and all lights), object-specific screen space decals, and radial ambient occlusion (a simple splat based ambient occlusion method). It will also give a brief overview of mesh simplification and then focus on some of the practical issues that arose in implementing automatic mesh LODs for Saints Row: The Third.