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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

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3dfx on T&L

In an interview on DiabloII.net, 3dfx's chief spin doctor Bubba Wolford has commented on the full-scene anti-aliasing vs transform & lighting acceleration debate .. just for a change. Bubba repeats that 3dfx believes "T&L is important for the future", but that "the main difference between T&L and FSAA is that T&L must be coded into the game", whereas FSAA should work with any 3D accelerated game.

"Our approach is that before we add more geometry detail through T&L (which will in turn really increase the amount of aliasing), there is a definite need to "clean" the image first". Although both NVIDIA and 3dfx graphics cards support FSAA, the method used on 3dfx's cards generally gives better image quality and slightly less of a performance hit.

Support for T&L has taken off somewhat slower than its chief proponents NVIDIA were expecting, a common problem for hardware manufacturers, which 3dfx also suffers from. The "T-Buffer" they use for FSAA on their Voodoo 5 cards also allows motion blur, depth of field and other effects, but support for these features in games is non-existent so far, and interestingly Bubba said that he "cannot comment on which developers are planning support for our other T-Buffer features".