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RAD Launches Pixomatic -- New Software Renderer

RAD has released Pixomatic, a new software renderer for games developed by Michael Abrash and Mike Sartain. According to the company, the features and peformance that Pix...

Game Developer

January 15, 2003

1 Min Read

RAD has released Pixomatic, a new software renderer for games developed by Michael Abrash and Mike Sartain. According to the company, the features and peformance that Pixomatic delivers is "roughly equivalent to a DX6-class graphics accelerator (with a few more modern features like stencil and dot3 lighting)". Well aware that game developers try to leverage the power of graphics hardware -- not code around it -- RAD takes pains to explain the rationale behind the launch of its software renderer. The company touts the fact that it lets developers write one set of graphics code for many different PC graphics configurations and obviates concerns about buggy 3D drivers, misconfigured 3D APIs, and whether 3D hardware even exists on the client. Features:

  • Two-texture multitexture

    • Gouraud, specular, fog, alpha blending

    • 16- and 24-bit z buffers

    • Stencil, bilinear filtering, texture transforms, and dot3 per-pixel lighting

    • Handles transformation, clipping, and projection of trilists, tristrips, trifans, quadlists, polygons, and pointsprites, drawn through begin/end primitives or indexed or non-indexed streams

    • Performs perspective-correct rasterization, with per-polygon mipmapping, subpixel and subtexel accuracy, and 32-bit color depth

    • The pixel-shading pipeline is optimized MMX code, compiled on the fly

    • Geometry and vertex-shading pipelines are MMX, SSE, and 3DNow optimized

    • SSE and 3DNow are automatically used if present, but are not required

    • RAD says it runs Quake II at 27 FPS on a Pentium III/733 and 60 FPS on a Pentium 4. Licensing the Pixomatic SDK for one PC game costs $10,000.

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