ATI Technologies has unveiled Truform, a new rendering technology developed for future generations of graphics processors.
By employing N-Patches (also known as PN Triangles) - a new type of higher order surface composed of curved rather than flat triangles that was developed by ATI and is supported in Microsoft's DirectX 8.0 and OpenGL technologies -- Truform permits surfaces to be generated entirely within the graphics processor, without requiring significant changes to existing 3D artwork that is composed of flat triangles. This ensures that the technology is easy for software developers to implement and avoids breaking compatibility with older graphics processors, while still delivering a better visual experience to owners of newer graphics processors that support Truform.
Further, Truform helps to overcome the increased bandwidth and memory requirements associated with having to transfer and store large numbers of triangles or polygons - the geometric basis of computerized 3D images. As more detailed and realistic 3D images are created, the number of polygons required to represent each image increases at a dramatic rate. Truform effectively increases the memory bandwidth available to the GPU (graphics processing unit) by converting 3D images with low polygon counts to smoother, high polygon count versions in the graphics chip, a process known as tessellation.
Truform also uses advanced N-Patch lighting techniques to provide 3D objects with highly detailed lighting effects. This enhances the visual quality of images by providing realistic highlights on the surfaces of curved objects.