In my current research I've got a
zero-sample one which is the hardware PCF for comparison, a single sample that's randomly jittered, four samples
as kind of the baseline, and also a sixteen sample version which can give you very nice, high quality soft shadows
on there. And I'll probably toss in even higher ones like a 25 or 64 sample version on there which will mostly be
used for offline rendering work if people want to go ahead and have something render and they don't mind
if it's running a few frames a second, you can get literally film quality shadowing effects out of this, by just
changing out the number of samples that are going on in there. This wind up being very close to the algorithm
that Pixar has used for a great many of the Renderman based movies, and it's just running in the GPU's now in
real time at the lower sample levels.
so as you see next engine improvements ,to Doom3 engine ,softshadows and more realism with lighting/softshadows and superior Reflections ..Unreal3 use up to 16samples for the shadows and he is already speaking about 25/64
in his next upgrade to the engine and will be capable of rendering close to Pixar (from the TOy story creators) quality graphics in real time and on par in non real time..
.even thought it will be mostly used for non realtime graphics (not for playing but for artististic work) if you dont mind to get 1-5 fps .. SLI setup with very fast PC's will help even more.. it will be awesome to have a first look of how the game will look in the next 5-10 years..
carmack suggested quality lighting/shadows that with my understanding will be far superior even than the ones used in Unreal3 engine.
- higher quality normalmaps
-superior reflections.. (ability to not only control the intensity like Doom3 but also the shape of them) this is a really big plus!! means more realistic materials.. (no more plastic look of some things ) this mean life like reflections.
-softshadows everywhere ,with completely new techniques for outdoors.
-Fp blending/filtering will be used as default for the higher quality lighting .
-Subsurfacescatering.. for better skin..
- quality Hair
-very long pixel shaders (fragments shaders) for the game..
probably is the biggest post ever made by John carmack.. and a bit technical.. but so far looks that he is very serious about the graphics the next time.. (like if Doom3 graphics were a major problem by today standars