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TF2 Engine

TF2 Engine

Valvegames with Source Engine

Most Team Fortress 2 Fans were shocked after they saw the first screenshots of this game. It was nothing anyone expected. Some people think very positive about the new look, some doesn’t. But what is behind the comic look?

The Source Engine: When Half-Life 2 was released in 2004 there was a huge enthusiasm around the source engine. It brings details and realistic light effects and reflections without needing highend hardware. The list of games with the source engine becomes longer and longer. Valve published many of them.

Valve-Games with Source Engine:

  • Half-Life 2 (2004)
  • Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (2004)
  • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (2006)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One (2006)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2007)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Three (soon)
  • Half-Life: Source (2004)
  • Counter-Strike: Source (2004)
  • Day of Defeat: Source (2005)
  • Half-Life Deathmatch: Source (2006)
  • Portal (Sommer 2007)
  • Team Fortress 2 (2007)
  • Left 4 Dead (2008)
  • Left 4 Dead 2 (2009)
  • Portal 2 (2011)

In Team Fortress 2 there are some Source features used to bring life into the comic world. First thoughts were that Team Fortress 2 would support Cel-Shading (Toon-Shading). This technology is know from the shooter game „“XIII“.. But this is totally wrong, Team Fortress 2 works and looks different.

What is Cel-Shading

Cel-Shading or Cel-shaded Animation (also called Toon-Shading) is a technology for rendering 3D computergraphics while keeping it not realistic. Picture or animations arise out of a 3D modell and it looks like comic art drawn by hand. Colors are reduced to a minimum and every color gets bold black contour.

This technology is comparatively new in the games developer scene. It has been used since 1999 in movies and since 2000 in games.

Though the result looks simple, the developement is very complicated and complex.

What is used in Team Fortress 2 is „Phong-Shading“. While being a messy side effect in Far Cry, Phong-Shading is the main component in Team Fortress 2. When using it exaggeratedly you will have the plastic effect as a result.

What is Phong-Shading?

Phong-Shading is a lighting model in 3D computergraphic which is used for calculating the lighting of objects. This model is named after his developer „Bui-Tuong Phong. It has been presented in 1975.

The Phong-Model is applicable for displaying plastic-like smooth surfaces.

The following Video describes you the technique which Valve used for Team Fortress 2.


Download Techdemo

The Source Features to download:
Download PDF

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