Cube Environment Mapping|NVIDIA

Cube Environment Mapping

Reality Is All About Details

Imagine nature without reflections—not in water, in metal, or other shiny surfaces. Those small details can make or break a computer-rendered 3D scene. Until now, developers have either avoided using reflective surfaces or resorted to complicated tricks of the trade, which produced "acceptable" but not stellar results. Cube environment mapping is a technique, which enables developers to produce stunning real-time accurate reflections and specular lighting effects so you can immerse yourself in rich 3D scenes.
Unlike other techniques, cube environment mapping gives you realistic reflections, from any angle, without irregularities. even the smallest detail—a reflection in a lugnut of a car—is possible.

How does cube environment mapping work?
Basically, environment mapping begins with a map shape—the object onto which things will be reflected. Typically this has been a sphere. Unfortunately, sphere mapping is useful only for one orientation and one viewpoint, limiting its use to very specific conditions that can not be violated. In other words, if the conditions are perfect, sphere mapping can look nice, but if anything changes, you will see distortions.

Cube environment mapping in hardware is a breakthrough image-quality feature enabled by the GeForce 256 GPU. By changing the map shape from a sphere to a six-sided cube, cube environment
mapping offers a simple development path to the creation of stunning, reflective images.

Because cube enviroment mapping is a flexible technology that can better represent their creativity, the top tier of developers are using cube environment mapping in next-generation applications. In order to reap the benefits you'll need a GeForce 256 GPU in your system.
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