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Old 07-25-2007   #1
Kwanza
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GTA IV Graphical Analysis II

GTA IV Graphical Analysis II
created and written by Lee(AKA afterfl0w)
Here we are again, some new screen-shots released today from the demo they've been focusing on quite frequently. As a re-cap, graphics-wise, the previews said the game is looking better than ever, and they've fixed most technical issues. Hopefully the small amount of errors from the last thread have been corrected, so we'll have an even more perfect visual experience when October rolls around. If you haven't yet, be sure you check out the first graphical analysis. Onto the juicy stuff!


http://files.gtanet.com/images/3560_...screenshot.jpg
Here we can see, the texture quality has increased a lot from previous shots. This is great, it makes the game a true hi-def experience. Niko's face is a great example of a good skin texture/bump map. His skin has texture, it's soft. Almost as if you could go up and touch it and it'd feel real. My only complaint is his eyebrows seem to be apart of the skin, instead of a layer of thick hair over-top. You shouldn't so clearly see the texture in the skin below his eyebrows.

Onto his jacket, it has a wonderful texture that gives it a gritty, dirty kind of feeling, but not with actual dirt. It's kinda like those sand-stained jeans that are all the rage these days. A small detail I noticed, is the way his sweater collar is flopped over, gives it the appearance that it might have the physics engine working on it as he walks/runs. It could just be flopped over like that to give it a type of depth and realism, so I may be thinking a bit too deep there.

Over to the right a bit more, we see the cars. Now, I can't stress enough again how good the tires look. Even at a distance, you can see the detail in them which is something that games rarely pull off these days. The quality-fade on Rockstar's textures seems to be pretty distant (meaning you can go quite a ways away before the quality lowers on the textures, to save frame rate). The cars have weight, and you can see the tires compressed just a bit on the road, as a normal tire would. Again, they're part of the environment around them, not floating above. The car also has exhaust coming off of it, indicating a cooler temperature in Liberty City. Could this be more proof towards Liberty City having seasons?

Another thing that shows how much this game is stepping it up, is none of the windows, in this shot, or in any other shot are the same view. They're really trying to make the streets look authentic and unique every time you drive down them.

http://files.gtanet.com/images/3561_...screenshot.jpg
This shot seems to be sent to the sites, simply to show off the amazing draw distance. Even at a distance, the buildings have the lighting affecting them, high quality textures, and you can even pick out some small details on the buildings. You can even pick out the frame of the crane, blurred to look authenticly distant. A really spectacular view.

Very important point here, this shot also shows off Niko's use of the new engine. Notice how he is posed on the boat, just standing there. His right leg, is standing on a step, yet his left leg stands down. In modern games, you're either on the ledge, or you're off it. Niko really has weight, and the way he walks really depends on where he's walking. I really cannot wait to see how he behaves on stairs, it should look really great.

The water looks good. I wouldn't say it's the best water ever in a video game, but it's up to the standard at least. The wave behind the boat suggests that it was in-fact moving through the water, very slowly. This shows that the water will react a bit to movement through water, though obviously not dynamic. The splash in front of the boat shows it cutting through the water, and the way the water dips just a bit on the sides of the boat, shows that the boat is cutting into the water, not just clipping with the texture of it. Good stuff.

http://files.gtanet.com/images/3559_...screenshot.jpg
It's almost as if Rockstar was reading my analysis, and wanted to show their glass breaking texture off again to me, except correctly. It looks better this time, though it's still not DMM. The breaking is a texture, but I'm happy to see they aren't all the same. The glass is going to break realistic this time, not 3 shots and it just shatters. This is something I'm looking forward to. Imagine hitting a pedestrian, and they roll on your car and your windshield cracks.

The flags appear to be moving with the wind, and cloth physics. I can't tell for sure from the picture, but let's pray they don't have the whole static flags like they used to.

One last thing in this picture, in the far back, around a corner, and JUST above the taxi. You see a tree. It's covered in frost. The day also isn't as sunny and looks cloudy, like a fall or winter day. More proof of seasons perhaps?


These new screen shots let us know that everything is going smoothly, they've fixed a lot of errors, and they still have a lot to show off to us graphics wise.

- Lee (afterfl0w)
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Old 07-25-2007   #2
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Amazing analysis, very well written. Also, it may not be nothing, but if you look at the taxi in the last shot, you can see one of the taxi's doors are open. This could indicate that the driver/passenger of the vehicle is stepping out of the care as if to react the Niko shooting at the other. Could that be AI?
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Old 07-25-2007   #3
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As that guy gets out, there's still two people in the two front seats. He's being let off at his location it seems, or he's panicing because of the gunshots.
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Old 07-25-2007   #4
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Nice analysis once again, Lee.
Seeing the posture of the boat; looks like it is, accordingly, taking the load of the people boarding it.
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Old 07-26-2007   #5
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Did anyone notice the guy in the bottom right hand part of the picture? He looks like he's rollerblading even though im pretty sure hes running from the gunshots. But maybe...just...maybe.
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Old 07-26-2007   #6
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I think in this screenshot the buildings in the back look pretty horrible.
There is also a dude on the right just walking casually while the police is taking a shot at Niko.
There's no traffic at all in the huge street except for the blue car on the left.
I don't know why they released this screenshot, bcause that area looks very much unfinished.


Something I hate that I see they're still doing, is instead of mapping the churches arches and stuff, they just apply a flat texture to it. The streets are pretty crowded, so that's a good thing.
All peds seem to have different walks, which I think is a nice touch.

I don't think that's a tree covered in frost, btw.
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Old 07-26-2007   #7
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Dude, I know you want to get this info out there, but this is still a early build. I mean, does it really matter if that has flat textures or a building doesn't look 100% right now? remember, what these are from are a build that was around 5 weeks ago. Builds come weekly especially now that the are basically in the home stretch. Not to mention the fact you will be going past these buildings at a speed you can't just stop and stare.
Otherwise, I enjoyed what you had to say, I'm just getting tired of detractions on trivial things IMO
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Old 07-27-2007   #8
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http://files.gtanet.com/images/3559_...screenshot.jpg

Have you noticed Niko is wearing a suit?
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Old 07-27-2007   #9
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has any body noticed that in this shot the first truck has a brush guard and the second one doesnt and the guy in the maroon truck is looking in his rear view mirror and the third truck down is looking to his left. Thats cool how there not always looking straight, there more relaxed.
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Old 07-28-2007   #10
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They're still the same cars, I hate how we still have 3 cars in a row that are all the same. I think there should never be more than 2 cars of the same kind visible(exluding cabs and shit).
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Old 07-28-2007   #11
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i like it like that, but trucks in new york city (especially those old looking ones)?
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Old 07-28-2007   #12
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I forgot to add, the tires in the first shot don't have shadows, whats up with that?
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