Valve beautifies Counter-Strike: GO visuals with new lighting and shaders

Super sampling for displacement surfaces, cascade shadow maps, phong specular highlights and map blending among graphical improvements made to shooter
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s aesthetics have been revamped with a new set of technical tweaks.

Valve has introduced a number of lighting and shader-focused upgrades to the competitive gun game.

One of the big changes is an increase in the number of global illumination light rays and improved accumulation of said rays for a smoother appearance of light.

This was followed by the addition of super sampling for lighting on displacement surfaces, which refined the quality of shadows, and an update to CS:GO’s normal mapped static prop lighting, which implemented full per-vertex lighting to the same level as the game’s lightmaps for more accurate illumination of models compared with geometry.

Last on the list for lighting was an improvement in the calculation of cascade shadow maps when presented with pre-computed lighting. Valve separated direct and indirect lighting data, before combining the data, to blend the maps in a more naturalistic manner.

On the shader side of things, a number of new features were added, including phong reflections on lightmapped materials, which can be seen in CS:GO’s recently added de_nuke map.

Another new tool is support for a second UV set, allowing multiple layouts for textures on a single prop – such as decals and other effects – without loss of texture resolution.

Map blending support is also new for the game, opening up the ability for devs to improve surface variation but maintain frequency detail.

Read the full list of technological additions on the Counter-Strike blog.

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