Sony to Improve “Nova” Lighting Tool for PlayStation Devs to Add New Tech and Support Scene Complexity

on March 28, 2015 5:42 PM

Offering the best tools to developers is one of the key aspects of ensuring that they’ll squeeze every drop of juice from a console, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe  Advanced Technology Group is looking for help in improving one of the lighting tools used on PlayStation platforms, Nova.

To that end, they’re hiring a new Lighting Tools Engineer.

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The Advanced Technology Group creates tools used by SCE Worldwide Studios. We are privileged to work closely with studios to help them with the production of many high profile games. We are currently looking for an experienced programmer to work on Nova, our proprietary lighting tool set. Nova uses offline lighting techniques to generate baked lighting data as well as providing an interactive path tracer for lighting artists to work with.

Responsibilities

  • Optimising Nova to keep up with ever increasing scene complexity
  • Extending Nova functionality and incorporating new lighting techniques
  • Supporting existing users of Nova

Requirements

  • Excellent C/C++ programming skills
  • Good shader language skills
  • Good debugging and optimisation skills
  • Good maths skills
  • Experience of implementing global illumination techniques such as photon mapping or lightcuts

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Information on Nova is actually quite scarce, but the description above involves the creation of static baked lighting and path tracing, which integrates the illuminance hitting a single point on the surface of an object and determines hiow much of it bounces back towards the camera, for every pixel of the screen.

The ad also mentions experience in implementing photon mapping and lightcuts, which are two global illumination techniques known for producing quite realistic results. More detailed information and examples can be found in their original papers here and here.

Lighting is actually one of the most important areas, if not the most important, contributing to the beauty of what we see on the screen. People often focus on numerical data like resolution or polygon count, but lighting and shading are what makes graphics really shine. Any boost to that, even if developer-facing, is definitely welcome.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.