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Offline kappa
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« Posted 2010-03-10 21:04:32 »

I came across the following post (video) on RPS. Basically its promising to be able to render unlimited detail without requiring a super computer.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/03/10/unlimited-detail-wants-to-kill-3d-cards/

still skeptical that it'll work as promised but if it does could be pretty interesting.

what do you ppl think, possible that it could work?
Offline Jono
« Reply #1 - Posted 2010-03-10 23:24:55 »

I don't see why not, so long as they have some fancy indexing. Of course it means that nothing dynamic could happen, since that would require re-indexing (and tellingly there was no sign of animation in their videos).
Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2010-03-10 23:55:05 »

Yeah, there's nothing particularly new or interesting going on there really, sparse voxel tracing has been around a while now. See this much more interesting variant from a couple of years ago that actually runs on a GPU rather than their CPU implementation (and so seems to run a whole lot faster). The latest batch of 3D mandelbrot renderers have all been using this technique (again, on a gpu) as well.

It's a bit of a dead end for games IMHO. It's completely static so it's not really practical to do animation and things like dynamic lighting and shadowing are probably impractical too. And games have been trending towards less precalculation and more dynamic environments and effects (eg. Quake's static lightmaps vs. Doom3's dynamic lights vs. Crysis' realtime radiosity) so this would be a real step backwards for a questionable gain in detail.

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Offline DzzD
« Reply #3 - Posted 2010-03-11 00:06:51 »

hehe this is the return of the "zero pixel overfill" Grall !

I remember before 3D card came out this was basically the thing that every 3D engine programmer was looking for, I dont know if this one is a solution but really think that the solution/futur of 3D is more in those new kinds of algortihms and not in bruteforcing more and more bilion polygons every new GPU come out.

brut forcing polygon is just a stupid commercial approch, its like searching for the shortest path in a graph by trying all possible path and increasing CPU to get it faster rather than using/searching a beter algorithm.

Quote
It's a bit of a dead end for games IMHO. It's completely static so it's not really practical to do animation and things like dynamic lighting and shadowing are probably impractical too. And games have been trending towards less precalculation and more dynamic environments and effects (eg. Quake's static lightmaps vs. Doom3's dynamic lights vs. Crysis' realtime radiosity) so this would be a real step backwards for a questionable gain in detail.

I really like this idea of new ways in 3D. Even if I know that's not what you said, as you mentioned Quake/ Doom3 / Crysis,  wanted to point something :

all of them are some kind of linear progression, none of them is a real revolutionary invention, as said in the video this is just more power => more polygon & more shader, finally nothing really new/interresting in all those engine (I mean they are just the add of thousands of little inventions but no one is really revolutionary, they all use existing technologies without real/fundamental research in 3D (it is like adding more and more core on CPU vs trying to build a  quantum computer : in one case it is nothing new and a linear progression, in the other case it is really something new offering exponentially more power)

finally all that only to say that I really love theirs works even if it is still not perfect Smiley


Offline DzzD
« Reply #4 - Posted 2010-03-11 00:57:28 »

seems they are not alone to look for a something like a 3D point clouds based technic.

planed on  id tech 6 engine and named : Sparse Voxel Octree  http://my.mmoabc.com/article/VGenforcer/4186/A-first-look-at-id-tech-6-engine-Infinite-geometry.html?login=no

ID TECH 6 , short explanation on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id_Tech_6

a must read article with some idea of john carmack : http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=532

Offline Abuse

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2010-03-11 01:22:01 »

I'd love to see a hybrid system that seemlessly blended these techniques together, and was intuitive enough to build worlds for.

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Offline lhkbob

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2010-03-11 02:07:36 »

Personally, I found their commentary a bit unrealistic.  They mentioned that ray-tracing was horribly slow and outdated, but it is in essence what they're doing (casting out into the scene to find a color for a single pixel).  Why not just offer up their apparently amazing search indexing to raytracing communities.  The images provided were certainly detailed, but you can definitely notice sampling aliasing in stonework, etc. when they zoom out.

Additionally, and this has been mentioned before, that animations and dynamic scenes are a yet unsolved problem for voxels and point renderers.  Even the video provided by OrangyTang was a static.

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2010-03-11 10:00:08 »

seems they are not alone to look for a something like a 3D point clouds based technic.

planed on  id tech 6 engine and named : Sparse Voxel Octree  http://my.mmoabc.com/article/VGenforcer/4186/A-first-look-at-id-tech-6-engine-Infinite-geometry.html?login=no

ID TECH 6 , short explanation on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id_Tech_6

a must read article with some idea of john carmack : http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=532
Yeah, that's the same tech as the video I linked to earlier. There's a pdf linked from the info page which has all sorts of interesting details (and IMHO is much more advanced than this "unlimited detail" video).

Edit: direct paper link: http://s08.idav.ucdavis.edu/olick-current-and-next-generation-parallelism-in-games.pdf

Their current feeling seems to be to trace the static voxels for your static environment, and have it spit out regular depth buffer values so that the dynamic stuff (characters, objects, etc.) could be rendered on top correctly. That's pretty cool and probably quite workable, but I'm not sure if having an almost entirely static environment is a good trade off for the increase in detail.

Plus I suspect you'd have a hard time getting your static voxels and dynamic models to visually mesh together. You'd end up with something like an old WB cartoon (like this) where the dynamic stuff (the rock in this case) looks completely different from the static rocks in the environment.

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Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2010-03-11 15:55:21 »

The one thing I find interesting about this is that it could potentially work on mobile systems like the iPhone. If I had this rendered in my game, people would sh!t their pants. There's no need for dynamics in a mobile game.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2010-03-11 16:54:57 »

I smell hoax.

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Offline DzzD
« Reply #10 - Posted 2010-03-11 17:59:26 »

it is still a technic in research, If you remember polygin 3d was not that much dynamic when it was started : no morph / no 3d character ! just sprites & billboarding for tree and such / no shadow / not even perpixel ligthing, so no doubt there will be some algortihms enabling animation and more, it just a question of time to find the best one

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2010-03-11 21:09:42 »

Really? I can't remember seeing any purely static 3d polygonal environments, but I've seen literally dozens of static voxel landscapes (dating back at least 1992 with commanche, up through Outcast, and now this garbage).

Heck, Zarch had dynamic filled 3d polygons back in 1987

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Offline princec

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2010-03-11 21:43:16 »

It looks to me like they have solved the animation/lighting issues which is the whole point of them applying for funding etc etc. I look forward to seeing what they finally come up with.

Cas Smiley

Offline SwampChicken
« Reply #13 - Posted 2010-03-11 23:57:10 »

I came across the following post (video) on RPS. Basically its promising to be able to render unlimited detail without requiring a super computer.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/03/10/unlimited-detail-wants-to-kill-3d-cards/

still skeptical that it'll work as promised but if it does could be pretty interesting.

what do you ppl think, possible that it could work?

I'm a little bamboozled that Derek Smart is 47yo?
(see last comment in that page)
Offline DzzD
« Reply #14 - Posted 2010-03-12 00:02:11 »

Really? I can't remember seeing any purely static 3d polygonal environments, but I've seen literally dozens of static voxel landscapes (dating back at least 1992 with commanche, up through Outcast, and now this garbage).

Heck, Zarch had dynamic filled 3d polygons back in 1987
you cant remember Doom & Wolfeinstein ?

but if anyway you find them too much dynamic to be compared I could have pointed some of very-first 3D game built only by empy/non-filled polygon that I was playing on my CPC464 Tongue everything have a start and everything have a end Smiley, thinking of filling them with colored pixels was just impossible/unrealistic and so dynamic light and such was just science-fiction

also animating such world is inded possible (stupid idea but... just create 25 of those world and you got one second of animation, find a way to export it as a Z buffer and you can merge it with traditional polygonal 3D or can apply some shaders on it, or may be some little branch of the tree could be animated/updated realtime ? ) but those would requiere some expensive computation, nearly the same impossible idea that if 20 years ago we told about rendering 1 billion of polygons at 100 FPS (you just remember me a project that someone posted in the showcase and wich I really liked: fully voxel based and animated http://www.helicopter-fun.com/heli.php?cores=2&size=800&quality=2 add some antialias ans it is an amazing little voxel software 3d renderer )

Offline DzzD
« Reply #15 - Posted 2010-03-12 00:53:01 »

why not thinking of replacing GPU capable of rendering billion of polygons by GPU capable of rendering billion of those kind of 3d octrees object  ? the base entity of the GPU would then become 3d "octree/free object" rather than 2d "flat faces (triangular/polygon)" it could be cool

Offline bienator

Senior Member




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« Reply #16 - Posted 2010-03-12 01:27:52 »

why not thinking of replacing GPU capable of rendering billion of polygons by GPU capable of rendering billion of those kind of 3d octrees object  ?
a modern GPU does not care what it renders. All the nice things you can read in the GL spec are actually programs executed on the GPU. You can implement it right now using OpenCL, but as already mentioned this tec isn't yet ready to replace polygons. Interoperability is the new mid-term goal.

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2010-03-12 11:56:22 »

you cant remember Doom & Wolfeinstein ?

Neither is polygon based, and both have moving world geometry.

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Offline lhkbob

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2010-03-12 17:48:36 »

An animated character in a polygon-based game may have somewhere around 10,000 polygons in a detailed character.  All the rest of the detail is through using textures and normal-mapping.  So when someone needs to animate an arm or limb using skinning, they only have to do a max of 10,000 vertex blends (which can easily be accelerated on the GPU).

For a voxel based renderer, you'd have to adjust every single cell that makes up the same limb would have to be animated (or do some weird screen to object space transformation that depends on the animation bones and the part of the voxel octree being accessed).  Anyway, it seems like many more operations would have to be done in order to animate a character of the same amount of visual detail as a 10,000 polygon model.

Offline DzzD
« Reply #19 - Posted 2010-03-12 18:13:21 »

 Cry that's crazy how you are limiting your imagination to existing things...

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2010-03-13 10:58:07 »

I just realized that most "voxel" based games out there aren't voxel based at all, but rather just heightmaps rendered as if it was voxels (true for your game, outcast, commance and delta force). Blood and other late Build engine games had 3d voxel sprites that looked really nice, but the levels weren't based on them.

In fact, the only true voxel engine I can think of right now is VOXLAP by Ken Silverman, who also wrote the build engine.

I will, however, admit that combining voxels and raytracing is a much more accurate simulation of the real world than polygons will ever be. The "only" minor problems are that voxels require staggering amounts of ram and that raycasting in dynamic voxels is a very, very slow process still.

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Offline DzzD
« Reply #21 - Posted 2010-03-13 11:10:57 »

I will, however, admit that combining voxels and raytracing is a much more accurate simulation of the real world than polygons will ever be. The "only" minor problems are that voxels require staggering amounts of ram and that raycasting in dynamic voxels is a very, very slow process still.
GPU/CPU power have made so incredible grows in 20 years that maybe in 20 years we will build 3D world modifying "3D pixels" as we already modify 2d pixels on a texture ala minecraft Tongue

Offline DzzD
« Reply #22 - Posted 2010-03-13 14:03:10 »

An animated character in a polygon-based game may have somewhere around 10,000 polygons in a detailed character.  All the rest of the detail is through using textures and normal-mapping.  So when someone needs to animate an arm or limb using skinning, they only have to do a max of 10,000 vertex blends (which can easily be accelerated on the GPU).

For a voxel based renderer, you'd have to adjust every single cell that makes up the same limb would have to be animated (or do some weird screen to object space transformation that depends on the animation bones and the part of the voxel octree being accessed).  Anyway, it seems like many more operations would have to be done in order to animate a character of the same amount of visual detail as a 10,000 polygon model.

as you argue about lack of dynamic/interactivity think that this would be the only way to get proper destructive models, this is simply impossible to achieve with a "standard" polygonal approach (or they are very poor even in crysis engines...), you could imagine a bomb falling on ground and making a big hole and all will still appear perfectly rendered and textured. think about fluid that can find its way in such model also impossible in current polygonal approach, everything would become possible wich is not the case right now.

this is IMO a lot more adapted to animations and interactivity then the current existing polygonal model, but this is a wrong way to try to adapt already existing technics to this one, better to find new ones. just imagine a world where bitmap texture does not exist and you got our equivalent current 3d world


but for sure it wont come next years...

Offline Riven
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« Reply #23 - Posted 2010-03-13 14:27:38 »

as you argue about lack of dynamic/interactivity think that this would be the only way to get proper destructive models, this is simply impossible to achieve with a "standard" polygonal approach (or they are very poor even in crysis engines...), you could imagine a bomb falling on ground and making a big hole and all will still appear perfectly rendered and textured. think about fluid that can find its way in such model also impossible in current polygonal approach, everything would become possible wich is not the case right now.

this is IMO a lot more adapted to animations and interactivity then the current existing polygonal model, but this is a wrong way to try to adapt already existing technics to this one, better to find new ones. just imagine a world where bitmap texture does not exist and you got our equivalent current 3d world


but for sure it wont come next years...

The problem is scalability:

The framebuffer, is our current '2D' world, in which everything happens.
Filling a triangle takes O(n^2), and can be easily optimized by frustum culling and depth culling.

A voxel grid, would be our future '3D' world, in which everything happens.
Filling a volume takes O(n^3), and can't be optimized in any way.

The problem here is that for 2D grids to improve graphics, you need constant evolution.
For 3D grids to improve graphics, you need constant revolution, or we'd have to wait decades or centuries, with the current evolution.

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Offline VeaR

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« Reply #24 - Posted 2010-03-13 15:29:33 »

As i noted on jME forums, there was already talk about this (sparse voxel octrees) for some time. There is a prediction, that we will play games in a couple of years which use this technology. And whatever you think against it, like no animation possible, it will be solved eventually. There is nothing telling us, that there could be nothing better than polygon graphics.
Offline lhkbob

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« Reply #25 - Posted 2010-03-13 23:40:47 »

I may seem to be limiting myself, but that is not the case.  I was merely trying to point out that the tech demo shown was unlikely to be feasible for games.  If they had the large amount of innovations necessary to animate in realtime voxel/point clouds of that size they should have no trouble getting funding (or at least academic recognition, you'd think).

Offline DzzD
« Reply #26 - Posted 2010-03-14 01:18:39 »

I may seem to be limiting myself, but that is not the case.  I was merely trying to point out that the tech demo shown was unlikely to be feasible for games.  If they had the large amount of innovations necessary to animate in realtime voxel/point clouds of that size they should have no trouble getting funding (or at least academic recognition, you'd think).
they wont do a lot without any money, this is the problem , they probably need funding to perform/continue research but they need to find a little more before they get money ( hehe I just think of that : do you know if the egg was first ? ot if it was the chicken ? ) 

I whatch the video again & again and really think it is a promizing technologie ( they got water reflexion already, faked for sure but it do the job ).

ps: I may not  have  really well understood but doesn't he said "the rendering is done in software" ? it would be logical has hardware is probably not well adapted to this kind of rendering but if they can render that 3d world in software with decent FPS, imagine with the power of paralelization on a powerfull GPU !

anyone got some other videos about this ?

EDIT: they got some explntnio on lighting and nice screen on their website : http://unlimiteddetailtechnology.com/pictures.html

Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #27 - Posted 2010-03-14 02:15:26 »


Wow those screenshots are extraordinary. It's rare to see 3D trees looking so good. 3D graphics can easily look worse than 2D because they lack detail, but those screenshots are rich with details.

It's strange that they're working on this tech for games rather than big budget movies, I would have thought that movies would be an easier market.

It says you can "import objects from the real world using a laser scanner". That's amazing!

Bring it on, I can't wait for the demos

Offline DzzD
« Reply #28 - Posted 2010-03-14 02:47:39 »

here is another video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Sw3dnu8q8 ( I dont really like how this men present/talk about its technologie but it is still an impressive work )

Offline lhkbob

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« Reply #29 - Posted 2010-03-14 04:00:55 »

I found it odd that in some videos the man suggests that his system can be used in mobile phones and other limited devices, and then in another video suggests that scenes can hold trillions and trillions of points.  At some point the memory and disk space will become an issue, maybe not for desktop computers, but he seems to make a lot of really large claims without providing runnable demos, test computer statistics or anything like that.

Also, personally I hate the way he says "unlimited point cloud data"  persecutioncomplex

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