Historical rendering dead-ends

Discussion in 'Rendering Technology and APIs' started by Concerto, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Concerto

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    So on Twitter I came across a thread posted by Richard Mitton (@grumpygiant) asking for any examples of rendering dead-ends, one of his examples being Ecstatica’s ellipsoid technology. I found this interesting and wondered if there is anybody on this forum with experiences with that sort of thing.

    Some highlights that stuck out to me from the comments were Microsoft’s Talisman and its features like impostor textures, forward texture mapping and quadratics (nvidia nv1/ Sega Saturn), voxels, as well as some 8-bit computer trickery.
     
  2. milk

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    First thing that comes to mind is the old arcades that rendered their graphics as the signal was being sent to the monitor's raster to avoid wasting costly memory on a frame buffer. Racing the beam.
    Going even further back, we can point to older arcades such as asteroids,that didn't even use raster displays, but rather oscilloscope like monitors where they controlled the beam directly.
     
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  3. milk

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    For modern 3d graphics, Doom engine and it's contemporaries also employed vertical line ray-casting, which although limited, allowed some form of pseudo-3d rendering at realtime speeds on 90's IBM PC's.
     
  4. jlippo

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    Heightmap raycastsing, especially ray surfing variants which restricted camera rotations.
    Also voxel sprites from games like Bladerunner.

    Loved the idea of image based rendering when it was introduced as well, but it's pretty much transformed into something we see in advanced impostors and not on actual geometry.
    Sadly lot of the research and demos have vanished from the web, but things like proper object rotation etc running on ancient GPUs etc.
     
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  5. fellix

    fellix Hey, You!
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    PowerVR's Infinite Planes primitive type?
     
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  6. corysama

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    Continuous level of detail meshes. It's not worth any amount of PCI bandwidth to edit an index buffer on the GPU. Forsyth's sliding window technique is the only one I've seen that doesn't seem absurd on modern hardware.

    Related to ellipsoid rendering, point-based rendering is ever the future. There's a 4x4-vertex patch based approach with seems like a not-as-bad compromise. Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed is rendering in GPU-culled clumps of 256(?) vertices.
     
  7. OCASM

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    Doom 3 style stencil shadows.
     
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  8. Theeoo

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    I believe Voxatron employs ray casting techniques to allow destructible terrain. Plus it runs entirely on the cpu.

     
  9. milk

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    ok, that's 3d raycasting, the cool thing about doom, build, outlaws and company, is that it was basically a 2.5D process.
     
  10. Concerto

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    I had to read up on the image based rendering and PowerVR’s Infinite Planes techniques. The former is like a Cube-map on steroids or something? At least that’s the idea I got when reading about it.

    The Infinite Plane tech is interesting though but I am left wondering what the real world application of the technique would be. One video that I did see from Scali’s OpenBlog showed some limitations with the original hardware and it seems to only work best with simple surfaces and shadow volumes.
     

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