Polygons, voxels, SDFs... what will our geometry be made of in the future?

Discussion in 'Rendering Technology and APIs' started by eloyc, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. chris1515

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    Because it means throw out all the rendering tools and red completly the game engine rendering part. Same physics engine work with polygons need to redo everything like MM do, they use Havok. Same with raycasting for AI visibility.
     
  2. eloyc

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    Yeah, of course, I know that, but as I said, MM are a small team and they did it. I don't understand why other studios aren't even experimenting with this. :|

    I hope this game and this tech aren't anecdotal and won't be forgotten. I really hope one day we will get rid of polygons. :mrgreen:
     
  3. JoeJ

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    Could be solved with preprocessing tools to generate low poly assets automatically for physics, AI and occlusion culling. Also redunant geometry can be remove this way (thinking of copy pasting mountin ridg with most parts ending up invisible but still processed), and ideal representation of geometry (triangles or point cloud) can be chosen per LOD.
    Considerng Dreams can not do this with in game user edits, it's even more impressive how far they got with this.
     
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  4. Globalisateur

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    In dreams engine, does the tech (SDF) even use any of the fixed function hardware reserved for the triangle creation and processing?
     
  5. chris1515

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    It is a mix of splatting and they rasterize cubes because of holes. This is the last update they gave on twitter during a discussion with sebbbi.
     
  6. JoeJ

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    From the older paper there is no SDF used for rendering, only for modelling.
    The models are converted to hierarchical point clouds. (So the rendering has nothing in common with SDF tracing like used in Claybook. Could have changed, though.)
     
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  7. eloyc

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    Look at that floor!

    upload_2020-2-2_12-33-3.png

    That's true geometric detail, not a fakery. And you could clone and paste the same model as many times as you want. Dreams is so amazing. Can you imagine a game made up of polygons with a polygonal floor like that (not a normal map, etc)?

    The cons can be easily visible, yes, but, oh man, the pros... So many times dreams have this CGI look (the gnomes!) that I haven't seen or felt in other games. Because everything is truly volumetric, everything looks just right. I don't know how to explain it. Everything feels volumetric, not hollow, to me.

    Video here:
     
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  8. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I think that's largely psychosomatic, because you know it's working in volumes - it's not possible to 'see' if something is hollow or not when its opaque (real life garden gnomes are hollow!). Likewise, CGI rendered with 'hollow' triangle meshes can look completely real and solid. Dreams' major advantage is the lighting and materials, which probably mostly comes down to lighting as loads of games have PBR materials. When it's good, it's as good as anything out there. However, it doesn't work fabulously with all dynamic objects. I haven't properly investigated, but a default character can look very traditional and flat with no self-occlusion. Scenery looks great, which is baked lighting, and there's some sort of light probe thing going on for dynamic objects.

    In short, area lights. :wink: And Dreams PS5 with RT. <3
     
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  9. eloyc

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    I know. :mrgreen: But I guess the fact that lighting matches true geometric volume all the time (instead of flat surfaces with a simulated volume) helps a lot. You know, these little things our brain can spot even though we're not very conscious about them.

    I don't know if you played a dream called Moon Cave or Moonlight Cave... something like that. I was amazed.

    Yes, and there are more limitations, as well. Such as objects being transparent to the background as a form of fog, or the lack of proper reflections or rigging with soft blending for characters.

    <3
     
  10. JoeJ

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    I have experienced it myself recently, working on solid voxelization. I only need this to convert triangle soup into robust geometry for further processing. But then, playing around with it... i suddenly understood why some people are excited about things like voxels.

    It's real. It's not a shallow hull, or a partial facade only looking good from one angle - tweaked smoke and mirrors made by gamedevs to fool us.
    It's real, solid matter. And i can combine it. I can subtract a Bunny out of the belly of an Armadillo model - at interactive rates. 3DS Max would just crash after a minute :)
    Bend it, squeeze it, twirl it... now i see making stuff in Dreams is probably lots of fun :D
     
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  11. Voxilla

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    Regarding voxels, I've been updating my 10 years old fluid simulation/rendering engine:
     
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  12. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    If you change gravity does the fluid start going everywhere?
     
  13. Frenetic Pony

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    Oooooh, shiny.

    Feel like the only thing keeping almost everyone on polygons is sheer momentum and history. All the tools and workflows and experience are with polygons so that's what everyone sticks with. But alternative representations present the opportunity for so much more detail at such faster speeds, for being so easy and simply to manipulate, and for doing improved light techniques much faster that it's really a shame.
     
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  14. Voxilla

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    This is without gravity.
    BTW I started posting on Twitter too:
     
    #134 Voxilla, Feb 5, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  15. eloyc

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    Insane geometric density/detail!


    I know the graphics are a bit rough in certain ways, but they have a next-gen look to them. Every bump, crevice, hole is truly 3d, not a texture.
     
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  16. eloyc

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    Look at this!


    LOOK. AT. THIS.
     
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  17. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    The lighting is great, overall really nice setting. Unfortunately due to the tech, it's lifeless.
     
  18. eloyc

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    Why lifeless, due to the tech?
     
  19. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    You're walking around a completely static scene.
     
  20. eloyc

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    Yes, that is a fact in that scene, but that doesn't address the point of you blaming the tech for a lifeless scene. :mrgreen: Dreams allows the creation of realistic set pieces along with animated stuff. It's just the creator did this as a showcase, not that the tech doesn't allow dynamic stuff going on.
     
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