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Thread: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

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    Senior Member LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo has a reputation beyond repute LivioRazlo's Avatar
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    Default Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    On average, the polygon count in computer games will rise by about 20% every year. However This revolutionary system (IF TRUE) will allow for "unlimited graphical power". The people at Euclideon have have created a tool that massively reduces the processing power needed for such high level detail.

    Check out their video:



    I would love to hear your views on this. Are you excited? Do you feel this is too good to be true?
    Last edited by LivioRazlo; 04-06-2012 at 04:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    If it does happen great, though they don't have a good record right now so seeing is believing. Even if they bring processing power down there's other factors that come into play. So it could still be many people don't currently have the resources to run a game using such technology.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    This is fake in the sense that it only works in for a very limited (albeit impressive looking) set of circumstances. You can't make a game using this technology. One of the main limitations is that changing the model becomes ridiculously expensive, so you're in effect stuck with static levels.

    But Notch, of minecraft fame, is even better than me at debunking this stuff.
    Last edited by Eris; 04-06-2012 at 03:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Yeah , this is rather old news... I remember seeing this a while ago. Now that you remind me of it , i am rather disappointed it never came trough.
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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by GameGeeks View Post
    If it does happen great, though they don't have a good record right now so seeing is believing. Even if they bring processing power down there's other factors that come into play. So it could still be many people don't currently have the resources to run a game using such technology.

    they've apparently built a polygon converter so it works fine with old tech. They've said "it's business as usual for the model artists. "

    Here is a video where they actually run that island on some laptop.
    And it's not video footage played on a laptop, it's a fully adventureable map.





    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    This is fake in the sense that it only works in for a very limited (albeit impressive looking) set of circumstances. You can't make a game using this technology. One of the main limitations is that changing the model becomes ridiculously expensive, so you're in effect stuck with static levels.
    I did think the same, that it could only be used in static environments. but that in itself is very impressive- imagine the static environments of Bioshock, Oblivion, etc rendered with this. So the question is, how do physics fit into this? From what i've heard that is a matter of creating a hit box around the item. This tool is just used to create the surfaces of things, supposedly the physics works in the same way as before.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by LivioRazlo View Post
    I did think the same, that it could only be used in static environments. but that in itself is very impressive- imagine the static environments of Bioshock, Oblivion, etc rendered with this. So the question is, how do physics fit into this? From what i've heard that is a matter of creating a hit box around the item. This tool is just used to create the surfaces of things, supposedly the physics works in the same way as before.
    You can't have physics in an engine that can't do motion. All the items and NPCs are frozen in place (or move or rotate in a very simple fashion), because you can't animate voxel trees in any sensible manner. There's nothing for the physics to act upon. You can also not create a world like that of Oblivion with this technology, as the only way you can create large worlds is to repeat the same chunks over and over in some order (which is what you see in the demo).
    Last edited by Eris; 04-06-2012 at 04:33 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    You can't have physics in an engine that can't do motion. All the items and NPCs are frozen in place (or move or rotate in a very simple fashion), because you can't animate voxel trees in any sensible manner. There's nothing for the physics to act upon. You can also not create a world like that of Oblivion with this technology, as the only way you can create large worlds is to repeat the same chunks over and over in some order (which is what you see in the demo).
    Yeah i did some more research. you are certainly correct with the physics! Voxel physics is very messy stuff. But i don't see why you could create a whole sprawling environment through this. they've got a small team and could only create a limited amount of stuff- which yes, they've repeated to make this island. I can't see why more man power couldn't create skyrim into voxel detail. especially with that converter they say they've made.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    The reason it's all repeated is because non-repetitive voxel graphics is extremely memory intensive (it's very easy to re-use parts of the map without adding memory with voxel trees). I'm not certain a world the size of Skyrim, rendered with voxels, would fit on all the ram that exists in the world.

    I mean, really, my computer has 8 GB RAM. Even if you manage to squeeze a voxel into every single byte (which isn't even possible), that's 8 589 934 592 voxels.
    Le'ts assume on average the world has a wafer thin 10 vertical voxels.
    That's 858,993,459 square voxels.
    Or 30000x30000 voxels.
    Even if you make those voxels a very blocky 1 cubic inch, that makes the entire world 2500 x 2500 feet.

    Even with those unrealistically generous figures, that's only 1/10 the size of skyrim. With less generous (and more realistic) figures, accounting for branch memory, colors, shading and so forth you'd get maybe 1/500 of that.
    Last edited by Eris; 04-06-2012 at 05:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    so how do polygons get away with this? Skyrim is procedurally generated I think...

    By the way, that elephant in the video had about 500,000 voxels. The square metre of dirt had 15 million. I don't know how much the tree and rocks and statue are, but perhaps they are scalable. How many voxels would guess was in the unique block of items that they used? They ran this on an i7 processor laptop with 8gb ram.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by LivioRazlo View Post
    so how do polygons get away with this? Skyrim is procedurally generated I think...

    By the way, that elephant in the video had about 500,000 voxels. The square metre of dirt had 15 million. I don't know how much the tree and rocks and statue are, but perhaps they are scalable. How many voxels would guess was in the unique block of items that they used? They ran this on an i7 processor laptop with 8gb ram.
    Ok, let's draw a flat square.

    In terms of polygons, you need to know the corners of the square. That's four pieces of information. You later apply a texture to this to add detail. But this is cheap, as you reuse textures.

    In terms of voxels, you need to define every point of the square. Depending on the size of the square, that could be thousands or tens of thousands of pieces of information. Instead of referring to a common texture, all that information is redundantly encoded over and over again in the world. Which is why they need to re-use the same elements.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    Ok, let's draw a flat square.

    In terms of polygons, you need to know the corners of the square. That's four pieces of information. You later apply a texture to this to add detail. But this is cheap, as you reuse textures.

    In terms of voxels, you need to define every point of the square. Depending on the size of the square, that could be thousands or tens of thousands of pieces of information. Instead of referring to a common texture, all that information is redundantly encoded over and over again in the world. Which is why they need to re-use the same elements.

    Please, if you have time, have a look at this video.



    Around 27 minutes, I gather that what is actually gonig on is that the voxel information is stored on the drive, but what, I guess, the Ram/processor would do is sort through the points and only grabbing the ones they need. Which is 1 point for every pixel on the screen. So really, I think you'd always have the same amount of voxel information in the RAM (equal to the number of pixels on the screen), this information would just change as you move around and zoom in and out.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by LivioRazlo View Post
    Please, if you have time, have a look at this video.



    Around 27 minutes, I gather that what is actually gonig on is that the voxel information is stored on the drive, but what, I guess, the Ram/processor would do is sort through the points and only grabbing the ones they need. Which is 1 point for every pixel on the screen. So really, I think you'd always have the same amount of voxel information in the RAM (equal to the number of pixels on the screen), this information would just change as you move around and zoom in and out.
    The problem with that approach is that hard drives are incredibly slow. In order to do such a sorting, you'd need to comb through a large portion of the level on the harddrive. And even with SATA3, that's only 0.6 Gb/s available transfer speed. Excluding the actual calculations, and assuming optimal cache. And in the time it takes to render a frame at 30 FPS, that's only 20 Mb read. Which is not nearly enough for any sort of meaningful feature to be loaded. It's just about enough to load a still image at 1280p.

    This is the reason why graphics chips have a memory bandwidth of the order 100 Gb/s and bus speeds of the order 10 Gb/s.
    Last edited by Eris; 04-07-2012 at 06:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris View Post
    The problem with that approach is that hard drives are incredibly slow. In order to do such a sorting, you'd need to comb through a large portion of the level on the harddrive. And even with SATA3, that's only 0.6 Gb/s available transfer speed. Excluding the actual calculations, and assuming optimal cache. And in the time it takes to render a frame at 30 FPS, that's only 20 Mb read. Which is not nearly enough for any sort of meaningful feature to be loaded. It's just about enough to load a still image at 1280p.

    This is the reason why graphics chips have a memory bandwidth of the order 100 Gb/s and bus speeds of the order 10 Gb/s.
    Ah i'm not versed in this field enough to make further comment. thanks for your input though Eris. It'll be interesting to see what they do come up with soon.

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    Default Re: Graphics more than 100 times better could be a reality soon.

    There's no denying that in terms of geometric definition, those "Unlimited Detail" models in that video far surpass that of any models featured in the most realistic video game to date.

    I would have some concerns though given the fact that the presentation failed to answer many critical questions, although I've kept in mind that the technology in question is still under development:

    Apart from the undeniably superior geometry in the models themselves, the visuals do appear to be technically lacking somewhat, especially in terms of key features responsible for the quality of current-gen graphics (i.e. specular reflections, bloom lighting, shadows etc....). One interesting observation is the apparent repetition of the models themselves, almost as if instances have been used to get around RAM (if not CPU) costs; another is the lack of animation, meaning that thus far, all we've really seen is a small number of unique, inert (abeit geometrically accurate) objects. In any case, the technology at this stage cannot be considered as a revolutionary solution for games developers, although that's not to say it's totally useless - far from it.

    An alternative technology aimed at reducing processing power while banishing the need for "polygon budgets" does sound great imo, and I'm certainly all for that as a direction towards future-generation graphics. Also it seems to me that polygon-based graphics are still a long way from accurately representing the geometrical subtleties of real world objects and in many respects, are not exactly the best principle when it comes to replicating organic environments.

    Polygon-based technologies have to go through several processor-hungry steps in order to convert masses of geometry and texels to screen pixels, and that's not even taking into account special effects and lighting. Euclideon claim that their technology can keep CPU demands low, as it's designed to grab just 1 "atom" per screen pixel. If this is true then even a simple CPU (or GPU) should have enough power to render detailed environments. The claim that the technology can render "Unlimited Detail" visuals is somewhat misleading though, since detail is ultimately limited to screen resolution (a more accurate claim would be "Virtually Unlimited Detail") but that is to miss the point. The key words here are "4 atoms per mm", enough detail to rid 3D graphics of muddy/variable-quality textures, angular geometry and the need for bumpmapping. And let's face it: polygons might be great for buildings and facety objects but are a pig when it comes to organics; on the other hand the ability to produce natural looking foliage, grass and fur (etc.) is not an issue for the technology in question.

    With all that said, I think it'd be more productive to have a combination of said technologies rather than a total revolution.
    Last edited by .:neuko:.; 04-10-2012 at 05:30 AM.

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