Unlimited Detail wants to kill 3D cards

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  • SpaceDave3000 10 Mar 2010 12:56:21 78,432 posts
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    RPS link

    Unlimited detail website

    It looks pretty ugly just now, there are several really patronising videos knocking around that cover all the details. It's using the point sprite (remember this?), or point cloud data as they've renamed it, method of rendering that's done without GPU acceleration.

    It's a lot like raytracing or voxels.

    Awesome stuff if it works. If.

    I foresee problems when physics are thrown into the equation, any sort of real time interaction with the world, or animation of any type, for that matter. Still, it'll make life easy for 3D modellers who'll no longer have to worry about topology, displacement maps, baked occlusion, poly counts and so on.

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  • phAge 10 Mar 2010 13:06:08 24,386 posts
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    Derka... derka?
  • Mr-Brett 10 Mar 2010 13:13:20 12,822 posts
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    The voiceover guy is right, it does seem to good to be true. Also that video is cheesy and annoying, just had to mention it.

    If what they say is true then it could be the future of real time graphics, but as has been pointed out, they didn't go into much detail about any of the other aspects of a 3D game engine, just polygons.

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  • jellyhead 10 Mar 2010 13:13:27 24,350 posts
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    You'll need a big hefty CPU for that i'd imagine and a lot of RAM unless they've got great compression routines. So, they are the same guys that surfaced a few years ago, interesting. Let's see how it goes.

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  • SpaceDave3000 10 Mar 2010 13:19:12 78,432 posts
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    Yeah, one of my concerns is memory and how much info is needed. They used very few models to create the few scenes that weren't of the same model, I can see it getting boggier and boggier the more models are involved. And that much data takes a lot of space without procedures to fill in the blanks.

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  • DFawkes 10 Mar 2010 13:23:31 23,309 posts
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    I remember reading up on something similar once and thinking that's how PS3 devs would really push the PS3, assuming the Cell was really everything they said it would be. I'll leave whether that was the case up to you.

    Can't see it catching on too much though, it's need developers to rethink things too much. By all means, I'd love to see a dev make something of this, as it could be something special.

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  • Psychotext 10 Mar 2010 13:25:48 54,391 posts
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    I have a strange feeling that these guys are trying to sell me a bridge... but if they're not, and it works, this would be pretty revolutionary.
  • Psychotext 10 Mar 2010 13:29:58 54,391 posts
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    Indeed. Gotta love business. =/
  • jellyhead 10 Mar 2010 13:56:51 24,350 posts
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    According to the video ATi and Nvidia just ignored them and sent them away. I'm sure if they had a way to accelerate this then they may have more luck from the hardware boys who seem to be stuck in polygon mode.

    It does make me pine for Outcast 2 though :)

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  • Shivoa 10 Mar 2010 15:05:24 5,677 posts
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    Intel are already spending plenty in working the details for the ray-tracing many-core CPU rendering of the future. nVidia are also giving it quite a bit of cash (but trying to keep it on their many-core existing GPU solution with GPGPU stuff). ATi/AMD could be doing anything for all I know (maybe their researchers are working at looking at both end of the scale).

    That screen from the 3DMark2001 bench has reminded me of what we were looking at back then and the potential of the successor to voxels taking over the world. Can't say anything in those videos really looks like anyone is doing something interesting that really deserves the attention. OH, and as the RPS comments call out, technical paper or it didn't happen.
  • matrim83 1 Aug 2011 17:56:58 5,589 posts
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    And update. Sort of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKUuUvDSXk4

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  • Razz 1 Aug 2011 18:02:54 61,391 posts
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    Oh god, it's voxels all over again :/

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  • Psychotext 1 Aug 2011 18:10:06 54,391 posts
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    Definitely a step forward since the last showing, but still some way to go.
  • chopsen 1 Aug 2011 18:13:18 16,125 posts
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    So then next gen is all going to be about the gravel.
  • Deleted user 1 August 2011 18:13:32
    The title made me think of the boasts for the engine for Republic: The Revolution.
  • dsmx 1 Aug 2011 18:13:50 7,648 posts
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    I thought voxels worked quite nicely in Red Alert 2, was a very nice looking game for it's time.

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  • Razz 1 Aug 2011 18:16:09 61,391 posts
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    I said the same about Oucast, I found it very organic.

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  • MrTomFTW Moderator 1 Aug 2011 18:18:09 38,637 posts
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    Trying to remember the name of the FPS that used voxels... Delta Force was it?

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  • Deleted user 1 August 2011 18:22:31
    DDevil wrote:
    Trying to remember the name of the FPS that used voxels... Delta Force was it?

    There were a few, but yeah, that's one of them. All the Novalogic games used voxels for landscape generation as far as I remember.
  • mal 1 Aug 2011 18:28:25 22,684 posts
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    Seems odd to me they're talking about doing the voxel sorting/searching in software, by which I take to mean on-CPU. Seems to me like the sort of thing that would be better farming off to be computed by the GPU. Might suit the SIMD elements of current consoles quite well too... which makes it strange they're doing their demos on a laptop. Still the clever stuff is likely to be how they store the voxels and work out occlusions, and that will likely apply quite well regardless of how your navigate it.

    I have no idea how they'd do that though, specially resolving object occlusion from different angles. Something along the lines of ray tracing, I'd have thought, but how you store and compress that data I don't know. It's perhaps interesting that their current demo has no transparent objects, cos that could compromise their scheme to some extent, I'd guess.

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  • meggsy 1 Aug 2011 18:39:55 1,628 posts
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    They uploaded their industry-changing graphics tech vid in...480p?

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  • FutileResistor 1 Aug 2011 18:43:39 1,238 posts
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    If there is actually anything to this at all, and if they had any business sense rather than just technical smarts, the people they should be pitching this to are intel.
  • SpaceDave3000 1 Aug 2011 19:01:42 78,432 posts
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    I see they've upgraded their logo from one that looks like it belonged on the Psychic Unicorn Webring.

    I'm still yet to see a hint of anything being animated with bones and skin weighting or indeed anything to put aside any of the concerns I had previously.

    I'm calling it a massive bust.

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  • Deleted user 1 August 2011 19:13:31
    darter
  • O11Y 1 Aug 2011 19:41:42 103 posts
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    Delta Force was a cracker!

    Anyone seen the second video? The soundtrack is like something out of Silent Hill. If this idea actually works, Nvidia will buy them out and the project will get buried. Personally, it looks like a snazzy tech demo and nothing more. I don't see pixels getting usurped any time soon
  • PearOfAnguish 1 Aug 2011 22:31:38 7,370 posts
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    From what they showed it does nice static objects but there's no sign of anything dynamic. What about animation? How would it handle deformable terrain and scenery like the Frostbite 2 or Geo-Mod engines?

    And all the talk of infinite graphics was like a surreal late-night shopping channel infomercial. INFINITE GEM-MANIAS.
  • L0cky 2 Aug 2011 01:28:24 1,538 posts
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    I'll just go by his tone of voice that the whole thing is an investment scam.
  • spamdangled 2 Aug 2011 01:33:04 27,410 posts
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    I thought raytracing style methods are massively CPU-intensive to the point where they are outside of even an enthusiast-level budget?

    /not clicked the link yet

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  • spamdangled 2 Aug 2011 01:40:07 27,410 posts
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    Ok, watched the video.

    All I can think of is "WE HAVE UNLIMITED GRAPHICS POWAHHHHHHHHHHH. More tea, anyone?"

    Also: One of the biggest complaints I see when it comes to graphics isn't angular models, etc, but shite, blurry textures. And texture mapping arguably does a lot more to increase graphical realism than the polycount of models. I don't really see much in that video to answer the question of how the tech gets around the inherent problem of ram limiting the piping of high-res textures onto models in realtime. Texture pop-in is, imo, the biggest problem when it comes to obvious graphical shortcomings this gen.

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