Realike: the bendy engine

December 31, 2012 at 11:13 am | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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Realike is a holistic simulation engine based upon the idea of atom that unifies what you see with what is detected (What You See Is What You Touch (WYSIWYT)) and let physic interactions emerge by themselves. It’s inspired by my previous work from 2004 Pentium IV 3000MHz II: fabric.

The nominal way of making 3D games was and is being explored thoroughly by most developers, that is: everything in the game is an empty triangle shell controllable through predefined animations. But (and this is a big but) the interactions are performed between invisible bounding volumes. Also if you want something to be breakable you must program it specifically. There’s nothing wrong with this traditional way, several of my all time favourite games fall under this category. But there are another possibilities.

Here is mine: every part of every interactive object in the game behaves as it should by itself. Just put out there your avatar or any interactive part of the scene and attach to it some forces applied to specific parts (= muscles) and you are ready to go. All collision detection will be performed over what you see on screen: What You See Is What You Touch (WYSIWYT). Fracture patterns will appear spontaneously whenever enough stress emerges on some part of the system.

One way to do this is just plagiarism of the way things are done in the real world: everything must be composed of (and exclusively of) atoms. Each atom could have position, size, mass, softness, interactions with other atoms, orientation…

Arising problem: the amount of atoms required to construct anything playable is going to be huge. Very careful design is going to be needed to reduce memory usage. And even more care should be put CPU wise. It could be challenging to animate at 60 fps many thousands of interacting dynamic atoms. Let’s also allow for static atoms used to create non changing parts of the game. Realike has been designed to address this issue. Some of its advantages are:

  • Varied material properties arise by themselves from internal specific atom structure (just as in chemical compounds), examples are:
    • rubbery materials
    • rigid materials
    • combination of rubbery and rigid along different axis
    • fragile (easily breakable)
    • unbreakable
    • fabric
    • malleable
    • fluid
  • No need for separate handling of bounding volumes for collision detection and visualization, this just happens by itself whenever something is constructed on the engine.
  • New exotic types of avatars are possible, for example real bipeds/quadrupeds. Watch the video for another example of a wrinkled thick-fabric like ball.
  • The difficult to rate advantage of an exciting new feeling. Hard to describe how enticing is to control an avatar inside an all atom world. You’ll have to trust me on this one until the game ‘Fathomed dodecahedron’ is released.
  • On the game editor front whole new approaches are possible all stemming from the fact you are now dealing with real filled objects with internal structure instead of empty shells.
  • Potentially everything can bend and/or break without any extra effort, it will just happen under the right stress.
  • If individual atom behaviour is well programmed then 2 natural physic traits will emerge by themselves without having expressly been coded: precession on rotating bodies and angular momentum.
  • There’s an oportunity here to innovate also at visual level. How are you going to represent the particles? realtime blobs? individual polygon spheres? using the atoms as the skeleton of an empty traditional triangle shell? are you going to raytrace them? billboarding perhaps? …

Here is gameplay capture of ‘Fathomed dodecahedron’, it runs at 150 fps on my PC:

'Fathomed dodecahedron'

‘Fathomed dodecahedron’

Steampunk landscape

October 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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The video below has been rendered with the Raydiant rendering engine, also all the geometry has been procedurally generated with Raydiant from a digital photo using http://cutemosaic.com. As you will see there are several gear floors mounted in a clock like fashion. At the beginning of the video a close-up of an emerald bearing shows refraction and reflection. The surface of the uppermost plating is bumpmapped and modelled with triangles. Also cylinders, stretched  spheres and boxes are used as geometric primitives. The gears are procedurally bumpmapped on the edges. Everything has global illumination and several material kinds with unique light scattering/dispersing profiles are used. Can you see what is depicted by the whole gear maze? Pay attention to the inscriptions along the way and make sure you watch it on HD setting.

Playing across the domes

January 8, 2012 at 10:17 am | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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The video below is composed of around 2000 renders done with Raydiant at around 1 and a half minute each one. A geometry operator that applies non homogeneous scaling and shear to any contained object is used to transform spheres into beads. Images are automatically postprocessed inside Raydiant to show lens glow on saturated spots. To that extent a subpixel accumulative scalar field parametrized by angle, distance, intensity and hue has been applied at every glowing texel. All the geometry has been procedurally generated inside Raydiant from a digital photo of an undisclosed location of the Persian Gulf (http://cutemosaic.com).

Flying over the stained glass mountains

December 18, 2011 at 11:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The following video has been rendered with Raydiant over a period of 3 and a half days and It’s composed of around 3000 frames. The camera path was graphically edited inside Raydiant using 3er degree polynomial splines to smoothly interpolate location, orientation, speed and fov. To enrich the visual feedback during the camera path designing the render mode was set to full radiosity, giving around a frame per second at low resolution. This way the real refraction/reflections and global lightning were taken into account in order to create the video. This is the first Raydiant made video and all it’s geometry was automatically generated inside the engine using its procedural API from a digital photo of the Brandenburg Gate. This was done at Cutemosaic. Special thanks for the music go to the group ‘El perro de nadie’ (http://elperrodenadie.foroactivo.com).

Colorado: interactive raytraced unlimited geometry

September 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Computer path | 2 Comments
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Mathematical operation sequences had been described for a ray to be realtime checked against all sort of geometries, basic (spheres, polyhedron, cylinders, torus…) and complex (clouds, classical fractals, trees…). The use of procedurally generated recursively inscribed bounding volumes offers a great creative canvas to improve along this line. The following is a realtime raytraced demo of a mountain landscape composed of slightly more than 17 trillion truncated triangular prisms (specifically 17.592.186.044.416). Also, truncated irregular triangular prisms are used as bounding volumes. There’s currently no LOD mechanism in place, every geometry is considered each frame. The 3D procedural texture is combination of 2D and 1D fractal turbulence splines mapped to a suitable color palette and has no LOD control. The demo runs on Raydiant, a general purpose light tracer not particularly optimized for real time. The default Colorado demo quality is preview and you can take high quality radiosity snapshots at any time that, depending on resolution, can last anything from 5 minutes to several hours (so start trying it at low resolution). Camera is controlled with the keyboard. This binary executable is for Linux and uses a Qt 4.6.2 GUI. Because those 17 trillion prisms exist as a potentiality defined by an algorithm they use no RAM. That’s a good thing because to store all prisms around 1 petabyte of RAM would be required. Colorado runs entirely on CPU, so you are strongly advised to execute it on a powerful multicore processor with 4 or more kernels. Raydiant performance grows linearly with kernel count. The binary has been tested on Ubuntu 10.04. The GUI provides you with help about the camera movement and means to change resolution. As the GUI is still at alpha stage mess with it at your own risk. More info about Raydiant is available at previous posts at this blog and at ompf. To get personalized renders from the engine this online service is available. Note that Colorado is different from what Euclideon is doing. Colorado is a raytracer and could have used *any* combination of geometry types: spheres, cylinders, torus, triangles, polyhedrons, polygons, bit matrix, washers, quadrics, points…
I found it difficult to grasp the meaning of elevated quantities like 17 trillion, to help me see what it amounts to this zooming sequence with a factor of approximately x4 million has been developed:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Download Colorado here, execute Colorado.sh and please mind this instructions. How to select the antialiassing level. How to make radiosity snapshots.

Should circumstances allow it (meaning time is available) I intend to release a very simple concept game taking place on a large scenario, may be with real time completely dynamic radiosity over unlimited light sources.

Golden slabs, glitter and silhouettes

August 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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These mosaics have been made using some filter trickery, isosurfaces, height fields, procedural 3D manipulation and lastly rendered with the Raydiant engine. Try it with your own photos at cutemosaic.com.

Cute mosaic grows

April 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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Thank you all for the support. Cute mosaic is getting popular and it seems many people want to get creative making mosaics from their photos. We have several interesting suggestions to improve the web (like making mosaics out of buttons, integration with PayPal, more materials…) that are being implemented right now. In the mean time here are some articles about the web and 3D engine:

wwwhatsnew.com

www.crunchbase.com

ompf.org

Make a 3D radiosity rendered mosaic and win an iPod

March 26, 2011 at 10:39 am | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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At cutemosaic.com we have a brand new bunch of mosaic types, better and prettier than the previous ones. To celebrate we are making a contest. So if you are creative just go to cutemosaic.com, make a mosaic for free, upload it to facebook and wait for the people to vote. If you win an iPod will be yours!. Here are some of the new mosaics:

Mosaics mosaics mosaics

February 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Posted in Computer path | Leave a comment
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After some fine tuning, the mosaics produced by the Raydiant engine at http://cutemosaic.com are now showing for what they are: full radiosity 3D renders. Try any of this images at full resolution and see for yourself. And remember to do it with your photos for free at cutemosaic.com. Also there is a new improved web interface.

Cute mosaic for you

January 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Computer path | 1 Comment
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After some time at last a public server is ready to attend petitions for personalized mosaics rendered with Raydiant engine. There are almost 300 different configurations to choose from. The resulting mosaic can have up to 24 megapixels. No need to register, just configure your mosaic (the finnish method ‘Realistic’ is a full-fledge-no-tricks radiosity render of the composed mosaic), upload your photo and specify the mail where you want to receive the finished mosaic. Your feedback is most welcome. The web in question is cutemosaic.com. Let me know if you find it fun!

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