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 global illumination, 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).

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