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Socoder -> Art and Sound -> Unlimited 3D Detail

Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 00:46
Stealth
So this company called Unlimited Detail has developed a new technology replacing polygons with tiny points. From what I understand, they are using high resolution pre-rendered point maps. Pixels are accessed using a high speed search engine system (like Google would use) and can quickly find information. This system only needs to access one piece of data per pixel and it's able to produce stunning detail.

This is one hell of a breakthrough. What do you think?


View on YouTube

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Quit posting and try Google.
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 02:00
Afr0
Interesting!
The graphics didn't impress me that much though...

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Afr0 Games

Project Dollhouse on Github - Please fork!
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 02:52
Jayenkai
I think it's a neat idea, but needs some smoothing.
At the moment it's 1 point per pixel, which is nice enough, but would give one hell of an anti-aliasing problem.
Plus, there's the added fact that every game video is running at a nice smooth framerate, then they jump to their engine, and it start skipping and hopping all over the place.
Given that they started this around about the time that Total Rome came out, about 4 years ago, they probably could've tweaked that a wee bit.

No matter, it's a fascinating tech idea, and if they pull it off, then bravo.
Great stuff.

Although, maybe for the world. You'd have to keep most entities as plain polygons, or it'd really bump up the search engine's difficulty.

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''Load, Next List!''
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 05:17
Mog
Few issues i had with this video...

Was pretty painful hearing him explain some things, like how their "search algorithm" is similar to Google- so what, we need large network farms to cache huge amounts of data?

When i first saw how it looked, it popped into my head. This is Voxel. This shits been around for yonks, and each time it's been mediocre. Personally i love Voxels but it was just too slow to use back in the day. This feels more like Voxel 2.0 for modern hardware. This guy makes it out like it's something new and exciting- he's a few decades or so late. Don't get me wrong- it's cool and i'll give it credit, but let's see it applied to something other than a fly-around demo.

Lastly, FFFUUUU horrible looping midi!

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I am Busy Mongoose - My Website

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Current Project: Pyroxene
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 07:20
JL235
It's meant to be something different to voxels, something more. But voxel technology is maybe going to be incorperated into the next Id Tech engine as a part of a cheaper ray-tracer. It's the low-number of voxels in past games that make them look bad, not the technology itself that fails.

To me this company stinks of being another startup who's sole purpose is to be bought, rather then building products. My main issue is that their demos are very far from 'production quality'; actually being usable.

Most of all they desperately need to fire the guy who does all their graphics. I could make a better logo, I could probably make prettier models too. When you cover everything with tonnes of detail it just ends up looking like a jaggery mess.
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 07:29
Phoenix
Crappy art just means they're great programmers
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 09:00
9572AD
Sure, they can move a camera around a STATIC scene, but how fast can they build those point indexes for the camera "search engine" so we can have motion? I'm betting not in real-time.

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All the raw, animal magnetism of a rutabaga.
Fri, 12 Mar 2010, 22:29
Stealth
They have other videos on their website detailing this more. Obviously they suck at being artists but it's not about the colors here, it's about the detail of objects.

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Quit posting and try Google.
Mon, 01 Aug 2011, 19:37
CodersRule
I figure this is the thread to bump... followup from my shout
www.youtube.com/watch?v=00gAbgBu8R4
Tue, 02 Aug 2011, 03:54
HoboBen
At the end of that video they mention getting more than one shade of shadow, which will be a big improvement.

The issue is that their software cannot do animation in real-time, because any movement means that they have to resort and reoptimise their point cloud for the whole level again. They had an animation example for a very simple bird, and I think that that's probably the best it can do (the bird is in isolation - with no world around it!).

HOWEVER, if what they have now (+planned better shadows) actually works, I can still see it being useful for some areas - surely people can innovate! There's bound to be ways to cheat and get reasonable shadows from standard polygon models to apply to the point cloud world below. Perhaps by overlaying an invisible low-detail polygon copy of the world over the detailed point cloud version for painting shadows onto.

The biggest problem is one, disk space. The final map is going to be huge.

The second is that levels will probably take insane amounts of time to sort. You might be talking days on a whole rack of servers. How is an artist going to design a world like that? They'll only be able to work on each small tile (like you see many repeating in the video) and let the computer glue them all together -- they won't be able to develop a natural level.

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Tue, 02 Aug 2011, 04:25
JL235
He says "you need to understand the state of the games industry today", I don't think he understands it.

Pure polygon counts are no longer what studios are really concerned with; they care more about being able to do more processing on the GPU. This includes generating more polygons on the fly, rather then storing them all pre-done in memory.
Tue, 02 Aug 2011, 05:08
shroom_monk
What I don't get is that surely this is just lots of points stuffed into a very small space, so what if you zoomed in really really REALLY close? Does it generate more points linearly interpolated between surrounding ones; i.e. similar effect to polygons?

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A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Tue, 02 Aug 2011, 10:21
shroom_monk
Notch (of Minecraft) has this to say on it all: notch.tumblr.com/post/8386977075/its-a-scam

To quote the video, the island in the video is one km^2. Let’s assume a modest island height of just eight meters, and we end up with 0.008 km^3. At 64 atoms per cubic millimeter (four per millimeter), that is a total of 512 000 000 000 000 000 atoms. If each voxel is made up of one byte of data, that is a total of 512 petabytes of information, or about 170 000 three-terrabyte harddrives full of information.


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A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Tue, 02 Aug 2011, 11:27
Stealth
We'll have to see once this SDK is released in a few months. His video is exaggerated to hell, but it may be possible to get this working with less point data. Nvidia has already stated that this technology is terrible at shading.

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Quit posting and try Google.
Wed, 03 Aug 2011, 13:32
dna
That Unlimited detail uses a clever trick to do what it does.
Most programmers use math to constantly measure and track every single poly whether its in sight or not.

Something similar was used on a piece of graphic software. It's no longer made but it worked like Photoshop but without the huge memory requirements.

At the time it took 32Meg to open, work and display any size file. Unlimited 3D is probably doing the same thing and all software manufacturers should be made to do the same.

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DNA