(whatever you want to call it, not directly artist authored)
The essence of procedural generation has no fundamental relation to artists' involvement.
So, assuming then that some sort of "sparse voxel octree/point cloud dark magic" could be rendered well enough
By rudimentary function, Unlimited Detail seems to render quite well. The problem is how these systems lack explicit mechanisms for any procedural abstraction. In this sense, Unlimited Detail is surely limited. Polygons win because they are so malleable and have much further limits. This greatly helps with both of the most identified issues of voxels: non-atomic dynamics (animation) and definition (impractical memory consumption for game maps etc). For example, in animation, rather than applying a transformation to a set of some geometric vertices (which mostly just define the spatial character of a model, and little else), you must apply it to the entirety of a Euclidean-regular volume, which requires a comparably greater mass of "points" to be manipulated, than the polygonal geometry.
what would people think of using such to render individual hairs/leaves/blades of grass/etc. All of which would take way too many polys to actually render just using geometry, wouldn't take almost any storage
Okay. A rule-of-thumb (which I hope Euclideon holds): with large masses of data, its best to take advantage of loops, recursion, hierarchy and all such forms of procedure ( procedural!
); and avoid algorithmic approaches which would otherwise target atomic manipulation (SIMD's envy).
I mean, one strand of hair on someone's head looks like any other strand of hair on that same persons head after all.
Problem: each individual hair still has an elusive curvature.
Edited by Reflexus, 06 June 2012 - 08:50 PM.