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morfiel

Realtime Raytracing Game

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Recently realtime raytracing has been used to implement a first (non-commercial) game. Oasen is a flight-simulator that uses pure raytracing (ok, except for the HUD's, for 2D stuff OpenGL is just better) for image generation. The project is based on the realtime raytracing API OpenRT (http://www.openrt.de) which was developed at Saarland University.

You can check out the website at http://graphics.cs.uni-sb.de/~morfiel/oasen comments welcome Tim & Christian [edited by - morfiel on June 1, 2004 11:56:47 AM] [edited by - morfiel on June 1, 2004 11:57:49 AM] [edited by - morfiel on June 1, 2004 11:59:21 AM]

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Pretty darn neat! How real-time is it though? I.e., what kind of machine does it run on, and with how many FPS?

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where''s the binary?!

I''d like to try it out. Linux/Windows is fine. Linux preferred though.

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It depends. You can either run it in normal software mode in
which case it runs @ 16fps in 640x480 on 10 Dual Athlon 1800+
machines (without using any hardware acceleration, though).

Or you can run it on special purpose hardware which is currently
in (working) prototype state. This gives roughly the same
performance on a 90Mhz FPGA chip.

http://www.saarcor.de/

@ngill: we don't distribute binaries but if you are interested,
we can give you a copy of the sources. You're gonna need a
cluster, though...

[edited by - morfiel on June 1, 2004 12:41:57 PM]

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quote:

it runs @ 16fps in 640x480 on 10 Dual Athlon 1800+



It''s generally not appropriate to call something "realtime" that doesn''t run in real time.

Given enough processing power, I could "play" Shrek 2 in real time as well.

But anyway...

I don''t think real time ray tracing is really a possibility quite yet. Once video card manufacturers start incorporating the functionality into their graphics piplelines, and OpenGL / D3D start adding those features, it''ll be feasable, but currently it''s still kind of far off.

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Sure. If it doesn''t run in realtime, it''s not realtime.
But this game does. Or what would you call 16 fps ? Just
because the hardware is not yet available to mass market,
it still is realtime.

The point is: you have to assume some hardware. And unless you do have special purpose hardware, the only way to estimate the
performance is to use software implementations. The way the
research at Saarland University was done is the following:
we assumed we can use the same chip-technology todays GPU''s use
for Raytracing Hardware (which was at the time a GeForce 2).
Then we estimated what performance our Hardware would provide
with a chip of this power and bought enough PC''s to get the
same performance in a Software Emulation.

It''s like running a new Game on the Software Layer of DirectX.
It''s slow, but you can estimate the performance and look before
you do have the hardware done. Just for comparison: with a single
PC, we get something like 1-2 fps. That''s not fast, but try
running, say farcry with all shaders enabled in software mode :-)

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quote:

. Or what would you call 16 fps ?



That is not real time.

Realtime is at least 30fps, or better. Anything less than that is not real time, period.

Also, 16fps on 10 dual athlon 1800+ is not realtime anyway, even if it was 160fps.

It''s not "realtime" unless I can boot it up on an ordinary computer and get it to play at a reasonable speed.

Like I said - realtime will be possible with hardware, certainly. That hardware doesn''t exist in a form that is useable for the average person, yet, and therefore it''s quite silly to call something "realtime" that can''t be run in realtime.

a 10,000-processor strong server farm can probably run a lot of things "in real time", too.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
That is a pretty limiting definition...

Anyway, nice work. I''d love to see what one could do with some faster silicon than that FPGA.
Now, about getting me one of those FPGAs...

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I''m sorry I may sound skeptical, but I don''t see anything in the screenshots nor in the video that really requires raytracing. Furthermore, quality evident in them can be achieved using traditional scanline rendering.
Seen Far Cry?
Not trying to flame - constructive discussion is much more preferable.

Kind rgds,
-Nik

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