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Bombshell93

[Theory] Unraveling the Unlimited Detail plausibility

167 posts in this topic

[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313081016' post='4847763']
[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1313078251' post='4847730']
Can't the same scanning be done with polygon models? Or there aren't any free software that can reduce polygon counts arbitrarily by a mouseclick?
[/quote]

I guess it could, but you'd have to convert it and then check it to make sure it's optimized. Ideally this uses the same data that you get from the scan itself, so there's no need to look at the data after scanning it in.

I think a lot of people are reading way too far into his marketing speak and nitpicking him for it. What he said is no worse than anything any marketing rep/president would say about their company to the public when announcing a new product.
[/quote]

Well, I'm only nitpicking on you :) This stuff is way beyond me.
I only picked on two things: that the colors of the world is mostly only depend on the surface topology, and that it's easier to make art with this voxel magic.
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@way2lazy2care: Marketing has it's limits too. I haven't heard many marketing people claiming "100000 times better graphics" and feeling sorry for poor ATI/AMD and nVidia for pouring millions upon millions of dollars on the ugly triangles... Also, mathematics put a limit at the compression ratio when you do lossless compression (see information entropy). Replicating the same elephant and tree 1000 times does not increase the entropy much. If you want to replicate a real (not procedurally generated and with instancing all over the place) square kilometer island at milimeter detail, however, you are hopelessly screwed no matter your compresion techlonogy.
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[quote name='szecs' timestamp='1313081701' post='4847770']
Well, I'm only nitpicking on you :) This stuff is way beyond me.
I only picked on two things: that the colors of the world is mostly only depend on the surface topology, and that it's easier to make art with this voxel magic.
[/quote]
The two parts of my reply were separate. Only the first part was directed at you :P

[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313081613' post='4847769']
That's not true. In the video above, John Carmack is completely honest about the abilities of his technology. He could call it "unlimited detail" if he wanted to, but he doesn't. That's because he's a person with enough integrity to tell the truth.

The fact that you so easily give a pass to lies because they're made in order to market a product says a lot about you. You might have a future in business, your ethics are slimy enough for it.
[/quote]
John Carmack also isn't marketing his product in most of his demos. He's explaining it. There's a stark difference. I have heard other people from Zenimax marketing it and it sounds pretty much the same. Similar things have also been said about CryEngine and Unreal engine in different aspects of the engine; IE: "X is 10000 times better at Y than everything else."

[quote name='D_Tr' timestamp='1313082336' post='4847772']
@way2lazy2care: Marketing has it's limits too. I haven't heard many marketing people claiming "100000 times better graphics" and feeling sorry for poor ATI/AMD and nVidia for pouring millions upon millions of dollars on the ugly triangles... [/quote]
I've heard similar things from almost every major publisher and manufacturer.

[quote]Also, mathematics put a limit at the compression ratio when you do lossless compression (see information entropy). Replicating the same elephant and tree 1000 times does not increase the entropy much. If you want to replicate a real (not procedurally generated and with instancing all over the place) square kilometer island at milimeter detail, however, you are hopelessly screwed no matter your compresion techlonogy.
[/quote]
That's a valid thing to be curious about, but we haven't seen how their data is compressed for the scenes we've seen or what could be done if an artist were allowed to just go crazy with it. If I had to model an area that size down to the pebble I'd probably reuse a ton of stuff too just to save time. This is something we'll have to wait and see more on whether they are reusing the same data or using copies of the data existing in different places.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313084747' post='4847790']
John Carmack also isn't marketing his product in most of his demos. He's explaining it. There's a stark difference. I have heard other people from Zenimax marketing it and it sounds pretty much the same. Similar things have also been said about CryEngine and Unreal engine in different aspects of the engine; IE: "X is 10000 times better at Y than everything else."
[/quote]

How is what John Carmack is doing in this video different from what Bruce Dell is doing in the last video posted? It's the exact same thing. You just say anything you can to win an argument, without caring about truth or validity, don't you? What's the [b]stark difference[/b]? You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you work for Euclideon or something?

And you're lying about Zenimax marketing MegaTexturing in a similar way. Show us.
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[quote name='D_Tr' timestamp='1313082336' post='4847772']
Also, mathematics put a limit at the compression ratio when you do lossless compression (see information entropy). Replicating the same elephant and tree 1000 times does not increase the entropy much. If you want to replicate a real (not procedurally generated and with instancing all over the place) square kilometer island at milimeter detail, however, you are hopelessly screwed no matter your compresion techlonogy.
[/quote]
:blink: Wait you think they're using a lossless compression algorithm? You realize that no computer game uses lossless compression for textures normally right? I guess this whole time when I was imagining their system I was picturing their compression guy probably has thought about this 100 times more than myself when it comes to compression and come to the conclusion that a lossy technique would possibly lose very little data while allowing for a much more compact format.

Then again a nice lossless format would be epic. :)
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[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1313085605' post='4847798']
[quote name='D_Tr' timestamp='1313082336' post='4847772']
Also, mathematics put a limit at the compression ratio when you do lossless compression (see information entropy). Replicating the same elephant and tree 1000 times does not increase the entropy much. If you want to replicate a real (not procedurally generated and with instancing all over the place) square kilometer island at milimeter detail, however, you are hopelessly screwed no matter your compresion techlonogy.
[/quote]
:blink: Wait you think they're using a lossless compression algorithm? You realize that no computer game uses lossless compression for textures normally right? I guess this whole time when I was imagining their system I was picturing their compression guy probably has thought about this 100 times more than myself when it comes to compression and come to the conclusion that a lossy technique would possibly lose very little data while allowing for a much more compact format.

Then again a nice lossless format would be epic. :)
[/quote]

I actually had the geometry in mind when talking about lossless compression. They almost surely perform lossy compression on color and normals (assuming they do not calculate them on the fly). I automatically assumed, however, that they do not throw away any geonetry information when converting from polygonal to octree, because geometric detail is supposed to be a strong point of voxel technology.
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[quote name='D_Tr' timestamp='1313087461' post='4847813']
I actually had the geometry in mind when talking about lossless compression. They almost surely perform lossy compression on color and normals (assuming they do not calculate them on the fly). I automatically assumed, however, that they do not throw away any geonetry information when converting from polygonal to octree, because geometric detail is supposed to be a strong point of voxel technology.
[/quote]

This is true. But for storing geometry information you only need 1.5bit per voxel which is really really small (and nice). Material information (color/normal/specular/emissive) can be stored in seperate textures that are strongly compressed both on disk and in graphic memory (DXT1 format for example).

In this thread I've tried to explain how you can get such good compression:
[url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/600536-disk-octree/"]http://www.gamedev.n...36-disk-octree/[/url]

It is actually quite simple.

EDIT: In previous posts you had a fight about color inheritance in child nodes. This kind of inheritance is completely unnecessary because if color is stored in DX format texture, it will always be very well compressed - there is no need for bother with inheritance (will produce messy code). Monochromatic surfaces will be compressed very well because of DX format inner workings.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313085464' post='4847796']
How is what John Carmack is doing in this video different from what Bruce Dell is doing in the last video posted? It's the exact same thing. You just say anything you can to win an argument, without caring about truth or validity, don't you? What's the [b]stark difference[/b]? You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you work for Euclideon or something?

And you're lying about Zenimax marketing MegaTexturing in a similar way. Show us.
[/quote]

What do you not get about Bruce Dell being a marketing guy and John Carmack being an implementation guy? They talk to the press differently. When you read MSDN blogs they read differently than when you listen to an interview with Steve Balmer, because Balmer is marketing and MSDN blogs are explaining. If you want to see it for yourself go to GDC and walk around the show floor. You'll hear it from EVERY representative on the show floor; they sound just like Bruce Bell. You can even go back to the conference away from the show floor and hear people that work at the exact same companies on the exact same products talk to you the way John Carmack explains stuff.

In fact I'm fairly sure I've heard iDtech 5 pitched with the line, "unlimited texture detail."

Thanks for keeping it civil though.
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313094502' post='4847895']
What do you not get about Bruce Dell being a marketing guy and John Carmack being an implementation guy? They talk to the press differently. When you read MSDN blogs they read differently than when you listen to an interview with Steve Balmer, because Balmer is marketing and MSDN blogs are explaining. If you want to see it for yourself go to GDC and walk around the show floor. You'll hear it from EVERY representative on the show floor; they sound just like Bruce Bell. You can even go back to the conference away from the show floor and hear people that work at the exact same companies on the exact same products talk to you the way John Carmack explains stuff.

In fact I'm fairly sure I've heard iDtech 5 pitched with the line, "unlimited texture detail."

Thanks for keeping it civil though.
[/quote]

It's hard to keep things "civil" with you because you continually make things up to back your "arguments". I've gone through it with you in multiple threads regarding multiple topics. You're the type of arguer who doesn't care about reaching the truth, you care about coming up with some argument that can counter what someone just said, ignoring how connected to reality it may be.

Bruce Dell is a marketing guy? What makes you say Bruce Dell is a marketing guy??? Bruce Dell is a programmer.who founded his own company. John Carmack is a programmer who founded his own company. Both give demos about their tech to the press. BRUCE DELL IS A PROGRAMMER! I suspect you know this, you just are so incapable of admitting you're wrong that you cannot admit it.

Here's how it went. You were arguing that Bruce Dell's description of his tech is feasible. Most people disagreed, and gave plenty of reasons and evidence to that point. Rather than say "Okay, you guys are right, he's a liar" your brain immediately starts searching for a way to shift the argument to avoid being wrong, so you start talking about how we shouldn't be so nitpicky because this is "marketing talk" and everyone does this. When i point out that not everyone does it, with the example of John Carmack who could lie about the "unlimited detail" of his product but chooses to instead give us the truth, your brain starts looking again for a way out, and you land on the lie that Bruce Dell is excused from it because he's a "marketing guy", when in reality you know that he's a programmer just like John Carmack is.

Your inability to argue points like a big boy is disgusting and is to the detriment of this whole forum.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313095472' post='4847912']
It's hard to keep things "civil" with you because you continually make things up to back your "arguments". I've gone through it with you in multiple threads regarding multiple topics. You're the type of arguer who doesn't care about reaching the truth, you care about coming up with some argument that can counter what someone just said, ignoring how connected to reality it may be.

Bruce Dell is a marketing guy? What makes you say Bruce Dell is a marketing guy??? Bruce Dell is a programmer.who founded his own company. John Carmack is a programmer who founded his own company. Both give demos about their tech to the press. BRUCE DELL IS A PROGRAMMER! I suspect you know this, you just are so incapable of admitting you're wrong that you cannot admit it.[/quote]
Bruce Dell is a CEO. John Carmack is a Technical Director. Bruce Dell released a marketing video to hype his product and company to everyone, and John Carmack was recorded talking about his product at a developer's conference to show it to developers.

[quote]Here's how it went. You were arguing that Bruce Dell's description of his tech is feasible. Most people disagreed, and gave plenty of reasons and evidence to that point.[/quote]
Clearly it's feasible.[url="http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/08/is-the-future-of-immersive-3d-in-atoms-euclideoncom.html"]John Carmack even agrees it's feasible[/url]. Most of this thread I wasn't even arguing about his technology, and just because you argue loudest doesn't mean nobody else disagreed with you either.

[quote] Rather than say "Okay, you guys are right, he's a liar" your brain immediately starts searching for a way to shift the argument to avoid being wrong, so you start talking about how we shouldn't be so nitpicky because this is "marketing talk" and everyone does this. When i point out that not everyone does it, with the example of John Carmack who could lie about the "unlimited detail" of his product but chooses to instead give us the truth, your brain starts looking again for a way out, and you land on the lie that Bruce Dell is excused from it because he's a "marketing guy", when in reality you know that he's a programmer just like John Carmack is.
[/quote]

Obviously he was marketing from the start. When he used the word "infinite" everyone's brain should have said, "oh. infinite. That's impossible, so it must be marketing," but instead they jumped to, "infinite?! Clearly his product is totally fake and brings nothing to the table."

By all means keep turning to insults though. That's a much better argument strategy.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313095472' post='4847912']
Your inability to argue points like a big boy is disgusting and is to the detriment of this whole forum.
[/quote]
[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313097499' post='4847925']
Okay, okay, I get it. The joke's on me. You're a troll.
[/quote]

Clearly I'm the troll...

edit: I just finished watching the 40 minute interview he did. I really don't see the issue with it. He backs up most of his claims and doesn't really attack anybody.
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[quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313079350' post='4847745']
What do you guys make of his claim that "we're not using any rays"? That part struck me. I don't understand whether he just meant "we are not raytracing", or whether he's really saying they aren't tracing a ray from the camera point into the scene to sample their geometry structure.[/quote]As I posted [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/607824-theory-unraveling-the-unlimited-detail-plausibility/page__st__60__p__4847696#entry4847696"]earlier[/url], I think they're using frustum intersections, not rays.

For each pixel on the screen, project it out into a 3D volume (capped by the near and far planes). Select the sub-set of all points that are in that volume, then select the point in that set that's closest to the near plane. Except do it in a way that's fairly independent to the amount of points in the data-set, enough so that you'd be bold enough to say it has constant time complexity...


[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313098273' post='4847935']I just finished watching the 40 minute interview he did. I really don't see the issue with it. He backs up most of his claims and doesn't really attack anybody.[/quote]Most importantly:
* He claims a search on pre-sorted data using random input predicates with O(1) complexity - something google would kill for.
* He claims ?:1 compression ratios - worthy of a nobel prize.
Also:
* He completely misrepresents the statements of Notch and Carmack and fails to address the issues raised.
* He disregards atomontage by saying it's constrained to small scenes, when they've demo'd large [i]unique[/i] landscapes -- and does this as part of his refutation of the point that what they've done is not new/innovative.
* He [i]implies [/i]that the 3D scanning techniques demonstrated are somehow connected to his technology.


[font="arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif"][size="2"][quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313098273' post='4847935'][quote name='A Brain in a Vat' timestamp='1313095472' post='4847912']Your inability to argue points like a big boy is disgusting and is to the detriment of this whole forum.[/quote][/quote]You're both being a pain in the cock. If you think someone's trolling you, stop feeding them.
[/size][/font]
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1313112155' post='4848045']
Most importantly:
* He claims a search on pre-sorted data using random input predicates with O(1) complexity - something google would kill for.[/quote]
I think you might have misunderstood what he said. He never said the complexity of the search algorithm. Just that it only had to run once for each pixel. It would be awesome if it were O(1), but if it were O(1) for each pixel on the screen you could do a lot better than 20fps in software. Really it sounds like it's O(R*X) where R is the resolution and X is a big question mark that we can assume is better than terribad. I think someone brought this up on page 4.

[quote]* He claims ?:1 compression ratios - worthy of a nobel prize.[/quote]
he never claimed that. He actually avoided talking about the specifics of the memory footprint other than saying that he is pleased with it and giving the specs on the laptop on which it's running. He clarifies the "unlimited detail" point quite a few times in the 40 minute interview. I'm fairly certain after watching it through he means that the limit is no longer on the amount of geometry you can process in a given scene; you can double check his clarification, but that's what I took away from it.

[quote]* He disregards atomontage by saying it's constrained to small scenes, when they've demo'd large landscapes -- and does this as part of his refutation of the point that what they've done is not new/unique.[/quote]
this surprised me too. The more obvious thing to have pointed out is that atomontage appears to have it's focus much more on representing the inner volumes of objects not just the exterior as appears to be the case with UD.

[quote][size="2"][font=Arial]* He completely misrepresents the statements of Notch and Carmack and fails to address the issues raised.[/quote][/font][/size]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]To be fair, Notch misrepresented UD quite a bit in his original assessment in the first place.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"] [/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]He didn't really touch on Carmack's too much other than as a counter to something notch said, but Carmack didn't really raise any super specific issues other than to say it was more than a few years out, which I don't think he's really contesting as it's at least a year out from the tech being done and then even further to integrate it into a game engine and eventually into a game.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]
[quote]* He [i]implies [/i]that the 3D scanning techniques are somehow connected to his technology.[/quote][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Well if he can use straight point cloud data in engine he has a pretty solid argument for that. Of course it could just be a result of him not having to optimize the data he converts, which would make it a less favorable argument.[/size][/font]
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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1313116287' post='4848067']
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1313112155' post='4848045']* He claims a search on pre-sorted data using random input predicates with O(1) complexity - something google would kill for.[/quote]I think you might have misunderstood what he said. He never said the complexity of the search algorithm. Just that it only had to run once for each pixel. It would be awesome if it were O(1), but if it were O(1) for each pixel on the screen you could do a lot better than 20fps in software. Really it sounds like it's O(R*X) where R is the resolution and X is a big question mark that we can assume is better than terribad. I think someone brought this up on page 4.[/quote]He says that they run it once for each pixel, so that the complexity of the algorithm is related to the number of pixels processed instead of the amount of geometry processed.
Normally, it would be based on both, so it would be [font="Courier New"]O(P*G)[/font] ([i]where P is pixels and G is geometry[/i]), however he implies that the complexity is independent of the amount of geometry, which is why it's "unlimited", meaning the complexity is just [font="Courier New"]O(P)[/font].

Now, if we're just rendering a single pixel, that means the complexity is [font="Courier New"]O(1)[/font] ([i]or [font="Courier New"]O(constant)[/font] if you like[/i]) meaning that the search for the closest 'atom' for a single pixel runs in constant time, regardless of the amount of geometry in the scene.

This is clearly nonsense. You can only achieve constant-time search if you've got enough storage, and the storage requirements for pre-computed search on all possible position/direction inputs in an unlimited size scene is.... infinite.

What's really going on is that it's O(P*G) where G is "[i]geometry times a small fraction[/i]" or "[i]geometry raised to a small power[/i]", or "[i]log[sub]large-base[/sub] geometry[/i]", etc... So small that it [i]seems like[/i] O(P) in sensible conditions. If it really was O(P), then it's really so amazing that he shouldn't be selling it to games companies; he should be selling it to google. This invention would be a paradigm shift for all of computer science.
[quote]he never claimed [?:1 compression ratios].[/quote]He obviously didn't use those words, no.

[font="Arial"][size="2"]He was asked "[i]you must have some sort of memory limitations?[/i]", and replies "[i]Umm. No. The simple answer is: no.[/i]"[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Along with all the "unlimited detail" hyperbole, this implies that there is no limit on the amount of data they can pack into a scene.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Obviously, there [i]has[/i][/size][/font][font="Arial"][size="2"] to be a limit, otherwise he'd have achieved infinite compression. ...but instead of ever addressing any real-world downsides or limitations, he sticks to his 'unlmited' line.[/size][/font]

[font="Arial"][size="2"]Even if he said, "well obviously there's a limit to the amount of data you can fit on a disk, but we're compressing it so well that [i]it may as well be unlimited[/i]", I'd be ok with it. I'd actually be impressed if he used real metrics, like saying they're currently averaging 0.1 bits per atom, etc... However, he's always stretching things that little bit further, into bullshit territory.
[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"][quote]Well if he can use straight point cloud data in engine he has a pretty solid argument for [3d scanning being connected to his tech]. [/size][/font][/quote]However, he mentions that they scanned the elephant into a dense polygon representation, and then converted [i]that[/i] into point data.
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1313117575' post='4848073']
He says that they run it once for each pixel, so that the complexity of the algorithm is related to the number of pixels processed instead of the amount of geometry processed.
Normally, it would be based on both, so it would be [font="Courier New"]O(P*G)[/font] ([i]where P is pixels and G is geometry[/i]), however he implies that the complexity is independent of the amount of geometry, which is why it's "unlimited", meaning the complexity is just [font="Courier New"]O(P)[/font].[/quote]

Here's what he said about the search algorithm:
[i]-But come on, you say the technology has unlimited power?
-Um yes, yes we do, and I know that's a very strange claim, but give us a chance to explain. At present the graphics card companies and the console companies all try to build bigger graphics cards or bigger consoles so you'll have more power because everybody knows that if you give a computer something to do like put a polygon on the screen or put an atom on the screen it's going to take a bit of maths and a bit of processor time to do it, so if you want to have a lot of stuff or unlimited stuff it's just not possible. Ok in our particular case we don't go about solving that problem in the same way as everybody else. Let's say your screen is 1280X720 or 768, what we do is we have a search algorithm that goes out and it grabs exactly one atom for every pixel on the screen. So if you do it that way, you end up being able to have unlimited geometry, as we show, but we're not being wasteful in how we present it on the screen.
[/i]
I think he much more implies that his sort algorithm on G is just better than what is currently used. I think you're reading between the lines to see him claiming an O(1) search algorithm on point cloud data.

[quote]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]He was asked "[i]you must have some sort of memory limitations?[/i]", and replies "[i]Umm. No. The simple answer is: no.[/i]"[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Along with all the "unlimited detail" hyperbole, this implies that there is no limit on the amount of data they can pack into a scene.[/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Obviously, there [i]has[/i][/size][/font][font="Arial"][size="2"] to be a limit, otherwise he'd have achieved infinite compression.[/quote][/size][/font]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]Here's the quote just so we don't argue over what was said or not said:[/size][/font]

[i][size="2"] [font="Arial"]-Do you have memory problems? People are claiming that you must have some sort of memory limitations.[/font][/size]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]-Umm. No. The simple answer is no. Our memory compaction is going remarkably well. I think we've used up our quota of unbelievable claims this month, so I'm not going to talk about memory compaction. We're not finished on that as well...[/size][/font][/i]

[font="Arial"]I think you're reading between the lines a bit on both accounts, but if that's what you get out of it then fine.[/font]
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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1313117575' post='4848073']
He says that they run it once for each pixel, so that the complexity of the algorithm is related to the number of pixels processed instead of the amount of geometry processed.
Normally, it would be based on both, so it would be [font="Courier New"]O(P*G)[/font] ([i]where P is pixels and G is geometry[/i]), however he implies that the complexity is independent of the amount of geometry, which is why it's "unlimited", meaning the complexity is just [font="Courier New"]O(P)[/font].[/quote]
No he mentions that in the pixel algorithm they are forced to sort. I assume he means sorting geometry or data points that are returned. So the geometry probably does play a part. It's just the part it plays isn't as big as with triangles.
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[quote][i][size="2"][font="Arial"]-Do you have memory problems? People are claiming that you must have some sort of memory limitations.[/font][/size]
[font="Arial"][size="2"]-Umm. No. The simple answer is no. Our memory compaction is going remarkably well. I think we've used up our quota of unbelievable claims this month, so I'm not going to talk about memory compaction. We're not finished on that as well...[/size][/font][/i]

[font="Arial"]I think you're reading between the lines a bit on both accounts, but if that's what you get out of it then fine.[/font][/quote]For what it matters, I also think this is nonsense. But considering the amount of heavy instancing, I'm surprised they need to compress something in the first place.

[quote]No he mentions that in the pixel algorithm they are forced to sort. I assume he means sorting geometry or data points that are returned. So the geometry probably does play a part. It's just the part it plays isn't as big as with triangles.[/quote]Point taken but [i]O(P)[/i] is the same as [i]O(P * K)[/i] with K being a constant. So, having a smaller K does not change what Hodgman is saying.

BTW, I was thinking... suppose we 3D scan something. If this detail is unlimited... isn't it going to take a while to go through the wire from scanner to host? Because I don't think they built their own scanners.

BTW, perhaps I'm limited in my understanding but I acquire info with my senses and process it using my brain and what I see...
[attachment=4863:UD.jpg]
...is that there's nothing besides this island, which is admittedly bigger than atomontage but limited nonetheless. So, when he's talking about being unlimited - aka infinite - surely he's not talking about "infinitely large" but rather "infinitely small". As a start.
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here is my take on this thing having also now watched the interview..

1. forget the "unlimited" bit... nothing in the universe is so just see it as just a "AWESOME AMOUNTS OF" instead, which is what he means methinks. so don't waste your energy on that, we all know its not actually unlimited. That is if you are taking the word unlimited to mean infinite.... but the two are different, unlimited could be the same as when another engine says it supports an unlimited number of lights.... which it true... the engine supports it.... your machine might just not be able to handle it (not a limit imposed by the engine but by the users computer)
either way I wouldn't get hung up on it.


2. he is the guy who came up with the technology and he was a hobby programmer, this could explain how he gets some terms wrong (level of distance??!) and why he may seem quite condescending... if he has no background in traditional graphics then that would make sense. His lack of knowledge of current methodologies is what I think lead to him going about it however he has done.

3. I am more and more thinking that this will lead somewhere and may indeed be the future of graphics (the guy who interviewed him was blown away) and from the sounds of it its only going to get better and faster

4. It still "boggles my mind"!!!

5. - 10. not included as I should really be working

:)
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[quote name='Krohm' timestamp='1313130906' post='4848123']
BTW, perhaps I'm limited in my understanding but I acquire info with my senses and process it using my brain and what I see...
[attachment=4863:UD.jpg]
...is that there's nothing besides this island, which is admittedly bigger than atomontage but limited nonetheless. So, when he's talking about being unlimited - aka infinite - surely he's not talking about "infinitely large" but rather "infinitely small". As a start.
[/quote]

They've shown a bunch of other older demos which were slightly more varied in the blocks used, but those instead lacked much of the quality... so they just traded one thing for another. And so far, everything we've seen that would be indicators of memory usage have been terribly bad (few overly reused blocks, non-shaded materials, etc). Worse than that it even seems as if they are constrained to a grid, because every single demo they've ever shown has been built from prefab tiles as far as I've been able to tell.

However, it should be important to note that the size of the island they show is in most likelihood meaningless, they could probably with ease make it... A MILLION TIMES... larger without any issues, that is meant to be the strength of the algorithm... however, they could not add more unique models to make any use of it.

And what really strikes me as strange is why they are still running it on only 1 core after all these years, it should be pretty much trivial to utilize all the cores (and remove any chance of gameplay!). I'm curious how memory performance and bandwidth works out for this, now I'm far from an expert on this, but it really seems as if that could be a potentially huge issue to overcome if it indeed is an issue (much like it is an issue with raytracing).


But really, it all falls flat in theory for me. Textures and geometries today consume enough storage and memory as it is, we couldn't simply double that today and expect everything to run well. So, now consider that reusing textures over and over like we do today is very efficient... even storing color data as textures is efficient, it allows for compression and compositing multiple textures to seemingly make up quality from thin air. Triangle geometry is efficient, you can store enormous landscapes as dirt cheap (even compressed) heightmaps.

Now, consider what UD is doing:
They apply the texture individually to each voxel... so there is no texture reuse at all, it becomes harder to compress the color data
They break up the geometry into individual voxels... so a single triangle becomes a lot of voxels

So, let's for the sake of the argument say that, they have somehow managed to come up with a compression algorithm that takes all these voxels and manages to compress them down to the size of the original polygonal model. Great... right? Well, I would argue that no, it doesn't really matter all that much... because it all comes back to the texture issue. With polygons, we can make a statue that uses 2 textures, then make a 100 more statues using the same textures. In UD, every single object has its own unique "texture"... and note that the same is true for terrain. You can no longer reuse that grass texture over and over, or use a dirt cheap heightmap to represent hundreds of kilometers terrain... instead you now have to represent each triangle and texture by hundreds and hundreds of small voxels.

There is simply no way they could achieve the storage efficiency we enjoy today, even if they use every imaginable cheat and use 3D texture materials and all kinds of tricks... it will never be nearly as storage efficient as polygonal geometry and textures, it simply can't. Or am I missing something?

And like all good things, they are not good things unless they also work in practical circumstances, it's "easy" enough for nVidia and 3DMark to whip up impressive and carefully tweaked demos, applying it in games is a very very different thing
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I think this thread is starting to look more like theology then theory. Maybe it would be a good idea to start a new one where no 'he's full of bs, no you are full of bs' is allowed and where we make a list of claims who may lead to what this guy is doing. I remember that somewhere in his old technology preview he states that there are 64 atoms per cubic mm, and he says no raytracing... If I have some spare time tomorrow I might just look at all the video's he's made and compose such a list. As I think that was the original intention of this thread.
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all I know is atmontage, and any engine besides Dells is a worthwhile technology, his is the most biggest shit ive ever seen, if it can make anything past what hes shown already id be suprised.

instancing... crap...
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Maybe it is just a minor detail, but I found it very funny, that this guy (Bruce Dell) - who is a 3D graphics pogrammer - even does not know what LOD stands for. He always said "level of distance". Sorry, but that is just pathetic;)

And the fact that he talks like as if the "technology" had ONLY advantages is just unprofessional. Every real engineer knows that there is ALWAYS a tradeoff. But this guys alwys just said "yes. its possible". "no, we have no problems with XY". Plain marketing bullshit.
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[quote name='schupf' timestamp='1313187952' post='4848438']
Maybe it is just a minor detail, but I found it very funny, that this guy (Bruce Dell) - who is a 3D graphics pogrammer - even does not know what LOD stands for. He always said "level of distance". Sorry, but that is just pathetic;)

And the fact that he talks like as if the "technology" had ONLY advantages is just unprofessional. Every real engineer knows that there is ALWAYS a tradeoff. But this guys alwys just said "yes. its possible". "no, we have no problems with XY". Plain marketing bullshit.
[/quote]

Im not saying anything about his personality, but this guy just points out negatives to all the other engines, and reckons hes got something noone else has come up with just like magic. complete shit methinks.
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[quote name='rouncer' timestamp='1313194691' post='4848467']
...and reckons hes got something noone else has come up with just like magic ...
[/quote]


maybe he has [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif[/img]

maybe by not having solid foundation in traditional methods of 3d graphics he has indeed come up with an entirely new approach to rendering 3d.
if he had it might explain why the auzzie government was willing to give him 2 million dollars of funding... something I don't reckon they would have done lightly.

for all we know he is onto something here. and the real time demos.. despite their drawbacks are much MUCH better than other ones I have seen.
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