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Rendering and Texturing Technology for 3D Game Performance

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Good day, folks [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Blender is the focus program, but I want to get viewpoints for Wings 3D ray plug-ins, too. It's time for me to go game performance for long term strategy. I'll start 3D game creation by the end of the year, after working with 2D games this autumn, progressing nicely - much thanks to this community! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

Background is that I am learning C# and Python. I have over two years experience in creating 3D content for a couple games being developed. Light weight rendering with performance in mind will be used sparingly in my future games.

Kerkythea and PovRay are being considered by me. I want liberally free, no cost, and open source rendering technology to plug into Blender and Wings 3D. One out there I already elliminated due to being too slow, so I will keep that one quiet and see who knows their stuff here. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/ph34r.png[/img]

[img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.png[/img]



EDIT:[color=#000080] [/color][color=#000080]Given: I sometimes see realistic glass and metal in games alongside conventional image textures, shaders, and so on, sometimes in the same model. I am looking for the most performance friendly technologies for including such feaures in game 3D models.[/color]

[color=#000080]Question: Are things like raytracing feasible for this goal and which open source plugins would get me there?[/color]


[color=#000000]As always, any and all comments, criticism, and praises are welcome! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.png[/img] [/color]

[color=#000000]Love and peace![/color]

[color=#000000]Clinton[/color] Edited by 3Ddreamer

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This question is sort of vague. You say you want to start 3D game creation, but then you talk about wanting ray rendering engines for Blender. Creating 3D assets for games isn't so much a function of Blender's ray tracing, as it is an assorted bag of techniques for generating geometry, shaders and texture/normal/spec maps for import into the 3D engine. Blender's renderer, whichever you choose, really has little to do with the process, outside of generating preview renders so you know what the model looks like. Once the model is exported, Blender no longer factors into the equation.

That being said, I like Blender Cycles. It represents a move on Blender's part toward eliminating "fixed function" in favor of "shader based" rendering, and with a good Cuda card it can achieve some pretty decent performance. It's easy enough to support different materials on the same model, even on the same face, using mix shaders and a mix source such as a texture map. One drawback of it is that baking is disabled, so you can't bake from your pretty node materials to a texture map. You can still use Blender Internal material nodes and baking, however.

Other alternatives include LuxRender and Aqsis, which both include plugins for Blender. I haven't played with either, so I can't really say how useful they are.

Perhaps a few more details on exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish would be in order...

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Yep, okay...

The goal is: 3D Game Models allowing high performance which include both textures and ray technology, really as much techology as I can get into a model and still keep performance high. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/blink.png[/img]

Some things I know and others I will learn! So far I followed my leader who is a game designer but now I venture into the world of game development on my newbie happy way. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Thanks for replying, JTippetts.


Clinton

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What exactly do you think you mean when you talk about "models including ray technology"? That doesn't really make sense...

Are you wanting to pre-render scenes or assets, are you trying to create assets for a game, or are you actually using the blender game engine to create your game?

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JTippetts and jbadams,


The question for more specific goal is fair.

Given: I sometimes see realistic glass and metal in games alongside conventional image textures, shaders, and so on, sometimes in the same model. I am looking for the most [i]performance[/i] friendly technologies for including such feaures in game 3D models.

Question: Are things like raytracing feasible for this goal and which open source plugins would get me there?

Thank you for challenging me to improve my communication, first post edited again. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Clinton

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[quote name='3Ddreamer' timestamp='1349274571' post='4986392']
JTippetts and jbadams,


The question for more specific goal is fair.

Given: I sometimes see realistic glass and metal in games alongside conventional image textures, shaders, and so on, sometimes in the same model. I am looking for the most [i]performance[/i] friendly technologies for including such feaures in game 3D models.

Question: Are things like raytracing feasible for this goal and which open source plugins would get me there?

Thank you for challenging me to improve my communication, first post edited again. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Clinton
[/quote]

3D models are just pieces of data, they describe geometry with which you can associate materials, textures, etc. How these are actually represented depends on the application which you load them into, be it blender, some other modelling package, or your game application.
Ray tracing is a technique mostly used for generating an image off-line and can take data from 3D models as input to build your scene. Ray tracing itself has absolutely nothing to do with the creation of 3D models, textures or materials or the performance of using said models.

If you want fancy materials in your game you'll have to write the material system and shaders to render these all by yourself. Your geometry will be built in blender, your textures in some image editing software and your material definitions will be in some format your game can read. How to get a nice effect like glass or metal will then be all up to you.

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[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1349243630' post='4986293']
What exactly do you think you mean when you talk about "models including ray technology"? That doesn't really make sense...

Are you wanting to pre-render scenes or assets, are you trying to create assets for a game, or are you actually using the blender game engine to create your game?
[/quote]

Is ray technology such as raytracing in 3D models feasible for good performance of a game?

Until the end of 2013, I have chosen Axiom 3D rendering engine (C#) upon which to build my main game engine during that period. Blender 3D game engine (Python) will be a secondary effort as extra time allows.

I know that it all seems too ambitious for a newbie game developer but I am learning fast, have much time available, working hard, and making steady progress! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

If by the end of 2013 I can have several simple games, the last one having all the basic game features (sound, collision, etc.), then I will be even happier than now! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

Guys, give me your best, even if the news is inconvient for me, please.


Clinton

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[quote name='3Ddreamer' timestamp='1349275827' post='4986404']
[quote name='jbadams' timestamp='1349243630' post='4986293']
What exactly do you think you mean when you talk about "models including ray technology"? That doesn't really make sense...

Are you wanting to pre-render scenes or assets, are you trying to create assets for a game, or are you actually using the blender game engine to create your game?
[/quote]

Is ray technology such as raytracing in 3D models feasible for good performance of a game?

Until the end of 2013, I have chosen Axiom 3D rendering engine (C#) upon which to build my main game engine during that period. Blender 3D game engine (Python) will be a secondary effort as extra time allows.

I know that it all seems too ambitious for a newbie game developer but I am learning fast, have much time available, working hard, and making steady progress! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

If by the end of 2013 I can have several simple games, the last one having all the basic game features (sound, collision, etc.), then I will be even happier than now! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]

Guys, give me your best, even if the news is inconvient for me, please.


Clinton
[/quote]

Ray tracing is barely used in realtime applications, I've seen some experiments using GPGPU solutions to do realtime ray tracing but they get very slow performance for even the simplest scenes.

If you want realtime performance you should stick with rasterization engines

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[quote name='3Ddreamer' timestamp='1349274571' post='4986392']
Given: I sometimes see realistic glass and metal in games alongside conventional image textures, shaders, and so on, sometimes in the same model. I am looking for the most performance friendly technologies for including such feaures in game 3D models.

Question: Are things like raytracing feasible for this goal and which open source plugins would get me there?
[/quote]

More than likely, that in-game model is composed of multiple meshes with multiple [i]material [/i]types applied. The [i]material [/i]is a catch-all term that refers to the collection of shaders and in-game variables dictating how the mesh geometry is converted to visible pixels. One material might be "chrome" (arbitrarily named by a technical artist) which calculates specular reflection and uses an environment map for additional realistic reflections on top of a simple grey diffuse color.

I think the main problem here is you're attributing too many features to the 3D model. Things like glass, water, and other transparent and/or unique-looking elements are either created programmatically (i.e. someone writes shader code that generates a choppy ocean surface, but no one sat down and made a model of the ocean) or they have very simple geometry and custom shaders and draw order (like transparent, breakable glass: probably just a single quad in the modeling tool).

And ray tracing is not a real-time solution for rendering. This is why things like SSAO and projective textures/shadows became popular: you get the appearance of more natural lighting phenomenon without paying for universal ray-tracing calculations.

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