Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Zephir62

New trends in gaming: voxels are the key to real-time raytracing in near-term future

This topic is 1483 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Jon and his team have created a very fast, true voxel engine with ray-tracing from the ground up. 
 
 
Their website, you can subscribe to get on a weekly mailing list: http://www.mek-entertainment.com/
 
~~
Another raytraced voxel engine is called 'Staxel', from a couple employees who left Chucklefish Games / Starbound. You can see more here : http://playstaxel.com/
~~ 
 
 
What is occuring? It appears a new rendering format, Raytracing, is becoming plausible for hardware in the near future. Voxels and Octrees appear to be the key to making things work - I imagine a movement coming in gaming akin to the pixel 2D graphics of 80's and 90's gaming. Eventually, Octrees will no longer be the fundamental key, and as such perhaps triangles will resume their importance in a raytraced format.
 
This seems exciting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Also, every year or so someone will bring up a technology where the company, such as Euclideon, keeps claiming it will allow "infinite detail" or "unlimited detail" using voxel-based rendering.

 

These are basically precomputed, voxel-based octrees that were all the rage in the 1970s. Storage speed and transmission speed have both increased, but still it is only mildly useful in games.  There were many different algorithms in the '70s and '80s over it. Marching Cubes, a moderately efficient voxel isosurface algorithm, was released and patented in 1987. The patent hurt the research field rather painfully until it expired in 2005.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very relevant video:

 

For how long has voxel-based ray tracing been on the verge of revolutionizing gaming graphics and subplanting the triangle as the prefered rendering primitive?  10 years? 20?  I remember people talking about the imminent pending death of the triangle back before fixed-function GPUs turned into programmable GPUs, and it was an old argument even back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nVidia is finally putting Crassin's work to use with there voxel power GI (VXGI), but other than this, it seems the trend is to supplement conventional polygonal rendering with certain voxel-based techniques.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as i recall, eurofighter 2000 supposedly used some realtime raytracing for some of its graphics effects. i think that was the first time i saw mention of realtime raytracing in a game. commanche was an excellent chopper sim based on a voxel type terrain engine. i might even still have a copy! <g>.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Voxels will never be as practical as using a surface-based representation once the scenes get to be large. The number of voxels is generally cubic in the scene size, whereas triangles can have arbitrary level of detail. It just takes too much memory. Imagine ray tracing a voxel scene that is 1km^2 with a voxel resolution of 10cm. I would rather use a small BVH (10s of MB) than have GB of voxel data. Voxel traversal is popular because it's easy on the GPU, but doesn't scale well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!