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wcassella

Why are voxels more efficient than polygons?

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I recently watched this video, and while I found the concept interesting I'm still really not clear on what makes voxels so much more efficient than polygons. The artistic implications are pretty neat (voxels are undoubtedly a more flexible modeling medium than polygons. I'm not sure if they're flexible in a way games could actually make much use of, but that's another question), but how is describing a model as a set of cubes more efficient than describing it as a set of triangles?

 

The general consensus seems to be that you can put a lot more voxels onto the screen than polygons (though I assume this is greatly offset by the inherent inaccuracy of voxels), but I haven't found an explanation for why. If anyone could link me to a good video/article on the technical reason for this, I would appreciate it.

 

Even if they do truly offer a much greater level of geometric detail than polygons, from my own (admittedly limited) experience with graphics programming I've found post-processing to be a much greater bottleneck than rasterization, and I don't see how voxels would do much to change that.

 

If voxels (or a hybrid solution) are really the way of the future, why are polygonal engines still so dominant? Are there any major drawbacks that aren't being addressed? I'm genuinely curious.

Edited by Salty Boyscouts

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I was pretty skeptical about some of the claims he made, like "reduce game development cost by up to 90%!"; yeah I don't think so. But either way, I see voxel rendering pop up from time to time in various places and I'm still curious about why they haven't caught on, if they're really as good as people claim (possibly because they aren't, I'm not sure).

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I'm surprised that they don't realize that claims of reducing costs by 90%, having unlimited detail, etc., are just going to sound like huge red flags to people.

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I'm surprised that they don't realize that claims of reducing costs by 90%, having unlimited detail, etc., are just going to sound like huge red flags to people.

 

Honestly, the only thing that'd convince me of it's worth is many different smooth voxel animations in realtime. I'm sure it's not impossible, but no one's come up with a really solid solution that I've seen before. I think atomage is the closest so far.

 

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