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jcabeleira

Impressive professional/industrial 3D engine

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Hey guys,

 

While wandering through the internet I've found an interesting 3D engine called Aurora which is apparently used in professional flight simulators. What strikes me the most is the amazing quality and the rendering which is well above most 3D engines we know. It clearly uses state of the art techniques such as physically based rendering, cloud light scattering, atmosphere light scattering, water rendering, etc that we usually only see in very technically advanced games.

 

If you're curious about what I'm talking about then check the following video (I fast forwarded to the best part):

 

This engine clearly took some serious development time and skills to make. And although I know the aviation industry (particularly the military one) involves a lot of money, I still think it's curious how they were able to find the people with the skills to do it.

I'd like to hear your opinions about this engine. If anyone knows where this engine came from, what techniques it uses, etc then please let me know.

 

 

There are also other videos apparently from previous versions of the engine. The rendering quality is inferior but still very decent:

 

 

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I still think it's curious how they were able to find the people with the skills to do it.

 

3d poly engine technology was invented mostly in universities in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. many of those folks then when on to start flight sim companies, as it was the first logical commercial application of the technology. If you're into modeling and simulation engineering applications, there's really good money in it. i did my engineering co-op at wright-pat air force base, and a buddy of mine there used to work for a government contractor flight sim company. needless to say, its a very niche market, with airlines, the military, NASA, and perhaps some high end flight schools as your only potential customers. such is the nature of scientific and engineering software. its typically complex, and has low demand, and thus tends to be expensive.

 

imagine what you could do in the way of a graphics engine if you had a state of the art mainframe and funding. this is what university computer graphics departments have had to play around with for about 50 years now. 

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This engine clearly took some serious development time and skills to make. And although I know the aviation industry (particularly the military one) involves a lot of money, I still think it's curious how they were able to find the people with the skills to do it.

 

 
I don't mean to downplay the effort that went into developing this, because as you say, it's non-trivial. However, it's also not that impressive. It's a pretty good result, but it doesn't require superstar million-dollar developers. Just some competent engineers and artists, the kind you can find at almost any game development studio.
Edited by Josh Petrie

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