Game graphics could be 100,000 times better
Polygon count becomes atomic number
An Australian company claims to have developed technology to make computer game graphics "100,000 times better" than current-gen systems.
Euclideon says its "Unlimited Detail" engine offers infinite geometry "makes everything out of tiny little atoms instead of flat panels". 'Atoms', it would seem is Euclideon-speak for these converted faces. The application of this technique with point-cloud data can pack up to 15 million converted polygons in each square metre of game space.
The tech was first talked of last year but the company went silent afterwards, prompting industry assumptions that it had all been a joke.
As it stands, traditional 3D rendering is all about the poly-count, with the number of polygons implemented increasing at a rate of roughly 25 per cent a year. Upping the polygon count comes at the cost of process power, though, and graphics hardware can struggle to keep up.
"We increased it so far that we could abandon polygons altogether and move to little atoms, and run them in unlimited quantities. If what we've said is true, then it is the largest breakthrough since 3D graphics began." said CEO Bruce Robert Dell, his caution casting doubt upon his optimistic claims.
Either way, check out the video below in which Dell explains more and shows off some stunning visuals despite only being rendered at 20 frames per second.
"We've made a little island," Dell explains. "The island is 1 kilometre squared. This island is made from 21,062,352,435,000 polygons."
Those polygons are then converted to point cloud data at a rate of 64 'atoms' per cubic millimetre. This allows Euclideon to demonstrate a level of detail so high, that floors are made from individual grains of dirt.
Dell also bigs up the company's 'polygon converter' which makes the design process easier so that "it's pretty much business as usual for the artist". The big difference is the designer has no need to worry that too many polygons will affect performance.
Euclideon plans to launch an SDK "some months from now", but will it really be the largest breakthrough since 3D graphics began?
id Software's John Carmack reckons there's no chance Euclideon will run on current-gen systems, but has the potential to "several years from now".
Let us know what you think. ®
If Carmack isn't rubbishing it
If Carmack isn't rubbishing it after looking at it (in some depth I guess) then I don't think any of us are qualified to comment on it based on a single reg article and some light research.
After all, when it comes to Engines, Carmack knows what he is on about
nice, but there are questions
The image you picked for the article might be somewhat misleading. The beauty is in the close-ups - rocks, tree, ground. The demo "island" doesn't look very good at a gross scale.
On the other hand, the image you picked for the article in some way poses an interesting question... why does the demo island look so bad at a gross scale? I get that it takes a lot of resources to craft a good-looking square kilometer of ground, but come on, surely they could at least avoid building it out of large square blocks? This way, it makes one suspect that the blocky structure is required for the rendering engine to work efficiently, which would be a major, major problem.
Also, I'd like to know what kind of hardware it's running on. For what I know, it could be running on something so powerful that it could do exactly the same things on a standard engine.
Reminds me of voxels, they were going to revolutionise games as well - their landscaping tech shat all over polygons, but because the new 3D accelerators couldn't accelerate them (not being polygons), a promising tech fell by the wayside. Comanche 4<?> and Outcast used them to great effect.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=outcast+game&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUK364&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=J-c4TpqMKsWj8QPFt9HgAg&ved=0CDYQsAQ&biw=1120&bih=531 (google image search for Outcast).