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 December 30, 2010  |  Reading forum stats...
Destructible Geometry

These are a few screenshots presenting the scene from the last video dev-blog. You can read the related dev-blog page and watch the video(s) here.

The scene features generated buildings, rocks, sand and about 100,000 stones. The scene is fully volumetric and each of the voxels can be modified by a physics-based process or by the user. The scene contains about 120,000 tonnes of physically useful material, all that has been generated in about 6 hours on a notebook with Intel C2D P7550 CPU. Most of the generators are currently simple non-optimized CPU-based single-thread implementations.

As the scene has been generated without super-sampling the generated geometry suffers from numerous artifacts that are visible near to everywhere. This flaw can be reduced to minumum using super-sampling or multi-sampling. Generation with super-sampling takes about 6 times longer and requires much more memory during the process.

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The screenshots show clearly that a higher LOD of the content would have to be used in order to make the scene useful in a first-person view game.

The sand generators as well as the stone generators are single-pass solutions. These generators simply analyze the surrounding geometry and plot a piece of matter based on a number of parameters.

The generators of the rocks as well as the generators of the buildings are multi-pass solutions. In the first pass the large scale structure is being generated and stored volumetrically without plotting any visible voxels. In the second pass small scale details are added and voxels plot in the volumetric scene. This way very complex large- and small-scale shapes can be created easily with an acceptable computational cost. The generators set up the attributes of the voxels so that later the voxels can respond correctly to physical events.

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Many developers believe that in the coming years a large portion of work now done by artists will have to be done using generators in order to reduce the game development cost. This will be especially the case with large amounts of volumetric data required in the future games. This approach makes it possible to populate a scene with millions of pieces of unique geometry within minutes to hours. Once a generator works well it can be used to generate content in hundreds of scenes or game levels for very little cost. That's not really doable using human staff. Still artists will have to set up and operate the generators and fix errors in order to get perfect results.

The scene is volumetric and it is populated with many mostly hidden pieces of geometry. The following sequences of images show a step-by-step removal of a few tonnes of sand resulting in hidden stones and rock getting exposed. Similar features will be extremely useful in future games.

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Some of the prototyped features process the affected parts of the volumetric scene in a voxel-by-voxel manner. Therefore these features are very slow. The removal tool processes voxels in groups and therefore it performs much better. You can see the results in the following screenshots.

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The following anaglyph images should be viewed with red-cyan glasses.

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Visit the related video dev-blog page.
Visit and leave a comment on YouTube: 1st half 2nd half Our channel
Make your name or message appear in the next videos and/or demo.

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  + Destructible Geometry
  + A Large Rocky Scene
  + II, SSAA, Bloom, DOF
  + 3D Wheel Tracks
  + Ready For A Gameplay
  + LODs Video
  + Smooth Voxel Rendering
  + Volumetric plant models
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