Are game engines the future of rendering?

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Old 03 March 2013   #46
How about this..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...d&v=QlX3IOK67os

Massive performance all cpu based and directly in your viewport...
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Last edited by Kabab : 03 March 2013 at 03:26 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #47
Originally Posted by sebastian___: Did you still think the quality is extremely poor compared to let's say this 2010 unfinished picture ?
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aPaggnRB4..._effects_v2.jpg





I do agree this is looking kewl!

But it raises another issue in my mind-especially in regards to
working with live actors/action. I am seeing from the footage some of the footsteps float above the ground-because you didn't have an exact match for the virtual terrain.
So how do you propose not blowing the budget on excruciatingly detailed virtual sets for every step the actors have to take for the entire film?

You almost need a real-time tracking/mapping system as well.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #48
Overall, when it comes to rendering images for film, one must separate the pipelines used for creating the assets: textures, shaders, animations, models and FX from the actual rendering pipeline. Rendering takes place on huge server farms of multiple general purpose CPUs and often involves massive data that are combined and batched for final rendering of individual frames using multiple rendering and compositing passes.

Quote: For Shrek 3, we will consume close to 20 million CPU render hours for the making of the film”, says DreamWorks Animation CTO Ed Leonard. “Each of our films continues to push the edge of what's possible, requiring more and more compute power.” Everyone knows Moore's Law predicts that compute power will double every one and a half years. A little known corollary is that feature cartoon animation CPU render hours will double every three years. In 2001, the original Shrek movie used about 5 million CPU render hours. In 2004, Shrek 2 used more than 10 million CPU render hours. And in 2007, Shrek 3 is using 20 million CPU render hours.
....
“DreamWorks Animation R&D provides the tools, libraries and software infrastructure for the creation of world-class CG films”, says Leonard. “We develop and support a suite of application tools for our films, including a proprietary animation system, lighting, rendering and compositing tools, and effects tools for things like fire, water, clothing and crowds, to name just a few.” Leonard estimates they have several millions lines of custom code, mostly written in C (legacy code) and C++ (newer code).

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9653

Also keep in mind that the final render itself is not simply generated from a single render pass using the raw assets, shaders and textures, because even in film they use shortcuts (ie. compositing) to do most of the work in generating the kind of fidelity that is hard to get directly from a single render pass. And this is for all CG films, not to mention what happens when doing live action/CG.

Quote:
fxg
: What was the compositing pipeline for shots like this? Miller: Well, we have three different renderers, and possibly four with Mantra for effects, and the way we get all the render pipes to talk to each other is with the file format – a deep raster image. We have a tool that can take two or more deep raster images and cut a set of deep rasters out of another one. So we do our cut-outs before entering into compositing. We generate a whole bunch of deep images and select a combination of them, and then produce flat rasters which we then bring into Nuke to composite. We are investigating a true deep compositing pipeline but for Puss in Boots we decided not to quite switch over yet, but we’re definitely looking into it, especially with OpenEXR 2.0 coming out.


http://www.fxguide.com/featured/pus...-in-the-clouds/

It is hard to see how GPUs would make much of a dent here in the short term as these frames are not being sent to a display device in "real time". Therefore, there is no reason to build new tools and programs to integrate GPUs into the final render pipeline. And based on current trends it appears that programmers and developers are not adapting the GPGPU architecture to any large degree.

In fact, this was admitted very recently by folks developing GPGPU frameworks. Not to mention consumer cards based Larrabee, Intel's GPGPU architecture was cancelled a few years back.

Quote: CHIP DESIGNER AMD believes that most software developers won't use CUDA or OpenCL to create code that runs on the GPU.

AMD has spent a lot of effort promoting OpenCL in the hope that developers will make use of the GPGPU in the firm's accelerated processing units (APUs). However the firm thinks most developers will shun GPGPU specific languages such as CUDA and OpenCL and stick with what they already know.


http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer...-cuda-or-opencl




That does not mean that GPUs cant be used in the creation of assets as it most absolutely will continue to be used and expand as time goes on, but that is totally different from the final render pipeline used in large film studios. R/D will continue and the primary beneficiaries of this will most likely be smaller studios and freelancers who would benefit from the tighter integration of GPUs in content creation/rendering pipeline.
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Well now, THATS a good way to put it!

Last edited by DotPainter : 03 March 2013 at 12:16 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #49
Originally Posted by circusboy: I am seeing from the footage some of the footsteps float above the ground-because you didn't have an exact match for the virtual terrain.
So how do you propose not blowing the budget on excruciatingly detailed virtual sets for every step the actors have to take for the entire film?

You almost need a real-time tracking/mapping system as well.


Wouldn't it be easier to just raise/lower the mesh whenever the foot seems off?

Obviously the closer the match, the better the results.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #50
Originally Posted by moogaloonie: Wouldn't it be easier to just raise/lower the mesh whenever the foot seems off?


Difficult when the actor steps on a shrub or branch that protrudes from the ground. I think the tech needs to be developed further to be practical without a lot of manual adjustments, or use restrictions in the environment.

Jules
 
Old 03 March 2013   #51
To answer a few questions

A game engine can be used to render individual passes to be composited later (which I plan to do in my project), and you could also use a 3ds max render for more difficult to obtain elements in the game engine.

- I will use for example compositing to mask /partially cover the footsteps later with plants. and other jungle objects from the floor.

About the green screen actor, when I filmed the footage it was not quite a flat terrain, it had obstacles to sort of match the uneven terrain in the jungle. And there is nothing special about that composite. Everything I did is standard practice in film and cinema.
I don't think footsteps are floating, they are just missing for now the hard contact AO and soft shadows. I will add this later, but it will not be very visible anyway since some of the steps will be covered by plants.
And in the second gif animation he is actually stepping on small cubes floating in mid air (it was a test)

BUt this has nothing to do with this topic, since that is real footage and not game engine generated.
But still, I think it is interesting the ability to perform real compositing in viewport and skip the whole "cartoony" character thing.

Last edited by sebastian___ : 03 March 2013 at 10:37 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #52
Originally Posted by sebastian___: About the green screen actor, when I filmed the footage it was not quite a flat terrain, it had obstacles to sort of match the uneven terrain in the jungle. And there is nothing special about that composite. Everything I did is standard practice in film and cinema.
I don't think footsteps are floating, they are just missing for now the hard contact AO and soft shadows. I will add this later, but it will not be very visible anyway since some of the steps will be covered by plants.
And in the second gif animation he is actually stepping on small cubes floating in mid air (it was a test)

I am not convinced. A couple of those steps (check the fist one) feel about a foot off the virtual terrain. How will you get the GS footage to comp for that (without looking fake)?! If it would be even more extreme
say something like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vvillovv/3192238038/
Like how about the details of deforming the actor's foot?
Your footage currently looks like they are stepping on a flat board.

And if you have to spend quality time fudging around these details for a feature length film (and the green screen sets to go with it) - has real time rendering saved you that much time and money? I am not convinced its that great a time saver overall in the scope of all the other details. Maybe it saves you the expense of a render farm...

My point is that I do not think that *everything* is in place yet to make a full leap into real time. For me anyway.

But I still think your tests are encouragingly moving in the right direction -don't get me wrong about that. Keep workin' it!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #53
I don't see game engines as the future, at least in ach viz. I see it as the NOW. When I visited the Crytek office i Shanghai, the stuff they showed me blew me away. I can't imagine how the filmmaker who posted earlier got such a cartoony look. Everything I saw looked.like top notch work.

I don't see game engies suddenly doing Davy Jones, but the CryEngine for cinema examples I saw were certainly far beyond the stuff we were doing on SYFY when I worked on those films.

I think the place where this stuff will shine, though, will be television. Doing sci-fi TV series that need alot of FX or fully animated shows like Roughnecks, would.look absolutely amazing, right now today, done with this technology.
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Old 03 March 2013   #54
Didn't we just have the "raytracing is the future of games" threads a year ago or two? It's time for someone to start a "OMG, have you seen Unlimited Detail, polygons are dead!" thread again.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #55
Originally Posted by stew: Didn't we just have the "raytracing is the future of games" threads a year ago or two? It's time for someone to start a "OMG, have you seen Unlimited Detail, polygons are dead!" thread again.


Interestingly, ray trace hardware (card) is now available.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/1...-graphics-cards

and you have

http://www.q4rt.de/
http://www.q3rt.de/

Since the SDK for that raytrace card is available for free, it wont be long before it become the next frontier of '3d cards' like the old days voodoo, or even older day of math co-processor.

For what it worth.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #56
Originally Posted by circusboy: I am not convinced. A couple of those steps (check the fist one) feel about a foot off the virtual terrain. How will you get the GS footage to comp for that (without looking fake)?!


I will post again this picture and gif anim -still missing contact AO and plants cover (and DOF and mblur etc), but does it still look like floating ? I checked quite thoroughly.


http://imageshack.us/a/img21/6198/s...htthirdrest.gif


Originally Posted by circusboy: And if you have to spend quality time fudging around these details for a feature length film (and the green screen sets to go with it) - has real time rendering saved you that much time and money?


As I said before it's not about saving time. But about a "photoshop" real-time feeling with a 3d graphics application building a virtual environment. How would you feel working in Photoshop and seeing only the wireframe of the project ? Needing to click render and waiting even one minute for the result ? It would be doable, but a worse experience and workflow.

Originally Posted by teruchan: When I visited the Crytek office i Shanghai, the stuff they showed me blew me away. I can't imagine how the filmmaker who posted earlier got such a cartoony look.


Were you talking about me ? Or about the user who said :
Originally Posted by Jules123: The problem was that the actors came up to me and asked why it looked like a cartoon.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #57
Originally Posted by sebastian___: I will post again this picture and gif anim -still missing contact AO and plants cover (and DOF and mblur etc), but does it still look like floating ? I checked quite thoroughly.


http://imageshack.us/a/img21/6198/s...htthirdrest.gif




As I said before it's not about saving time. But about a "photoshop" real-time feeling with a 3d graphics application building a virtual environment. How would you feel working in Photoshop and seeing only the wireframe of the project ? Needing to click render and waiting even one minute for the result ? It would be doable, but a worse experience and workflow.



Were you talking about me ? Or about the user who said :


Yes, that user. Everything Crytek showed me led me to believe you would have to TRY to make it look like a cartoon. It's an amazing renderer with lots of realistic atmospheric effects.
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Studio ArtFX
Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
You don't need millions of dollars or major studio backing!!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #58
Originally Posted by teruchan: Yes, that user. Everything Crytek showed me led me to believe you would have to TRY to make it look like a cartoon.

Definitely not my opinion. I think CryEngine's output looks like,.. drum rolls... like that from a modern game.

I've since bypassed this by writing my own hybrid real-time ray tracing engine that supports V-Ray and mental ray materials. I'm also working on real-time 3D scanning of the film stage using depth and stereo cameras, so that I can have virtual trees casting shadows over a real actors voxelised body etc.

I think the best way Sebastian to gauge whether or not it is really working is if you get interest from studios wanting to invest in your process. Or maybe you make a great film (short or long that stands up to what's in the cinema) and people go wow how did you do that and how I can use that for my film?

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Jules
 
Old 03 March 2013   #59
Originally Posted by Jules123: Definitely not my opinion. I think CryEngine's output looks like,.. drum rolls... like that from a modern game.

I've since bypassed this by writing my own hybrid real-time ray tracing engine that supports V-Ray and mental ray materials. I'm also working on real-time 3D scanning of the film stage using depth and stereo cameras, so that I can have virtual trees casting shadows over a real actors voxelised body etc.

I think the best way Sebastian to gauge whether or not it is really working is if you get interest from studios wanting to invest in your process. Or maybe you make a great film (short or long that stands up to what's in the cinema) and people go wow how did you do that and how I can use that for my film?

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Jules


As nice as that would be, I simply don't agree with that. There are tons of films and TV shows coming out every week that don't look anywhere near as good as the best stuff in the cinema. The idea that it has to be the top of the top, or not at all, is just short sighted. Given the choice of making a film with game engine quality, or the film not getting made, I'd take the game engine quality in a heartbeat, especially if we're talking game engines like the PS4 demos.
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Terrence Walker
Studio ArtFX
Learn How to Make Your Own Animated Projects!
You don't need millions of dollars or major studio backing!!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #60
Originally Posted by teruchan: As nice as that would be, I simply don't agree with that. There are tons of films and TV shows coming out every week that don't look anywhere near as good as the best stuff in the cinema. The idea that it has to be the top of the top, or not at all, is just short sighted. Given the choice of making a film with game engine quality, or the film not getting made, I'd take the game engine quality in a heartbeat, especially if we're talking game engines like the PS4 demos.


I completely agree. I love Merlin quite fine despite the VFX quality (which from 3d world I realize the studio itself quite new in 3D. In setting things up.)

But it was fine, five season and all. Missed it
 
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