Are game engines the future of rendering?

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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by stew: Where do you draw the line between a game engine and a renderer anyway? When FurryBall uses all gaming tricks to draw film frames and games use selective ray tracing, the lines are blurring. The two are only going to converge more as hardware gets faster.

The renderer is just one aspect of a complete game engine. The CPU/GPU rendering technologies will continue to converge, but it doesn't mean that game engines optimized for interactivity (such as Unity or CryEngine) will become the dominant tech.
  04 April 2013
Furryball is a really bad example, as it's output does not look any better than state of the art game engines and yet, it does not run at interactive frame rates.
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by sebastian___: And to answer something said by someone before - you can have high poly objects if you want - bigger than 100 000 poly. And even bigger with some workarounds. And also larger textures.

Sebastian, that was probably me. You may have misunderstood the point I was making, I'm aware that game engines can handle fairly high resolution geometry and textures.

The point was more about level-of-detail - in that not everything needs to be set to eleven.

I'm really impressed by what your doing with cryengine.
  04 April 2013
Thank you.
I was trying to say that people talk about game engines being used to render movies, but they still think about it in real-time and gaming usage terms. But for movie purposes the way you are using it could change dramatically. You don't have to keep using low poly models for example. And others.
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by sebastian___: You don't have to keep using low poly models for example. And others.

A solution I've used is Bezier patches. You can keep zooming in and will never see the straight lines that make up a polygon, as OpenGL (or DX11) hardware tessellation subdivides each polygon into smaller polygons on the fly. OpenSubDiv demonstrates real-time subdivision the best I feel here:

I just found this as good summary of modern game techniques used in CryEngine 3. Loads of techniques used to keep that frame rate up:

  04 April 2013
Quote: OpenSubDiv demonstrates real-time subdivision

I don't mean to derail the conversation, just wanted to point out that the OpenSubdiv video linked is from last year and only shows uniform subdivision.

We have since released the "feature adaptive" version of the code which fully uses the dynamic tessellation capabilities of GPUs and scales much much better. Here is a video that was shot in Las Vegas last november, using Jesse Sandifer's "Turtle Barbarian" Mudbox sculpture.


We extracted the geometry from the original sculpture to Ptex displacement textures at a level of roughly 1/4 of a billion quad faces. Because we are executing the limit surface interpolation directly on the GPU, we only have to articulate the original control vertices of the coarse mesh (some 17000 of them), which allows us to animate the geometry in real time. The GPU tessellation also allows us to dynamically adapt the density of the geometry emitted each frame based on the position of the camera very smoothly, without the usual pops of mesh decimation...

I will probably have better visuals to link in the next few weeks...
  04 April 2013
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