Originally Posted by jecastej
But for continuous surface animation and deformation used for character animation today nothing beats polys. At least not any general or commercial application I know.
There are a few logical reasons for that...
1) Detailed 3D Voxel objects take up a lot of memory and harddrive space. On a game console with only 512 MB RAM and 5.6GB DVD game discs, using voxels to create a whole 3D game is virtually impossible. You could have Voxels as the basis for procedural 3D terrain (like in the very old Novalogic game Comanche). Maybe a few Voxel powering a fluids effect like smoke. But that's about it.
2) 32-bit Versions of 3D software could only address 2/3 GB RAM max. So again, the memory penalty of using 3D Voxels for objects was a PITA to work around. So these applications focused on Polygons, NURBS and SubD-surfaces instead. Those were much more memory-friendly + GPUs are designed at hardware-level to render millions of Polygons to the screen at interactive rates, not Voxels.
3) Whatever is used in Games and Movie VFX - mostly Polygon, SubD, NURBS based stuff currently - determines the major tools that are built into 3D software like Maya, Max, Softimage, C4D.
Euclideon claim to be solving 3 Voxel-related problems at the same time:
1) Fast rendering of tens of millions of 3D Voxels onto the screen at at least 25 FPS framerate. (They claim they will hit 60 FPS on CPU-only, once their code is more optimized)
2) Compressing Voxel data to 5% - 20% of its normal size, and being able to render those Voxels to screen and manipulate them without having to compress/decompress all the time.
3) Being able to work with huge Voxel datasets up to 140 Terabytes in size (important if you are doing large-scale visualization using LIDAR created point-cloud scans, e.g. in Urban Planning)
If they succeed on these points, we may eventually see this tech creep into the major 3D DCC softwares.
The companies making 3D software can create their own version of Euclideon's "Unlimited Detail" technology - maybe they are working on this right now, and we simply don't know about it yet.
Or in the worst case, companies like AutoDesk can give Euclideon a few Million Dollars and simply license their tech for inclusion in Maya, Max, Softimage, et cetera.
Either way, all we can do right now is sit back and wait for Euclideon to finish their work, and actually put their tech on the market...