Particle Cache and (Almost) Real-time Volume Rendering

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Old 11 November 2009   #1
Particle Cache and (Almost) Real-time Volume Rendering


Think it is time to show the plug-in I've been working on for a while. It is particle-based hardware volume rendering. The idea is saving particles to custom cache data format, along with pre-computed lighting info. When the cache is imported, all particles are draw inside Maya OpenGL viewport as overlaying textured planes, creating the vision of a volume. The aim is to render cloud and smoke at high resolution within seconds. Taking advantage of HDR image, Spherical Harmonics, OpenGL Shading Language, artists may tweak parameters of render and watch the result without waiting for hours. It happens in near real-time. It could not beat the accuracy and beauty of those software volume render, but maybe it is worth trying. Anyway, it is still fun to work on.

The title image is a screenshot of Maya viewport. About 40 thousands of particles under HDR evironment.

In case you are interested, take a look at the blog entries about the progress:

And the gallery of tests:!351?ct=photos

It is still at its early stage of development. Will update more info about it later.

Last edited by zsmoke : 11 November 2009 at 12:06 PM.
Old 11 November 2009   #2
very cool. ill test this for you if you want. in production
From Russia, with love @
Old 11 November 2009   #3
god damn. that shit is dope... i'd love to play around with that
seth hall lead vfx artist | visceral games rws

my highend3D scripts
my photography
Old 11 November 2009   #4
I did play around with it over night. It is an obsessive waste of time You guys will be able to try it when it is ready.

Last edited by zsmoke : 11 November 2009 at 12:14 PM.
Old 11 November 2009   #5
Great that you are back - i was wondering where did you disappear years ago
Old 11 November 2009   #6
this is sick. nice job, man.
Old 11 November 2009   #7
Exciting stuff, keep at it! And thanks for the updates.
Old 11 November 2009   #8
Thumbs up

Looking good Dr well done. i'm Looking forward to seeing more tests
Old 11 November 2009   #9

Are you the guy who wrote the Voxel render 4years ago?
the way is follow your step
Old 11 November 2009   #10
Yes, I revived the Voxel started years before. Have no idea so much time has been lost.

Voxel is based on 3D texture, which can never catch the detail of a large scene. One should write particles to 3D texture and show in a stand alone. Result is bad. This is particle-based, and integrated into Maya. Also takes advantage of Spherical Harmonics method I used in the PRT tool, to get image based lighting. Light the volume interactively with an HDR image inside Maya.

Not much to update for now. I have to fix some problem with animation first.
Old 11 November 2009   #11
Looks very promising ! really looking forward to play with it ....
great work ZSmoke ! keep it up .
LDEA Kon Kuatica
Old 11 November 2009   #12
It is making progress. No problem to playblast animation at full quality. A few more attributes to support and off-screen render to images, then we are done.

Last edited by zsmoke : 11 November 2009 at 12:09 PM.
Old 11 November 2009   #13
Nice, how did you do these? In API?
Old 11 November 2009   #14
Thumbs up

Where's the link to the quicktime file Dr ?
Old 11 November 2009   #15
That is a screenshot of some fly-through animation test. Just to check out if the cloud looks correct. Not very interesting indeed.
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