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A Deep Dive into Nanite Virtualized Geometry


NeonsStyle
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This is really interesting.

 

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I remember ~10+ years ago when everyone was saying everything would be made out of voxels by now.  By and large, realtime 3D "local" graphics are still done the same way, with triangles and textures.  For the AAA latest big titles, they all are.

I can see how this might be a thing for streaming, one day, if and when that even becomes mainstream enough - I don't see it ever keeping up with what a local system is capable of, those hardware bottlenecks never quite seem to become a dealbreaker.  When streaming finally hits a stable clean 1080p, everyone will be well beyond 4K locally, and so on.

Having literally millions and millions of triangles (half a billion?) for one piece of scenery, and 32/65K+ textures on everything, even if it were possible to magically render all of that at decent framerates, where is all of this data stored?  How much data would that be?  100TB?  It's funny how gamers whine even now with games easily hitting the 100GB install size and current-gen consoles launching with 500GB storage as standard.  Those sizes are an order of magnitude higher than previous gen, but not exactly providing the jaw-dropping visuals everyone has come to expect from a leap forward on paper.  I still see sloppy texels in modern games.

Even if you could heavily compress all of that (source) data and uncompress on-the-fly by requiring a thorough thrashing of the latest (huge and fast) SSDs, that seems to me to equate to just replacing one set of overheads with another.  Still, it's really interesting and I look forward to learning more about it and seeing it in action, with something more dynamic and destructible.

 

 

 

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I've been playing with this, as UE5 has already been released in early access. It's really cool. You can rip an entire city off of Go*gle maps, like a 10km x 10km chunk of terrain, get it into UE5, maybe throw in a little fog and light rain, some lit windows in the shaders, make the sea a realistic sea shader, then pick a really high building and model a posh apartment in the penthouse using all the free & amazing arc-vis assets out there, give it massive windows with rain streaking down, and take in the urban landscape.

For someone that started building with dromed, which originally had like 1000 poly limit after which objects would just stop being rendered, it's literally awe inspiring to look over an entire city of 1000s to 10,000s of buildings or so, chugging however many millions of tris, and it still be fluid at 40 fps or whatever. You shouldn't take that too lightly. It really feels like were at a new stage in gaming.

And the quick demo I made up like that is still only about 1.5 GB. The geometry you can rip off of Go*gle maps is already optimized so it's highest poly closest to the place you take it and falls off. Then you can add higher poly geometry to some distant places by hand. If you were smart about it, you could keep a game under 10 or 20 GB and still look pretty amazing.

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2 hours ago, demagogue said:

I've been playing with this, as UE5 has already been released in early access. It's really cool. You can rip an entire city off of Go*gle maps, like a 10km x 10km chunk of terrain, get it into UE5, maybe throw in a little fog and light rain, some lit windows in the shaders, make the sea a realistic sea shader, then pick a really high building and model a posh apartment in the penthouse using all the free & amazing arc-vis assets out there, give it massive windows with rain streaking down, and take in the urban landscape.

For someone that started building with dromed, which originally had like 1000 poly limit after which objects would just stop being rendered, it's literally awe inspiring to look over an entire city of 1000s to 10,000s of buildings or so, chugging however many millions of tris, and it still be fluid at 40 fps or whatever. You shouldn't take that too lightly. It really feels like were at a new stage in gaming.

And the quick demo I made up like that is still only about 1.5 GB. The geometry you can rip off of Go*gle maps is already optimized so it's highest poly closest to the place you take it and falls off. Then you can add higher poly geometry to some distant places by hand. If you were smart about it, you could keep a game under 10 or 20 GB and still look pretty amazing.

What you are describing sounds very interesting. Would you be willing to post some screenshots of your quick demo or even better, would you be willing to make a video?

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There are a few IP, legal & security issues I have to think about for what I want to do with it. But here's a tutorial about getting a G*ogle maps scene into Blender, and once you get it into Blender it's trivial to get it into UE5.

The stuff I've been doing is more or less just like this. (Except the process also gives you the real world textures, which he didn't take in this video.)

The few technical points I'd add is you should just do your own clip brushing & be close-up for places the player would be, and for the background you just leave the clipping off & keeping it lower res isn't so bad for really distant stuff. Also you want to break it up in Blender into increasingly large chunks going outwards, and it'll be a little more failsafe in the import, and I imagine it helps with the framerate, but I haven't tested it.

Edit: Oh what the hell... Here is a quick demo without the bells and whistles yet. This is what you can do in literally 15 or 20 minutes once you know what you're doing. And it doesn't take much to imagine what you can do from here to make it even more lifelike...

Well, you'd replace the trees with UE's foliage tool. Things like cranes & utility poles should get replaced with models. Throw some procedural traffic & pedestrians in. For the nearest buildings you'd want to rip them individually right over them to get the maximum resolution. You'd also want to focus on the city center where the resolution for every building is highest, etc.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/9/2021 at 10:22 PM, LDAsh said:

I remember ~10+ years ago when everyone was saying everything would be made out of voxels by now. ...

IMO they aren't necessarily wrong, many modern effects today use voxels in the background, they are not what gets drown in the end but they do enter in the equation. :)

 

Spoiler

For example Cryengine uses voxel's for some of its advanced effects. 

Cryengine voxel driven fog

Cryengine Voxel-Based Global Illumination

For terrain: 

Old Cryengine 2/3 Voxel Objects

video showing Cryengine voxel terrain (voxel objects)

some other use of voxels for terrain

https://transvoxel.org/

https://voxelplugin.com/

And based on this lumen technical detail voxels are used somehow in the system

Quote

There are two ways to improve Distance Field representation. Projects can increase them by using the project settings Distance Field Voxel Density,

 So voxels are neither useless nor will make triangles obsolete anytime soon, but by the look of things both are now a important part of modern rendering and complement each other. :)  

 

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