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Submitted by Urnel C., posted on June 15, 2000

Image Description, by Urnel C.

Realtime rendering - soon. Sorry, we've got no site yet.

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

June 15, 2000, 10:11 AM

April fools late this year?


June 15, 2000, 10:13 AM

Ummmm, is this a screenshot of the Discovery Channel or something?


June 15, 2000, 10:35 AM

It looks like it was scanned from National Geographic.


June 15, 2000, 10:47 AM

Umm, yes, it's a real-time blitting of a scanned Discovery Channel/National Geographic joint venture picture!


June 15, 2000, 12:12 PM


I think urnel should contact john carmack soon and tell him how he did this ...


[this actually looks like a perfect location for my next vacation]


June 15, 2000, 02:34 PM

Maybe it's a screen shot from the Blair Witch Project…
What is it anyway? Something 3d or something 2d? And what ’s that static in the background?

Tom Nuydens

June 15, 2000, 02:37 PM

It _could_ just be 20 layers of sprites... In any case, I can't wait to find out :-)


June 15, 2000, 04:21 PM

I think the pic looks like my holiday pics. There must be something wrong "Hähä".

Michael Kurth

June 15, 2000, 05:13 PM

I can't even comprehend why people are comparing this to a photograph. This is a good rendering, but there is not a photorealistic element to be found. It is using good tree sprites, but not of any "shocking" calibur that hasn't been seen before. In fact it looks like several other ecosystem projects out there in that respect.

The comments about "static" in the background are equally confusing because all I see are low resolution trees that have some distance haze and jpeg lossyness. Maybe you need a new video card or monitor.

The original poster does say its "realtime" but some people consider 3fps realtime. I'm curious to see what the hardware is, and what the framerate is, and if this will be applicable to the typical gamer system or just an Onyx or Octane.

Personally I like the fog layers and how they blend in with the trees. I like the distance hazing, and I think the trees look good from this point of view, but I'm curious how close you can get before the illusion is broken.

Kurt Miller

June 15, 2000, 05:58 PM

The original poster said "Realtime rendering - soon", which I assume means that its not realtime yet, but they're at least working towards making it so. I don't see why that's so unbelievable.

Isaack Rasmussen

June 15, 2000, 07:49 PM

For those that wonders about the static in the background... what! Remember that it is the perfectness that makes all computergraphics look, non-realistic.
When have you last seen anything dirty or lessperfect in anything realtime???

(But I have to admit, that I too wonder if this is even generated by their engine, don't care if it runs 3fps, just only if it is rendered by their engine)

Come on, Urnel, say something... give us a comment.



June 15, 2000, 08:30 PM

It almost looks like a painting.


June 15, 2000, 10:06 PM

Well, you can tell by its aspects that it doesn't have a realtime look. It's sort of distorted, and all of that technical lighting and tree rendering wouldn't make for a good/fast 3D performance, but if it's 2D then it looks like it may work, I am curious to see how though.



The GRYPS Project -

Oscar Rydberg

June 16, 2000, 04:32 AM

WYSIWC - What You See Is What Counts!

Perhaps it's a giant scanned texture mapped onto a "skybox"?
Perhaps it's "layered skyboxes"?

Has anyone played the great golfgame LINKS?
It looks awesome, LOTS of details and realism in the scenes.
However - it does not (currently) allow for a "flyby" in realtime over the course. But with todays speedy processors and some creativity, who says we can't accomplish it?

Maybe we'r all too stuck in modelling everything with polys, that we forget or ignore any other technique for a pleasant visualization as "fake", when it really should be the result that counts.
(Although in my oppinion game-play always comes first)

I think this IOTD was a big success, because it might give us all a great inspiration kick!


June 16, 2000, 04:55 AM

Ahh!! Finally! Realtime scanning software!!

Why, with that, I could.. no.. dare I say it? TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!


"I think, therefore I'm right."

"Float like a butterfly, bite like a crocodile."


June 16, 2000, 05:26 AM

Sorry, i couldn't answer you before, cuz i were busy coding the engine. That will be 6DOF engine, and right now it's on the experimental stage. Those screenshots were from very early version of engine where we were just testing main terrain genereation and drawing algorithms. It was not optimized right now gives about 0.1 fps on my system. We are trying hard to optimize it. On this screenshot there are ...hmmm...i can't remember the number, but it was in the range of 300-400 trees.
That will be a commercial engine, so i don't want to tell you much about the rendering technicue.


June 16, 2000, 08:03 AM

!@#$&*^!@#!!!! Not ANOTHER commercial engine that nobody will be using!
300-400 billboarded trees then.. wonder how that looks when you whizz around the scene.
But really, it looks promising - even though you should open up the ideas behind it to the world.

Michael Kurth

June 16, 2000, 11:31 AM

Here is a link to another project, called Blueberry, that has a similar look. It has two modes of rendering - one is realtime with less detail and texturing, the other is a rendered screenshot.

There are many projects out there like World Builder which can generate stunning photorealistic landscape and ecosystems but are not realtime.

The Blueberry project I mentioned above and the engine being developed that made this screenshot have definite use in the GIS field. There is no way you will see this being used in a game, but that doesnt make it useless.


June 16, 2000, 08:51 PM

I think the reason most people doubt this screenshot is quite clear. Its a scan. It is true that perfection is often a giveaway for photorealism, but this graphic is not an indication of what is the bleeding edge in real photorealism. It is pohotgraph realism... it IS a scan of a photograph. Of course i won't make that claim and not back it up because obviously there are a few people here who have never seen a scanned photograph before and can't recognize moire when they see it.

Look to the upper-right of the photograph where there is a smear of color that goes form the mountains in the far background, down and onto the trees in the nearer foreground. Look up and towards the direct middle of the graphic, that little white bit there is a scanning artifact. Just look at all the discoloration in the upper portion of the photograph. At the far upper-right is what the color of the hillside really is, to the left of that for almost the entire photograph the colors are more orangeish and most importantly pass without alteration from one plane of distance to another. Notice how the line demarking this discoloration is more or less straight and does not obey the rules of 3d topography which would make it seem to move position and be crooked if it passed from a hill to a field of trees a distance on front of it.

The background at first appears to be overall a blur... if it weren't for the true background image at the upper-right where detail and natural color is visible I might have guessed this was a computer rendering with some sort of screen post-processing... but what would be the point? Instead of striving for photorealism you would be striving for BAD photo realism. You don't want your game to look like a picture has been sitting around for 10 years and had coffee spilled on it.

Feel free to correct me by showing me code, an MPEG of it moving even at 0.1fps, anything. And next time, clean your scanner glass first.


June 17, 2000, 08:17 AM

Am i alone to believe there are far more than 400 trees in the shot ? Look at the background... Also, for
billboarded trees, i haven't been able to find 2 trees that look like the same..


Michael Kurth

June 17, 2000, 09:23 PM

I'm still not totally sold on the backdrop being scanned from a photo. If it was scanned it was a low quality photo. Otaku pointed out the color smear, which I missed before, which looks awful suspicious - but since this is a jpeg I dont think pointing at moire patterns means much.

A little of topic, but why do so many hardware review sites compare cards and give us jpegs to look at? They usually have little captions that read "see how much clearer Pic A is then Pic B"... and of course the reader is sitting there thinking "no...".

Anyway, ysanea was still unable to see the backdrop. I think that if you look at the third tree from the left you can see where the backdrop begins. The mist tries to hide the difference, but the ground seems to take on a different angle straight along the whole back starting very close to the viewer. In fact I think theres only about 150 trees in the view.

Just my 2 cents. I'll be quite now =)


June 18, 2000, 02:58 PM

The orange pattern you are seeing on the right does not appear to be a moire pattern.

Looking closely at the pattern, it looks like there is an area in the middle that is rather circular. Another orange-is area is in the left. This is amazingly similar to the pattern you would see if you were holding a camera up to a mirror. Right hand wrapped slightly around the front of the camera with a finger reaching up to hit the shutter release. Left hand holding the camera steady. The circular area is possibly the camera lens.

Another reason that I suspect this is a photograph is the non-planar look of the fog. Examining it briefly, the fog appears to be almost bowl shaped. This is common in nature where you see fog hugging the ground. However, this is rarely seen in 3d engines due to the high number of polygons required.

I can also pick out several species of tree, with several variations among the species. While this is not exceedingly difficult produce using fractals, it is unlikely that their fractal engine would also produce broken/missing limbs and bird nests.

Of course, if this is indeed generated by a commercial game engine, you may want to clear up that annoying orange haze.

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