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Submitted by John van der Burg, posted on December 21, 2001




Image Description, by John van der Burg



It has been a while since I submitted an IOTD, so I thought why not show something I'm working on now in my free time :) The images above are all rendered using Mystique, which is the name of my first real render system.

After seeing all these global illumination renders on the web (since it's such a hot topic) I wanted to give it a try myself too, and this is the result till now. Still the system is far from finished and can be (and will be) improved on a lot of fronts. Let me tell something about the images you see.

The upper left image shows a UFO only lit by skylight, no additional lightsources in the scene. Currently the skylight is just a constant color, but I am planning to support real sunlight as well. The image on the right of that is the same UFO lit by skylight and an additional omni lightsource.

The cars below the UFOs are also rendered using global illumination (all pics use GI) but in an indoor environment and with reflections. There is one omni light a bit above the back of the car.

The tiger on the left is Majid, a model of our game in production. However the model isn't finished yet. Just a box around the tiger and an omni behind the tiger. The tigher head uses one omni on the left and skylight. You can see that the model are actually 2 models (a half tiger, mirrored) since the normals do not match up yet, so you that edge.

And finally at the bottom you see a car with only skylight on the left, and with skylight and materials and an omni and specular on the right.

Please note that the antialiassing still sucks. And the images are still noisy.

Time for some tech info:
  • Can render scenes being exported from 3DSMax 4 and Maya 4
  • Current render plugins for mystique are: SimpleTracer, which is just a simple raytracer with reflections and all the standard stuff and MCTracer which is the render plugin used to render all above images. It uses montecarlo techniques with stratisfication on the hemisphere to generate the current samples for indirect lighting. I will upgrade this later on to Quasi-Montecarlo, which doesn't use real random stuff, but still on some sort of random way (to avoid aliassing) which should reduce the variance in the renders quite a lot. And this in combination with importance sampling should result in really nice quality. The diablos and first tiger pic however used more samples. Unfortunately I don't exactly remember how many. Probably 5x5x5 or 6x6x5.
  • Mystique is a .lib, and I created some gui for it as well.
  • Most images shown used 4x4x5 samples per pixel (5 for anti aliassing, which is just simple area filter, but that sucks)
  • Current ray acceleration plugins are: SimpleGraph, which only uses object bounds and after that polygons as acceleration. And an Octree plugin, which uses an octree *duh* :) Ofcourse the octree speeds up a lot, but I will build new plugins soon, because octrees are definitely not the best for this. KDTrees will be better, or other types of grids. Still have to do some testing and research on this.
  • Support for area lights (triangle lights at the moment, so you can make emitting objects)
  • Coming soon:
  • Texture support (shaders)
  • Quasi MC
  • Importance sampling
  • Non lamb surfaces
  • Caustics
  • Refraction
  • Sunlight and cloud simulation
  • Transparent surfaces
  • Better anti aliassing
  • Depth of field
  • Planned for later:
  • Subsurface scattering
  • Volumetric effects (light, fog)
  • You can see some more renders at http://www.mysticgd.com in the Mystique section.

    - John


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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.
     
    David Olsson

    December 21, 2001, 12:12 PM

    I've already seen those :)

     
    StAn

    December 21, 2001, 12:18 PM

    The noise makes the pictures really nice and original, especially the top right hand UFO.
    (the car pictues are not so nice though)

     
    Ohad Eder Pressman

    December 21, 2001, 12:21 PM

    beautiful

     
    MK42

    December 21, 2001, 12:34 PM

    Hi John!

    Looking nice and steady ... as always ;-)

    Cool to see an IOTD from you again, it's really been a while. How should one interpret those sampling settings (4x4x5) (5 is samples per pixel, but the others...)? What are rendering times and resolution on those shots?

    The UFO looks cool ... I'm missing a green martian in that shot though.

    Are you gonna try photon mapping for caustics, subsurface scattering and volumetric effects ... at least those features sound like you would use them.

    Greets and keep updating that site ... I'm watching it ;-)

    - Marco

     
    Kippesoep

    December 21, 2001, 12:37 PM

    I agree with stAn. The noise actually makes the pics look better. Computer generated imagery always looks too "clean". Adding a bit of noise makes it look more realistic.
    I particularly like the tiger. Without materials, it looks a bit like a stone statue.

     
    noxa

    December 21, 2001, 12:42 PM

    Those are some amazingly beautiful models! What are the poly counts in those scenes like? I'm curious as to the memory requirements of a raytracer with such detail... Those images rival most I've been able to produce with 3dsmax (Although, I'm a programmer, not an artist ;), and with your planned features you may have a nice renderer. Since it's a lib, it could even be made into a plugin for 3dsmax to render to.

    Great work!

     
    jurgen

    December 21, 2001, 01:03 PM

    Sweet,


    I'm very impressed by the sports car, maybe some pointers on global illumination on the web?


    Jurgen

     
    Jrz

    December 21, 2001, 01:24 PM

    Hey buckmans :)

    I had already seen them, they are very nice.

     
    Jare

    December 21, 2001, 01:27 PM

    Yeah the tiger on the left looks awesome!! And the first UFO. Somehow, the images with two lights don't look as good (great still, but a lot more CGIish than the others). Why could this be?

    The cars look neat hm.... brilliant. :) The pickup truck on the left looks like it's covered with volcanic ashes like the ones in Dante's Peak. :)

    Nice job.

     
    Morgan

    December 21, 2001, 01:47 PM

    The Diablo and tiger look like real photographs! Very nice. I don't suppose you plan on releasing the Lamborghini model any time soon? It is beautiful.

    -m

     
    Patrick2

    December 21, 2001, 02:00 PM

    Hi,

    looks nice indeed. But, in stead of lava, the left car looks deeply frozen to me ;)

    Patrick.

     
    cybermike

    December 21, 2001, 02:43 PM

    yeah, real nice, especialy the sportscar. it is almost photorealistic. the opacity of the windows and the refletcion in the walls give it away. If you made the walls matt and gave the windscreen a bit of opacity it would look like a real photo. But yes, great rendering fx. The tiger/lion is real cool. Looks like a plaster sculpture.

     
    Lexa

    December 21, 2001, 02:56 PM

    Pretty cool shots. Especially lighting and models. Some of them(2:3)looks more realistic than reality;)

     
    Mystic

    December 21, 2001, 03:00 PM

    Those look great, I agree that adding noise makes objects look more natural and realistic.

    I always add monochromatic noise for almost every picture I create in Photoshop, before adding color. It provides a texture that gets lost in computer graphics.

     
    Mystic

    December 21, 2001, 03:04 PM

    P.S. The lower left pic of the truck looks exactly like a truck covered in snow from a snowstorm the night before.

     
    richard

    December 21, 2001, 03:14 PM

    Have you ever made something that did NOT look good? :)

    I can only remember images of you that looked extremely well.. and this one is also very nice, again!

    Nice!

     
    lycium

    December 21, 2001, 03:18 PM

    nice job man :)

    this is going to make my global illumination stuff (http://lycium.cfxweb.net - and don't laugh please :) look a bit crap though ;)

     
    lycium

    December 21, 2001, 03:20 PM

    nice job man :)

    this is going to make my global illumination stuff (http://lycium.cfxweb.net - and don't laugh please :) look a bit crap though ;)

     
    geekster

    December 21, 2001, 03:26 PM

    Simply amazing, I thought at first that the UFO was a real model photographed. How long have you been working on it?

     
    Pierre Terdiman

    December 21, 2001, 03:44 PM

    Very nice. Looks almost as good as Arnold, actually.

     
    =[Scarab]=

    December 21, 2001, 03:57 PM

    Simply awesome! I like those 3DS Max versus Mystique pics on your site. :P

     
    FireFoX

    December 21, 2001, 04:25 PM

    That picture sure looks ugly, but that might be because I'm viewing it with 640*480 @ 16 colors :P

    (new Win2k install ;))

    I'll take a look again when I have my 32 bit colors back :)

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:12 PM

    Hi John!

    Hi! :) (sorry about the last mail btw, but my windows crashed, lost the email, so couldn't reply anymore) :(



    How should one interpret those sampling settings (4x4x5) (5 is samples per pixel, but the others...)? What are rendering times and resolution on those shots?

    I used for the images in the screenshots stratisfied sampling stuff on a grid of 4x4 (on the hemisphere) and this 5 times per pixel.
    The resolution of the shots are 320x240. Rendering times for the UFO are around 14 minutes. The tiger head around 7 minutes and the diablo and indoor tiger however took a couple of hours at 640x480, because of the reflections and higher amount of samples per pixel. And besides that the system is far from optimized. It will be a lot faster once I build a good ray acceleration plugin instead of this octree :)


    Are you gonna try photon mapping for caustics, subsurface scattering and volumetric effects ... at least those features sound like you would use them.

    Yes, I just received a copy of the book of Jensen about photonmapping, so I think I'll give them a try again later on as well :) I did them when I started the GI plugin, but wasn't really satisfied by the memory usage, but I guess I was doing something wrong, so I better read that book ;)


    Greets and keep updating that site ... I'm watching it ;-)

    Greets back :) Yeah, keep looking :) Will post new shots as soon as I have something new to show now. I'm now working on the Quasi Monte Carlo support, which is working pretty well already, but I need importance sampling in order to make it look good :)

     
    sagacity

    December 21, 2001, 05:15 PM

    pretty sweet, except that lower-right yellow car, which looks kinda plastic and all fake'n'stuff.

    oh well, the rest looks nice.

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:28 PM

    What are the poly counts in those scenes like? I'm curious as to the memory requirements of a raytracer with such detail

    The polycounts. Well, that's a bit different per scene :)
    But let me load the files and see what they are.
    ...
    tiger(head) = 15272
    bottom cars = 11852
    UFOs = 95106
    diablos = 32582

    The memory requirements.
    Let me start the renders with global illumination and display the amount of memory used during rendering as shown in the taskmanager.

    tiger(head)= 10,004 K (~10 mb)
    ufo = 17,588 K
    diablos = 12,168 K
    bottom cars= 9,536 K

    But it's not memory optimized yet. However if I will use photonmaps this will increase. And I think after optimizations (speed) it will use some more memory as well.

    - John

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:31 PM

    There is a lot of information on the web about it. But actually it all are those pretty unreadable (for a lot of people) complex research papers. Maybe I should write a tutorial about it where I explain it in normal language, because you have no idea how simple it actually is :)

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:35 PM

    I don't exactly remember if I got the diablo model from my legally bought models cd of 3Dcafe or if I had found it in the free models section at 3Dcafe.com, so I better not release it if it's maybe from that CD :)
    But be sure to check out 3D Cafe (the free models section).

    - John

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:37 PM

    Yeps you are right about the bad materials. Actually everything in that model reflects :) I just put up one material if I remember correctly. And besides that I'm not an artist :)

    - John

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:39 PM

    Somehow, the images with two lights don't look as good (great still, but a lot more CGIish than the others). Why could this be?

    I think it's the colors which are not realistic.
    And it looks too smooth :) Sometimes longer render times mean less realistic images it seems :)

    - John

     
    John van der Burg

    December 21, 2001, 05:41 PM

    Have you ever made something that did NOT look good? :)

    You don't wanna know what crap I made, some really bad and ugly stuff :)

    - John

     
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