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Submitted by John van der Burg, posted on April 12, 2002

Image Description, by John van der Burg

Mystique is a powerful rendering system, which has been designed with modularity and network support in mind. Mystique allows you to easily develop your own custom plugins, render using many computers over the internet and ships with a hybrid Monte Carlo global illumination render plugin. Developers can write render plugins, ray acceleration plugins, and more, all of which will cooperate seamlessly. For example if you write a ray acceleration plugin which is 50% faster than other existing plugins, all other render plugins in Mysique will automatically be around 50% faster. You won't need to worry about ray intersection tests and acceleration schemes, since this is all done by the other plugins. Network rendering is supported, via LAN and the Internet as well. Your computer could go into render slave mode, which would allow people on your network or on the Internet to use your computer power to render. This would allow you (for example) to render one image using 1000 computers connected via the Internet.

Mystique and its SDK will be free. It will be released with plugins for hybrid Monte Carlo global illumination, 3DSMax and Maya exporters, Octree and Uniform-Grid ray acceleration and a GUI for Windows.

You can find some current in-development renders at in the Mystique section. Mystic Game Development is also searching for artists who can provide some cool models to use to test the system. If you are interested in seeing your work rendered using the new system please contact us via our website.

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

April 12, 2002, 07:56 PM

To make it clear about simple shits ... Its not guite possible to finish projects which I undertake alone ... But Im working on game editor at this time.. just for myself. ANd everything is going quite well. I see there is posted much simpler stuff which needs less time. But I have plans to do something simple.. not because of you of course but simply because its more chances to finish at lifetime ;p


April 12, 2002, 08:03 PM

"Are you just an idiot or what?"

reply would be "or what" but you may think as you like

Submitting untextured images makes perfect sense because it gives you an idea of how well the lighting/shadowing is working in the default plugin.

Im not talking about untextured images ... But light usually has a color as well ... Do raytracers always need textures ? Not. So you missed something here

If it were textured, there would be endless questions about whether the lighting were dynamic or cooked into the texture

who talks about texturing ? If you could see a demo no such cooked questions would be asked


April 12, 2002, 09:11 PM

Cool stuff. The tank reminds me of a render powered by Brazil (3DSMax plug-in renderer @ Only diff is your's is free, so less competition for Brazil, hehe =)


April 12, 2002, 09:47 PM

Do not start a flame war


April 12, 2002, 09:49 PM

And leave the language debates out of it, if you want to do that, please take it to the little kiddies room.


April 12, 2002, 09:51 PM

Umm, are you sure you didn't just take pictures of a model?? Looks SO real!!


April 12, 2002, 10:05 PM

Hey John, great tank rendering of another Mytique post. Looks like you finally solved most of the error with the GI algorithm, nice and clean now. So when do you think you'll have it available for plugin support and for others to try?

BTW why didn't you post the landscape engine shots?

Keep up the awesome work.


April 12, 2002, 10:16 PM

Looks gorgeous! I'd like to see how it works with some more advanced lighting effects!

Des Browne

April 12, 2002, 11:09 PM

" 2) it depends on what is "basic" "

Basic is a programming language.

Global illumination used in games is usually implemented using shadow maps. They are supposed to represent shadows and unless you live is some strange magical land shadows donít have colour (which is caused by different spectrums of light mixing) but a lack there of any light.

P.S. Itís good to ask questions, thatís how you learn and what the IOTD is for in part. But you might try writing in a slightly less condescending tone in future to avoid get labelled a troll.


April 13, 2002, 12:13 AM

I always hated those green and black moniters. I much prefered black and white moniters. Green and black justs gives me the impression of bad quality, crappy stuff......


April 13, 2002, 12:21 AM

"For example, perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I've never seen a 15-foot tall alien holding a plasma rifle in real life."

Punchey, I don't know how to break it to you, but you are definitely in the minority... I just had lunch with one of those tonight, we had a conversation about the weather and such.


April 13, 2002, 12:31 AM



April 13, 2002, 12:40 AM

I noticed no one is yet to mention the issue of noise. I remember last ITOD you said that you were working on solving the problem of noise. Is that being put on the back burner or what?


April 13, 2002, 01:28 AM

Yes, I would also like to know about fixing that noise. Looking back a the old shots, this looks better, but I have to go against popular opinion, and say that it definately does not look real. It looks extrodinarily good, but not real. It has the feel of a picture taken by a person more interested in the artistry than how real it looks. I think the ultimate achievement is to produce something that properly emulates how the eye sees, then the eye cannot tell the difference. The images are speckled in places where I feel they should be crisp or at least smooth. It is almost like old film.

Remember that this is my only piece of constructive criticism. The rest is absolutely fabulous, and I could never dream of creating something that was even close. I think you should concentrate more on gettin rid of that noise though.


April 13, 2002, 01:38 AM

There are a few images up there that look a little 'too real', is an example. I cannot believe that someone could possibly model something that realistic.

Headless Chicken

April 13, 2002, 01:40 AM

To MC:

Just want to make an apology to MC on the subject of flaming, that last part was not ment for you, but for the community in general. I think most of us well agree when I say the recent IOTDs are becomming a mess of flames.

I have no intentions of starting a flame war, I would just like to know what credentials the "Most hated person of the year"(quote from profile) has. Now I undestand everyone has their own opinion, but how you express yours is somewhat... tactless. I mean, for christ sake man, do you honestly think your going to prove anything by bashing the name "Headless Chicken"

To TheDeathLord:

"Do not start a flame war"
- yeah, I guess I'm a bit of a hypocryte in that sence. This is going to be my second and last post to this IOTD, I hope it'll end here.

"And leave the language debates out of it, if you want to do that, please take it to the little kiddies room."
- I was refering to BASIC, and have no intention of starting a debate over it.


April 13, 2002, 01:43 AM

I think the lighting looks basically real. This would be useful for helping make lighting in textures for my tank game :)

Headless Chicken

April 13, 2002, 01:50 AM

Looks great! As strange as this may sound, I kindof like the noise, it gives a cool feel to the pic. But thats just me, for more widespread use I guess the noise would get annoying (it looks more artistic then realistic). Geep up the good work.

Arne Rosenfeldt

April 13, 2002, 02:41 AM

>The images are speckled in places where I feel they should be crisp >or at least smooth. It is almost like old film

Read the post above yours a bit more carfully!


April 13, 2002, 03:25 AM

Hi John!

I like these images. Mystique really seems to be progressing rather well. Would you mind giving some more stats (rendering time, memory use, resolution, etc...)

For the others:

- You do these things without textures, so you can see the lighting much better

- The noise makes it look more real, than not having any noise. Then it would look just like your regular 'clean' raytraced image. The noise has gotten much better, BTW. So he has done quite a bit to reduce the noise.


Frans Bouma

April 13, 2002, 04:59 AM

example if you write a ray acceleration plugin which is 50% faster than other existing plugins, all other render plugins in Mysique will automatically be around 50% faster.

Erm, I hope the math in your code isn't of the same quality of the math in your texts ;)


April 13, 2002, 05:38 AM

wow...that's cool it looks just like some of the samples for Arnold(The lightwave renderer I remember seeing a while back)


April 13, 2002, 05:39 AM

Haha... I always change my settings in all editors to black green style... and my eyes like it better (I don't get irritated eyes...)

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:00 AM

Hi, yeah it's my own program :)
Would be a bit lame if I would just render it with one written by someone else :)

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:03 AM

Yeah could have been from my site :)
Actually I posted it as a news item, but Kurt and I decided we should turn it into an image of the day. But I was too lazy (as usual) to type some real comments for the IOTD :)

So sorry about that! :)


April 13, 2002, 06:05 AM

What's the background?

in the bottom left image it looks like a finite plane. just wondering where the diffuse lighting comes from - is the whole thing inside a box, where all but the bottom face are light emitters, or is there just a 'global' lighting state and the ground plane gets its info from that and the model?

Hope that's not too unclearly worded :)

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:07 AM

No, it's a method for solving an integral.
This integral is used inside the estimation of incoming light from out of the environment at a given point.
MC uses random sampling to estimate this value. That's why you also get the noise. However there are techniques to reduce the noise. I also used some techniques to reduce it, so normally it's worse. Also it depends on how many samples you take, the more you take, the less noise, but the longer the render times.

Hope that explained it a bit :)

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:10 AM

The main reason for using the tank was that it was a free model I downloaded somewhere on the internet and that it was one of the nicest models I had. Since I am not a 3D artist I need to get models from other places to test :)

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:12 AM

The system will split up the image into parts. Not scanlines.
And will then assign a part to each computer, where it could make an estimation on how cpu intensive that part will be, and look at the available systems and their cpu power. So harder parts can or be split up into smaller parts, or can be assigned to compus with better cpu power.

John van der Burg

April 13, 2002, 06:14 AM

Thanks man :)

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