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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.

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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 14, 2002, 03:43 AM

It does actually scale pretty well, IMHO.

Actually, the best option for a mix of speed and quality is to mix photon mapping and straight mc methods (which are also a hack, duh).

And you can't get a lot of effects with MC in reasonable time that you can get with photon maps (ie, caustics, colour shift, gas interaction).


April 14, 2002, 04:43 AM

GI and more GI Yawn.... finalrender/arnold/brazil and a whole host of others including Mystique... and the comments about no colour... where
have you guys been the last few years, clay style is the defacto look of GI to show it off :)

Now John, show us something really cool - WACK the GI into lightmaps!
and show it to us in realtime and impress everyone!

I don't understand why people don't do this.. go for it
and post the result next week! - I demand it!



April 14, 2002, 05:24 AM

The above link will explain how the lighting works, and well, with reasonably dense meshes you can achieve great results using pre-lit vertex colors.

And with very little work, it's also possible to do it in real-time for skinned/animated meshes.


April 14, 2002, 08:26 AM

mc methods are not hacks. and photon mapping doesn't scale well w/o a phenomenal amount of work (see papers by ingo wald on importance-based photon mapping).

how can you back up your statement?


April 14, 2002, 09:48 AM

Continuing this logic, ray tracing is also a hack--a gross simplification of actual physics. We should be simulating photons as wave propagation and use explicit calculations of quantum interactions between photons and electrons of matter instead of cheap BRDF approximations--after all someone that knows what to look for will never be fooled by an approximation

Photon maps are useful because of the simple reason that for most people low-frequency noise is much less distracting than having an appearance of salt sprinkled all over the image.


April 14, 2002, 11:33 AM

really cool images...

I wish to code a Monte-Carlo ray-tracer too. However, I don't know much on global illumination...
I tried to search "The Rendering Equation" of Kajiya, but I haven't found it. Someone can suggest to me where I could found it, or some other starting point?


April 16, 2002, 03:35 AM

look at the siggraph page and follow the link to the online-material from 2001. there are imho 2 courses which describe global illumination.

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