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 Dev Blog #3  |  January 28, 2013 (Upd. Feb 23)  |  Reading forum stats...
Voxelized Geometry

The following video shows hi-poly geometry voxelized in Atomontage Engine. The polygon geometry was reconstructed from photos taken on site or from an airship (see CMPMVS and The polygon geometry was then processed in Atomontage Engine and converted to a fully volumetric voxel geometry. The engine can render and modify such geometry in real-time.

Source data provided by / Dáta pre scénu (model) boli získané od spoločnosti
Hi-poly meshes provided by CMPMVS.
Watch and comment this video on YouTube.
Visit Atomontage Engine on YouTube.
Go to Gallery to view screen-shots of voxelized geometry.

The voxelizer converts the polygon-based geometry to a volumetric voxel-based model. It can voxelize large meshes and triangle soups with or without normals, color information, etc. The surface of the voxel-based model matches the polygon-based model with imperfections included (the malformation of trees, buildings and other objects isn't the result of the voxelization).

The voxelizer can fix some flaws of the voxelized polygon geometry. It sometimes fails in resolving polygon overlaps and holes. It intentionally doesn't remove floating islands and cavities. The voxelization error depends on the voxel resolution and voxelization method and parameters.

In the presented examples the voxel resolution was mostly comparable or higher than the spatial density of color information in the polygon models. The color information from the polygon model was therefore interpolated which resulted in smoothing of the color features and edges of objects.

Source data provided by / Dáta pre scénu boli získané od spoločnosti
Hi-poly mesh provided by CMPMVS.
Click on any image to view its full-size version.

It took me really long to make this video. I decided to clean up a big part of the code base, fix dozens of issues, implement more capable multiprocessing and improve the whole voxelizer. The most notable improvements were:
  • better control over all processes and features of the engine (database, renderer, simulator, ...)
  • fewer bugs and more predictable and stable frame-rate thanks to the cleaner code
  • better performance thanks to an improved geometry abstraction layer
  • voxel geometry reconstruction bug-fixes and performance improvements
  • improved multiprocessing and multi-threading
  • the voxelizer is robust, scalable and can be parametrized well, its performance scales almost linearly with the number of cores
  • the voxelizer can fix a number of flaws common in polygon meshes
The whole video was shot on my old Acer notebook with an Intel C2D P7550 processor and nVidia GeForce GT 130M video card (running a 32bit system). I think the notebook is comparable with a decent gaming PC from about 2005 so this performance actually shows the power of this atom-based approach quite well. Just extrapolate it to the current 8-core 64-bit gaming desktops. Voxels and atoms in general definitely are the next big thing.

The engine performed quite well in fullscreen and near-fullscreen (1600x8??) without super-sample anti-aliasing. The quality parts of the video were captured in 720p. The frame-rate usually varied between 15 and 150 FPS.

Hi-poly mesh provided by CMPMVS.
Click on any image to view its full-size version.

It would be difficult if not impossible to shoot some of the sequences without a stable frame-rate. So, for example, the improvements throughout the code base actually made the real-time editing of the dragon statue possible. Soon after I shot the last sequences the disk in my notebook became defect and the system crashed badly. That was in December just days before the planned release. After fixing it I captured a few more sequences and compiled a shorter video (the original one would be almost 30 minutes long). My big thanks goes to WormSlayer for making the final cuts, editing and compiling.

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