O-Town Graphics

Thursday, April 27, 2006

East side

As a follow-up from my prior rant about California, I'd like to point out two studios in Florida that are doing some pretty cutting edge work.

Artificial Studios in Gainesville, Florida is developing a state of the art 3D engine available for licensing. This engine supports the crowd pleasers - you know, High-Dynamic Range Rendering (which simulates the eyes adjustment to different and sudden changes in light levels) and Subsurface scattering (good for certain reflective translucent materials such as milk or skin). One thing is supports is caleld "Hierarchical Per-pixel Occlusion Culling". This allows for "No more portals, zones, vis-gen waiting times, or manual occluders! Occlusion is fully automatic, fast, and accurate to the pixel."

That of course is impressive, and the technique seems to be described here: http://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/vr/chcull/bittner-eg04-chcull.pdf

I'm not sure what it does if the GPU does not support hardware occlusion checking. It must fall back to some software method involving a heirarchical z-buffer, which I'm not sure of the details of how this works, except that I believe the pyramid like structure can be maintained in the GPU by using a shader program and texture as the memory.

Finally, Ballistic Pixel Labs in Lake Mary, FL are doing some pretty fucking impressive graphics for all sorts of stuff, including video games and medical work (http://ballisticpixel.com/bpl_home.htm)

IGDA is holding a meeting in the Full-Sail building at 7:30PM with a guy from the local studio N-Space in Orlando. I'm going to attend and hopefully real game programmers (not Full-Sail students) will be there. It is my first time I've ever attended one of these things.


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