realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

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realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:03 pm

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/15417 ... ered-water

Nvidia’s PhysX has finally cracked realistic, real-time rendered water

By James Plafke on April 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

Our graphics capabilities have sort of plateaued as of late. Games and movies look better than they ever have, but we’re still embroiled in an eternal battle with the Uncanny Valley. No matter how great a video game heroine’s hair looks, or how many individual furs are articulated on an anthropomorphic Pixar character, we can still instantly tell that computer-generated graphics are just that — generated by a computer. Aside from human eyes and mouths, one of the biggest enemies of the Uncanny Valley is computer-generated water. With PhysX’s position based fluids, though, CG water flows the best we’ve ever seen.

Perhaps the closest we’ve come to mind-blowing computer-generated water effects in a consumer product is the water in the Uncharted series. The way the water flows won’t explode any brains, but how it dampens anything it touches, exactly where it touches, is nothing short of mesmerizing. For instance, whatever angle a character enters a body of water, his or her shirt and pants will become damp based on which parts of the clothing actually touched the water. While that realism is impressive, it certainly doesn’t translate to the way the water flows. However, PhysX’s position based fluids research seems to have produced computer-generated water that moves just like the real thing.

CG water that behaves similarly to real fluid has been around for a while — most notably in tech demos showing off that it’s possible, or perhaps appearing in the occasional big-budget movie. However, it’s too computationally intensive to put into a real-time application, like a video game. For as pretty as the CryEngine is, our hardware just can’t dedicate enough resources to generate fancy flowing fluids. Now, though, Nvidia’s Miles Macklin and Matthias Müller-Fischer have figured out a way to reduce the load on hardware, generating a result that is remarkably fluid, but “suitable for real-time applications.”


Position based fluids — the method used — is similar to the one that dictates the behavior of computer-generated cloth, position based dynamics. Unfortunately, the exact methods used to reduce the computational load and create lifelike water movements haven’t yet been revealed, as Macklin and Müller-Fischer are saving the details for a forthcoming research paper. What the pair did note, though, is that they were able to create surface tension, improve particle distribution, and lower the overall computational requirements to get everything working.

The “real-time applications” weren’t defined, and we’re not sure if that means consumer-grade entertainment media, or expensive and powerful systems used by professional designers. The above video is a mightily impressive tech demo either way. The water bounces and flows like it would in real life, shimmying between cracks, rolling off of curved surfaces, and adhering to inertia. Almost benevolently, the video morphs the water into little spheres, giving us something of an X-ray view of how the water moves.

Hopefully, the PhysX duo will be able to transfer the position based fluids method to next-gen consumer-grade applications, and we’ll soon be able to watch water soak a character’s shirt, but realistically bounce around between his arms and off of his torso during the process.


Check out the demo video in that article, impressive!! 8)
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby clone » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:59 pm

it doesn't look or behave like water... it's close and it's a great example of the "uncanny valley" that Nvidia talked about during discussions regarding facial display tech, but not for a moment did I believe I was watching anything but a tech demo trying to show off fluid dynamics and to be honest I also don't believe for a second that PhysX is/was the element that was needed to render these vids.

I'd point out flaws but the whole demonstration was flawed, it's a big improvement over the movie Tin Tin's rendering and they are getting closer which gives hope for the future.
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:05 am

Agreed. It doesn't look real.
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:33 am

The physics may be correct, that doesn´t make it LOOK like water.
The first aquarium breaking managed to look pretty good, but to a large part that was simply because of how you saw it and the viewpoint.

And, it´s supposed to be water, not jello.
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:40 am

That's what I thought too.. some thick liquid.

But they are getting better at it!
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:51 am

Yes, another step closer to "photo-reality" or simply put, "reality"... that is still a few generations away but damn, look how far we have come in the past decade!! :shock: 8) :D
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby Silver » Fri May 03, 2013 1:28 pm

Looks very much improved anyway :)
but yeah still not photo-realistic looking.
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby TAViX » Fri May 03, 2013 4:48 pm

Guys, guys, it doesn't have to look like water, it has to ACT like water. Actualy is not water, more like some thin oil or something... :mrgreen: The looks are made by the game engines, etc.
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Re: realistic, real-time rendered water ( for apps and games )

Postby clone » Fri May 03, 2013 10:54 pm

Tavix, how did you delude yourself into thinking you were the only one capable of assessing fluid simulations?

I know I was and suspect that everyone else was also commenting not on the appearance of the "water" but on how the "water" was behaving..... which wasn't like water..... close but not quite... aka "the uncanny valley".

now because you've raised such a goofy criticism a worthless caveat has to be added, in applying the term "look" I was describing finer detail of the surface as in the light reflection wasn't accurate and more to the point the surface film wasn't right, the "physics" of the surface will likely require water having 2 layers, one representing the surface tension along with the 2nd demonstrating the physical weight of the "water" once freed..... while the 2nd criticism was regarding the overall reactive behavior and dispersion of the water..... all of it was flawed and more notably the simulations didn't scale well, not by much but definitely off.

on a final note: neither the lighthouse nor the rabbit's lack of authenticity bothered me either.... just in case that worried you as well.
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