Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome to my Blog


I'm using this place to inform about the status of my sparetime development projects. Actual project is a plugin to render implicit surfaces with 3dsmax (http://www.discreet.com) and vray (http://www.chaosgroup.com/). It's inspired by the work from a german post house called CA Scanline (http://www.scanline.de). They developed a plugin to render corals for a underwater sequence. I first read about this in the Chaos Group News (http://www.chaosgroup.com/news/20040604-01.html).
I'm coding this as a spare time project. Therefore progress is slow and it's hard to stay motivated. Having a place to celebrate every tiny step could help:).
I had a crash of the internal hard disk of my computer last week and it will take some time until I have the development environment running again. I thought I could use this break to set up this blog. Don't know much about blogs, but perhaps this will be a good place for those who are already testing the first versions.
I had a first version of the plugin that at least rendered ISO surfaces defined by 3D texture and a blobmesh. First results were like this:

But still much too slow to be of use. To speed up things I had the idea of using a basic grid structure to cache regions where the surface lies.
Nothing fancy like a BSP-tree, only a regular grid for now. I have outlined the general idea some months ago in a small pdf (http://www.dimo3d.info/implicitsurfaces.pdf ). The results were better. I got a lot of emails from people who were interested in this stuff and who pointed me to similar works. This way I got in contact with Christopher Batty and Ben Houston who worked on something similar for frantic films. (http://www.franticfilms.com). They explained to me how I can get a better conversion from polygons to Isosurfaces that are defined by a voxelgrid ( aka levelset ). Also they had a way of compression this levelset with a clever RLE compression called HRLE. (http://www.exocortex.org/siggraph/2005-1.html).
I'm currently implementing this. First results with this:


So that's it for a start.

Happy Rendering



Anonymous Ben said...

looks really nice.

9:17 AM  

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Keywords: levelset, implicit surface, Isosurface, VRay, 3dsmax, raytracing