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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperTechnical (Moderator: ThemsAllTook)Cool toys (source code) from SIGGRAPH
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Zaphos
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« on: August 14, 2007, 11:34:40 PM »

SIGGRAPH (a big graphics conference) happened a few days back, and a bunch of the papers offered source code to make their cool new techniques more easily available to everyone.  I figured I'd list the ones I know, since I'm sure some of them could inspire some cool game ideas Smiley

So, here's my list:

  • Pinocchio, a system for automatic rigging of 3D characters.  It consists of two parts; a skeleton fitting algorithm (to put a skeleton in to your model), and a skeleton vertex weighting algorithm (using a heat diffusion metaphor to avoid, for example, the left leg's bones influencing the right leg's geometry).  If you've ever painted vertex weights by hand, you'll probably appreciate the second one.  Goes well with the CMU motion capture database, which has lots of motion you can apply to a rigged character
  • Curl Noise for Procedural Flow (source code) takes the curl of a noise function to make it divergence free (incompressible), allowing you to achieve the appearance of a fluid without actually doing any fluid simulation.  Also includes a neat trick to get rigid bodies 'interacting' with the fluids; worth a look for anyone thinking about underwater sorts of games.
  • Adaptively sampled particle fluids is a nice new particle fluid technique with two major parts -- first, a method for adaptively sampling the fluid to speed up the simulation, and second, a better method for surface reconstruction.  The second part may be useful even if you're using Bridson's above fluid-without-simulation techniques, since you'll need to surface a fluid represented by particles either way.
  • FastLSM, or "Fast Lattice Shape Matching" provides fast, robust, simple, though unrealistic, simulations of deformable & destructible objects.  The technique is similar to Muller's shape matching (which Raigan mentioned over at the metanet blog), except it rigidly matches a lattice of small, overlapping bits of a model, instead of non-rigidly matching larger sections.  (EDIT: oops, somehow I missed that Raigan also mentioned FastLSM in that blog entry)
  • APSS, or algebraic point set surfaces, provides an "efficient and robust" technique for constructing surfaces from point sets.  Could potentially lead to some interesting visual effects, if you get creative with it.
  • Global non-rigid alignment of 3D scans ... is probably only useful for people who have rather sophisticated 3D scanning equipment and want better data.  But I'll put it here for completeness.

Source "to appear shortly" (but not apparently not up yet):
  • Many Worlds Browsing, a system that's more likely useful for animations than games, which creates many slightly different 'plausible' physical simulations and provides a user interface to let an artist search for the simulation that best matches their creative vision.
  • CATCH, a system for continuous collision detection on articulated bodies which is an order of magnitude faster than previous algorithms.  Although the CATCH source wasn't up last I checked (the whole site seems to be down right now), the source for an earlier continuous collision detection technique, FAST, should already be available on the same site.

Well, that's all I know of -- if I'm missing stuff, tell me and I'll add it.  Hope you find the list useful and/or interesting!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2007, 03:49:39 PM by Zaphos » Logged
Alex May
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 12:03:27 AM »

Nice, thanks. I'll be interested in the fluid stuff.
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ravuya
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2007, 04:29:54 AM »

I did see the Pinocchio demo earlier, it is really cool.
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2007, 08:19:14 AM »

I won't lie to you, the annual release of SIGGRAPH papers always feels a bit like Christmas to me.
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2007, 12:24:13 PM »

Wow, there's some seriously cool stuff there. I really liked the soft body simulations with FastLSM. I'm pretty sure a game based on deformable soft bodies would be really cool.

Btw. I've done some fluid stuff in the past (very crude prototypes) and I can tell you it's not an easy task to create a good game around them. Fluids by nature are really difficult to control, which goes against what you usually want from a game.
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Petri Purho
Zaphos
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2007, 03:51:22 PM »

Btw. I've done some fluid stuff in the past (very crude prototypes) and I can tell you it's not an easy task to create a good game around them. Fluids by nature are really difficult to control, which goes against what you usually want from a game.
You might be interested in the procedural flow method, then, as one of it's main advantages is ease of control.
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gummikana
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2007, 12:56:35 AM »

Maybe I should test the procedural flow method. I had couple of ideas I couldn't get working with the previous flow simulation method I used (Jos Stam's "Real-Time Fluid Dynamics for Games" - http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/people/stam/reality/Research/pdf/GDC03.pdf ).

I think they used something similar to the procedural flow method in The Odyssey: Winds of Athena, but even in that game the controlling of the flow was very difficult.
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Petri Purho
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 11:14:08 AM »

SIMBICON is my fave so far, it's pretty awesome if you're doing any robotics/control type stuff: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~van/papers/simbicon/simbicon.html
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Zaphos
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2007, 02:07:37 PM »

SIMBICON is my fave so far, it's pretty awesome if you're doing any robotics/control type stuff: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~van/papers/simbicon/simbicon.html
Did they give out the source code?  I don't see it, but sometimes this stuff gets spread about different websites so it's hard to tell!

I think the paper is nice, but a bit dubious; their example motions tend to involve the characters really slamming their feet down in to the ground, so it seems like the stability they get may be more a result of quirks in ODE than anything else.  But if I'm wrong or if you've got the same physics model they do, then it is indeed pretty nice Smiley
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gummikana
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 01:18:45 AM »

SIMBICON seems pretty cool. I was wondering what else there was published without the source code, so I googled and found this nice site: http://trowley.org/

There are links to all the SIGGRAPH papers from 2000 to present.
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Petri Purho
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2007, 06:36:23 AM »

Man, this stuff sounds great...I can't wait until I can actually use it...
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2007, 08:59:35 AM »

whoops.. i failed to catch on to the source-code-included part of this thread Smiley

i find it harder to understand and use someone's source than to implement it myself (provided the paper is clear).. i have a terrible time understanding other people's code though.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 09:28:38 AM »

whoops.. i failed to catch on to the source-code-included part of this thread Smiley

i find it harder to understand and use someone's source than to implement it myself (provided the paper is clear).. i have a terrible time understanding other people's code though.
Well, I suppose it depends on the paper and the code, but since there's already a nice list of the papers (mentioned above) I figured a list of the code available might be helpful.
But don't let that stop you from discussing the papers that don't have code!  Especially something like SIMBICON, which I think should not be too difficult to implement ... I was just asking about the code to see if I had missed something.
I'd love to hear in general what papers got people excited.
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