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Game Graphics

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The following research includes anything related to game graphics, which overlaps with Procedural Content Generation. Game graphics is different from what researchers in the traditional graphics community usually study. While they are interested in visual fidelity first and computational efficiency second (if at all), game graphics aims for enough visual fidelity to trigger willing suspension of disbelief in a busy player using only a very small fraction of available processing power on the CPU and GPU while maintaining a frame rate of 60fps on recent generation computational hardware or a reasonable extrapolation from it.

Fire 4 (2013)

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Dhanyu Amarasinghe and Ian Parberry, "Real-time Rendering of Melting Objects in Video Games", Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computer Games, pp. 154-158, Louisville, KY, 2013. [pdf, more information, BibTex]

Abstract

We present a method for simulating the melting and flowing of material in burning objects fast enough to be of use in video games where most of the graphical and computational resources are needed elsewhere. The standard practice of using particle engines or fluid dynamics for melting are far too costly for use in this environment. We demonstrate that our method, which is based on systematic polygonal expanding and folding, uses only a fraction of the computational power available by implementing the computation on a very modest GPU using CUDA.

Author's Comment

A preliminary version of this paper appeared in Technical Report LARC-2013-01, Laboratory for Recreational Computing, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, Univ. of North Texas, 2013. [pdf]

Fire 3 (2012, 2013)

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Dhanyu Amarasinghe and Ian Parberry, "Real-time Rendering of Burning Solid Objects in Video Games", Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Computer Games, pp. 139-143, Louisville, KY, 2013. [pdf, more information, BibTex]

Abstract

Objects in 3D games are typically shell models, a polygon mesh representing the shell or skin of the object. While emulation of the behaviour of shell models under combustion is sufficient for many game applications and is fairly well studied, solid objects do in fact burn rather differently than shell objects. We show how to manipulate shell models so that they appear to burn as solid models. Since our burning objects will be only a small part of a video game, computation speed is of the essence. We demonstrate that our method uses only a fraction of the computational power available by implementing the computation on a modest GPU using CUDA.

Author's Comment

A preliminary version of this paper appeared in Technical Report LARC-2012-01, Laboratory for Recreational Computing, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, Univ. of North Texas, 2012. [pdf]

Sea Foam (2011)

Foam images.

Mary Yingst, Jennifer R. Alford, and Ian Parberry, "Very Fast Real-Time Ocean Wave Foam Rendering Using Halftoning", Proceedings of the 6th International North American Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation (GAMEON-NA), pp. 27-34, EUROSIS, Troy, NY, 2011. [pdf, more information, BibTeX]

Abstract

We introduce an efficient method for emulating sea foam dissipation suitable for use in real-time interactive environments such as video games. By using a precomputed dither array with controlled spectral characteristics adopted from halftone research as a control mechanism in the pixel shader, we can animate the appearance of foam bubbles popping in a random manner while allowing it to clump naturally.

Fire Reloaded (2011)

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Dhanyu Amarasinghe and Ian Parberry, "Fast, Believable Real-time Rendering of Burning Low-Polygon Objects in Video Games", Proceedings of the 6th International North American Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation (GAMEON-NA), pp. 21-26, EUROSIS, Troy, NY, 2011. (Recipient of Best Paper Award) [pdf, more information, BibTeX]

Abstract

Deformation of the low-polygon models used in in video games is challenging since it is hard to maintain realism. We show how real-time mesh refinement can be used for modeling the deformation and consumption of low-polygon models under combustion while generating procedural fire. Our focus is on trading realism for computation speed so that processing power is still available for other computational tasks. Our method also allows for quick and easy LOD (level-of-detail) rendering of burning objects. We have implemented and tested our method on a relatively modest GPU using CUDA. Our experiments suggest that our method gives a believable rendering of the effects of fire while using only a small fraction of CPU and GPU resources.

Fire (2010, 2011)

Fire images.

Dhanyu Amarasinghe and Ian Parberry, "Towards Fast, Believable Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games", Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, pp. 256-258, Bordeaux, France, July 2011. [pdf, more information, BibTeX]

Abstract

We present a framework for emulating the deformation and consumption of polygonal models under combustion while generating procedural fire. Our focus is on achieving the best visual effects possible while maximizing computation speed so that the processing power is available for other tasks in video games. We have implemented and tested our method on a relatively modest GPU using CUDA. Our experiments suggest that our method gives a believable rendering of the effects of fire while using only a small fraction of CPU and GPU resources.

Wind and Snow (2006)

Snow images.

Criss Martin and Ian Parberry, "Real Time Dynamic Wind Calculation for a Pressure Driven Wind System", Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium, pp. 151-154, Boston, MA, July 2006. (Acceptance rate 20/102, 20%) [pdf, more information, BibTeX ]

Abstract

We describe real time dynamic wind calculation for a pressure driven wind system. This simple and elegant approach allows us to perform visual effects in real time using a minute fraction of the CPU's processing power over and above what is required for static wind. Experiments were performed with a real-time application to render wind-driven snow over a 3D terrain to verify these claims.

Author's Comments

Criss did an excellent job here while still an undergraduate.

Portals and Portholes (2004, 2005)

PVS images

Timothy Roden and Ian Parberry, "Portholes and Planes: Faster Dynamic Evaluation of Potentially Visible Sets", ACM Computers in Entertainment, Vol. 3, No. 2, April/June 2005. A preliminary version of this paper appeared in the Proceedings of the International Workshop in Game Design and Technology, Liverpool, England, Nov. 15-16, 2004. [pdf]

Abstract

We describe a simple and efficient dynamic occlusion culling algorithm for computing potentially visible sets (PVS) in densely occluded virtual environments. Our method is an optimization of a widely used technique in which a 3D environment is divided into cells and portals. Our algorithm computes the PVS in approximately half the time of previous portal methods at the expense of producing a slightly relaxed PVS. In addition, our algorithm enables fast culling of objects within cells using inexpensive object space methods by using a lookup table to compute the diminished object space view frustum. The algorithm takes advantage of temporal coherence, is easy to implement, and is particularly well suited for applications that need to compute a PVS for use in non-rendering tasks such as AI.

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