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Unreal Engine V is out. This is the future.


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https://player.vimeo.com/video/417882964?quality=4K

This is a demo of  Unreal Engine V running on a Playstation 5, the upcoming game console.

"Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see. Nanite virtualized geometry means that film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons can be imported directly into Unreal Engine—anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data—and it just works. Nanite geometry is streamed and scaled in real time so there are no more polygon count budgets, polygon memory budgets, or draw count budgets; there is no need to bake details to normal maps or manually author LODs; and there is no loss in quality."

This is where things are going. Game graphics technology has made it through the uncanny valley and out the other side to reality. Film graphics did that a while back, and games have now caught up.

What would it take for SL to use that technology? SL has high-quality assets, but can't put them on screen at such quality.

 

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Posted (edited)

The demo's pretty incredible and I wish they'd have kept the debug mode enabled more than a few seconds.

They use the words "unlimited/limitless" a lot, but I have to wonder what the limits really are. There's no FPS counter and the video itself seems to be 30 FPS. If it's jumping between 30-60 and we just can't see it, that's a big nope. I doubt it's hitting 60.

And as a gamer, I do seriously worry that we're going to get even more 100-200GB+ games. Physical copies of games are gonna come in external hard drives at this rate, and people with data caps are going to spend several months just downloading their games. I have a pretty fast connection and no data cap, but even at my 8 MB/s it'd take me 6.5 hours of unusable internet to download the latest Call of Duty (175GB). (I don't play Call of Duty.)

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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See this old answer from 2007 about unreal Engine 3. http://forums-archive.secondlife.com/111/a0/170204/1.html

It certainly does seem like things have changed enough with UE5 that SL's highly dynamic assets might work if preloaded. But remember the demo was saw did not say how big those assets were if streamed. Everything was likely already loaded, and that's a huge issue. Still, it'd be fine with me if some regions were designated UE5 and not allowed to be very dynamic (apart from avatars) and had a large download time. How large could people tolerate, though? Also notice the demo only mentioned the PS5 and didn't discuss how portable that quality is to, say, a general OS.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

They use the words "unlimited/limitless" a lot, but I have to wonder what the limits really are.

My guess is that this is more to do with the production workflow (hence the Zbrush references) than it is to do with the target runtime. The target runtime is probably just automagic stuff within the limitation of hardware specifications.

8 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

And as a gamer, I do seriously worry that we're going to get even more 100-200GB+ games.

I thought the same thing. Last game I got (Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC) was quite a download. I can't imagine them distributing raw/full-rez content for target platforms. There's gotta be some optimization/crunching somewhere in the packaging. From the looks of the article I linked, they seem to be using traditional methods of delivery where needed but for higher-end stuff maybe they're considering the cloud for on-demand streaming. Flight Simulator 2020 has over 2 petabytes of content and they utilize Azure cloud for on-demand. So, maybe it works both ways. There's likely packaging optimization for target needs but also the option for on-demand streaming when needed for people who can handle it.

15 minutes ago, Hooten Haller said:

Also notice the demo only mentioned the PS5 and didn't discuss how portable that quality is to, say, a general OS.

In the article I linked above, it mentions the following...

Quote

The demo is demonstrating the highest level of quality, which is available on PlayStation 5 and other next-generation hardware. Every other platform that doesn’t have these capabilities will go through a more traditional rendering pipeline, in which we’ll take these assets you’ve built and scale them down to more traditional LODs, rendering them so you can — there will be a version of this demo you could run on Android devices from three years ago. It will have much lower polygon detail, but it’ll be the same scene and you can build the same game.

...

Anyways, I like the ideas for UE5. I think what they're trying to do here is what Blender Eevee is doing but on a game engine level with platform targeting + backwards compatibility. They're looking for ways to improve the production/iteration process because games do take a lot of effort and anything that can improve the workflow is a pretty big deal IMO. I imagine there's still going to be some handy work involved in some aspects like character animation where manual labor is critical to make a character work right. But I could see Zbrush models working more for static models. Would like to see more details on the production → gameplay process.

Edited by Kurshie Muromachi
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No real details on how UE5 does it yet. Discussions on GameDev are speculating.

They seem to have a dynamic level of detail system something like the one described in this 2010 paper. Epic probably got the GPU to do much of the work, a big advance over the old GLOD system. That's probably the big advance here. UE5, like UE4,  will be open source and documented, so we'll know how it works soon.

The detailed mesh probably has to reach the client before it can be reduced, even if it's not being displayed. More network bandwidth may be needed. Maybe not; SL uses more bandwidth on textures than on meshes. Or you could download lower LOD meshes reduced in the same way server-side for distant objects, and replace them if you get close. That would be traditional LOD on top of this. Wouldn't have to reduce the mesh as much, though, since it gets another reduction during rendering. Big-world MMOs will probably have to do that; they have the same streaming asset problems as SL.

The PS5, for which that demo was made, is a pretty good computer. 8 CPUs at 3.2GHZ, 24GB of RAM total, and a 16 teraflop GPU. That's a lot of engine for US$400. Way beyond typical SL user hardware today. UE5 is expected to run on a wide variety of platforms, like UE4 does, with performance reduced as necessary.

It's good to see real-time graphics approaching the level Hollywood was at only a few years ago. It will be interesting to see if Linden Lab can keep up.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, animats said:

Epic probably got the GPU to do much of the work, a big advance over the old GLOD system.

I was looking around and came across something that they could be utilized to do this dense mesh processing on the GPU. Something known as Mesh Shading. And, the RDNA2 on the PS5 incorporates Mesh Shading. The thing is that this tech has been around for a while.

You can look here for more info. Here's a snippet...

Quote

Today’s graphics pipelines, with vertex, tessellation, and geometry shaders, are very effective at rendering the details of a single object, but still have limitations when trying to replicate the detail of the real world. In particular, each object requires its own unique draw call from the CPU, and the shader model is a per-thread model, which limits the types of algorithms that can be used.

Efficient processing of geometry is one of the cornerstones of real-time computer graphics, and NVIDIA has a long history of innovation on this front: our very first GPU, GeForce 256, offloaded the CPU from having to perform this computationally expensive task; GeForce 3 was the world’s first programmable GPU, giving developer unprecedented control over geometry processing; and the Fermi architecture introduced tessellation - a technique commonly used in film to represent geometry detail at its finest scale.

Now, with VR, Ray Tracing, and complex games chasing photorealism, the demand for finer geometric fidelity is higher than ever before. To accommodate these ever-increasing requirements for more efficient geometry handling, the Turing architecture introduces Mesh Shading, an entirely new programming model for geometry, merging the flexibility of compute shaders with the efficiency of the hardware-scheduled graphics pipeline. And best of all, Mesh Shading’s new, more flexible model enables developers to eliminate CPU draw call bottlenecks through the use of more efficient algorithms for producing triangles.

Here's a tech video of it.

Update:  Turns out that it may or may not be just Mesh Shading. Still unsure of this aspect. Anyways, looks like this thing refered to as virtualized geometry is actually something unique and was initially considered in 2009 in its rough form. There appears to be software rasterization of triangles involved. It's mentioned that 2 software rasterizers are running in async compute. They also do virtualized shadow maps. (Refer here) There's probably even more. It will be interesting to see more specifics come out.

Edited by Kurshie Muromachi
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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2020 at 12:27 PM, animats said:

What would it take for SL to use that technology?

Fire the CEO, replace the board, the investors, senior staff and any staff still thinks SL sets the trends and the standards.

This is just a taste of my "SL needs to get out of its own way" statement I made in another thread.

We have lost 7 years of development in SL thanks to the repeated ineptitude from management, the board and the CEO.

We can't even get ONE developer to evolve the stupid script library. Nope, we have to consume ALL developers on Project Uplift.

Only senior staff get to work on major features and that's if they clean their multi-tasked plate of the other million things already on it.

LL can't and won't hire developers to strictly work on major features in tandem with all the backend work others are handling.

Features are treated as a reward incentive and not a fundamental component of this platform's evolution.

The animation system needs reformed, we need sound reform, we need scripted camera control reform.

We need a suite of content creation tools that mirror what can be found in Unity's or Unreal's SDK's.

Users also need to demand more from this platform other than being content with slow-as-mud evolution, a Linden Home and traveling the grid on a vehicle to be happy/entertained.

Every year it seems SL is more proven to be the choice MMO where retirees go to live out the rest of their years because the real world is passing them by too quickly. It's depressing.

/rant

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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32 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Fire the CEO, replace the board, the investors, senior staff and any staff still thinks SL sets the trends and the standards.

This is just a taste of my "SL needs to get out of its own way" statement I made in another thread.

We have lost 7 years of development in SL thanks to the repeated ineptitude from management, the board and the CEO.

We can't even get ONE developer to evolve the stupid script library. Nope, we have to consume ALL developers on Project Uplift.

Only senior staff get to work on major features and that's if they clean their multi-tasked plate of the other million things already on it.

LL can't and won't hire developers to strictly work on major features in tandem with all the backend work others are handling.

Features are treated as a reward incentive and not a fundamental component of this platform's evolution.

The animation system needs reformed, we need sound reform, we need scripted camera control reform.

We need a suite of content creation tools that mirror what can be found in Unity's or Unreal's SDK's.

Users also need to demand more from this platform other than being content with slow-as-mud evolution, a Linden Home and traveling the grid on a vehicle to be happy/entertained.

Every year it seems SL is more proven to be the choice MMO where retirees go to live out the rest of their years because the real world is passing them by too quickly. It's depressing.

/rant

Fix it your damn self.  😉

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2 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

Give me a few billion bucks and I will. 😉

Nope.  Then I would have to listen you bawling about Second Life Residents threatening you because you broke their precious existing content.  Keep in mind that if I pay you to do it then you are working for me and have to do what I say.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ardy Lay said:

Nope.  Then I would have to listen you bawling about Second Life Residents threatening you because you broke their precious existing content.

Broke what content?

1 hour ago, Ardy Lay said:

Keep in mind that if I pay you to do it then you are working for me and have to do what I say.

Obviously. Why it's not going to happen, heh.

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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One of the Linden Lab developers recently said that they'd looked at engines like Unreal but those will *not* work with SL. SL is too different from the usual games. Their priority now is to update their engine to work with Macs.

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21 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

One of the Linden Lab developers recently said that they'd looked at engines like Unreal but those will *not* work with SL. SL is too different from the usual games.

I looked into UE4, and I agree about UE4. Too much of what makes UE4 fast is preprocessing in the development tools.

This new UE5, though... That does LODs at viewing time, just before rendering, in the GPU. When more technical details come out, that deserves a close look.

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/15/2020 at 5:15 AM, Parhelion Palou said:

One of the Linden Lab developers recently said that they'd looked at engines like Unreal but those will *not* work with SL. SL is too different from the usual games. Their priority now is to update their engine to work with Macs.

SL doesnt already work with Macs ?

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I believe SL relies on OpenGL. If I’m right then yes, they need to migrate off that as Apple stopped supporting OpenGL. They are moving developers to Metal. 

See: Apple OpenGL

“Retired Document / Important: OpenGL was deprecated in macOS 10.14. To create high-performance code on GPUs, use the Metal framework instead. See Metal.“

 

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On 9/3/2020 at 5:06 PM, Hooten Haller said:

See: Apple OpenGL

“Retired Document / Important: OpenGL was deprecated in macOS 10.14. To create high-performance code on GPUs, use the Metal framework instead. See Metal.“

 

"Since we are lazy a** f***ers and don't care about fixing our OpenGL implementation, OpenGL was deprecated in macOS 10.14. To create high-vendor-locked-in code on Macs, use the Metal framework instead. See rip-off." - fixed it for you!

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2 hours ago, Ansariel Hiller said:

"Since we are lazy a** f***ers and don't care about fixing our OpenGL implementation, OpenGL was deprecated in macOS 10.14. To create high-vendor-locked-in code on Macs, use the Metal framework instead. See rip-off." - fixed it for you!

OpenGL is like 30 years old. No tech should be supported (or developed/maintained) forever. Eventually, new things come along with more benefits and less baggage.

Metal might be "Apple specific" but I make the same argument for Vulkan, for example.

OpenGL will die hopefully sooner rather than later.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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3 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

OpenGL is like 30 years old. No tech should be supported (or developed/maintained) forever. Eventually, new things come along with more benefits and less baggage.

Metal might be "Apple specific" but I make the same argument for Vulkan, for example.

There's an open source cross-platform adapter to make Vulkan work on Apple platforms. Because you really don't want to maintain two very different versions of the viewer.

There's also something called "Zink", which is an OpenGL adapter for Vulkan. That would be useful in porting the viewer for the parts that aren't 3D - the dialogs and windows, for example. You don't need physically based rendering and custom shaders for the chat window; boring old basic OpenGL functions are enough.

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11 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

OpenGL is like 30 years old. No tech should be supported (or developed/maintained) forever. Eventually, new things come along with more benefits and less baggage.

Metal might be "Apple specific" but I make the same argument for Vulkan, for example.

OpenGL will die hopefully sooner rather than later.

Complete nonsense! Evolution is the key. It's just that Apple a) favors vendor-lock in and b) simple wasn't willing to fix their broken implementation causing it to be stuck on a 15 year old specification because the deprecation argument just came in handy because of a)

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5 hours ago, Ansariel Hiller said:

Complete nonsense! Evolution is the key. It's just that Apple a) favors vendor-lock in and b) simple wasn't willing to fix their broken implementation causing it to be stuck on a 15 year old specification because the deprecation argument just came in handy because of a)

I'll say it again in case you missed it: I'm not defending Apple.

But I fully stand by my point. New > Old. You're right that evolution for the product is important, but if you look around, you'll notice that nothing stands the test of time. You can only improve software so much until it becomes more beneficial to replace it with something different. Otherwise, why would we even bother making separate open-source/cross-platform APIs? Just pile it all into OmegaGL and everybody wins, right?

I'm not even saying that OpenGL is "bad." When I say "I hope OpenGL dies," I'm saying that eventually, inevitably, something will naturally replace OpenGL because it's seen as a better alternative. I want that leap to happen as soon as it can, as many times as it can.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Well, one could argue Vulkan is kind of OpenGL X.0 modernized to utilize GPU, parallel processes. And without doubt we will see a move in general to Vulkan.

Will OpenGL die? All modern mobile phones are using OpenGL and numerous industrial CAD/CAM and design systems, so it will be around for many years still.

Edited by Rachel1206
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