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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by duke, Nov 8, 2010.
Good stuff. Wonder if the terrain is "just" a mesh on account of the cliffs?
There's holes in those terrain objects so they are either voxels or meshes.
Or a shader...and multiple meshes
Or a two headed monkey. Regardless it looks nice enough but all these things look nice, but need a million goblin artists locked in dungeons to create.
They mention a few of the models are from Sketchup's 3D warehouse, and the other things you can mostly buy from dexsoft and the like. But yeah, if you had the engine in your hands, you suddenly discover the time needed for quality content generation!
I was surprised to see such an impressive product come out of nowhere, but apparently it's from the people behind Quest3D. Not so surprising anymore Looks fantastic, though. I love the sequence flying through the narrow canyon. Lots more over here: http://vimeo.com/user2739859/videos
Wow, that is super nice. Besides the awesome assets, I'm still blown away by the animated clouds and water (with caustics and depth). Jeez I wish Unity had those. Our skyboxes and Pro water look pretty lame in comparison. Sorry UT, this is miles ahead of the U3 Bootcamp Demo IMO. @defmech - yes, apparently Lumion is built from the same tech as the upcoming Quest 3D version. Too bad Quest is such a PITA to use (IMO), otherwise it would definitely be worth a serious look.
That the visual end of Unity is weak and commonly 3-5 years behind current generation is nothing new I fear ...
This holds at the time and will hold until the day DX11 and OpenGL 3+ support is added as DX9 just can't pull such stuff off even if you sit on a monster card (as the antialias with deferred and alike show)
I don't think technically much has changed as you think. Shaders are shaders and artwork is artwork. Unless suddenly the worlds greatest game artists all flock to unity overnight it won't change in the next 3-5 years. As it stands, unity is easily capable of keeping up with the latest and greatest games out there.
Maybe id engine 5 megatextures aren't in. Maybe dx11 tesselation isn't in. But those two aren't actually game-changing from an art perspective and are really about performance for the visuals you're getting. It's not going to suddenly make a crap looking game look any better having those abilities.
Unity is more than capable imho, the onus is on us to deliver content thats good looking.
Its a common mistake for people to point at unity and say "but I saw a game with more lights on my xbox 360 running much smoother but unity is slower on my more powerful desktop" etc
The truth is commercial games are optimized hardcore, they use very few lights, they re-use assets at every corner and shaders are carefully crafted for max performance. Unity really isn't slow, but what we do with it, we throw the kitchen sink at it then complain its slow?
When looking at the video, use the slider and move the timer to 00:31 seconds, and look at the top of the cliff where it joins the terrain mesh. you will see a definite line where the two objects collide. This is a very simple procedure and was used in Warhammer Online repeatedly. This is actually a very easy solution and Unity will do this easily, what it takes is a really good artist to create the normal map that they used on that mesh and good overlaying.
The thing I am more impressed with is the detail in the trees. The ground foliage leaves a little to be desired, and you can definitely tell the substandard animation used in the "living" models.
Unity Pro will do every bit of what is in this video. What it takes, as this video did. Time, patience and obviously love.....
It is Sunday morning, I'm eating my cereals while waking up, watching this video with staring eyes and earplugs. Relaxing, this is perfect for a smooth wakeup.
edit : more seriously, besides the very clean textures, I guess the strength of this video is a very good HDR effect.
The strength of this video is everything. Not only the quality of the assets but the engine build-in features.
Btw, it looks like voxel terrains.
The price is very good, bad thing that you can't use for night time and, basically, you can only do videos...
They told me that if I want to do something interactive with it I will need to use Quest3D with it...and they told me that probably Quest3D 5.0 will have more or less the same features...so yeah, I'll wait for Quest3D, even if I don't like it very much, but the results are impressive!
Edit: Seems that ( very probably ) on the first update the standalone function will be available, so great!!!
So what is the price? I haven't seen it posted.
I'm still overwhelmed by the quality of the sky and clouds in the demo, sure wish Unity had this.
749€ vat excluded...
If is true that they will add the standalone feature this engin will be mine, since it will require 0 scripting knowledge....a dream!!!
749????? seriously, is actual design of an app/game will work in Quest3D 5.0, then perhaps no more unity pro purchasing/upgrading for me ;-)
Agreed. I've accepted this, and just tried to stop wanting/suggesting improvements. There's still alot of great 'bang for the buck' things you can achieve with Unity, so I still have a great deal of faith in the team, just not on the shader/renderer side of things.
This is simply not true. Although I'd never argue against the impact of good art assets, you can't use that as an automatic defense for technology that doesn't have demonstrations with good art. There are plenty of technical issues that cause Unity to fall short in this area, and the newer elements are highly questionable. Beast light-mapping integration is great, but the deferred renderer is not. I honestly do not see what about the renderer/shader system besides beast that could be called top-tier, in terms of it's output or how quickly you can generate content for it.
As far as shaders are shaders, I disagree , at least in terms of the point I think you're trying to make. I mean, a screwdriver is a screwdriver, but if you're, say, hanging drywall in a house, a screwdriver is not acceptable, only a powerful, electric screwdriver would be acceptable to a professional. Unity's shader system is hard-coded with respect to it's inputs, making it a hassle to make even the simplest changes. Unity's material system doesn't allow for elegant importing of complex materials, yet heavily relies on importing for general construction. These things, and likely a few other smaller things, cause Unity to fall quite short of many other engines in terms of actually developing/importing/tweaking that artwork. So, just because I can technically hang drywall with any screwdriver, doesn't make all screwdrivers equal to the task.
This is absolutely wrong, IMO. I will say, Unity's renderer is not slow in some ways, for instance, throwing a good number of dynamic things at it seems fine these days. However, it has little respect for the performance impact of pixel shaders, which is very important. This is typically something deferred shading would 'fix' (for lack of a better term), but the way Unity's is done, especially right now, it's just slow. For instance, cone lights are drawn with axis aligned bounding boxes, which is a massive waste of time drawing pixels with no visual impact (if you're doing something crazy like having cone lights at a 45 degree angle). Deferred shading has been well documented and executed for many years, and Unity's is currently the worst I've ever seen for performance, as well as less versatile IMO (although that is highly subjective). Trust me when I say, you do NOT want to defend Unity's general rendering performance right now.
There's a lot of things in the Lumion video that I would have liked to see added to Unity. At roughly $1K USD it's in my price range but, from what I've read, its user interactivity is limited to simple walk-throughs. I'm not sure I will be able to find enough uses for that sort of thing to justify buying it. Also according to what I've read, Lumion is built based on the same architecture as Quest3D 5. The last time I tried Quest, some 4 or so years ago, it (at least to me) was many times tougher to learn and develop with than Unity. Plus it ain't exactly cheap. Having said that, I'll admit that I am considering moving to Quest simply because it appears to be heading in the same direction that interests me, ie. high end PC based 3D sims.
It would seem, to me at least, that Unity's mistake has been that it is trying to do too many things poorly rather than a few things very well. The competition, in the mean time, is fragmenting into areas of focus and seem to be passing Unity in capabilities, features, and price: For example Shiva3D offers a plethora of handheld device support for under $250, and now Lumion offers stunning architectural / product presentations for roughly $1000. Both are things Unity can do, but not nearly as well nor as cost effectively as their competitors.
Honestly, was it ever different?
Unity's history from the very beginning up to now, is a continuous road of more half baked implementations which need to get fixed/rewritten over time. Maybe 3.1 will be what 3.0 should have been, at least in some aspects.
I hope you guys understand that Lumion isn't as versatile as Unity is. This is a specialised tool for visualisation (i liked the snapshot feature) but it isn't a Unity+fancy DX11 game engine. Whilst it looked nice in some aspects, their water wasn't convincing as well. But it's nice to see someone caring about non gaming fields of applications as well.
From my point of view Lumion can be the answer for lots of people who can't achieve good results with regular engines...
Lets be honest, if you want something good you have to do it yourself, so if you're an architect and you do that for living, I don't think that you know a lot about programming, so if you want to add something to your project ( a menu, some unique features, whatever the 3D engine is ) you're screwed...
So if its true that Lumion will ilntegrate the standalone feature, perhaps with some visual scripting editor in order to do a customizable HUD/menu, I think that this engine will be one of the most popular in visualization, since its easy to use ( at least is very very intuitive from what you can see in the videos ) and the results are stunning.
I still think that Unity3D 3.0 is a huge step and the results you can achieve are really good, but nowdays there are lots of 3D engine capable of great visual impact and easy of use....but again, Lumion is for visualization only, with Unity you can create whatever you want, from an iPhone game to a AAA game...so the main concern is what you have to do with this engine.
Anyway the price is still amazing! I was looking ( and tried ) TwinMotion 2, is a good tool, but the price is too high for me and it runs really slow...I really hope that Lumion can be a good alternative to Twinmotion 2 and Unity3D, because the price is very very very good
In retrospect, you may be right. But hindsight is always 20/20.
One thing when looking at these type of tools for visulisation it can have all the bells and whilst and look really great! But and a big but if it doesn't have a solid reliable and easy way of getting engineering data into the engine then the cost benefits of a such a tool quickly diminish.
I'd like to see a video of how this tool deals with CAD data directly and what tools it has for texturing, optimising and lightmapping.
Interesting thread on the Quest forums that gives a bit more insight on what Lumion can and cannot do: http://forum.quest3d.com/index.php?topic=68901.0
One of the things I've been reading, and perhaps one of the experts here can set straight for me, is that it seems with DirectX 11 the polygon count of a model can be much higher than we're used to working with under DirectX 9. If that is true, then perhaps the work involved to convert CAD models into something we can use in a 3D sim / visualization will be less.
Only if the CAD companies give access to the native CAD format to the folks at Quest or the Quest 3D guys implement a STEP translator..
The first one will never happen as the native CAD formats are worth billions... STEP format isn't bad but doing a good implementation is quiet difficult.
The problem more is that you can't do such things on a reasonable machine with CAD data because normally the amount of data would be too much (thinking of precision, engineering data you don't need for visualisation, ...) to create an environment and just add you models here and there, next to each other. It might work for less heavy data but then still you don't have the shaders, the texture resolution and so on. That's why there mostly is an intermediate step, to optimise the data for your specific needs.
This is fair I think. In terms of the deferred renderer, it seems they tried to make a deferred renderer that works on as many platforms as possible, which IMO misses the point. They already have a forward renderer as a fallback, the deferred renderer is never going to open up new platforms, it should be designed to allow for higher quality visuals and content, rather than lowest common denominator in terms of hardware. I think it would have been best to require MRT and SM2+ (which means <8 year old tech on PCs, hardly cutting edge) and deliver a proper deferred shader with the bells and whistles, which is not terribly challenging. IMO they dropped the ball there, and delivered a deferred renderer that doesn't look very good or perform very well (but they do get to use the deferred keyword in marketing materials, so I guess that's something).
Don't find too much that is uber impressive in that demo. The one thing that I find really perty, would be the water. Very nicely done.
For its price and target usage its surely a great thing, allows interactive walkthroughs without weeks of renders and can be opted for the own presentation machine till the very edge
I thought both the water and the sky / atmosphere tools were awesome. The user interface also looked like something I could pick up and start building with immediately. Wish I had a reason to buy it, sure looks like it would be fun to play with.
The water is missing proper reflections. Its only reflecting few parts of the terrain.
Actually my comment regarding the water was based on a scene in one of the other Lumion demo videos. I also see areas that could be improved, but compared to the assets included with Unity it's night and day.
It could be shader lod, were farther meshes (not visible in the deep buffer) wont simply get draw and only terrain is reflected.
It could also be a bug, dunno. I've also saw other videos about lumion featuring almost 1:1 perfect reflection.
It looks nice, but keep in mind, this is to render out videos, not real-time applications.
They said that they will probably add the standalone function on the first upgrade.
I think that lots of people ( including myself ) ask about this feature.
Is true that is a time saver regards quick rendering, but without a standalone feature for me is quite useless...I mean, if you do renders for living probably it will solve lots of your problems, but if you're looking for more than just a video maker the standalone feature is a priority
The price is good and the results are amazing, I just hope that it will run smooth and the workflow will be easy for an artist, I tried Twinmotion 2 and it runs so slow that you can't do nothing unless you run a powerfull machine...and I have a powerfull machine...
BTW the demo is out now
That this one will require a monster machine is out of question, the technology aspect mentioned make that rather clear ...
But thats normally not a problem as you don't make "public release of visualizations" as you do with games so it should be far less of a problem as its you who define what machine you will show it on and thus can optimize it for exactly that. you don't have to care about another 5M+ configurations
I think I have just witnessed the most beautiful thing ever made for a game...
just that it isn't a game nor work for games at all
Well, I usually send the .exe file to the customer, in order to him to see the results by himself...but I suppose that my customer should be able to navigate into the scene, even with a "normal" pc, or at least something in between.
Anyway I'm downloading the demo, so I can see with my own eyes what this engine can do
FYI, Lumion was released and a free demo version is available for download.
Here's my review after 15 minutes with the Lumion demo: Wow. Fun, easy and intuitive. I haven't any idea how I might use this but I sure am going to try and find some reason to buy it. If I could export the terrain and other assets into Unity I would buy it in a heartbeat. And FWIW the water looks 100x better than Unity Pro's water. Performance? Not great. I was getting 10 fps on average on my i5 with GTS360. As much as I dread having to learn Quest, if that's what it takes to get this kind of quality then I may have to make the jump.
Average 15 FPS on HD 4870x2, too much SSDO ( can't find a way to control it ), no scaling.
Very good looking, shaders are amazing, it is very very intuitive, but unless they will not enable standalone export I will not buy it.
I wonder how it behaves with lots of polys...they tried a scene with 2 milions polys and was running good.
Twinmotion 2 has better skyes and is more complete, but it runs slow too...but it cost 3 times Lumion...
Well, I'll see which one could be a sostitute or a good friend beside Unity3D
If there was some way of building a complete environment in Lumion and exporting it to an engine (be it Quest 3D or Unity) then I would buy it in a New York minute. Unfortunately though, I haven't read anything saying that'll be the case. I also have no doubt that some enterprising Unity guru could probably build a tool very similar to this for use in Unity. I'm just sorry that at Unity version 3.x we don't have tools/features like this yet nor are they on the foreseeable horizon.
Kind of reminds me of Bryce for 3D environmental effects.
Lots of presets, but not sure how to edit them, but only spent about an hour or so with it.
Still pretty cool: like the sun/cloud freedom.
Can you edit any of the settings for the clouds or sun other than the sliders?
The terrain tool moves over the terrain like butter, nice.
I rendered out a 640x480 movie but though it looks like it is multi-threaded the processors are not being fully used,
maybe 30-50% maximum.
It would take some time to get used to the controls but the tutorials are really helpful.
These three will take you a long way to starting to use the tools: http://www.youtube.com/user/Lumion3D
Can't see spending $975.00 on it right now, but will keep an eye on it's development.
Still fun to use.
Well, it crashes when trying to load a 560K poly model. Guess it's too much, huh?
Scratch that, it works. Flawlessly.
I just saw on the forum that a guy tested a scene with 18 milion polygons...damn, its a lot!
i think that the best parts of this engine is that it doesn't require any models optimizations at all, so you just export your scene in 3ds/Maya/Softimage and import into Lumion, apply the materials and the job is done.
They got lots of request for standalone ( .exe ) visualization, and they said they will add this support.
If they do that and if there will be some kind of really simple visual script for adding some basic interactivity this engine will be mine soon, since does its job really nice!
The strongest thing about this engine is that is capable of doing just visualization. And it does the job damn good. Materials presets, lightmaps support, sun/clouds controls, SSAO, motion blur, depth of filed ( on the next update ), is really easy to work with it. And the price is also very good
From what I've read, they're targeting mostly non-realtime playback (ie. record frame by frame). Even with my "decent" powered i5 framerates are typically in the 10-20 range with a moderately complex scene, so it would need a massively powerful machine for a complex scene. I'm not too sure they'll ever add any real interactivity as it might compete with Quest 5, but you never know.
I still think something similar could be built for Unity that incorporates a lot of the "easy to use" features of Lumion. I haven't seen too much graphics wise that couldn't be done in Unity, it just would take a fair bit of time and effort to do it.
Well, it was pretty. A lot of eyecandy, but it didn't really feel like a professional tool.
If the standalone is released on this product i might just be sailing towards lumion, however im almost 100% sure that its not as easy as learning unity and the interface and the scripting, unity makes it almost flawless to just drag and drop scripts and make it work instantly, ill have to give this engine a try just for the eye candy
Edit: So i did take a look at it, ofcoarse its beautiful and has amazing effects and such, but doesn't compare to unity's interface, i closed it within 10 minutes of getting bored of it
And must agree with Rives and say it didnt feel like a professional tool, they even say in they're slogan "Make beautiful scenery in minutes" We all know its far more than a few minutes to produce something really professional.