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Old 05-21-2012
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Anthony Johnson Anthony Johnson is offline
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We (the dev team) have had several discussions over the past few months regarding more realistic scene rendering. I think we can implement basic things like stencil-based or shadow-map-based shadow rendering, as well as support for bump maps and parallax maps. This could get shadows to be about as good as this. But that would come at the significant expense of scene rendering speed, especially for big models. Game developers do lots of tricks to clip and simplify certain areas of the scene so that they only have to render shadows and complex geometry on the stuff that's important and close to the camera. If we implement shadows and other stuff, we'd have to also provide tools to modelers that let them do the same clipping tricks that game developers do. To me that seems like a lot of work we'd be pushing on the user. And it would still never get us to the point where we're rendering like this.

So the other option we're throwing around, which I'm leaning toward us implementing first, is to implement geometry exporters that allow the geometry of a scene to be exported to a commonly-used format like renderman, or perhaps to implement an in-app plugin that can use a renderman or a mental-ray to render the scene. It would not be fast at all, but that's not the goal. The goal would be to render a scene for post-simulation play-back and video creation.

I'm interested to hear others' opinions.
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