Polygons are going to be obsolete

A small Company in Australia has invented a new way to draw 3d graphics.
Using Point Cloud Data Atoms instead of traditional polygons.

Unlimited Detail’s method is very different to any 3D method that has been invented so far. The three current systems used in 3D graphics are ray tracing polygons and point clouds/voxels, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Polygons run fast but have poor geometry, ray-tracing and voxels have perfect geometry but run very slowly.


Unlimited Detail is a fourth system, which is more like a search algorithm than a 3D engine. It is best explained like this: if you had a word document and you went to the search tool and typed in a word like ‘money’ the search tool quickly searches for every place that word appeared in the document. Google and Bing are also search engines that go looking for things very quickly. Unlimited Detail is basically a point cloud search algorithm. We can build enormous worlds with huge numbers of points, then compress them down to be very small. The Unlimited Detail engine works out which direction the camera is facing and then searches the data to find only the points it needs to put on the screen it doesn’t touch any unneeded points, all it wants is 1024*768 (if that is our resolution) points, one for each pixel of the screen. It has a few tricky things to work out, like: what objects are closest to the camera, what objects cover each other, how big should an object be as it gets further back. But all of this is done by a new sort of method that we call “mass connected processing”. Mass connected processing is where we have a way of processing masses of data at the same time and then applying the small changes to each part at the end.

The result is a perfect pure bug free 3D engine that gives Unlimited Geometry running super fast, and it’s all done in software.



It’s defininitely interesting - but I want to know how it handles skeletal deformation and animation of any sense.
That’s in the end a lot more important for a game.

Likewise there’s no explanation how they achieve this in a sense. Considering how badly voxel stuff runs at times and this essentially looks like something akin to voxels. You still have all the information polygons have, just in a different medium

Ooh, their SDK is coming out in a few months.

It would be really cool to have a hands on tech demo.

We have all seen this, It’s impractical as it takes a lot of ram and storage, Probably would work in CG, Pixar for example renders their stuff in Voxels instead of Polygons since Up!

it dosent use ray-tracing

Polygons are still going to be there. Cloud point is very difficult to program and takes too much RAM to process.

I’m thinking of creating something similar, but it smooths out polygon edges instead of being its own graphical engine altogether.

So basically a point cloud system with massive culling.

Ofcourse that runs into vastly bigger issues. Works decent for static scenes, but the moment you add in actors and have to do calculation even for them when you don’t see them, or for other players you run into insane issues.

Interesting, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Also I’d like to point out our voices are not all as annoying as that guy.


I doubt source engine will ever support this anyway.

I think this would be good to use in combination with polygon models, as this medium is absolutely horrible for animations and movement. Also, it isn’t “superfast” I haven’t seen a video of it running over 30 fps, and I bet they had beast graphic cards.

Of course the source engine won’t. Even if this does turn out to be practical for games, if Valve remade the Source Engine to support it, they’d probably ship it as a whole different engine.

And that’s assuming it’d be practical for games.

for static stuff maybe

step 1
make the static terrain in Unlimited detail

step 2
put an invisible polygon barrier over it for collision

anything that moves uses standard polygons

if valve approaches it this way they MIGHT be able to keep enough of Sources origonal code intact to make it a new version of the engine instead of a new engine entirely

Wonder if this could be used for physical water.

Doubt it. Even if it uses a combination of this and the old 3D Rendering system, they’re still adding a whole new rendering system.

That’d be cool to see.

shit its on popsci.com now

also found a vid of Unlimited Detail animation


Something interesting worth putting up here:


your late

First time it was brought up in the thread however, not everyone feels the need to research into a thread topic

still, with a grant and proven animation this project still seems highly promising