[No] Sprite-based voxels

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Sprite-based voxels

Postby fluffyshambler » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:00 pm

As far as I understand it, when voxels were originally implemented in the Build engine, they were arrays of pixels/sprites in a 3D shape. In GZDoom, voxels are rendered as arrays of cubes. This defeats the purpose (performance) of voxels when compared to 3D models. In fact they probably have even worse performance since there's so many surfaces. Using a voxel pack on a large map can slow FPS significantly. So I suggest there be support for sprite-based voxels. Not only for performance reasons, but because some people may prefer the appearance of old-school voxels.

I don't know how exactly they are created or implemented in the engine, so I don't know if this could be a simple togglable option of how they're rendered or if people would have to create different voxels.

A screenshot of a tombstone voxel in Blood on DOS: https://i.imgur.com/MZt3sG4.png (I tried using the imgur tag in multiple ways, didn't work)

I don't have any screenshots of GZDoom voxels handy, but you can just picture the Minecraft-esque cubes on your own for comparison.
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby Gez » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:03 pm

This has been discussed several times and it's extremely unlikely to happen. You can use the software renderer if you don't want cubes.
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby fluffyshambler » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:18 pm

Gez wrote:This has been discussed several times and it's extremely unlikely to happen. You can use the software renderer if you don't want cubes.


1. I searched "voxel" on this board before starting the thread and didn't see such a discussion.

2.Why is it so unlikely?

3. I checked in software mode and they still appear cubic.
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby Gez » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:30 pm

1. & 2. viewtopic.php?p=1049932#p1049932
3. then you're not using the right software mode; look at this key, it's a bunch of squares, not a bunch of cubes.
Image
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby fluffyshambler » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:50 pm



Well that's unfortunate. I think that's a real silly mindset, that 3D is inherently better than 2D.

Gez wrote:3. then you're not using the right software mode; look at this key, it's a bunch of squares, not a bunch of cubes.


My mistake, I had checked the software-style OpenGL mode rather than the actual software mode.
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby Nash » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:05 pm

fluffyshambler wrote:I think that's a real silly mindset, that 3D is inherently better than 2D.


Rendering 3D cubes in modern hardware renderers costs as much as rendering a billboard - that is, almost nothing.

That said, I agree that rendering a voxel as a billboard is "aesthetically" more faithful to the oldschool software-rendered voxels (I was the one who kept suggesting it to Graf after all) but I've stopped caring about voxels by now...
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby Rachael » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:44 pm

fluffyshambler wrote:Well that's unfortunate. I think that's a real silly mindset, that 3D is inherently better than 2D.

You can agree or disagree, or even agree to disagree, but Graf still has a good point that updating the texture every frame will have an impact on performance. At any rate, the last time this was closed was very recently, and not much has changed since then.

I think billboarding plain squares might be possible in the future, since they only need to be as wide as tan(number of degrees away from nearest cardinal line), but nothing at this point will be done until we have a feature-complete and playable Vulkan renderer.
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Re: Sprite-based voxels

Postby Graf Zahl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:48 pm

fluffyshambler wrote:I think that's a real silly mindset, that 3D is inherently better than 2D.



... and you really think that statements like this one would make any difference?
Consider this: It's either cubes or nothing. The software renderer's projection cannot be done for the hardware renderer because the only way to make it work would be to create a new texture each frame. Do that for more than 2 or 3 voxels and goodbye, good frame rate. And that doesn't even address the issue that nobody here understands the software renderer's voxel drawer. It's a piece of black magic.

I think billboarding plain squares might be possible in the future, since they only need to be as wide as tan(180° - number of degrees away from nearest cardinal line), but nothing at this point will be done until we have a feature-complete and playable Vulkan renderer.


I think you are overly optimistic here. Like I said, nobody understands how the voxel projection works, meaning nobody would be able to rewrite it. Otherwise the software renderer would not depend on that old Build code.
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