Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Voxel Physics

Voxels are typically associated with creating content. As it turns out, they are quite useful when the time comes for destruction.

Voxels make it easier to break things. Imagine you fire a rocket into a column. You can blast a hole where the rocket hit. Using the column's voxels you could create several fragments of debris. If the column's ability to stand or support other things is compromised, voxels can tell you that. At this point you get even more fragments, which could impact other voxels generating more fragments and so on.

Since you are looking at volumetric data, computing the mass and other dynamic properties of these fragments is much easier. Imagine you have a very irregular shape, made of many different materials. For a proper physics simulation you need to figure out how much the thing weights. This is a trivial process if you are using voxels. Each voxel has a material assigned to it, the material's density tells you how much the voxel weights. The weight of the fragment is the sum of the weight of its voxels. And it is more than that, you can figure out where the mass center is. Imagine a fragment that is half rock, half styrofoam. The object's center of gravity is where the rock is concentrated. The styrofoam adds very little weight.

Here is a video showing a little bit of destruction. This is still in an early stage but hopefully you will get an idea of the potential.

This video was captured on my old PC, with an Intel i5 and an ATI 4770.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More statues

Here are other screenshots showing some statues. I did not create this cat statue. It was a model I found free for download on the web. In each case the model was voxelized and "pasted" into the scene.

Bringing components other have made beats sculpting them yourself. The question is how simple we can make this process for the average player.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I was wondering how easy it would be to create a statue inside the demo, using only a spherical brush. I thought it would be nice if the creatures you sculpt could come to life. They could help you build or defend you against other creatures. I decided to give it a quick try.

I found it was not very easy. You certainly miss the toolset from programs like Zbrush, Mudbox or 3D-coat. I think we need better tools for a first-person editor. We certainly will be working on that.

Meanwhile, here is the stone golem I created. It took me around 20 minutes to build.