4D Graphics: A Reality Only For PlayStation 3
- Posted August 24th, 2007 at 06:14 EDT by
- 58 Comments
We all know what 3D graphics are - length, width & depth, but how many know what 4D graphics are? If you are one of the millions of people thinking 'What the %&$* are 4D graphics?', don't be alarmed. You've already seen them. Shocking isn't it? We all remember Kutaragi proclaiming not too long ago that PS3 would utilize 4D graphics, but what exactly did he mean?
4D, from a developer’s point of view, is is the progression of Life in time. It is where every tangible object in your game is living and constantly changing. As a result, change becomes an integral part of 4D graphics.
But how does all of this become possible? The answer is the dynamic rendering of procedural textures. Sounds complicated, but it's not. Let me explain; Procedural textures are textures which are linked to an algorithm. Instead of the texture being drawn pixel by pixel, you define the way these pixels have to be lit to produce the texture you want.
When the procedural texture is placed somewhere, you utilize an engine for actually generating these bitmap textures. They have life. They can change in a way you define them, especially through time. In a lot of the current games, the randomized textures method is used. Developers use one bitmap and just map it on randomly in the environment to create the design for that specific area. Every texture is not defined or unique. So, the method to create procedural textures allows for more control.
Allegorithmic is a utility set which allows an extensive realization of procedural textures. With it you define the procedures way using MaPZone, and then use ProFX to rasterize the images, producing the final result to be displayed by a renderer or a game engine.
Observe the following example:
If you look closely at the calm boat dock scene above, the docks are being splattered by rain. The wood is literally degrading with every drop that hits it. The light poles are rusting with every second. The light bulbs are degrading with every photon of light they are emitting. The wooden cabin is degrading, while the grassland outside is rotting slowly. These all fit into the core realization of 4D graphics.
Now, let’s fix a common misconception. These 4D renders can be processed on the Xbox 360 with an average mean time of 10-12 seconds. Yes. The renders are possible, but the dynamic realization of procedural texture streaming is not. The dynamic renders with characters in the scene, with progression of life through the time continuum, are not possible with the 360 system. It would take days to produce dynamic renders on the 360 in the fullest definition of 4D graphics--this with the software already optimized for it.
All the videos on this page can be run perfectly and efficiently, without taking days to render, currently only on two specific platforms. Upscale PC’s and the PlayStation 3. Procedural techniques are demanding in terms of power, so the more power you get: the easier it is to render these 4D graphics dynamically. Programming for the PS3's eight Synergistic Processing Units (SPUs) can be a challenge sometimes, but there is definitely a lot to gain from the architecture, and the dynamic renders can be processed on the fly with the PlayStation 3.
The 4D graphics above, centralizing on the dynamic renders of procedural textures, show a distinguished change of the bathroom scene as time progresses. The scene starts with a very nice bath tub. Probably one that we would love to take a bubble bath in. But, as time progresses, the bathroom rusts. The tiles shatter, the mold grows, and Mr.Clean won’t work here anymore.
The scene then changes to that of an overhead of a bathroom sink next to a metal core. The metal rusts, the sink degrades in texture, and the mirror shatters. The scene quickly changes to normal, all to show a mirror in the next one.
Now, this mirror is a prime example of 4D graphics made from a core factor of dynamically rendered procedural textures. The mirror ... (continued on next page)
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- 12:06am EDT - August 24th, 2007
That was an awesome read,thanks.
- 1:28am EDT - August 24th, 2007
spare us the technicality
- 1:36am EDT - August 24th, 2007
Yeah, but I'd like to see it in the game play. I'd like to see how much the 4D doing the difference than the 3D.
- 2:09am EDT - August 24th, 2007
looks awsome. cant wait to sit and play in these envoiroments :P
- 3:09am EDT - August 24th, 2007
Amazing article, thanks v/much
- 3:20am EDT - August 24th, 2007
That means if you just put away your controller at faced a plant for 10 years it will actually grow... COOL!
- 3:33am EDT - August 24th, 2007
Great article and this shows that the PS3 is the ONLY TRUE next gen console, look forward to seeing this in games
- 3:35am EDT - August 24th, 2007
The real question is how does this make better games? If you can fake this effect by switching textures between two or three states, then whats the benfit of the playstation method? Is the effect easier to achieve? does it cut down on development time? Find a way to make this a quantifiable bonus before celebrating it.
- 3:39am EDT - August 24th, 2007
These dynamics would be great in a Silent Hill game or another horror genre type. Imagine walking into what looks like a seemingly normal house, and then suddenly everything starts degrading fast. Walls will brown, tiles crack, windows break and then suddenly here comes Pyramid Head...well you get the point...that would be f***ing freaky.
- 4:05am EDT - August 24th, 2007
318kb... thats impossible
- 4:12am EDT - August 24th, 2007
I remember watching those awhile back. They still look awesome.
- 4:21am EDT - August 24th, 2007
Looks average. has anyone seen shrek 4D @ universal,i have several times now thats the bees!
- 4:43am EDT - August 24th, 2007
is that why GRAW2 took so long?
- 4:47am EDT - August 24th, 2007
Please! Stop showing demos of the hardware capability and actually release a game!!!
- 4:55am EDT - August 24th, 2007
very interesting. ps3 rules!!
- 4:58am EDT - August 24th, 2007
wass up PSU guys feel free to add me my PSN ID is cool661
- 5:10am EDT - August 24th, 2007
psn id: gingo.... when i read the title i was like psu av finally snapped but after reading this is like the coolest thing ever
- 5:52am EDT - August 24th, 2007
very good read. aye, whoever is putting thumbs down on this article............ get the f√öcK off psu.com !!!!!
- 5:59am EDT - August 24th, 2007
The first video was incredible. a littlve over 300kb for that whole scene is remarkable. However, I honestly fail to see how the giraffe eating couldn't be done anywheer else. It's just a two second animation that even I could pop out in 5 or 10 minutes with my limited 3Ds Max knowledge. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Sony boy, I just think you're focusing on the wrong highlights.
- 6:15am EDT - August 24th, 2007
this would be most effective in gta 4
or [insert any ps3 game here]
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