REDsdk 3.5 expands its volume

  • Volumetric lighting
  • Physical lights cut-off
  • New anti-aliasing filter
  • New physical sky model
  • New hardware platforms

Volumetric lighting

Volumetric lighting is a technique used in 3D computers graphics imagery to add lighting effects to a rendering. It enables the viewer to see beams of light shining through the environment. In volumetric lighting, the light cone emitted by a light source is modeled as a transparent object and considered as a container of a “volume”: as a result, light has the capability to give the effect of passing through an actual three-dimensional medium (such as fog, dust, smoke, or steam) that is inside its volume, just like in the real world.

REDsdk 3.5 now defines a complete API that can be used to implement any type of volumetric effect to improve even more the level of realism of your renderings. In a few words, volumetric effects are inserted using a new kind of shape and then lighting effects are specified using a shaders. Programmers also get some more options at the rendering level to fine tune volumetric effects is they wish to do so.

REDsdk-3.5-volumetric1

Physical lights cut-off

A new rendering option has been added to limit the area of effect of physical lights. Theoretically, physical lights are illuminating infinitely far away. However, it can be useful in terms of performances to reduce that distance, when the contribution of the light can be neglected.

One of the main area of interest for such an optimization is in previsualization, when you wish to have an overview of the lighting of your model or scene, without spending too much processing time for the background.

New anti-aliasing filter

REDsdk 3.5 now offers a new anti-aliasing method based on the most recent progresses on this topic. This new filter works on an image and is only a 2D based processing that can be used to remove aliasing. This new anti-aliasing filter will not catch original 3D details which may have been missed by the rendering as it is only a post-processing effect.

This image at the right illustrates the pros and cons of using an image based anti-aliasing technique:

  • First, it’s fast. The overall cost of applying the filter to a large image is below 1 milliseconds.
  • Second, it does a good job at anti-aliasing edges of the geometry.
  • Finally, it does … what it can for the anti-aliasing of high frequency regions of the image where many details are concentrated. In these regions such as the left engine radiator in the picture above, we can see that the filter can’t take in more details that those that are present in the original image.

REDsdk-3.5-AA-filter

Improved physical sky model

The sky model in Redsdk 3.4 had limitations and could not properly handle the sky color with a sun below the horizon line. Redsdk’s 3.5 new sky model fixes that and also add a bit more realism to the result thanks to an improved mathematical model. The image at the right illustrates the differences between the old (top) and the new (bottom) sky models for different times of the day and night.

REDsdk-3.5-physical-sky

Extended hardware platforms

REDsdk reached the quantity of 1362 supported graphics cards! New references from NVIDIA and ATI werer added, with a corresponding update of our database of supported drivers. The REDsdk startup procedure on Linux operating systems has been reviewed so that REDsdk can start in hardware mode on most Linux systems, whether they are installed with NVIDIA, ATI or Mesa drivers.

Several workarounds were found to overcome some very nasty driver bugs for all INTEL GMA GEN7 hardware with AsicIDs ranging from 0x0102 to 0x0116 which could lead to the loss of textures during the use of the application!

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