Cambridge, UK-based Geomerics, a technology development company that targets video game developers with its expertise and specialized research into geometric algebra, today unveiled new technology that allows real-time radiosity in video games utilizing traditional graphics processing hardware.
Radiosity is the act of fully modeling the subtle effects arising from the inter-reflections of light between surfaces. Current lighting technology used in games involves either pre-computing the entire global illumination off-line or assuming there are no inter-reflections and computing only the direct effects of lights on what they are illuminating.
Pre-computing the lighting results in lighting environments that cannot be altered, while considering only direct illumination results in 'flat', unrealistic scenes. Geomerics' dynamic radiosity solution allows the full lighting, including inter-reflections, to be updated in real-time providing significantly greater realism and impact.
Geomerics has applied its core technology, based around geometric algebra, to produce this new radiosity solution. The solution is real time, achieving frame rates of up to 100Hz on common graphics hardware, and allows for fully dynamic lighting including point spot-lights, area lights, texture-based lighting, glowing objects and the projection of video onto geometry.
The full indirect lighting calculation includes the soft-shadows that characterize real-world scenes. Geomerics' technology also integrates smoothly with classic techniques such as normal and gloss mapping, and fully supports HDR (high dynamic range) lighting effects.
In addition to all this, Geomerics' technique is also a so-called 'infinite bounce' solution; surfaces which themselves are illuminated indirectly can illuminate other surfaces. This leads to other effects, for example if one end of a white corridor is lit strongly then the light bounces around the corridor eventually emerging at the other end.
Chris Doran, CEO and founder of Geomerics commented: "This revolutionary lighting technique is another demonstration of the amazing potential of Geomerics' technology and our unique approach to games middleware and technology licensing. Geometric algebra provides opportunities for totally new solutions in a huge range of games problems, from lighting to path physics and beyond."