Thursday, March 08, 2012

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Watch & Try a Demo of the Outerra Engine, Which Makes Photo-Realistic Virtual Worlds Using Real World Data

Watch this recently unveiled demo of the Outerra Engine, which makes photo-realistic virtual worlds from real world data. The effect is pretty amazing:

Click here to download and try this tech demo for yourself -- it's available for PC, if you have the graphics power to play it. According to the developer, it's already being used for an upcoming MMO called Anteworld, "a world-building game on a massive true-to-life scale of our planet." As for how Outerra uses real world data, the overall idea sounds pretty brilliant. According to Make Magazine:

Outerra virtual world engine

The large scale structures of mountains, rivers, and oceans use height-map data dynamically downloaded as you explore, while the ground-level detail is procedurally generated, leaving you free to view the world as close or as far away as you desire (presumably within the limits of your processor).

In other words, up close you get Minecraft-style procedural generation, while in the distance, real world-level fidelity -- the best of both approaches, seems like. But again, click here to try the tech demo yourself, to see how much the promise matches the reality.

Hat tip: Rusalka Writer, who notes, "As SL pokes along, other rendering systems leave us behind— and they know it."


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GoSpeed Racer

This reminds me a lot of Terragen.

GoSpeed Racer

OMG, the possibilities. If content creation plays a big part this could be something spectacular.

Ehrman Digfoot

I downloaded the demo and tried it out. The graphics engine seems stable enough and provides a great degree of customization with respect to the environment settings. The physics of the terrain jeep vehicle is pretty advanced. With the exception of the terrain itself, none of the objects have collision boxes (you can move through every building and tree). Overall, I'm impressed by the effect playing in such an immense environment produces. Of course everything we take for granted in SL, the complexity of LSL, the flexibility of content creation tools, animations, asset and inventory systems, the new pathfinding tools, the marketplace, all of these things which took nearly a decade to produce and perfect in SL would take years to develop again for another platform.

Playing this demo makes me wish LL would buy a new graphics engine. I know it's more complicated than that, but really if Entropia can buy Cryengine 2 and transfer the old game assets to cryengine assets couldn't the same be done for prims in SL, through some automated process in the backend?

desdemona enfield

Wasn't this done years ago?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

"it's available for PC, if you have the graphics power to play it. "

It amazes me how the gamer-centric world and higher ed differ. We are both subspecies of geeks, but in Higher Ed the focus has shifted to mobile.

What Hamlet is showing us has massive potential..if Moore's Law holds so it will soon run on something other than a desktop. Otherwise, it's a new niche for those with what Scott Adams called "Grandpa Boxes."

Metacam Oh

Looks nice, but any virtual world that doesnt start first with the avatar is never going to get off the ground. Ask Blue Mars.

Connie Arida

Awesome. I ran across this independently and wanted to share, but you beat me to it. The vid of real time terraforming made my jaw drop.
Oh and the system needs on a PC were not harsh. A dual core CPU and 8800 series Nvidea card is hardly cutting edge.

foneco zuzu

Sims, Sims2 Sims 3!
Where those started?
Desktop computers are and as more and more get older, will be the future!
The rest will get blind long before!

foneco zuzu

And im on a family where my stepfather runs, at 92 years old, a 15' laptop, and my mother with 87 uses a 17' one!

foneco zuzu

Still, does any dare to say its the same to see all on a 46' monitor or a 8' one???

foneco zuzu

And about this all new stuff.
I wojld much worry now about Google trying to patent

Breen Whitman

@Metacam Oh


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