Monday, April 8th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Watch real-time path tracing in Otoy’s Brigade engine

Otoy, recently in the news for its upcoming cloud-rendering technology, has posted a very cool new demo for Brigade, its real-time path tracing game engine.

(Actually, it was shown at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference alongside the Cloud Edition, but the video passed us by until 3DTotal spotted it.)

Like Grand Theft Auto with path tracing… kinda
The video shows a compilation of recent technical tests, beginning with a city scene that looks bizarrely like a scene from a Living Dead movie re-enacted by a crowd of multi-coloured crash test dummies.

According to Otoy product manager Sam Lapere: “We love playing GTA, so we set out to make a real-time path traced GTA-like demo [with] hundreds of cars and pedestrians … all path traced in real time.”

“After doing successful tests with hundreds of moving cars and characters in a city environment, we added physics, which slowed things down massively so we had to settle on just one car.”

Extremely fast…
Even so, Brigade’s real-time performance is impressive: the scene contains 750 instanced characters with 30,000 triangles each; while the environment contains 600,000: a total of 22.5 million triangles.

The second demo, which shows colour bleeding, ups the ante, with 16,384 instances of an 846,000-triangle city, making a total of 13.8 billion triangles.

…but still noisy
The output is undoubtedly noisy as the image resolves, particularly in the final interior scene, and there’s clearly a lot more work to be done before Brigade becomes a viable tool.

But it’s still extremely beautiful, to the point that it’s often hard to tell that it isn’t photographic – an impression that the noise, curiously, almost heightens.

And as Lapere notes, “time and time again, [Brigade] renders monstrously fast”.

The older demos are also worth checking out: you can find them on Lapere’s blog via the link below.

See other Brigade demos on Sam Lapere’s blog