Back in August 2011, an Australian software and technology company called Euclideon caused waves in the graphics industry with their claim that they had developed a product that would allow “infinite graphics”. They boasted that graphics were about to leap forward in detail by about 100, 000 times. They released this video that explained their findings and demoed what they’d been working on.
The Internet was divided. Many people, including Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, dismissed Euclideon and claimed the whole thing was a hoax to scam investors out of money. YouTube personalities climbed in as well to similarly dismiss the demo as a hoax. Shortly after that, Euclideon disappeared… again.
Now they’re back, and this time they’re bringing a new piece of software into the mix: “solidscan”.
Using solidscan, Euclideon is scanning real-world environments into digitized 3D models. Real-world architectural scanners have been around for a while, but their scans are rather incomplete and have gaps in surfaces. With Euclideon’s new solidscan working in conjunction with their previously announced Unlimited Detail graphics streaming system, the company is able to create photo-realistic environments.
Just check it out in the video below.
It certainly makes for impressive results, doesn’t it? So what’s the catch? For a start, there’s absolutely no animation in anything that’s been shown off with this “solidscan” tech. Yes, they’ve basically digitized existing areas (churches, roads, forests etc.) and turned them into photo-realistic models to pan a camera through, but there’s nothing dynamic. There’s no dynamic lighting and no animation. There’s also no interacting with the environment; no physics at all.
Maybe the lack of dynamic detail is just for now? Euclideon claims to have two games in the making that will be built off this technology. Hopefully they’ll be more than just 3D hidden object games.
If we sound sceptical it’s probably because we are. Look, they’re very pretty environment models, but they don’t do anything. Insofar as practical application goes right now, we’re thinking that a marriage between this and the Oculus Rift could yield spectacular results. Imagine having highly detailed 3D models made with solidscan, that could then be explored in VR using the Rift. That’s a neat idea. Imagine exploring sets from famous movies? Scans of the Millennium Falcon sets? Entire art galleries and museums? Could be fun!
Games built on this tech? We’ll believe it when we see it, and will publically (and happily) eat our words with a side-order of humble pie.