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Graphics Software Technology

Unigine's Newest Benchmark Features Huge, Open-Space Expanses 87

jones_supa writes "Unigine announced a new GPU benchmark known as Valley Benchmark. From the same developers who created Heaven Benchmark, the Valley Benchmark is a non-synthetic benchmark that is powered by the Unigine Engine, a real-time 3D engine that supports the latest rendering features. The Valley Benchmark includes massive area of 64 square kilometers of very detailed terrain that includes forest, mountains, green expanses, rocky slopes and flowers. The area can be freely explored by means of walking or flying. All major operating systems are supported."
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Unigine's Newest Benchmark Features Huge, Open-Space Expanses

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  • My results (Score:5, Informative)

    by armanox ( 826486 ) <> on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:40PM (#42925679) Homepage Journal

    Are here [] under Fedora.

    • []

      not to shabby for a 2009 budget box

      • by armanox ( 826486 )

        Noticing higher results in Windows 7 over Linux (See Windows OpenGL score [])

        • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

          I just ran it with OGL and lost nearly 100 pts, so that has some effect as well

      • by armanox ( 826486 )

        No, not at all. Certainly more a more GPU intenesive benchmark then CPU. Your GPU probably does pretty good for a lot of games at that monitor resolution.

        • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

          yea it does pretty ok until it needs the cpu and ram, the 720 isnt the best of the bunch and the ram is 1066 DDR2, even then is usually just a little jitter given the xbox state of most games

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I must say that looking at your photo, you would make an excellent supervillian. You should consider purchasing a longhaired white cat to sit on your lap, so you could stroke her fur while smiling in an unsettling manner.
          I'd sign up as a henchman.

      Captcha is "Angstrom" which would be a good supervillain name. Dr. Angstrom, or maybe Professor Angstrom.

  • Skyrim (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @11:55PM (#42925721) Journal

    All they have to do is rename it The Elder Scrolls VI and they have themselves a finished game.

  • by goruka ( 1721094 ) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @12:14AM (#42925793)
    -Instancing: For drawing lots of trees without draw call overhead.
    -Impostors: For the groups of trees far away
    -Vertex Program: For the sway of the trees, probably with per vertex amount of strength
    -PSSM: For the shadows
    -Godrays: For the sunrays through the trees
    -HDR+Bloom with luminance bleeding: For the lighting and skybox
    -Instanced Particles: For the clouds

    I sure am forgetting some of them, but I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.
    • -Godrays: For the sunrays through the trees

      Nitpick: that's not a technique. Those rays of light are called godrays, it says nothing about the implementation technique.

      I sure am forgetting some of them, but I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.

      I checked out the YouTube - video and, well, I see huge amounts of people complaining about the apparently-poor texture resolution of this benchmark. IMHO, these people are missing the whole point of the demo as the demo is not intended to show exceedingly impressive textures or such. The speeds at which the engine can manage to do so beautiful real-time shadows and lighting, huge, open landscape with loads of foliage, the impressively realistic fogging in certain areas and so on, these are the focus here. I certainly would trade some texture resolution for more realistic lighting and environmental effects in games if it ever came to such a choice.

      • > Nitpick: that's not a technique. Those rays of light are called godrays, it says nothing about the implementation technique.

        Indeed. They could be using "Volumetric Light", "Occlusion Stencil", or as a post-process in Screen Space. Hard to tell which algorithm they are using.

        * []

      • The speeds at which the engine can manage to do so beautiful real-time shadows and lighting, huge, open landscape with loads of foliage, the impressively realistic fogging in certain areas and so on, these are the focus here.

        Nitpick: The benchmark misses the point of benchmarks. I mean, instancing is fine, but why include a trick like "imposters" to give the illusion of the visuals being more complex than they are if you're trying to stress the hardware. Seems counter productive to me. I mean, if you're going to make a game, fine, you want it to run great on lesser end hardware, but why make a benchmark that emulates game behaviors? If you want more accurate "real world" use cases, why not just benchmark with existing game

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's propably you wo misses the point. The idea is to bench a realistical workload. Since techniques for replacing far away objects are used in almost every game it makes perfect to include it. Besides, you could not render such scenes without it in real time

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You really have to make a new engine from scratch emulating what game developers would do to test the video cards. After all, instancing is a part which stresses the hardware, if you are not using instancing, what hardware are you actually testing? And if you tested just raw polygons, wouldn't you be avoiding the use of most silicon which got developed precisely for these other "tricks"?

      • Or you could go with neither and have hundreds of square kilometers of rock/concrete texture *Cough*MassEffect*Cough*

      • It still gets a lot of pop-up though. Most engines seem to have this problem where everything far away is okay and every up close is okay, but in the middle ground things just pop into existence and look terrible.

    • I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.

      It actually uses quite a lot of LOD -- even at the highest settings there aren't ever very many triangles on screen. As TFS says, this isn't meant to be a synthetic benchmark. It's not made to stress any one specific thing, and it really doesn't.

      Some of the tech it is demoing is pretty cool, even if the resulting image isn't very impressive. In the hands of proper designers, this stuff could be awesome.

    • you forgot
      -Laggy non gradient detail POPUP: for when you just need to hide grass at a fixed level and look like 5 year old x360/PS3 game
      -Microshutter: Why display smooth animation if we can "optimize" code and squeeze few more frames at the cost of consistency.
      -Display fixed average fps: least useful number instead of a graph, we dont want to expose our shortcomings.

      • Regardless of all of that, I thought it looked wonderful (from the YouTube video). I especially liked the rain effects and the lighting when it was raining. The water running off the rocks was pretty cool too. My engine is around 10 years behind that (!), mostly because I don't work on it full time.
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      how is not a synthetic benchmark though? until they got a game going in their game engine it's synthetic demo.. doesn't matter if they realtime generate lot of the stuff.

      • Quite right! It seems synthetic to me as well.

        If it generates geometry on the GPU, by using a geometry shader, it makes you wonder:
        Do the trees have a physics representation on the CPU as well, so that the player collides with them?
        Probably not, which means that despite the marvel of all those trees, you cannot play it like you can a Skyrim world.

  • The still scenes on thier website are really nice, some the most detailed and realistic renders from a game engine I've ever seen.
  • Since when did Linux count as a "major operating system"?

    (I kid, I kid - it's just odd that a) they support it and b) the summary doesn't mention it specifically, given that this is /.)

  • Impressive enough, it's always neat to see even programming as utterly performance intensive as a game engine pay off with something so pretty.
  • Nice. Reminds me of Speedtree's demos. []

  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Sunday February 17, 2013 @05:57AM (#42926651)

    Very nice. But I'm really curious: why do video sims have this obsession with pretending to be shot on a physical camera (e.g. rain drops on the "lens", lens flare when looking at the sun)?

    I understand it's an aesthetic but it comes over as insecurity: "hey I bet you couldn't tell this wasn't a real camera in a real world". I think sim designers should have more confidence and get over this 'trying to prove we're as good as the real world by simulating failings in cameras'. I think there's some really nice work and they should concentrate on improving their presentation of world rather than trying to reverse engineer the failings of old cameras.

    Rain drops on the lens from video shot on real cameras is really annoying. Don't spend energy trying to simulate it, or lens flare. Spend your time improving your new format, do cool stuff the real film makers can't do and take advantage that you're not bound by their limitations. Please don't work on a virtual camera operator's hand cleaning your virtual lens with a virtual disposable tissue when it rains hard....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Must admit, things like lens flare and rain on the lens make it look *less* realistic to me. Don't simulate what a camera would see, but what a human eye would see. I want to see a virtual world as if I was right there, not watching a nature documentary.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      why use such crap effects?

      well, for same reason some movies use them when they could avoid them. you can get away with less actual detail in the scene.

      why do you think so many games nowadays use focal effects? well duh.. it used to be common technique to just limit angle of camera to scene in games.. you don't have to draw the sky if you can never look at it. the focal focus shit effect used in so many games nowadays is usually used to blur backgrounds into blur.. like used in some movies to make the painte

    • by g00ey ( 1494205 )
      While I agree to some extent to what you are saying, I believe that sometimes it is desired to deliver that cinematic experience. Also directors can eliminate lens flares and motion blurs during shootings with the right set of lightings and aperture times but they don't. The reason for that is that they want to emphasize that something is extremely bright or is moving extremely fast. All this is part of cinematic storytelling. Something modern digital cameras such as the over-hyped Red(tm) cameras are lacki
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Any professional cinematographer or photographer can almost always avoid lens flare, mist or water on the lens, but use it intentionally to convey things that the (audio)visual medium can't: heat and glare of bright lights, the sensation of cold wetness when you emerge from water or are caught out in the rain.

        It can certainly be overdone, but used right it's just another tool to tell a multisensory story with pictures.

    • Rain drops on the lens from video shot on real cameras is really annoying

      Heh. You clearly don't wear glasses. Raindrops on the lens is absolutely normal to me, so it doesn't seem even slightly out of place when I see it in a game.

      I agree that lens flare is annoying, though.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      It's worse in 1st person games where you are supposed to be looking through the characters eyes, and yet you still get droplet splashes and lens flair effects (I'm looking at you, MW3).

      To be fair I do get the droplets on my glasses sometimes, but then again I'm not a cool uber-l33t soldier dude who would undoubtedly wear contact lenses.

      • And when water gets in his eyes he'll blink and close. Yes that would definitely be less annoying.

    • I'm supposed to be there, I'm not supposed to be looking at things from a camera, get this right once and for all.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    would love to see this video's 2003, 1993 equivalent.. any good archives of graphics demos around?

    • from Pixar-sponsored [], check out (2011) Numb Res by Fairlight (yes, that one) and CNCD; requires DX10 (or check out 2010's Agenda Circling Forth without the GPU-crushing endbit)... Epsilon (2011, 64k) for tasty ray tracying (or google "pouet photon race 2") ... (2010, best effects) FR-063 also has GPU physics. and (2009, 4k) Elevated has an insane amount of content for 4k.

      off-scene/pouet, there's Separable Subsurface Scattering (Real Time) []. semi-raytracingish, there's Rigid Gems []
    • Someone did a ray-traced video of Quake (not real time, of course) with people running around with multiple color sources and so on.

      They estimated a real-time version would require a 30,000 GHz processor. Still, it looked awesome.

    • Here's the closest thing I've seen: []

      It's a bunch of benchmark videos saved into one long youtube video. Boring to sit through, but interesting to jump around in.

    • Google "3dmark 2001".
  • mineral rights to that place? It would look so pretty with a big 'ol pipeline running across it!

  • Hope that this could be turned into a non-violent game, a little like "Dear Esther", where you can just walk around and enjoy the scenery. It is now 64 square kilometer, but I guess that with generative techniques you could create virtually infinite worlds.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 17, 2013 @07:36AM (#42926917)

    The thing that impresses me the most is the way that whoever put it together actually knows some geology and biology. The trees, other plants, and rocks are realistically placed. I admit it's kind of geeky, but as a geologist it always bothers me when game designers think any old "random pile of rocks" or "randomly bumpy cliff surface" corresponds to the way geological materials behave in the real world. Same for the shape of mountainsides. They are not randomly steep, planar slopes. Most of them have a graceful exponential kind of curvature. There are similar issues for the distribution of real plants and trees.

    If the whole point of a game is to immerse you in an alternate reality, but everything in the "natural" world looks (to the experienced eye) like the building equivalent of walking through a funhouse, it kind of spoils the effect. These people are meticulously observant of nature and actually know what they are doing! Kudos.

    • I believe the terrain was pulled from GIS data, (the article mentions the creators wanting to show off some of Russia's natural beauty) and the article says they procedurally placed the foliage and rocks, so Its all the work of very well designed math problems. But you are right, they did seem to do a meticulous job getting those math problems to reflect natural patterns.
    • I did this landscape by a process called "procedural generation": []

      Rather than place hills and grass individually, it uses fractal formulas to create the shapes and textures. The formulas and textures are height and slope aware, and it uses atmospheric haze to give a distance effect. The software is E-on Vue, which is used in professional movie making, but I just diddled around with it for fun.

  • in the mid 90's using Vista Pro [] Talk about a benchmark, each frame would take almost half an hour
  • When someone posts a torrent on slashdot.

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