20th March 2006, UK. Geomerics, the Cambridge-based company specializing in advanced graphics and physics technology, has developed a radical new solution that breaks the current lighting and shadowing restrictions currently faced by major game developers.
Geomerics' solution is a replacement for 'spherical harmonics', giving the same efficient compression of a lighting environment but now coupled with their geometric algebra and wavelet technologies. Their system handles dynamically changing lighting environments, moving objects and changing viewing angles. The technology not only handles diffuse lighting and soft shadows but also allows for dynamic specular effects to be integrated into the same pipeline giving rise to realistic glossy effects unobtainable from existing spherical harmonic implementations.
Geomerics' CTO, Jules Davis, said 'I am delighted with how this technology has progressed. It's extremely fast and GPU friendly, and has a great impact on in-game realism'. Geomerics will be giving a glimpse of some of their technology at the forthcoming GDC in San Jose from 22-24th March.
Lighting and shadowing are key elements in the rendering of realistic-looking next generation games. A well known currently used approach - spherical harmonic pre-computed radiance transfer (PRT) lighting - has the advantage of dealing with much of the computational complexity associated with realistic shadowing in a pre-compute step so that, at run-time, only a handful of simple operations are performed allowing an efficient GPU-based implementation. However, a fundamental restriction with spherical harmonic PRT is that it is impossible to handle light effects that change with the viewing angle such as specular highlights and it struggles to cope with highly dynamic lighting environments.
Pictures - 6 high-resolution images showing a Mayan head lit in various environments (The Uffizi, Grace Cathedral and a Eucalyptus grove). Features unique to our technology are illustrated by the soft shadows within the eye cavities and around the nose coupled with the correctly shadowed environment-based specular highlights.
Geomerics has utilized the power of 'geometric algebra' to provide exciting and innovative solutions to geometric problems in real-time. This technology is poised to transform computer graphics in gaming, providing a major step-change improvement over the current state-of-the-art in terms of speed, achievable effects, and ease of programming.
For further information please contact:
Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR. T: + 44 (0) 1608 645756 M: + 44 (0) 7966 449130
Or visit the Geomerics website: www.geomerics.com
Geomerics has secured intellectual property in the field of geometric algebra. Geometric Algebra is a powerful new form of mathematics that vastly simplifies complex geometric calculations. Geometric Algebra has its origins in the rather esoteric academic discipline of theoretical cosmology, but it has now been developed for application in a wide variety of disparate commercial applications such as graphics in videogames. Geomerics' technology provides a major step-change improvement over the competition, and is set to revolutionise the market. Overall the market for computer games is currently worth more than $30bn and growing rapidly, and the market for graphics within these games is worth over $600m per year. This new approach in applying geometric algebra has been developed by a group of four leading academics from the University of Cambridge: Professor Anthony Lasenby (Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology), Dr Mike Hobson (University Reader in Astrophysics), Dr Chris Doran (PPARC Enterprise Fellow) and Dr Joan Lasenby (Lecturer in Engineering). Geomerics has also engaged Professor David Hestenes of Arizona State University (the original inventor of geometric algebra) and Professor Alyn Rockwood of Colorado School of Mines (a geometric algebra and computer graphics expert) in an advisory capacity.
Geomerics is an ANGLE Technology Progeny® Company