Umbra Technologies


Ray casting!

We’re looking into changing our rendering method from ordinary polygon rendering to ray casting. 

There are reasons beyond count why we should do this. Because of the way ray casting work, we no longer need to work around the bugs any more - the bugs won’t exist in the first place due to how ray casting works.

The main reason is that it will improve the code immensely, it will make it more simple and much more elegant. We get rid of some of the complicated measures taken regarding, for instance, the vertex buffers.

It will also reduce memory consumption. A lot. A simple test showed that the memory consumption could be less than halved. And that was a fast test without optimization.

It will also save us time when loading. We no longer need to generate the vertex buffers and perform checks to see which faces can be seen or not.

After an email to ray casting legend Ken Silverman, we got a few pointers as to how we should approach this. If I undrstood the man right, this type of thing should be totally feasible, even in software.

Even while this bodes well for us, I can’t help put emphasize that this is only testing. If, for some reason, ray casting does not work as we expect, or there are unforeseen results which make a renderer like this unfeasible, we can always turn back to traditional rendering.