Nvidia’s Mech Ti demo shows DX12 smoke, shadows

Nvidia apparently had a private venue away from the Computex 2015 show floor last week, and it was showing off a new DirectX 12 demo titled Mech Ti. Japanese site 4Gamer captured the six-minute reel and shared the clip with the world:

Ray-traced shadows are on display courtesy of DX12's conservative raster mode. We also see "sparse smoke," an interactive particle effect that appears to take advantage of DX12's volume tiled resources capability.

Thanks to TR tipster SH SOTN for the heads-up.

Comments closed
    • Laykun
    • 5 years ago

    Wow, that’s a really ugly tech demo. Sorry nvidia, your smoke looks like garbage, your choice of PBR materials is … it’s just shit, and it’s way too over animated and ‘agressive’.

    • Derfer
    • 5 years ago

    I had to stop watching. That blurry filter they’re using is unbearable.

      • Meadows
      • 5 years ago

      Quite, that red-green defocus crap around the edge of the screen is uncalled for. I don’t even know what that effect is for, really. Only the center of the screen is in focus.

      The only game I can think of is the Crysis series where they did similar colour post-processing, but that was RGB and it was to “emulate” your helmet’s display visor reacting to environmental effects.

        • willmore
        • 5 years ago

        Spherical Chromatic Aberration.

          • Meadows
          • 5 years ago

          The fact it’s an actual thing with a name only makes it worse.

            • willmore
            • 5 years ago

            It got the name because it’s a property of simple lenses. So, it’s a very old physical optics term. It’s not something that was dreampt up to make video games suck more. But, that didn’t stop them… ๐Ÿ™

            In the future, you’d think they would have figured out how to make decent lenses–with flare, chromatic aberation, etc.

    • Pasdepardon
    • 5 years ago

    Always demo’ing synthetics, guns, aggressivity…

    A peaceful jungle dweller trying to put out a fire with his bare foot would offer a more joyous demonstration of the new shadow and smoke effects.

      • moshpit
      • 5 years ago

      I like yer thinking…

      • Meadows
      • 5 years ago

      Wouldn’t sell lots of games with your foot fetish though.

        • Concupiscence
        • 5 years ago

        Well, not with [i<]that[/i<] kind of attitude. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • ShadowTiger
    • 5 years ago

    [url<]https://developer.nvidia.com/content/dont-be-conservative-conservative-rasterization[/url<] I was curious how rasterization could be used to make ray tracing easier. Some of it goes over my head a bit, but this quote was interesting. "Of course it is important to note that this kind of data structure would not scale to cater for a highly complex game scene, but instead would be more appropriate for a discrete dynamic object, such as the main game character. " And Here I was thinking "Wow, GFX cards are so powerful they can do real time ray tracing!!!" Not exactly. Not what I was hoping for anyways.

      • auxy
      • 5 years ago

      Honestly this whole demo is just garbage. It doesn’t even look good. It’s a blatant and very forced attempt to make the statement “look how amazing our graphics cards are doing things that our competition can’t!” except that DX12 isn’t -required- to do any of these things, it just makes them easier.

      And again, art will always trump technology when it comes to 3D graphics, and the art on display here is… ๏ผˆใ€€ยด_ใ‚`๏ผ‰

    • fellix
    • 5 years ago

    The smoke effect is really the only downside of this rather impressive demo. SSR is nothing groundbreaking, but the use of conservative rasterization for accurate shadow mapping is a nice trick. The Mech model is very neat, too.

    • Meadows
    • 5 years ago

    Yeah, sorry NVidia, but that’s not how large-scale smoke looks like. That looks more like household-level smoke from tinted cigars or a burnt steak.

    Smoke of the magnitude depicted should flow much more slowly and curl inward repeatedly instead of drifting along like that.

      • Aistic
      • 5 years ago

      Maybe the Mech is actually the size of a small mouse?

      jk, don’t actually think this looks like any kind of smoke i’ve ever seen. The smoke interaction is credible, but the smoke by itself just looks off…

    • bittermann
    • 5 years ago

    The smoke just looks “off”. More like a liquid than smoke?

      • willmore
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, looks like they got the viscosity setting wrong. Or they didn’t realize that air has different static, dynamic, and shear values for viscosity.

      • Concupiscence
      • 5 years ago

      I’m more distressed that it’s 2015 and things are still being saturated in this kind of bloom.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    @ 1:05-1:06

    The ground looks snow white on my nvidia NVS 5200. The only time I have seen the ground look white under a bright object is in the winter with snow.

    Last visit to a baseball field at night under those massive lights, the field still looked green to me.

    This over done HDR or whatever looks all wrong.

    edit 4:46-4:55 is how the ground should look

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    i miss the real mechwarrior series! the MWO crap that’s out now sucks!

    • JosiahBradley
    • 5 years ago

    They could have bothered to turn G-Sync on for the demo. That tearing just ruins it. Also, 720p for a tech demo in 2015?

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      G-Sync would have made the capture less smooth; V-Sync would have the same effect.

      If they wanted a smooth, tear-free video, they’d have to either turn down the effects so that a V-Sync’d output would run without skipping frames, or render it offline.

      For an online demo that’s capture to video, expect tearing :D.

        • Meadows
        • 5 years ago

        But it has to be real-time, otherwise they’ll be accused of creating yet another effect that “doesn’t run well”.

      • green
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]Also, 720p for a tech demo in 2015?[/quote<] ... is that just your connection? the 1080 stream seemed to work fine for me (or are you trying to say it's 720, upscaled to 1080, then uploaded to youtube?)

        • JosiahBradley
        • 5 years ago

        Maybe it’s YouTube, but I’m on gigabit internet where I watched the video.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 5 years ago

    Really, I think they’re massively jumping the gun with any kind of true volumetric fluid simulation. It’s blindingly obvious even within the confines of a dedicated demo like this that they just can’t pump anything like the resolution required to make it look even passable.

    I’d say we’re still at least 3-4 years away from the point where 3D fluid simulation becomes viable in games. For one thing, even if the GPU could push the sim fast enough, a smoke sim with a half-decent resolution requires at least 4GB of VRAM on its own… so even with a 980 Ti, you wouldn’t have much left to share around the rest of the game.

    Plenty of games have demonstrated some very impressive and convincing pyroclastic-looking, dynamically-lit smoke effects using plain old particle systems with sprites attached. For the time being, I think there’s a lot more mileage in that approach.

    The shadows look lovely though, and screenspace reflections seem to have lots of potential. I think Satellite Reign is already using that approach, and it looks tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      Maybe HBM holds the answer? And Pascal, of course.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 5 years ago

        Don’t think HBM on its own is going to change much for fluid sim. It’s the worst case scenario really. To get anywhere meaningful, you’d need massively higher raw compute power, more memory bandwidth, and massively larger amounts of RAM, all at the same time.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 5 years ago

          HBM 2.0 should cover the RAM and bandwidth. Pascal should cover compute, I think – Nvidia already sort of skipped compute improvements with Maxwell.

          I’m not saying it’ll be [i<]the[/i<] magic bullet, but it'll probably improve things quite a bit.

            • GrimDanfango
            • 5 years ago

            I rather meant *massively* where I said it. I mean, we need GPUs maybe 10x more powerful, and with 16-32GB of RAM as standard, to manage useful enough fluid sim resolutions the be worth having in a game. My GTX 980 can run todays games at 120fps and above, but it can run a simple, low-resolution, non-interactive OpenCL smoke sim at maybe 20… we’re not talking “needs a bit more power” here, we’re talking “exponentially heavier than the heaviest AAA games in their entirety”.

            I just get the feeling we’re a ways off yet. Sure it’ll get there eventually though, and I suppose it never hurts to test the waters with some cool tech demos in the meantime ๐Ÿ™‚

    • jjj
    • 5 years ago

    The smoke is rather poor though , far too foamy and the interaction with it is all wrong too.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 5 years ago

      It looks poor and foamy because they’re actually simulating real smoke, which means they can only afford to run a miserably low resolution and keep it functioning in realtime.
      Fluid sim is one of the heaviest compute tasks you can make a computer do. I can’t see any games taking this approach for a while yet. Modern GPUs are powerful… but they aren’t *that* powerful yet ๐Ÿ™‚

        • chuckula
        • 5 years ago

        Navierre-Stokes is one mean S.O.B.

          • fhohj
          • 5 years ago

          it looks like a lava lamp.

          • UberGerbil
          • 5 years ago

          Especially when you visit the non-linear / turbulent corners of N-S.

    • Milo Burke
    • 5 years ago

    Is anyone else getting some serious tearing? Or do I have too many browser tabs open?

    That smoke looks pretty cheesy on its own. But I was impressed with how little is lost by going to sparse smoke, and the smoke lighting does add a lot of immersion, same with smoke interaction.

    The shadows look incredible. Blocky is gross, over-soft is gross, but the sharp shadows from ray tracing look fantastic. I think they need a bit more work on how they soften as the object is further from the backdrop, but the overall effect is very good!

    How come everything in games that have any reflection at all are over-shiny? Remember Need for Speed Underground (first and second) when the road was as as reflective as a dirty, irregular mirror? Eesh, dial it back a bit.

      • willmore
      • 5 years ago

      I guess if you’re a bad-ass mech, you can afford to stick out like a shiny penny.

      As much as I appreciate tech demos, I couldn’t help thinking “WTF is he shooting at? Long range missles make sense as we can’t see any enemies, but then he goes to guns? Who are you shooting? There’s noone there!” One nice balistic strike on this guy and they would have a very good reason to demonstrate those nice computed lit smoke effects. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Any other old time Mech pilots spend the video worrying about heat sink capacity? “I’ll just fire a volly of SSRMs and then my PPGs…. Oh, now I’m shutdown…”

      • fhohj
      • 5 years ago

      the ray tracing does look real nice. I thought ray tracing was years out, though? on something not a mech, with myriad angular bezels and ridges and so forth, your shadow complexity is going to go way down, including your level of minimum presentation quality for user immersion, but performance-wise ray tracing still stays a beast.

        • Milo Burke
        • 5 years ago

        Is ray tracing an easier load when it’s only for shadows instead of all lighting? Or perhaps they can’t be separated?

          • Ninjitsu
          • 5 years ago

          Look at ShadowTiger’s post here.

    • Anovoca
    • 5 years ago

    Meanwhile in a different room, AMD was showing off a demo of a game called RMech X which is actually just Tiberian Sun with a small content patch.

    • terminalrecluse
    • 5 years ago

    That’s impressive. Really looking forward to DX12/Vulkan rendered games.

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