[PD] Pd in video game Spore

Cyrille.Damez at laposte.net Cyrille.Damez at laposte.net
Sat Nov 10 20:30:07 CET 2007

On Saturday 10 November 2007 15:45:52 Andy Farnell wrote:
> You think so? I'm not a graphics guy and rather ignorant of the whole
> field, but when I used to build Unreal levels we had basic procedural
> textures for flames and water, even in 1997. I thought the whole procedural
> texture thing was a done deal and mainstream technology now.

I was too lapidary in my previous email. Some procedural graphics are used in 
some games, but I guess I am kind of frustrated that there isn't more 
widespread use of procedural techniques in computer games than a couple 
techniques invented in the 80s. Change is coming though, but it is not coming 
fast enough to my taste ;)

> Or when you say "graphics" do you mean something else. 

I mean textures and more. Even procedural textures are not limited to 3D noise 
functions à la Perlin (like sound synthesis isn't just substractive 

> I'm having a hard 
> time imagining any kind of use for procedural geometry other than for
> liquids and gasses (fire and water again) because non-living solids tend
> not to change their topology.

You can also use procedural geometry to generate landscape or cities for 
The advantages of procedural techniques aren't limited to topology issues. The 
ever increasing size of assets (geometry, textures, etc.) in computer games 
is becoming very difficult to manage (during development, for distribution, 
and most of all when playing because of bandwith problems). Procedural 
techniques offer an elegant solution to these issues.  

> The exception would be trees and plants 
> built using the L-system type bifurcation I guess.

Or you can use biological models rather than grammar rules (although I admit 
that it rather overkill for computer games). 

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