World Machine Development News

Multiresolution Progress Update

A lot of my focus has been on bugfix/development issues lately, but support for Multires (and some other goodies) is coming along steadily.

Things are mostly complete — just lots of edge cases to fish out and fix where WM previously made some assumptions that the output resolution would always be the specified world resolution.

Here’s an example of a modified starting world, where the terrain has been downsized to quarter size (129×129), and the texture has been upsized 4x (2049) with fractal noise added. The Overlay View works seamlessly with these differently-sized inputs:

Multiresolution World

Note how the lighting and geometry is very low-res and smooth, while the texture is still high res. This is definitely not the worlds’ best example scene, but it shows generally how you would work in this environment.

I was afraid that this extra element of control would lead to counter-intuitive editing, but its mostly understandable and controllable. I think this is because of the following rules that WM uses:

  1. Devices operate on whatever resolution their inputs are seamlessly.
  2. If a device has two or more inputs of different resolutions, the smaller one is upscaled to match the larger (unless the device has flagged some of its inputs as allowing mismatched resolutions, like the Overlay View does)
  3. “Resolution Change Points” are marked in the device graph. (Note the grey resolution report under the Clamp and Select Convexity Devices).
  4. You can specify a resolution either as relative to the World setting, or a fixed value. There are good uses for both of these. In particular, if you are trying to create coarse geometry then upsample later in the network, a fixed resolution works much better — its disconcerting to have the geometry resolution change when you change the final output res.

The final bits of work required are making Layout View happy with the changes, and some final UI tweaking.

There are some additional enhancements I wanted to do, like allowing per-group resolution settings rather than just per-device, but that one will hold off a bit until some later changes to groups that makes them a bit more of a full-privledge member of the device world…


Lastly, there are some other improvements that will be rolling out at about the same time. One of them is the topic of the next blog post…



By Stephen

Founder of World Machine