Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Propagation volumes

I don't have much time to actually experiment with ideas these days, but I can still find a little time here and there to just let my thoughts go and see where they lead me.

Here's a thought I was playing with yesterday.

Suppose for a minute that we'd have the ultimate computer, memory is so large that it doesn't form any barriers, and CPU and memory speed is high enough to practically do anything we want.
So 'of course' all assets would consist out of a form of voxels,
but what about lighting?
Well all lighting would be performed within very high resolution propagation volumes of course!
Obviously, the propagation volumes would even handle light reflection, refraction, scattering and absorption.

This led me to the following, more interesting, idea.. what about audio?

Now I should mention that I'm nowhere near an expert on audio, so take this with a grain of salt, but audio is in the frequency domain, right?
Well, so are the spherical harmonics used in light propagation volumes!
Hmm.. doesn't that mean it should be possible to perform audio within a propagation volume-esque solution?

Just imagine being able to simulate how audio behaves within a scene, with reflections etc.!
I have no idea though which x-th order spherical harmonics, or what resolution of the volume would be "enough", nor do I have any idea how good this would sound.

But it sure sounds cool.
Err.. If you know what I mean.