Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great graphics at small sizes

Bill Gates is once believed to have said that 64KB should be enough for everybody. While there is no hard evidence to prove that he ever uttered these words, nonetheless, this quote has become the most famous and ridiculed quote of the century. Some argue that it is just a rumor and Bill Gates himself is said to have denied it. Whether or not Bill Gates had said it, I will leave that for you to find out. Right now what I'm going to do is introduce to you a group of people who certainly believe that 64KB is enough.

A bunch of geeks under a title called .theprodukkt has developed an astounding software which enables you to create graphics of awesome quality and at the same time reduce the file size to an amazing proportion. The software called .werkkzeug works under the principle procedural texture generation. Instead of using loads of files for textures, meshes and materials etc, .werkkzeug works by creating them on the fly. Often the graphics and animations showed in games are created by using pre-created and saved files of textures and models. But the animations created using .werkkzeug doesn't use previously created and saved textures but generates them in real time as you run those animations. The result is that the file size is reduced drastically since you don't have to store textures and other information.

The .theprodukkt team (a subdivision of the famous German group Farbrausch) has created a number of "demoscene" which is a non interactive animation movie generated and rendered in real time. They have even created a 3D shooting game called .kkrieger which is just 96 KB in size! However, you will need a comparatively fast computer to run it. Since all the textures and the game environment are generated on the fly, it demands a lot of processing power from the CPU and GPU.

fr-08: .the .product was their first demo created using their first tool, the generator. It was released on Dec 29 2000 and is just 63.5KB.

fr-019: poemtoahorse released on 2002 was created using werkkzeug1. This is 64 KB too.

fr-025: the.popular.demo released on 2003 is an 8 MB movie. This time they did not limit themselves to 64 KB and imported some detailed character animation and a real soundtrack with vocals.

fr-030: candytron released on 2003 was created using .werkkzeug3 which was greatly improved enabling them to bring character animation and vocals under 64 KB.

Their latest demoscene is called debris and it displays one of the finest graphics you will ever see in just 177 KB. You have to see this. It will give any big game manufactures and game developers a run for their money. I can't believe they stuffed 8 minutes of mind blowing graphics in just 177 KB. Why the hell do I need 5GB of space to install some games that displays graphics that are no better than those seen in debris?

debris-screenshot debris-screenshot

debris-screenshot debris-screenshot

Screenshots from debris

There are some more demoscenes available which are all under 64 KB and some even lesser. Checkout these.

heaven seven - one of the most beautiful intros ever done, by exceed.
squish - the breakthrough performance of and, the one-man-intro-group.
project genesis - an excellent aspirant to the "most stuff in 64k" competition, by conspiracy.
a place called universe - once conspiracy showed what they can do, they concentrated more on beauty than quantity.
zoom3 - this powerful intro by and is obviously inspired by doom3.
point blank - amazingly atmospheric intro by stockholm syndrome.
.beyond. - another beautiful journey through space by conspiracy.

What better examples can anybody give of the phrase "Good things come in small packages"?

1 comment:

  1. Bill Gates probably meant: 64B is enough for anybody. As in 64 billion. :)


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