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Allegorithmic's Substance Engine

05-22-2008, 12:43 PM


Substance offers unique real-time texture-streaming capabilities, providing game developers with new gameplay opportunities, bigger open worlds, no stalls, dynamic textures and overall a level of graphical details never seen before. The Substance Engine is so fast that it enables continuous texture streaming during the execution of a game. It allows optimizing texture memory cache and seeking access time to texture data. The minimum texture generation rate is higher than 4MB/s per core, as shown on the following chart. Substance also scales at 90% in the number of cores.

Visual experience
Substance offers unprecedented visual quality and graphical detail, increasing the definition of textures for today's next generation of online and retail games. For the first time developers can integrate real-time dynamic textures into a game, such as weather dependant effects, water, visual post processes, on-the-fly decal generation, breakable environments, etc.

The core of Substance has been completely rewritten to better fit today's and tomorrow's hardware constraints and possibilities. It has been thought to be portable to almost any environment, wherever there's a little power, Substance can adapt and grow. Its interface has also been completely rethought according to the experience and feedback we've received for MaPZone, with one goal in mind: making the best texturing tool ever created while being the simplest to use. Substance is the conclusion of this company-wide effort.

(LINK to page here (http://www.allegorithmic.com/?PAGE=PRODUCTS.substance))

So if I'm understanding this correctly this engine will allow the programmers to generate graphic textures on the fly with the CPU's cores and stream them directly to the GPU (bypassing the systems/graphics RAM memory)
If it's everything it's cracked up to be this could be a huge jump for gaming. It would free up both disk space and RAM from storing loads of textures, on top of allowing increased texture use/quality.

It's not being released till later this year so hopefully this doesn't turn out to be vaporware!

05-22-2008, 02:53 PM
Actually, this is VERY interesting. I would even be curious to know if that spec for the PS3 is PER SPU. If so, that could mean an even BIGGER leap for Sony's platform. Even now, a lot of developer's are not taking advantage of every SPU available.

05-22-2008, 03:43 PM
It is indeed per spu/core:

"Substance also scales at 90% in the number of cores."

Keep in mind while the ps3 would probably benefit the most from this kind of tool the 360 (or any multiple core platform) would also stand to gain a lot!