Google announced at their 2017 I/O conference a powerful tool to help developers and creators bring high-fidelity graphics to standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets. Now, the technology known as Seurat is going open source as Google hopes to empower more content creators.
Releasing alongside the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream, Seurat is a scene simplification technology that is design to process complex 3D scenes into a representation that renders efficiently on mobile hardware. The goal of Seurat is to reduce the overall polygon count that are displayed at any given time and therefore low the required processing power and resources. This is a needed tool in helping deliver immersive and groundbreaking VR experiences on standalone headsets.
It works by taking advantage of the limited viewing region, and leverages that to optimize the geometry and textures within a given scene. By taking RGBD images (colour and depth) as input, Seurat generates a textured mesh, targeting a configurable number of triangle, texture size, and fill rate, to simplify scenes beyond what traditional methods can achieve. To help demonstrate what Seurat is able to achieve Google released a snippet of the recently released Blade Runner: Revelations, which uses Seurat on the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset.
The scene, which can be viewed below, takes the original scene that was built of around 46.6 million triangles and worked it down to 307,000 improving performance by more than 100 time with almost no loss in visual quality. This level of optimization is key to ensuring developers are able to maintain high-fidelity scenes without taxing the processing power of standalone headsets and mobile devices to much.
Developers can start working with Seurat right away with the GitHub page for the tool containing the documentation and source code required to implement it into their projects. As the example shown with Blade Runner: Revelations is made within the Unity Game Engine, Seurat should be easily integrated into the tool meaning a large number VR titles currently in development, and already released, will be able to benefit from the new rendering solution.
VRFocus will be sure to bring you all the latest on Google’s continued efforts to provide powerful tools for VR developers, along with updates on Seurat as it developers.