cool hit counter Applied lightfield technology maker Lytro acquires Limitless team to seamlessly blend lightfields with real-time rendered content_Intefrankly

Applied lightfield technology maker Lytro acquires Limitless team to seamlessly blend lightfields with real-time rendered content

Limitless, a company that produces VR content and develops tools related to VR movies, has now been acquired by Lytro and has developed tools that can blend light fields and real-time rendering directly in the game engine.

As we've seen recently, Lytro has positioned its light field technology as the primary motion capture method for VR. The company is developing signal delivery pipelines like Immerge and Volume Tracer to capture live-action light fields and generate fully synthetic light fields, which will make the next fusion of the two much easier and allow for real-time computer graphics processing.

To achieve this step of convergence, Lytro acquired Limitless. Limitless has produced VR films like Reaping Rewards, while they have developed a toolset that allows the content they produce to run in VR in real time. Now as part of Lytro, the Limitless team is helping to build the company's game engine toolset, which Lytro says will seamlessly integrate light fields with real-time rendered content.

By integrating Unity and Unreal Engine, Lytro allows customers to easily take advantage of the benefits of light fields without having to give up the advantages that come with real-time rendering (i.e. interactivity).

Lightfields are capable of capturing high quality real-time stereoscopic video, or high quality pre-rendered CGI visuals that go far beyond real-time rendering. The downside is that because lightfields are pre-captured or pre-rendered, they do not respond instantly to information input, which means that lightfields do not reach the level of interaction of real-time rendering. For example, a ball, you toss it and it bounces off the floor, and other objects that can react to the user's actions are similar. This means that light fields can work well in some specific environments, but not all.

Lytro hopes to avoid having to choose between the quality of the light field and the interactivity of real-time rendering, allowing developers to alternate between the two in a project. It was reported that Lytro recently loaded their Hallelujah light field into Unity as a point cloud and continued to modify the look of the scene using controls directly within Unity.

In addition to modifying the colors and lighting in the light field scene, they also showed that real-time elements can interact directly with the scene by throwing a bunch of beach balls and adding real-time fog. They also show how to use lightfields in the game engine, which is simple but practical. Examples include the ability to add text content directly to the environment, mask parts of the lightfield scene, edit the playback of the scene, and fuse multiple lightfield scenes.

This is certainly a boon for VR developers who are already used to creating content in game engines, and the new integrated game engine will indeed pique the curiosity of VR game developers. They can take advantage of both real-time rendering and light field technology in new ways to create high-quality and highly interactive experiences.

Currently, Lytro only makes their tools available to those who work with the company.

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