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I am currently working with CAVE systems and I'm looking into hooking up a pre-exisiting game engine in one. I know this is possible through Unity and the Unreal Engine as there is already research out there showcasing that it has been done.

Right now, I have not decided upon one game engine to use and I'm currently looking around and researching if it is possible with the likes of CryEngine and Valve's Source Engine. The one issue that I am going to face, however, is getting the image to correctly render across all four of the monitors / screens.

Thusly, as a result I have two questions:

  1. Does anyone know of any good research / books on distrubuted rendering? It doesn't need to be specificly for games, just the topic in general would be very useful
  2. Does anyone know if other developers have managed to get Source and the CryEngine to run in a CAVE system? Through all my research I haven't been able to find anything on this, but then my google skills aren't the greatest.

If anyone could spare the time to answer these questions, I'd be extremely greatful.

Thanks.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This isn't a research article on the subject (for that I would refer you to the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois in Chicago where CAVE was invented) but having worked with these sorts of systems in the past I can say that CAVE style rendering almost always depends on having multiple cameras pointing in different directions all located at the same place.

There may be more exotic approaches out there (involving some sort distorted camera FOV or something) but every time I've done it was with multiple cameras parented to the viewer, and each camera carefully setup so that the multiple views line up appropriately. In a traditional CAVE setting the cameras are pointed at 90 degree angles from each other, but I've done things like a super-wide view by making the cameras side-by-side:

http://vimeo.com/8629035

http://www.newarteest.com/coa/coa.html

Then you feed out each camera's view to a separate video card, with each projector in the CAVE hooked up to a different video card.


Incidentally, I wasn't using any of the engines you mentioned, but any 3D graphics engine that supports multiple cameras (which almost certainly includes all the game engines you mentioned) should do. Because CAVEs generally exist within academic settings, the graphics engines usually used also come from academic settings, like Ygdrasil or Electro

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Note that the engines also need to support actually sending all those camera images to multiple videocards, I'm not so sure that is a 'standard' feature or can be easily modded in. –  Roy T. Aug 24 '12 at 18:48
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