Luminous Studio details, engine shots - Gematsu
Luminous Studio details, engine shots
posted on 06.12.12 at 11:51 PM EST by (@salromano)
Real-time demo compared to pre-rendered video.

GAME Watch has gone up with a new article on Square Enix’s next-generation game engine Luminous Studio, and the Agni’s Philosophy tech demo, both which were shown off at E3 last week.

The site interviewed several key developers at work on the project, including lead engineer Hiroshi Iwasaki, lead artist Ryo Iwata, senior R&D engineer Remi Driancourt, Square Enix CTO Yoshihisa Hashimoto, and Visual Works chief creative director and senior manager Takeshi Nozue.

Before Agni’s Philosophy was created, the Visual Works team created a pre-rendered CG movie to be converted into real-time. The goal was to make a real-time demo look pre-rendered.

According to Hiwasaki, the demo shown last week is running on a Windows 7 64-bit high-spec PC. Luminous Studio is designed to support 64-bit, he said. The PC was built from parts you could find in your local PC shop, Hashimoto added. It is of the same specifications that other developers use to show off their tech demos.

Agni’s Philosophy ran at 30 to 60 frames per second in 1080p, at 16-bit floating point. HDR rendering, according to Hashimoto. Polygons per frame are between 5 and 10 million, including invisible polygons used in post-processing.

The article includes a set of shots comparing the Visual Works clip to the real-time Agni’s Philosophy demo, as well as more shots of the engine at work (toying with lighting, eyeball shaders, etc.). View the images at the gallery. A set of clips, showcasing the engine’s live edit function in action, can be seen below.

Live Edits

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  • Malcolm Reynolds

    I dont believe for one second next gen games will look that good while playing but I am fully prepared to apologize if proven wrong!

    • Locksus

      @Malcolm Reynolds:
      Real-time cutscenes will probably look that good, I think.

      I wonder what the next gen will look like on consoles.

      • Kougeru

        @Locksus: If we believe rumored sepcs for next gen consoles? They won’t look this good. If we believe a 2013 release date and less than 600 dollars? They won’t look this good. They’re not afraid to sell consoles at a loss but it would be a HUGE loss to sell them with this much power. When Square says “High-spec PC parts” they mean it. 700+ dollars if you make it yourself, excluding monitor and such, I promise you that. In todays money I mean, for the PC parts. Will be cheaper in 2013 but not by enough to make it a 400-600 console.

        • mye89


          Buying in bulk and the fact that some piece could be build internally should alleviate the cost

          • rockman29

            @mye89: That’s not really likely, to have internally built pieces, at this stage. At least nothing built internally that would drastically increase performance benefits over any other parts.

            We need to know the GPU specs. As far as we know now, no one should hold their breath for that being in-game or realtime graphics on PS4 or Xbox 720 just yet.

          • TerrenceG9

            @mye89: Didn’t help with PS3 and Vita…

        • Miranda Lawson

          @Kougeru:I hope that the PS4 costs WAY less than $600, or I won’t buy it.

  • Zero

    Yeah, this is some pretty impressive stuff. You can actually watch 16 minutes of a developer walkthrough of it on GT. (With some mediocre translator explaining it to boot, haha.)

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    Well Locksus I was about to say the tech demo’s before each new gen always end up showcasing what next gen cutscenes will look like.

    Remember the real time ps2 tech demo of Squall and Rinoa dancing?
    LoL, nothing last gen looked like that at all while playing.

    I suspect this will be a similar case.

    • rockman29

      @Malcolm Reynolds: What do you mean? Plenty of games on PS2 looked better than that tech demo. FF X blows it out of the water.

      The difference with this is that this Agni thing isn’t running off of anything that the PS4 or 720 is likely to be designed to. I think the FF VIII tech demo for PS2 was actually on PS2 hardware.

  • the next xbox and ps4 will be better than this…

  • Gamer007

    i’m sure next generation consoles will be able to achieve this, otherwise its been a waste of time and money for square-enix

    • @Gamer007: It wouldn’t be a waste of time. Even if it can’t produce the demo’s presentation in the next Sony and Microsoft consoles, they still can use the tech just like what will happen with Unreal 4.

      • Gamer007

        @Keegs79: yes but the whole point of the tech demo is to achieve graphics like that, if it cant then whats the point?

  • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

    Im betting that toward the end of next gen we will get some cutsenes that compare to this

  • StriderHiryu

    So, Hiwasaki is saying that the demo runs on a Windows powered hi-spec PC. This means there’s a large memory overhead by the OS, and that less RAM will be needed on console in order to run the same code. Anyway, I don’t expect to see this marvel fitting on less than 1 GB of V-RAM, there’s too many effects going on at the same time.

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    @Terrance: are u implying that the Vita is overpriced?

    If so, LMAO @u.

    I bet u typed your message from an Apple product like I just did.

    Christ almighty America. Why you still breeding stupids peeple?

    • TerrenceG9

      @Malcolm Reynolds: A) Terrence with an ‘e’, look at what’s right in front of you.
      B) I’m saying Vita is being sold at a loss, prices aren’t going to go down.
      C) I’m using an HP, no apple in my household, sorry
      D) Before you go on about America breeding stupid people, learn how to use the reply button.

  • FaithlessMr

    Awesome, nice graphics are always a plus, but I’m mostly concerned about the way games will play. Id est….grand rpgs with world maps, akin to the SNES/PS1 Squaresoft/Enix rpgs or nothing. I’m fed up with jrpgs trying to cater to western audiences.



    Simply beyond incredible tech. PLEASE MAKE AGNI’S PHILOSOPHY INTO A REAL GAME. Perfect in every way.

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    @Terrance with an “E”

    A) When you post a comment from the iphone on the mobile site the other comments are no longer displayed so whats in front of me is a blank pallette awaiting what Im about to type.

    B) all HW is sold at a loss unless you are Nintendo over pricing out dated tech and trying to pass it off as next gen when it is last gen HW.

    C) LoL HP. .

    D) there is no REPLY button when using the mobile site via the iphone. So learning how to use something that doesnt exist is simply impractical.

    • TerrenceG9

      @Malcolm Reynolds: 8 hours to come up with that? Lol, done here.

      • Sal Romano

        @TerrenceG9: So. Before this moves any further (because it’s a pointless argument):

        1) Malcolm is correct. The mobile site does not offer a reply option (something I need to figure out).

        2) Malcolm, you should respect the spellings of people’s names.

        3) Malcolm, consistently calling Americans stupid is a form of discrimination. Don’t do that.

        4) Malcolm, you should probably learn to deal with differed opinions without starting a fight. I’m talking about “LMAO @ U” and “Why you still breeding stupids peeple?” Perhaps begin a civil discussion, instead.

        5) TerrenceG9, you probably shouldn’t reply with things like: “8 hours to come up with that? Lol, done here.”

        Seriously, guys. How about some nice, educated discussion. Your opinions don’t have to be the same, but how about discussing things in an adult manner?

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    @Sal Ramano:

    I agree with almost everything you said.

    The first time I mispelled his name was a mistake. The 2nd time was on purpose and I shouldnt have been so snarky.

    Everything you said is on point but I feel I have the right to call Americans stupid as I have been one my whole life. I deal with Americans on a daily basis, the glut of which are indeed morons.

    Other than that, as stated…I agree with you.

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    @Terrence: it didnt take me 8 hours to come up with that. The 8 hour delay in my response was part of my 11hour work day yesterday.

    Looks like we are both guilty about assuming things of eachother huh?

    Anyway…..take it easy. Im sure we will cross paths again ;)