What is Mystique

Mystique is a stand-alone non-realtime rendering system. The core of the system is nothing more than a platform independent C++ library in which you can plug modules which can all work together. The system is very open, modular, flexible and extensible. This is one of the main goals of Mystique. It should be completely adjustable to your own needs.

This also brings us to the SDK, which can be used to create your own modules. You can write different types of modules for Mystique, some examples are: Render modules, Ray Accelerator modules, Importer modules, Exporter modules, Camera Lens modules, Object modules, Light modules, Shaders and several more.

As default Mystique will be available with two standard render modules: SimpleTracer, a simple raytracer as used in for example Maya. And a much more advanced render module, named MC Tracer, which is a Global Illumination (GI) render module based on hybrid MonteCarlo techniques.

Both render modules are still heavily under construction, but you can see the work in progress in the screenshots and renders below. Don't look at the rendering times, they will be in no way comparable to the speed of the modules when they will be released. Also the output quality of the images will be a lot better later on (especially the variance in the MCTracer output).

Currently Mystique can render still images of scenes created in Maya 4 or 3DSMax 4. Animation support will later be added. Also internet and network rendering support is soon to be added.

Mystique will be free for everyone. If you would like to apply for (pre)beta-testing, please contact us together with some example work of yourself.


Project News *PLEASE READ*

I have been busy lately with Liquid Motion and some other work which has a bit priority over this project since this is not a commercial project and I still need some money to survive :) Also I have been overwhelmed by the amount of emails I have received (and still am receiving) since the date sites have posted news items. I still have to find some time to reply to the hundreds and hundreds of mails from people wanting to apply for pre-beta testing. Maybe I should just keep everyone up to date about the project on this site, because mailing to everybody personally is a bit time consuming :) Also I will soon start a Mystique mailing list.

Once I have finished Liquid Motion and have time again to continue on Mystique I will let everyone know when there is a version to test.

Also I have a serious problem with my webspace and bandwidth. I have only got a limit of 10 gigabyte of data transfers per month on this site, but the site is getting visited so much that I can easily reach 30 gigabyte per month and around 500.000 to 1 million unique hits per day. If there is someone who has some bandwidth and space to share please let me know :)


Current development credits

System design and programming:

John van der Burg

Additional math and physics help:

Erik Schuitema
Additional ideas and thoughts: Martijn Roggeveen


Xander Koninkx


Project status

Recently implemented:

- Refractions

- Caustics

- Quasi Monte Carlo Sampling

- Bilinear texture filtering

- My own experimental adaptive sampling algorithm


I am currently working on the following things:

- New Maya Plugin

- Uniform Grid Ray Accelerator Plugin (U-Grid)

- Realistic and astro correct sunlight simulation


Render and Screenshot history


This is a screenshot history. Which means this will contain even the oldest and most buggy screenshots. It's just to show the progress in the system. We will be adding new shots very frequently. Also keep keep in mind that these images are heavily compressed using JPG, so will show some compression artifacts. Latest renders shown first. So the further you go down, the more it will suck :)


Showing some experimental adaptive sampling technique I came up with. Lower left image is the one which has Quasi Monte Carlo sampling, anti-aliassing and the adaptive sampling applied to it. As you can see the quality is pretty nice. In the lower right image you can see the algorithm in action, the green areas are the areas where more samples are generated to decrease the noise and the red areas are places where less samples are being generated since there is not much noise in that area. The minimum and maximum amount of samples are configurable as well as the normal amount of samples and the noise tollerance. In the upper left and right images you can see the difference with and without the algorithm applied to it. The JPG compression made the image quality a bit less, especially in the one which shows the red and green pixels. It looks blurred :)


Yihaa, texture support! Not completely finished yet. But it works using shaders. Mystique's shader system also allows procedural textures. No texture filtering done yet. That's coming soon. Also the lighting will soon be done using shaders. Ultimately I will try to create RenderMan shader support. If anyone got some cool models to render please mail us



Mystique warfare! Better start running! :)


Oh my god, they have landed!


Majid, the (unfinished) tiger model for our game The 8th Wonder(tm)(r)(c). Some indoor global illumination here.


Indoor global illumination on my hopefully future car (*dream on*).



Some random experimental renders. Not so very nice, but I like the tiger head. The seam you see in the model is because of the unfinished model. It are currently just 2 seperate objects being mirrored :)


Again Majid. This time lit by the sky. No real lightsources in the scene.



Majid statue? Too bad I screwed up with the red/orange light.


Low quality noisy preview. But some people really seem to like noise :)


Actually I don't like this one (the image, not the car! :)) But still wanted to show.


Comparison between 3DSMax 4 and Mystique on the same scene. As you can see no anti-aliassing was used for the Mystique render. Notice the color bleeding and softshadows.


Want to know more about Mystique?

Got some ideas, comments, suggestions, questions or critics, or wanna help with the development? Feel free to contact us right now!