Important NoteThis entire project has laid fallow ever since I left NMSU in late 2003 to pursue a life outside of academia. Most of the material here is pretty dated, as a result, and the world of graphics has gone on and evolved without me.
What is Solace?Solace is a few different things under a single blanket. At the topmost level, it is an MMORPG system which I started developing in my spare time in 1998, intended for high-quality roleplaying and virtual community-style interaction with an emphasis on collaboration and ease-of-use over high framerates and twitch-factor gaming.
At the lower level, Solace is split into two parts, SOLACE (Stratified/ONSET Labrynthine Actively-Computed Environment) and ONSET (Online Novel, SOLACE Environment Transport), SOLACE being the renderer and client, and ONSET being the server and protocol.
Currently, ONSET only exists in the proof-of-concept stage, while SOLACE has grown to be a quite capable renderer which is useful for both high-quality (by interactive standards) interactive rendering and low-quality (by offline standards) hardware-accelerated offline/"cinematic" (or at least DVD-quality) rendering. As such, the names "SOLACE" and "Solace" are often used interchangeably.
SOLACE supports totally dynamic changes to all data and the environment (no constraints on visibility, lighting, etc.), and uses a parametric patch representation for all geometry which gives it such capabilities as arbitrary mesh resampling, arbitrary morphing, and fast shadow volume and silhouette boundary generation. It will eventually support in-engine model and scene editing, as well as constraint-based physics simulation with behaviorally-modeled animation.
Useful StuffIf you want a little taste of SOLACE, there are some screenshots from it, all rendered totally in real time with absolutely no preprocessing (usually at interactive framerates, and with the quality turned down these same scenes run anywhere from 15-60fps on commodity PC hardware). There's also varying states of downloads such as interactive rendering tests for a few platforms.
Also, the various papers and presentations have more in-depth information about specific aspects of the design, implementation, and algorithms.
Finally, feel free to check out a demo reel demonstrating some of its capabilities (requires Quicktime 6 or some other MPEG-4 player).
NoteThis has no relation to the Freeverse product of the same name.