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Is there a way to draw 1.4 billion particles/points on the screen in 3D?

I'm just getting into Unreal and I'm looking for a way to visualize a massive set of coordinates in 3D space.

  • What is the cheapest way to draw a point in 3D space - a particle, a simple sphere?

  • Is there a maximum number of objects (particles or spheres) that you can render?

The dataset of coordinates should fit into the memory, I'm looking at around 1.4 billion sets of coordinates. I don't want to draw all of them at the same time, since there aren't enough pixels on the screen. I could try by rendering every 100th set of coordinates when fully zoomed out, which is 1.4 million points. That should do it as a start.

I'm not asking about lighting and volumetric effects with those points, I just don't know what's possible and where the limits are.

If you can just point me in the right direction how to draw 1.4 million points, that would be great!


Product Version: UE 4.20
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asked Aug 26 '18 at 12:50 PM in Rendering

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avatar image GrogBeard Nov 17 '18 at 09:35 PM

I am also looking to do some data visualization, as it seems you are. My data set is WAY smaller though and I am still looking for a better solution. I tried making a bunch of actors with 2D billboards, and that still crashed my computer.

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No. But game developers usualy cheat in things like this. If you want to draw such many dot for example create texture containing many dots.

GPU is fine when rendering many things but CPU need to send draw call that's what's the problem.

It's why there are instanced meshes etc. Generaly things to reduce draw calls.

But 1.4 billion particles? What do you need it for?

If they are static (not moving at all) then it may be possible if they are moving there isn't way to do this currently in realtime.

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answered Aug 26 '18 at 05:03 PM

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