Sponza, one of the most famous sample scenes in the world of computer graphics and game engines, just got a massive upgrade thanks to Intel. First released by CryTek all the way back in 2010, Sponza has long been used to showcase graphical and lighting capabilities of game engines since. It has of course started getting a bit long in the tooth due to changes in rendering technologies. Enter Intel’s updated “Super Sponza” (my name).
Details of the update:
As testament to our open and collaborative approach, the team has made a new Sponza scene available for download by the research community, for free. This is a modern version of the iconic sample I published in 2010 when I was with Crytek. It became a default scene across gaming, visualization, film and other fields of research and development — published and referenced in thousands of academic and research papers.
After more than a decade, the Sponza scene was overdue for an update. The new scene incorporates physically based materials with 4K textures and high-resolution geometry, photogrammetrically matched to the real Sponza Atrium in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We built it as standardized as possible and it is offered in several modern formats, with a particular goal of making graphics research more reproducible.
Reproducibility is a common struggle in graphics research. With the new Sponza, as a researcher, if you publish a new method, you can render using the professional camera setup and let the world compare your results to the reference images to literally see the differences and impact your research makes.
And depending on the type of research that is being done on graphics — the level of detail or light transport, shading or materials, for instance — we have provided a collection of additional package options to the base Sponza scene with advanced lighting, geometry or materials, so that researchers can choose one or more packages.
The new Sponza scene and the additional package options reflect some of the near-term challenges our research team is looking to tackle and solve. But there are multiple major paradigm shifts happening in graphics that our team is thinking about daily.
You can learn more about the updated Super Sponza scene and see it in action in the Godot 4 game engine, in the video below.