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Messages - Stefan

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To keep your adrenaline pumping while waiting for SIGGRAPH to start, here's a few juicy bits of inspiration:

Simulating Real-world Film Lighting Techniques in 3D
Light, shadows, and rendering play together to create realism in your 3D models. Learn to bring these art techniques into your 3D scenes to create compelling cinematic views.

Creating UVs for Characters in Autodesk Maya
Regardless of whether you're using a model in a real-time environment or as part of a rendered sequence, here are some tips and tricks to making UV mapping work efficiently.

Dynamic Volumetric Cloud Rendering for Games on Multi-Core Platforms
Learn how the LuckyCloud demo implemented a solution for real-time dynamic simulation and illumination of clouds that didn't impact performance during game play.

The Platform Preview is an early look at the Internet Explorer 9 platform so some features are incomplete, some may change, and some may be added.

AMD and NVIDIA took a look at the GPU acceleration.

Try the fishy crowd rendering  ;D

VideoLAN and the VLC development team are proud to present the first major release of the 'The Luggage' branch of the popular media player and media framework.
This release brings many major improvements, especially: GPU and DSP decoding on selected platforms, new support for codecs, demuxers and muxers, Lua extensions and Lua content extensions (luaSD), improved interfaces, Video Output rework, removal of lots of modules, rewrite of many in order to improve performance, in CPU, RAM and I/O. It introduces also new libVLC and new bindings and improves the port on many platforms.

What's new?
Ready for HD

    * GPU decoding on Windows Vista and 7, using DxVA2 for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
    * GPU decoding on GNU/Linux, using VAAPI for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
    * DSP decoding using OpenMax IL, for compatible embedded devices
    * Improved support for MKV HD, including seeking fixes, and 7.1 channels codecs
    * Support for new codecs, like Blu-Ray subtitles, MPEG-4 lossless and VP8

NB: so far, on Windows, VideoLAN is recommending nVidia® GPU, until ATI® drivers are working with VLC on Windows, and until VLC developer get access to some Intel® hardware supporting GPU decoding.

Quick test:
the GTX 465 can run a 1080p movie at 6.4-fold speed without artifacts.

3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Texture Tools 2.08 available
« on: June 22, 2010, 05:53:16 PM »
The NVIDIA Texture Tools is a set of high-quality, CUDA-enabled texture tools and compressors that can increase your texture compression performance by 10x by using the power of your NVIDIA GPU. The texture tools also contain an excellent CPU texture compression path.

The accompanying source code page for the book GPU Pro is now available.

Download Example Programs and Source Code

To compile many of the examples you will need to install the DirectX August 2009 SDK
together with Visual Studio 2008. In the zipped file, the directory structure closely follows
the book structure by using the chapter number as the name of the subdirectory.

General System Requirements

To use all of the files, you will need:

    * The DirectX August 2009 SDK
    * OpenGL 1.5-compatible graphics card
    * A DirectX 9.0 or 10-compatible graphics card
    * Windows XP with the latest service pack; some require VISTA or Windows 7
    * Visual C++ .NET 2008
    * 2048 MB RAM
    * The latest graphics card drivers

3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Inspector 1.90 available
« on: June 21, 2010, 02:26:47 PM »
Biggest change since 1.70 is the R256+ style profile setting.

Download here

DMP Pica200 wiill be the GPU in Nintendo 3DS handheld.
It supports OpenGL ES1.1

Watch demo video here


OpenCL v1.1 pre-release drivers and SDK code samples are now available to GPU Computing registered developers.
Log in or apply for an account to download OpenCL v1.1 today.

P.S. driver version is 258.19

In the modern world it is not enough to create a hardware that is supposed to deliver high performance. In order to ensure efficient operation, software should be tailored for hardware and vice-versa. Today we are talking with AMD’ Neal Robison, David Hoff, and Richard Huddy

Full story at x-bit labs

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Ambient Occlusion Volumes
« on: June 21, 2010, 04:52:43 AM »
This paper introduces a new approximation algorithm for the near-field ambient occlusion problem. It combines
known pieces in a new way to achieve substantially improved quality over fast methods and substantially improved
performance compared to accurate methods. Intuitively, it computes the analog of a shadow volume for ambient
light around each polygon, and then applies a tunable occlusion function within the region it encloses. The algo-
rithm operates on dynamic triangle meshes and produces output that is comparable to ray traced occlusion for
many scenes. The algorithm’s performance on modern GPUs is largely independent of geometric complexity and
is dominated by fill rate, as is the case with most deferred shading algorithms.

Welcome to the NVIDIA Driver Settings Programming guide. This 
document explains how the NVIDIA set of drivers handle preferences and 
how these features are exposed through the NVIDIA NVAPI interface. 
The NVIDIA Control Panel–provided with all NVIDIA drivers– allows the 
user to control the behavior of all the NVIDIA drivers in the system. But 
for those users who want a more in‐depth control of the preferences in the 
NVIDIA driver, as well as for those users that wish to write their own 
Control Panel, this guide is for you. It explains the basic principles that 
constitute the NVIDIA settings framework and details how to program 
using NVAPI in order to retrieve and change any setting. 
The NVIDIA team wishes you good luck on your endeavors!

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Re: ATI Catalyst 10.6 WHQL available
« on: June 20, 2010, 07:58:00 AM »
Happens also with Forceware 257.21

Quote from: GamersHell
Medal of Honor ready for another tour of duty
Two days ago, Electronic Arts announced that Medal of Honor is now recruiting players for a massive global multiplayer beta test that starts on June 21 - players will be granted early access to two action-packed maps. EA also announced that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIPs, who have pre-ordered Medal of Honor, will be able to enter the multiplayer beta even earlier; starting June 17. Once you have a beta key, visit this page to redeem it for a code for the platform of your choice - the PC closed beta client is now locally mirrored. Medal of Honor launches on October 12, 2010 in North America and on October 15 across Europe.


Just a little hint to EA: a game in a series should have a subtitle  ::)

The MP version will use "Frostbite engine", but SP version will use "Unreal Engine 3" according to PCGH

3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Mac OS X Driver Release 19.5.8
« on: June 18, 2010, 12:05:31 PM »
New in Quadro driver Release 19.5.8f03:

    * Improved compatibility with recent Mac OS X Kernals.
    * Improved OpenGL performance for Quadro FX4800 under certain conditions
    * Workstation application compatibility fixes.

New in Geforce driver Release 19.5.8f03:

    * Improved OpenGL performance for Geforce GTX 285 under certain conditions
    * Improved compatibility with recent Mac OS X Software Updates.

Total Commander 7.55 is now available for download. The most important new functions are:

    * Use MLSD command for file listings in FTP function (better time resolution, time in UTC)
    * Transfer files between two computers over a special USB cable -> supported cables
    * Improvements to synchronize dirs function: Compare via plugins and FTP, options to skip hidden files and hard links, SITE UTIME in ftp sync
    * Compare by content now shows different and changed lines with a slightly different background color (configurable via wincmd.ini)
    * Unpack directory time stamps from archives
    * Lister: Increased maximum line length to 1024 characters (Unicode: 512)
    * Verify CRC checksums: Also support CRC files in UTF16 Unicode format
    * Show Terminal Server and Win7 XP mode drives in drive dropdown list and drive buttonbar
    * Ctrl+Shift+B and cm_DirBranchSel shows branch view of only the selected dirs+files
    * F5 copy dialog: "Options" dialog extension can be pinned now to remain open
    * Show progress dialog box when reading a directory takes longer than 5 seconds
    * Create CRC checksums: support subdirectories (recursively), background button
    * Handle dir space calculation in background (when user presses SPACE or Alt+Shift+Enter)
    * File system plugins: Support background downloads and uploads (requires changes to plugin)
    * Various new background operations: Unpack: RAR, TAR, packer plugins (needs modification), Pack: TAR, packer plugins

The most important thing about accurately benchmarking a game comes down to one word: research. It isn’t often that the first level or in-game benchmark will give an accurate representation of GPU performance. Using one of these aforementioned methods could lead a writer to come up with the wrong conclusion if he takes the easy way out. Knowing the game one is testing through actual playing time is essential. There is no way anyone should be basing a conclusion off of games they aren’t totally familiar with because as we have seen, the risk of projecting the wrong information through incorrect benchmarks is very high indeed. Many wrongfully think it is fine to load up a few stand-alone benchmarks, hope the results line up with gameplay and be done with it.

Full story here


Changes in Version 258.49
The following sections list the important changes and the most common issues resolved 
since driver version 197.90. 
Windows Vista/Windows 7 32-bit Issues
Fixed Single-GPU Issues
 AutoCAD, nView Desktop Manager–Display corruption occurs when using the  
default display from nView windows tab. 
 Quadro FX 1400/540 (128‐256 MB): SolidEdge–cursor gets out of sync after opening 
and closing several .par files. 
Windows Vista/Windows 7 64-bit Issues
Fixed Single-GPU Issues
 Motion Builder–glitches occur during graphics playback. 
 Stereo PFD is not available in the Lumiscaphe Patchwork3D profile. 
 Quadro FX 5800: INVALID_ENUMERANT error is returned when calling 
 Quadro FX 4800: Avid MediaComposer/Gimp–“Driver not responding” error occurs 
when running Gimp or MediaComposer wireframes.

With this driver Fluidmark stalls at end of test (just like Quadro 197.68)

P.S. GPUCapsViewer needs a database update, lots of N/A here  ;)

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Wither DirectDraw?
« on: June 17, 2010, 06:15:36 AM »
The DirectDraw API has been more or less deprecated for game developers since the release of DirectX 9.0 SDK back in 2002. The last time we shipped samples or documentation on DirectDraw  dates back to the DirectX 8.1 SDK. Game developers looking to do 2D rendering should be using Direct3D, or on systems with DirectX 11 the Direct2D API could also be a good choice. The DirectDraw  documentation can still be found on MSDN. A few lingering issues, however, has kept the DirectDraw header and import library in the DirectX SDK for many long years...

In the DirectX SDK (June 2010) release, the DDRAW.H and DDRAW.LIB files are no longer there.

Full story at MSDN

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