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3D-Tech News Around The Web / Blender 2.53 Beta Released
« on: July 22, 2010, 07:46:53 PM »
The Blender Foundation just released 2.53, the first ‘Beta’ of the Blender 2.5 series. While the excellent 2.50 release log  has been updated with 2.53 features, there’s no ‘changelog’ since the previous version available yet (this may follow later). What *is* clear is that lots of bugs have been fixed, there’s a new ‘addons’ system  in place and there’s been a major overhaul in the sculpting tools. Also remember that this is the version that ‘Sintel’ was produced with. Go ahead and download now, we’ll follow asap with more information!


What's new in 1.1.1

After more than 17 million downloads of VLC 1.1.0 in one month,
this is a release focused on numerous fixes and small improvements:

    * Multiple libVLC improvements and fixes
    * Windows video output fixes
    * DxVA2 decoding on ATI GPU, with Catalyst 10.7
    * Multiple fixes for interfaces
    * Various decoders and demuxers fixes
    * Updated translations
    * Various crashes and errors fixed

GPU accelerated post processing works now fine with my rig.

Professional video editing demands enormous computational power, especially when
you have HD video firmly established as the de facto standard and the increasing
popularity of 4K and other higher-resolution formats. Simply manipulating high
resolution footage is a laborious task, even with the most powerful workstations; editors
apply changes and then wait patiently for renders to complete. Full quality previews of
complicated timelines are only possibly after a lengthy export and encode process. In the
past, users demanding more interactive control or those with high productivity
requirements had no choice but to spend tens of thousands of dollars on custom
hardware solutions.  
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 takes a bold step forward with its new Mercury Playback
Engine by leveraging the massive parallel computational power of a Graphics Processor
unit (GPU). With a quantum leap in performance afforded by the GPU, HD video
editing of complex projects suddenly becomes interactive. Most high-end workstations
today feature powerful GPUs, brining to all Premiere users an editing experience
previously available only to professionals with the highest production budgets.
The Mercury Playback Engine was an ambitious project and required close collaboration
between Adobe and NVIDIA®, the GPU manufacturer. This whitepaper is intended for
those readers interested in the technical background of GPU computing, and specifically
how the parallel processing capability of NVIDIA GPUs provides such a remarkable
advancement for video processing. Although the technical detail presented herein is
certainly not required for effective use of the Mercury Playback Engine, it can serve to
better educate hardware configuration and purchasing decision and to satisfy the
technical curiosity of those hardware-savvy users.

Get whitepaper here

Read more at Icrontic

CUDA by Example, written by two senior members of the CUDA software platform team, shows programmers how to employ this new technology. The authors introduce each area of CUDA development through working examples. After a concise introduction to the CUDA platform and architecture, as well as a quick-start guide to CUDA C, the book details the techniques and trade-offs associated with each key CUDA feature. You’ll discover when to use each CUDA C extension and how to write CUDA software that delivers truly outstanding performance.

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The visual nature of the language allows for rapid design iteration using only an Xbox game controller for input (mouse/keyboard input is also supported).

If you’re a Windows developer keen to start tapping into the GPU to get a big boost in your application performance, then today is a good day.

This morning we released NVIDIA Parallel Nsight 1.0 Standard, the industry’s first development environment for GPU-accelerated applications that work with Microsoft Visual Studio. Parallel Nsight has been in beta since January and if you were one of the 8000 beta developers who gave us feedback during this time, we’d like to say a big thank you for all your great input.

It’s through your support that Parallel Nsight 1.0 Standard is ready for download today here, and is available to all Visual Studio developers free of charge.

Parallel Nsight has a ton of great functionality, such as allowing developers to debug CUDA C/C++, or DirectCompute applications on the GPU using the same familiar tools and techniques as on the CPU. Parallel Nsight is also the premier environment for graphics development, delivering the DirectX 11 tools required by graphics developers to efficiently develop top game titles and visual computing applications.

Anton Kaplanyan, lead researcher at CryTek, the developer that brought you Crysis and Far Cry, had this to say: “Parallel Nsight is the first toolbox in the world that allows us to look under the hood of the GPU, and makes parallel debugging not only possible but pleasant, significantly accelerating DirectX 11 development.”

George Tang, vice president and general manager of the Video and Home entertainment group at ArcSoft said that “NVIDIA Parallel Nsight has become our daily development tool when working with our CUDA-based applications such as SimHD and H.264 encoder.”

As always, we want to hear your feedback so that we can continue to produce the highest quality developer tools. For this reason, if you are a member of the Parallel Nsight Beta Program, your premium support account will remain active and you can continue to give us feedback via the Parallel Nsight Development Community Forums. And if you're joining us at the upcoming GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, CA, we'll also be hosting in-depth Parallel Nsight tutorial sessions. Happy Developing!


With this release, we now offer two versions of Parallel Nsight:
- 1.0 Standard (no cost): Includes the CUDA C Debugger, Shader Debugger, and Graphics Inspector.
- 1.0 Professional (Release Candidate 2): Includes the Analyzer, and CUDA C data breakpoints.

Getting the build:
You can grab the build from the Parallel Nsight Developer Zone page.
Follow the instructions on the download page to download and then activate your build.

For a limited time, we are offering FREE time-limited licenses of Parallel Nsight 1.0 Professional (Release Candidate 2). More information on getting a free Pro license is available on the download page.


CUDA C Debugger:
* Source debugging on the GPU hardware of CUDA C code.
* Supports the CUDA 3.0 and 3.1 toolkits
* Use breakpoints and single stepping to debug your code
* Use Locals, Watches, and Memory window to inspect variables and data on your GPU while debugging
* Use conditional breakpoints to break on a particular block and thread.
* (Pro only) Use data breakpoints to stop on a memory write to a particular memory region.

Direct3D Shader Debugger:
* Supports debugging HLSL shaders in programs using Microsoft Direct3D 11, 10.1 and 10
* Pixel, vertex, geometery, hull and domain shaders are all supported.
* Use Locals, Watches, and Memory window to inspect data on your GPU while debugging
* Use conditional breakpoints to break on a particular pixel

Direct3D Graphics Inspector:
* Support for applications using Microsoft Direct3D 11, 10.1 and 11
* Capture a frame for inspection at any time.
* Scrub through all draw calls to see how your frame was built.
* Examine all textures, render targets and GPU pipeline state in the frame.
* Use pixel history to see all draw calls that wrote to a pixel location.
* Resume your live application at any time! No need for lengthy capture => analyze => re-run app workflows.
* Frame Profiler - get per-draw call hardware bottleneck information for the ultimate in rendering optimization.

Analyzer (Parallel Nsight Professional only):
* Support for GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480
* The Trace Activity now supports the following events:
** CUDA 3.1 Driver API calls, kernel launches, and memory copies
** OpenCL 1.0 Platform API calls, Runtime API calls, and device commands
** Direct3D 11 API calls and Direct3D 9 Performance Markers
** OpenGL 4.0 API calls and WGL
** Cg 2.2 API calls

Supported Operating Systems:
* Windows 7 and Windows Vista operating systems are supported.

Supported GPUs:
* GeForce: 9 series and better, including ION
* Quadro: 3800, 4800, and 5800 series cards
* Tesla: C1060, S1070, C2050, M2050/M2070


3D-Tech News Around The Web / Direct3D 11 Tessellation resources
« on: July 21, 2010, 04:12:13 AM »
The new hardware tessellation feature available on Direct3D 11 video cards has great potential, but using it effectively currently requires understanding higher-order surfaces as well as a myriad of performance implications.
In addition to the Windows DirectX Graphics documentation, here are a number of resources for learning more about using Direct3D 11 Tessellation.

Bohemia Interactive is pleased to announce the release of the hotly anticipated demo for Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, a massive standalone expansion pack to the critically acclaimed military simulator, Arma 2.
To download the Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead demo visit the Demo page.

After maximising all graphics settings, GPU memory usage exceeded 1000 MB  :P
I'd like to see a performance test GTX460/768MB vs. GTX460/1024MB with this game.

The main problem with my first ABuffer implementation (cf. my previous post) was that a fixed maximum number of fragments per pixel has to be allocated at initialization time. With this approach, the size of the ABuffer can quickly become very large when the screen resolution and depth complexity of the scene increase.

Full story at Icare3D

The ATI Catalyst™ Software quarterly newsletter is designed to inform you about significant software features that have been released in the past quarter and about significant upcoming software features and milestones.   
This newsletter also includes a selection of the latest press quotes, and other important highlights

Download here


This tutorial series is aimed at developers trying to learn OpenCL  from the bottom up, with a focus on practicality (i.e. I’m still learning, I’m sharing what I’ve found to work). Learning by example works best for me so make sure to get the code! It can only help you to have a copy of the OpenCL specification handy, and it doesn’t hurt (too bad) to read it!

Also check out:
20 million particles in OpenCL on the GTX480

3D-Tech News Around The Web / Unity 3 technology – Surface Shaders
« on: July 18, 2010, 07:57:50 AM »
In Unity you can write your own custom shaders, but it’s no secret that writing them is hard, especially when you need shaders that interact with per-pixel lights & shadows.
In Unity 3, that would be even harder because in addition to all the old stuff, your shaders would have to support the new Deferred Lighting renderer. We decided it’s time to make shaders somewhat easier to write.

Warning: a technical post ahead with almost no pictures!

I build this realtime project in about 2 month. Its a commercial center located in tehran. Its full HDR. Including 16bit float lightmap. The result is correct tonemapping.

Game engine: Quest3d
Model: Maya
Texture: Photoshop
Render engine for lightmap baking: Turtle

HD Quicktime
SD Quicktime
Related topic
Official page
My online portfolio website

Neoqb is a young, creative Russian game development company which recently created a modern combat flight simulation game, Rise of Flight* has merited international success and critical praise, reaching more than 80 countries around the world. As a lead programmer at Neoqb, I share my experiences using Intel ® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA) to find rendering pipeline bottlenecks and optimize game performance.

Full story here

The OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library (GLEW) is a cross-platform open-source C/C++ extension loading library. GLEW provides efficient run-time mechanisms for determining which OpenGL extensions are supported on the target platform. OpenGL core and extension functionality is exposed in a single header file.
Change Log

    * 1.5.5 [07-13-10]
          o New extensions:
                + GL_AMD_debug_output
                + GL_AMD_name_gen_delete
                + GL_AMD_transform_feedback3_lines_triangles
                + GL_NV_multisample_coverage
                + GL_NV_vdpau_interop
                + GLX_AMD_gpu_association
                + GLX_NV_multisample_coverage
                + WGL_NV_multisample_coverage
          o Bug fixes:
                + Compilation issue with GLX_SGI_video_sync
                + OpenGL 4.0 double-precision uniform functions added
                + Constness of glPointParameterfvARB and glPointParameterfvEXT
                + Added glVertexAttribDivisor
                + Compilation issue with Nvidia GLX headers

3D-Tech News Around The Web / DDSWithoutD3DX Sample Update
« on: July 16, 2010, 04:27:27 PM »
DDSWithoutD3DX Sample Update

Over the past few releases of the DirectX SDK, I've been working on updating our documentation for the DDS file format. The DDSWithoutD3DX  and DDSWithoutD3DX11 samples in the DirectX SDK (June 2010) release demonstrate the details of interpreting the DDS file format for basic 2D textures and 2D texture arrays for Direct3D 9, Direct3D 10.x, and Direct3D 11. Since the June release, I've been expanding the sample to support cubemaps, volume textures, and 1D textures. In the process I also found a number of minor issues with the DDSTextureLoader code and the DDS.H header.

Attached to this post is a ZIP containing an updated DDS.H, DDSTextureLoader.cpp, and DDSTextureLoader.h which you can drop into the DDSWithoutD3DX11 sample code in the DirectX SDK (June 2010). Note that the DDSWithoutD3DX sample is very similiar if you are looking to use it with Direct3D 10.x instead of Direct3D 11, although there are some additional complexities when dealing with cubemap arrays which are supported by the Direct3D 10.1 API with D3D10_FEATURE_LEVEL_10_1 hardware, but not the Direct3D 10.0 API or D3D10_FEATURE_LEVEL_10_0 hardware. A more complete update of both of these samples will be included in a future release of the DirectX SDK.

Download here

GPU3 open beta test continuing well

I wanted to post an update on our GPU3 beta test.  It is going well, so we have put the GPU3 client on our high performance client download page. This new client is required for all Fermi hardware, but also allows pre-Fermi NVIDIA GPUs to access the new GPU3 cores.  These cores are labeled core15 (which has already been extensively tested and is in production right now) as well as a new core16 which will be appearing in testing in the coming weeks.

We are also working to finish our OpenCL port for ATI GPUs to support GPU3 on ATI, but there are still performance issues for OpenCL on both NVIDIA and ATI which are holding back this release.  You can see more information about the key software behind the GPU3 cores at the OpenMM project website. If you're curious, there is openCL code there for NVIDIA and ATI and we invite the open source OpenCL community to check out this code and see how they can help if interested (note the code is released under an LGPL license).

ntersect blog: "I’m already looking forward to telling you all about the new Release 260 drivers which are coming in about a month’s time."

NVIDIA drivers forum: "The fix for Gothic I and II is a major driver change which will also fix other DX7 class games. The fix was recently integrated into our Release 260 driver. We will soon be testing a few older DX7 games to verify the changes fix the issue. Hopefully assuming these changes worked, you will see fix in the next web release based on our 260 branch."

Source: Guru3D

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