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41
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Rasterization: A Practical Implementation
« Last post by JeGX on March 27, 2015, 11:17:30 AM »
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The rasterization rendering technique is surely the most commonly used technique to render images of 3D scenes, and yet, that is probably the least understood and the least properly documented technique of all (especially compared to ray-tracing).

Why this is so, depends on different factors. First, it's a technique from the past. We don't mean to say the technique is obsolete, quite the contrary, but that most of the techniques that are used to produce an image with this algorithm, were developed somewhere between the 1960s and the early 1980s. In the world of computer graphics, this is middle-ages and the knowledge about the papers in which these techniques were developed tends to be lost. Rasterization is also the technique used by GPUs to produce 3D graphics. Hardware technology changed a lot since GPUs were first invented, but the fondamental techniques they implement to produce images haven't changed much since the early 1980s (the hardware changed, but the underlying pipeline by which an image is formed hasn't). In fact these techniques are so fondamental and consequently so deeply integrated within the hardware architecture, that no one pays attention to them anymore (only people designing GPUs can tell what they really do, and this is far from being a trivial task; but designing a GPU and understanding the principle of the rasterization algorithm are two different things; thus explaining the latter should actually not be that hard!).

Regardless, we thought it was urgent and important to correct this situation. With this lesson, we believe to be the first ressource that provides a clear and complete picture of the algorithm as well as a complete and full practical implementation of the technique. If you found in this lesson the answers you have been desperately looking for anywhere else, please consider making a donation! This work is provided to you for free and requires many hours of hard work.

Link: http://www.scratchapixel.com/lessons/3d-basic-rendering/rasterization-practical-implementation
42
3D-Tech News Around The Web / C++11 in CUDA: Variadic Templates
« Last post by JeGX on March 27, 2015, 11:16:10 AM »
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CUDA 7 adds C++11 feature support to nvcc, the CUDA C++ compiler. This means that you can use C++11 features not only in your host code compiled with nvcc, but also in device code. In my post “The Power of C++11 in CUDA 7” I covered some of the major new features of C++11, such as lambda functions, range-based for loops, and automatic type deduction (auto). In this post, I’ll cover variadic templates.

Link: http://devblogs.nvidia.com/parallelforall/cplusplus-11-in-cuda-variadic-templates/
43
3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA - Using ASTC Texture Compression for Game Assets
« Last post by JeGX on March 26, 2015, 07:46:30 PM »
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In parallel to Khronos defining OpenGL ES 3.0, there was an effort to develop an industry-leading compression format that provided developers with finer grained control. This resulted in the mid-2012 launch of the ASTC texture compression format. The key to ASTC is that while it uses a fixed 128 bits-per-block, each texture can have a different size block fit in those 128 bits, unlike the fixed 4x4 block of prior formats. Leveraging a large variety of square and non-square block sizes, ASTC delivers a wide range of derived compression ratios, scaling from 8bpp down to just under 1bpp.

...

Hardware supporting ASTC has achieved sufficient enough market share that developers should seriously consider how to leverage it in their titles: to improve quality, decrease storage size, or both. This is especially true in titles that require a high enough level of graphics hardware such that ASTC is a given.


Link: https://developer.nvidia.com/astc-texture-compression-for-game-assets
44
The StateViewer tracks state changes in DX11 and OpenGL graphics apps, using apitrace to initially capture and record traces to a .trace file. During retrace the state bins are tracked, and output to a .raw file which is visualized using the StateViewer.

The StateViewer consists of two parts:

1) d3dretrace/glretrace - State tracing, now part of apitrace. (https://github.com/apitrace/apitrace)
2) StateViewer - This visualizer for viewing state trace data.


Link: https://github.com/rchoetzlein/stateviewer
45
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We're excited to introduce our new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the world's first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance. It's also the very first public application to use DirectX 12 full stop. This is cutting edge stuff!
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3D-Tech News Around The Web / Re: NVIDIA - The Basics of GPU Voxelization
« Last post by JeGX on March 26, 2015, 10:50:27 AM »
Maybe some people have already Pascal based experimental graphics cards... Or this article is intented to be read in several months only  ;D
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3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA - The Basics of GPU Voxelization
« Last post by Stefan on March 25, 2015, 10:12:27 PM »
The Basics of GPU Voxelization

Ain't it a bit early to recommend "higher GPU architecture" than Maxwell?

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In this article, we have described the basics of GPU voxelization. You can choose methods as you like to fit your purpose. Currently, MSAA voxelization is reasonable in most cases, but you might need to implement an accurate method as a reference.  Also, if you are running on Maxwell or higher GPU architecture then you should definitely use the official conservative rasterization functions and you can skip edge extension issues.
48
 Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver
  • Release Highlights
  • Added support for G-SYNC monitors when used together with non-G-SYNC monitors.When G-SYNC is enabled, non-G-SYNC monitors will display with tearing.
  • Fixed a bug that caused nvidia-settings to crash when assigning an attribute whose value is a display ID on a system with multiple X screens.
  • Updated the reporting of in-use video memory in the nvidia-settings control panel to use the same accounting methods used in other tools such as nvidia-smi. nvidia-settings was not taking some allocations into account, e.g. framebuffer memory for the efifb console on UEFI systems, causing discrepancies in the values reported by different tools.
  • Removed the "EnableACPIHotkeys" X configuration option. This option has been deprecated and disabled by default since driver version 346.35. On modern Linux systems, display change hotkey events are delivered to the desktop environment as key press events, and the desktop environment handles the display change by issuing requests through the X Resize and Rotate extension (RandR).
  • Added support for lossless H.264/AVC video streams to VDPAU.
  • Added support for VDPAU Feature Set F to the NVIDIA VDPAU driver. GPUs with VDPAU Feature Set F are capable of hardware-accelerated decoding of H.265/HEVC video streams.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented GPU fan speed changes from getting reflected in the text box on Thermal settings page.
  • Added nvidia-settings commandline support to query the current and targeted GPU fan speed.
  • Added a checkbox to nvidia-settings to enable a visual indicator that shows when G-SYNC is being used.This is helpful for displays that don't indicate themselves whether they are operating in G-SYNC mode or normal mode.
  • This setting can also be enabled by running the command line

    nvidia-settings -a ShowGSYNCVisualIndicator=1
  • Added support for the X.Org X server's "-background none" option. When enabled, the NVIDIA driver will try to copy the framebuffer console's contents out of /dev/fb0.If that cannot be done, then the screen is cleared to black.
  • Added support for YUV 4:2:0 compression to enable HDMI 2.0 4K@60Hz modes when either the display or GPU is incapable of driving these modes in RGB 4:4:4.See NoEdidHDMI2Check in the README for details.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause multi-threaded applications to crash when multiple threads used the EGL driver at the same time.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Sync to VBlank to not work correctly with XVideo applications in certain configurations.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the X driver from correctly interpreting some X configuration options when a display device name was given with a GPU UUID qualifier.
 
 
49
Hello,
I tested "CL CPU - Post FX" demo program on my laptop and a Xeon based workstation. The systems' info shown below:
===================================[ System / CPU ]
- CPU Name: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1620 0 @ 3.60GHz
- CPU Core Speed: 3591 MHz
- CPU logical cores: 8
- Family: 6 - Model: 13 - Stepping: 7
- Physical Memory Size: 8192 MB
- Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit build 7601 [Service Pack 1]
- PhysX Version: drivers not installed


===================================[ System / CPU ]
- CPU Name: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz
- CPU Core Speed: 2195 MHz
- CPU logical cores: 8
- Family: 6 - Model: 10 - Stepping: 7
- Physical Memory Size: 8192 MB
- Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit build 7601 [Service Pack 1]
- PhysX Version: drivers not installed

To my surprise the Xeon computer performed worse than the laptop. The laptop showed 19 frames per second as oppose to 9 frame per second shown by Xeon computer.
Is there any explanation on this? Do I have any setup problems?
I have the following 2 platforms on the systems (no difference in performance):
  • amd-catalyst-omega-14.12-with-dotnet45-win7-64bit
  • Intel OpenCL RunTime 15.1

Your comments will be appreciated.
50
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Pixar Releases Free Non-Commercial RenderMan
« Last post by JeGX on March 23, 2015, 08:45:07 PM »
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EMERYVILLE, CA – (March 23rd, 2015) Pixar Animation Studios today released its Academy Award®-winning RenderMan software for non-commercial use. Free Non-Commercial RenderMan can be used for research, education, evaluation, plug-in development, and any personal projects that do not generate commercial profits. Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is also fully featured, without watermark, time limits, or other user limitations.

Featuring Pixar’s new RIS technology, RenderMan delivers extremely fast global illumination and interactive shading and lighting for artists. Currently in use at many studios, RIS is fast, robust, and changing how movies are made.  Today, exactly the same technology is available to all users of Non-Commercial RenderMan.

In conjunction with the release, Pixar has also launched a new RenderMan Community site where users can exchange knowledge and resources, showcase their own work, share assets such as shaders and scripts, and learn about RenderMan from tutorials created by the best in the community. The RenderMan Community site is an example of Pixar’s ongoing commitment to making the film industries finest rendering tools accessible to anyone working in visual effects, animation, and visualization.

“The latest release of RenderMan is a technological reinvention. It’s the result of focused research and development at both Pixar and Disney, and these advancements are now freely available to the visual effects and animation community through Non-Commercial RenderMan.” said Dr Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and also one of the founders of the original RenderMan architecture. “We look forward to seeing what our users create.”

"We’ve recently begun to see some final images for ‘Finding Dory.’  It’s our first feature using RenderMan’s RIS technology… and it’s just unbelievable,” said Andrew Stanton, Director, “Finding Dory.” “RIS has opened so many new creative possibilities for us; we’re creating images that were previously impossible for us to achieve. It really is looking spectacular.”

Those interested in exploring Free Non-Commercial RenderMan are invited to go to the RenderMan website and download a copy.


Availability & Compatibility

RenderMan is compatible with the following 64-bit operating systems: Mac OS 10.9, 10.8 and 10.7, Windows 8 and 7, and Linux glibc 2.12 or higher and gcc 4.4.5 and higher. RenderMan is compatible with versions 2013.5, 2014, and 2015 of Autodesk’s Maya, and with versions 1.5, 1.6, and 2.0 of The Foundry’s KATANA. RenderMan is available commercially as individual licenses with volume discounts or through custom site licensing packages tailored for each customer. In addition, Pixar’s annual maintenance program provides access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit www.pixar.com or contact rendermansales@pixar.com.

DOWNLOAD: http://renderman.pixar.com/view/non-commercial-renderman

Renderman homepage: http://renderman.pixar.com/view/renderman

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