Tag Archives: graphics programming

Real Time Realistic Rendering of Nature Scenes

A thesis about real-time realistic rendering of nature scenes with dynamic lighting has been published. This thesis includes all details about real-time grass rendering and about real-time tree rendering with indirect lighting.

You can grab the thesis here: PhD thesis


It’s a pity there is no real-time 3D demo. Screenshots are cool but a real demo is better!
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Equalizer 0.5.4 – OpenGL Parallel Rendering

The new release of Equalizer is available. Equalizer is an open source project providing a minimally invasive programming interface and resource management system for parallel, scalable OpenGL applications. It allows an application to run unmodified on any visualization system, from a simple workstation to large scale graphics clusters and multi-GPU workstations.

Links:
Equalizer 0.5.4 release notes
DB (sort-last) load-balancing

The Equalizer example application running on the same display wall.

The following video shows volume rendering using three GPUs and dynamic 2D load-balancing. The tiling is adapted each frame automatically and transparently to the application by Equalizer. The data set has 256^3 voxels, and is rendered using 2560 slices using the eVolve scalable volume renderer.



OpenGL and Mobile Devices: Round 2

Richard S. Wright Jr. the lead author of The OpenGL SuperBible, wrote about the intersection of OpenGL and mobile devices.

Read his complete article HERE.

The graphics hardware behind the iPhone and iPod Touch is a PowerVR MBX Lite, which uses Tile-Based Deferred Rendering.

There are a few limitations you should know from the start:
* There is no stencil or accumulation buffer.
* There are only two texture units.
* The maximum texture size is 1024×1024 (use power of two only).
* The maximum space for textures and surfaces is 24MB.
* Only 2D textures are supported.
* There is no software rendering fallback.

The PowerVR chip uses a full floating-point pipeline throughout. The OpenGL lighting model is fully hardware accelerated, and there is no need to use fixed-point values for either lighting and material values, or vertex data. For best performance, use directional lights instead of point lights when possible, and try to always use indexed strips for geometry submission. To minimize bandwidth, you can use unsigned byte values for colors, and either unsigned byte or shorts instead of floats for texture coordinates.

DirectX 9 to DirectX 11, where did 10 go?

Here is an analysis, by a game developer called Susheel, of the new things that DirectX 11 will bring.

Read the complete analysis HERE.

What is really interesting to see is the emergence of what Microsoft terms as the Compute Shader, no doubt a marketing speak for GPGPU which they claim will allow the GPU, with it’s awesome power to be used for more than just graphics, which smells like CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) to me.

Issues like multi-threaded rendering/resource handling are things that were long time coming and yes, it’s a good thing we will finally see them in the newer version. It just makes my job as a game developer a whole lot easier. Most details on Shader Model 5.0 are pretty sketchy, so I won’t go into things like shader length and function recursion. However, I hope such issues are addressed satisfactorily in the newer shader model.

Microsoft is still fixated on releasing version 11 only for Vista, so don’t expect your XP machines to ever run DirectX 11 even if you buy brand new hardware.

OpenGL Bootcamp at the Big Nerd Ranch October 2008

Big Nerd Ranch announces the October 2008 session of OpenGL Bootcamp. This intensive 5-day training course will arm you with the knowledge to make your 2D and 3D visualizations fly! As problem sets explode in complexity, radical gains in performance have resulted from moving traditional graphics processing from the CPU to graphics hardware. If you are doing any work concerning graphics, then you must know OpenGL and this class is the fastest way to master the ideas and techniques of OpenGL programming. By taking full advantage of hardware acceleration, shaders, blending, textures and video we’ll help you get the most out of your data. Learn how OpenGL works, what functionality it does and does not provide, various optimization methods for both static and dynamic data, and much more. The course will provide libraries and frameworks for abstracting the operating system and allowing the student to focus solely on learning OpenGL.

Read more HERE.


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DirectX 11 Details Emerge

Similar to DirectX 10, DirectX 11 will be available only on Windows Vista and future versions of Microsoft’s operating system. DirectX 11 will add new compute shader technology that Microsoft says will allow GPUs to be used “for more than just 3D graphics,” allowing developers to utilize video cards as parallel processors.

DirectX 11 will support tessellation, a feature which can potentially assist developers in making models appear smoother when seen up close. Multi-threaded resource handling is also incorporated, making it easier for games to utilize multi-core processors in a user’s machine.

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Related links:
DirectX 11 preliminary details emerges in Gamefest
Microsoft: DirectX 11 To Use GPU For Parallel Processing

Catalyst 8.7: OpenGL Extensions – Radeon HD 3870

[French]
Voici la liste des extensions OpenGL supportées par les pilotes Catalyst 8.7 pour la Radeon HD 3870 sous Windows Vista SP1 64-bit.
[/French]
[English]
Here is the list of OpenGL extensions supported by Catalyst 8.7 drivers for the Radeon HD 3870 under Windows Vista SP1 64-bit.
[/English]

[French]
Les Catalyst 8.7 apportent 3 nouvelles extensions:
– GL_ARB_color_buffer_float
– GL_ATI_shader_texture_lod
– WGL_ARB_pixel_format_float

Carte graphique utilisée: Radeon HD 3870
[/French]

[English]
Catalyst 8.7 bring 3 new extensions:
– GL_ARB_color_buffer_float
– GL_ATI_shader_texture_lod
– WGL_ARB_pixel_format_float

Graphics card used: Radeon HD 3870
[/English]

– Operating System: Windows Vista SP1 64-bit
– Drivers Version: 8.512.0.0 – Catalyst 08.7
– ATI Catalyst Version String: 08.7
– ATI Catalyst Release Version String: 8.512-080703a-066914C-ATI
– OpenGL Version: 2.1.7769 Release
– OpenGL Renderer: ATI Radeon HD 3870
– GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 1.20

OpenGL Extensions: 105 extensions

[French]
Les extensions des anciens pilotes Catalyst se trouvent ICI.
Vous pouvez utiliser GPU Caps Viewer pour récupérer la liste des extensions de votre carte graphique.
[/French]
[English]
The extensions exposed by the old Catalyst drivers are HERE.
You can use GPU Caps Viewer to retrieve the list of extensions of your graphics card.
[/English]

Continue reading »

NVIDIA ForceWare 177.66: GeForce GTX 280 OpenGL Extensions

[French]
Voici la liste des extensions OpenGL supportées par les pilotes Forceware 177.66 WinXP 32 pour une GeForce GTX 280.

On peut constater une extension supplémentaire pour les GeForce GTX 200 par rapport aux GeForce 8: GL_NV_transform_feedback2.
[/French]

[English]
Here is the list of OpenGL extensions supported by Forceware 177.66 WinXP 32 drivers for a GeForce GTX 280.

We can see a new extension in supported by GeForce GTX 200 series in comparison to GeForce 8 series: GL_NV_transform_feedback2.
[/English]

[French]Carte graphique utilisée[/French]
[English]Graphics card used[/English]: EVGA GeForce GTX 280 / 1Gb

– Drivers Version: Forceware 6.14.11.7766
– OpenGL Version: 2.1.2
– GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 1.20 NVIDIA via Cg compiler
– OpenGL Renderer: GeForce GTX 280/PCI/SSE2/3DNOW!
– Drivers Renderer: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280

OpenGL Extensions: 162 extensions

[French]
Les extensions des anciens pilotes ForceWare se trouvent ICI.
[/French]
[English]
The extensions exposed by the old ForceWare drivers are HERE.
[/English]

Continue reading »

NVIDIA ForceWare 177.66: GeForce 8800 GTX OpenGL Extensions

[French]
Voici la liste des extensions OpenGL supportées par les pilotes Forceware 177.66 WinXP 32 pour une GeForce 8800 GTX.
[/French]

[English]
Here is the list of OpenGL extensions supported by Forceware 177.66 WinXP 32 drivers for a GeForce 8800 GTX.
[/English]

[French]Carte graphique utilisée[/French]
[English]Graphics card used[/English]: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX / 768Mb

– Drivers Version: Forceware 6.14.11.7766
– OpenGL Version: 2.1.2
– GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 1.20 NVIDIA via Cg compiler
– OpenGL Renderer: GeForce 8800 GTX/PCI/SSE2
– Drivers Renderer: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX

OpenGL Extensions: 161 extensions

[French]
Les extensions des anciens pilotes ForceWare se trouvent ICI.
[/French]
[English]
The extensions exposed by the old ForceWare drivers are HERE.
[/English]

Continue reading »

Arauna Ray Tracer

Arauna is a real-time ray tracer developed for game development. Being a real-time ray tracer, it is experimental, and does not yet deliver the performance needed to produce graphics of the same quality as modern games do using a GPU. However, in its class, it is one of the fastest (probably the fastest) renderer. Two games have been developed already using Arauna, both by students of the IGAD program of the NHTV University of Applied Sciences (Breda, The Netherlands).

More information and download HERE.

DirectX 11 to be discussed in just weeks!

Microsoft will start talking about DirectX 11 in less than two weeks. his conference takes place on the 22 and 23 July in Seattle, Washington.

The big feature of DirectX 11 is tessellation / displacement while we also heard that multithreaded rendering and compute shaders are part of it. DirectX 11 also brings shader model 5.0 but we don’t know many details about it.

It looks like DirectX 11 will stick to rasterization as there is no any mentioning of Ray tracing support.

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