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Putting the 'Developer' back into 'Developer Journ

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Normal service has almost been resumed. I still haven't got through my backlog, but I've found it convenient to pretend it doesn't exist - if I can't see it, it isn't there [smile]

I've been spending most of my time finishing up the 'Techniques for per-pixel lighting' chapter of my book. This basically meant implementing Relief Mapping.

So far my implementation is pretty broken [lol]:

Broken implementation of 'Relief Mapping' taking an average of 14.8 seconds per frame.

But I'm pretty sure it's just down to having a vector the wrong way around or a messed up constant etc..etc..

I managed to explode the RefRast a couple of times whilst implementing Relief Mapping - lots of errors from the timeout detection routines that kill a GPU process if it hangs or takes an unreasonable amount of time. Basically that translates to my code was crap and got stuck in a loop and WDDM killed it. If WDDM kills your GPU thread it brings your entire application down - going to be interesting debugging these and seeing how many millions of threads are started about it [rolleyes]

Once I've got RM working I should have some interesting results to post:
  • Samples-per-pixel for Relief Mapping. I'm using dynamic branching so I want to implement a debug mode that outputs a counter of how many samples are taken for any given pixel.
  • Comparative timing. I've now got code that will determine the average frame time for each of the techniques used. It's only the RefRast (expect it to be seconds-per-frame rather than frames-per-second [lol]) but it could be an interesting comparison.
  • Assembly analysis. I'll be putting together a table summarising what fxc10.exe does with my HLSL - what sort of instructions and how many of them. Try to generate a code-complexity metric for the techniques discussed.

I also decided to install the Nvidia SDK and FXComposer on my Vista machine. They don't seem hugely compatible with Vista RC1 - lots of security stuff getting in their way, some hard crashes and so on...

Seems that HLSL/FX highlighting in VS'05 is broken these days so I'm hoping that FXComposer will handle SM4/FX10 files and at least allow me a slightly less notepad-like view on my code.
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I <3 FXComposer.

Man, I'd go crazy working exclusivly with the REF device....when do you think you're going to get your hands on some DX10 hardware?

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I won't be able to get D3D10 hardware before the general public - from what I've read the GeForce 8800's should be out in the next few days, so I'll probably grab one of those ASAP [smile]


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