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• By elect
Hi,
ok, so, we are having problems with our current mirror reflection implementation.
At the moment we are doing it very simple, so for the i-th frame, we calculate the reflection vectors given the viewPoint and some predefined points on the mirror surface (position and normal).
Then, using the least squared algorithm, we find the point that has the minimum distance from all these reflections vectors. This is going to be our virtual viewPoint (with the right orientation).
After that, we render offscreen to a texture by setting the OpenGL camera on the virtual viewPoint.
And finally we use the rendered texture on the mirror surface.
So far this has always been fine, but now we are having some more strong constraints on accuracy.
What are our best options given that:
- we have a dynamic scene, the mirror and parts of the scene can change continuously from frame to frame
- we have about 3k points (with normals) per mirror, calculated offline using some cad program (such as Catia)
- all the mirror are always perfectly spherical (with different radius vertically and horizontally) and they are always convex
- a scene can have up to 10 mirror
- it should be fast enough also for vr (Htc Vive) on fastest gpus (only desktops)

Looking around, some papers talk about calculating some caustic surface derivation offline, but I don't know if this suits my case
Also, another paper, used some acceleration structures to detect the intersection between the reflection vectors and the scene, and then adjust the corresponding texture coordinate. This looks the most accurate but also very heavy from a computational point of view.

Other than that, I couldn't find anything updated/exhaustive around, can you help me?

• Hello all,
I am currently working on a game engine for use with my game development that I would like to be as flexible as possible.  As such the exact requirements for how things should work can't be nailed down to a specific implementation and I am looking for, at least now, a default good average case scenario design.
Here is what I have implemented:
Deferred rendering using OpenGL Arbitrary number of lights and shadow mapping Each rendered object, as defined by a set of geometry, textures, animation data, and a model matrix is rendered with its own draw call Skeletal animations implemented on the GPU.   Model matrix transformation implemented on the GPU Frustum and octree culling for optimization Here are my questions and concerns:
Doing the skeletal animation on the GPU, currently, requires doing the skinning for each object multiple times per frame: once for the initial geometry rendering and once for the shadow map rendering for each light for which it is not culled.  This seems very inefficient.  Is there a way to do skeletal animation on the GPU only once across these render calls? Without doing the model matrix transformation on the CPU, I fail to see how I can easily batch objects with the same textures and shaders in a single draw call without passing a ton of matrix data to the GPU (an array of model matrices then an index for each vertex into that array for transformation purposes?) If I do the matrix transformations on the CPU, It seems I can't really do the skinning on the GPU as the pre-transformed vertexes will wreck havoc with the calculations, so this seems not viable unless I am missing something Overall it seems like simplest solution is to just do all of the vertex manipulation on the CPU and pass the pre-transformed data to the GPU, using vertex shaders that do basically nothing.  This doesn't seem the most efficient use of the graphics hardware, but could potentially reduce the number of draw calls needed.

Really, I am looking for some advice on how to proceed with this, how something like this is typically handled.  Are the multiple draw calls and skinning calculations not a huge deal?  I would LIKE to save as much of the CPU's time per frame so it can be tasked with other things, as to keep CPU resources open to the implementation of the engine.  However, that becomes a moot point if the GPU becomes a bottleneck.

• Hello!
I would like to introduce Diligent Engine, a project that I've been recently working on. Diligent Engine is a light-weight cross-platform abstraction layer between the application and the platform-specific graphics API. Its main goal is to take advantages of the next-generation APIs such as Direct3D12 and Vulkan, but at the same time provide support for older platforms via Direct3D11, OpenGL and OpenGLES. Diligent Engine exposes common front-end for all supported platforms and provides interoperability with underlying native API. Shader source code converter allows shaders authored in HLSL to be translated to GLSL and used on all platforms. Diligent Engine supports integration with Unity and is designed to be used as a graphics subsystem in a standalone game engine, Unity native plugin or any other 3D application. It is distributed under Apache 2.0 license and is free to use. Full source code is available for download on GitHub.
Features:
True cross-platform Exact same client code for all supported platforms and rendering backends No #if defined(_WIN32) ... #elif defined(LINUX) ... #elif defined(ANDROID) ... No #if defined(D3D11) ... #elif defined(D3D12) ... #elif defined(OPENGL) ... Exact same HLSL shaders run on all platforms and all backends Modular design Components are clearly separated logically and physically and can be used as needed Only take what you need for your project (do not want to keep samples and tutorials in your codebase? Simply remove Samples submodule. Only need core functionality? Use only Core submodule) No 15000 lines-of-code files Clear object-based interface No global states Key graphics features: Automatic shader resource binding designed to leverage the next-generation rendering APIs Multithreaded command buffer generation 50,000 draw calls at 300 fps with D3D12 backend Descriptor, memory and resource state management Modern c++ features to make code fast and reliable The following platforms and low-level APIs are currently supported:
Windows Desktop: Direct3D11, Direct3D12, OpenGL Universal Windows: Direct3D11, Direct3D12 Linux: OpenGL Android: OpenGLES MacOS: OpenGL iOS: OpenGLES API Basics
Initialization
The engine can perform initialization of the API or attach to already existing D3D11/D3D12 device or OpenGL/GLES context. For instance, the following code shows how the engine can be initialized in D3D12 mode:
#include "RenderDeviceFactoryD3D12.h" using namespace Diligent; // ...  GetEngineFactoryD3D12Type GetEngineFactoryD3D12 = nullptr; // Load the dll and import GetEngineFactoryD3D12() function LoadGraphicsEngineD3D12(GetEngineFactoryD3D12); auto *pFactoryD3D11 = GetEngineFactoryD3D12(); EngineD3D12Attribs EngD3D12Attribs; EngD3D12Attribs.CPUDescriptorHeapAllocationSize[0] = 1024; EngD3D12Attribs.CPUDescriptorHeapAllocationSize[1] = 32; EngD3D12Attribs.CPUDescriptorHeapAllocationSize[2] = 16; EngD3D12Attribs.CPUDescriptorHeapAllocationSize[3] = 16; EngD3D12Attribs.NumCommandsToFlushCmdList = 64; RefCntAutoPtr<IRenderDevice> pRenderDevice; RefCntAutoPtr<IDeviceContext> pImmediateContext; SwapChainDesc SwapChainDesc; RefCntAutoPtr<ISwapChain> pSwapChain; pFactoryD3D11->CreateDeviceAndContextsD3D12( EngD3D12Attribs, &pRenderDevice, &pImmediateContext, 0 ); pFactoryD3D11->CreateSwapChainD3D12( pRenderDevice, pImmediateContext, SwapChainDesc, hWnd, &pSwapChain ); Creating Resources
Device resources are created by the render device. The two main resource types are buffers, which represent linear memory, and textures, which use memory layouts optimized for fast filtering. To create a buffer, you need to populate BufferDesc structure and call IRenderDevice::CreateBuffer(). The following code creates a uniform (constant) buffer:
BufferDesc BuffDesc; BufferDesc.Name = "Uniform buffer"; BuffDesc.BindFlags = BIND_UNIFORM_BUFFER; BuffDesc.Usage = USAGE_DYNAMIC; BuffDesc.uiSizeInBytes = sizeof(ShaderConstants); BuffDesc.CPUAccessFlags = CPU_ACCESS_WRITE; m_pDevice->CreateBuffer( BuffDesc, BufferData(), &m_pConstantBuffer ); Similar, to create a texture, populate TextureDesc structure and call IRenderDevice::CreateTexture() as in the following example:
TextureDesc TexDesc; TexDesc.Name = "My texture 2D"; TexDesc.Type = TEXTURE_TYPE_2D; TexDesc.Width = 1024; TexDesc.Height = 1024; TexDesc.Format = TEX_FORMAT_RGBA8_UNORM; TexDesc.Usage = USAGE_DEFAULT; TexDesc.BindFlags = BIND_SHADER_RESOURCE | BIND_RENDER_TARGET | BIND_UNORDERED_ACCESS; TexDesc.Name = "Sample 2D Texture"; m_pRenderDevice->CreateTexture( TexDesc, TextureData(), &m_pTestTex ); Initializing Pipeline State
Diligent Engine follows Direct3D12 style to configure the graphics/compute pipeline. One big Pipelines State Object (PSO) encompasses all required states (all shader stages, input layout description, depth stencil, rasterizer and blend state descriptions etc.)
To create a shader, populate ShaderCreationAttribs structure. An important member is ShaderCreationAttribs::SourceLanguage. The following are valid values for this member:
SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_DEFAULT  - The shader source format matches the underlying graphics API: HLSL for D3D11 or D3D12 mode, and GLSL for OpenGL and OpenGLES modes. SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_HLSL  - The shader source is in HLSL. For OpenGL and OpenGLES modes, the source code will be converted to GLSL. See shader converter for details. SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_GLSL  - The shader source is in GLSL. There is currently no GLSL to HLSL converter. To allow grouping of resources based on the frequency of expected change, Diligent Engine introduces classification of shader variables:
Static variables (SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_STATIC) are variables that are expected to be set only once. They may not be changed once a resource is bound to the variable. Such variables are intended to hold global constants such as camera attributes or global light attributes constant buffers. Mutable variables (SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_MUTABLE) define resources that are expected to change on a per-material frequency. Examples may include diffuse textures, normal maps etc. Dynamic variables (SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_DYNAMIC) are expected to change frequently and randomly. This post describes the resource binding model in Diligent Engine.
The following is an example of shader initialization:
To create a pipeline state object, define instance of PipelineStateDesc structure. The structure defines the pipeline specifics such as if the pipeline is a compute pipeline, number and format of render targets as well as depth-stencil format:
// This is a graphics pipeline PSODesc.IsComputePipeline = false; PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.NumRenderTargets = 1; PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.RTVFormats[0] = TEX_FORMAT_RGBA8_UNORM_SRGB; PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.DSVFormat = TEX_FORMAT_D32_FLOAT; The structure also defines depth-stencil, rasterizer, blend state, input layout and other parameters. For instance, rasterizer state can be defined as in the code snippet below:
// Init rasterizer state RasterizerStateDesc &RasterizerDesc = PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.RasterizerDesc; RasterizerDesc.FillMode = FILL_MODE_SOLID; RasterizerDesc.CullMode = CULL_MODE_NONE; RasterizerDesc.FrontCounterClockwise = True; RasterizerDesc.ScissorEnable = True; //RSDesc.MultisampleEnable = false; // do not allow msaa (fonts would be degraded) RasterizerDesc.AntialiasedLineEnable = False; When all fields are populated, call IRenderDevice::CreatePipelineState() to create the PSO:
Shader resource binding in Diligent Engine is based on grouping variables in 3 different groups (static, mutable and dynamic). Static variables are variables that are expected to be set only once. They may not be changed once a resource is bound to the variable. Such variables are intended to hold global constants such as camera attributes or global light attributes constant buffers. They are bound directly to the shader object:

m_pPSO->CreateShaderResourceBinding(&m_pSRB); Dynamic and mutable resources are then bound through SRB object:
m_pSRB->GetVariable(SHADER_TYPE_VERTEX, "tex2DDiffuse")->Set(pDiffuseTexSRV); m_pSRB->GetVariable(SHADER_TYPE_VERTEX, "cbRandomAttribs")->Set(pRandomAttrsCB); The difference between mutable and dynamic resources is that mutable ones can only be set once for every instance of a shader resource binding. Dynamic resources can be set multiple times. It is important to properly set the variable type as this may affect performance. Static variables are generally most efficient, followed by mutable. Dynamic variables are most expensive from performance point of view. This post explains shader resource binding in more details.
Setting the Pipeline State and Invoking Draw Command
Before any draw command can be invoked, all required vertex and index buffers as well as the pipeline state should be bound to the device context:
// Clear render target const float zero[4] = {0, 0, 0, 0}; m_pContext->ClearRenderTarget(nullptr, zero); // Set vertex and index buffers IBuffer *buffer[] = {m_pVertexBuffer}; Uint32 offsets[] = {0}; Uint32 strides[] = {sizeof(MyVertex)}; m_pContext->SetVertexBuffers(0, 1, buffer, strides, offsets, SET_VERTEX_BUFFERS_FLAG_RESET); m_pContext->SetIndexBuffer(m_pIndexBuffer, 0); m_pContext->SetPipelineState(m_pPSO); Also, all shader resources must be committed to the device context:
m_pContext->CommitShaderResources(m_pSRB, COMMIT_SHADER_RESOURCES_FLAG_TRANSITION_RESOURCES); When all required states and resources are bound, IDeviceContext::Draw() can be used to execute draw command or IDeviceContext::DispatchCompute() can be used to execute compute command. Note that for a draw command, graphics pipeline must be bound, and for dispatch command, compute pipeline must be bound. Draw() takes DrawAttribs structure as an argument. The structure members define all attributes required to perform the command (primitive topology, number of vertices or indices, if draw call is indexed or not, if draw call is instanced or not, if draw call is indirect or not, etc.). For example:
DrawAttribs attrs; attrs.IsIndexed = true; attrs.IndexType = VT_UINT16; attrs.NumIndices = 36; attrs.Topology = PRIMITIVE_TOPOLOGY_TRIANGLE_LIST; pContext->Draw(attrs); Tutorials and Samples
The GitHub repository contains a number of tutorials and sample applications that demonstrate the API usage.

AntTweakBar sample demonstrates how to use AntTweakBar library to create simple user interface.

Atmospheric scattering sample is a more advanced example. It demonstrates how Diligent Engine can be used to implement various rendering tasks: loading textures from files, using complex shaders, rendering to textures, using compute shaders and unordered access views, etc.

The repository includes Asteroids performance benchmark based on this demo developed by Intel. It renders 50,000 unique textured asteroids and lets compare performance of D3D11 and D3D12 implementations. Every asteroid is a combination of one of 1000 unique meshes and one of 10 unique textures.

Integration with Unity
Diligent Engine supports integration with Unity through Unity low-level native plugin interface. The engine relies on Native API Interoperability to attach to the graphics API initialized by Unity. After Diligent Engine device and context are created, they can be used us usual to create resources and issue rendering commands. GhostCubePlugin shows an example how Diligent Engine can be used to render a ghost cube only visible as a reflection in a mirror.

• By Yxjmir
I'm trying to load data from a .gltf file into a struct to use to load a .bin file. I don't think there is a problem with how the vertex positions are loaded, but with the indices. This is what I get when drawing with glDrawArrays(GL_LINES, ...):

Also, using glDrawElements gives a similar result. Since it looks like its drawing triangles using the wrong vertices for each face, I'm assuming it needs an index buffer/element buffer. (I'm not sure why there is a line going through part of it, it doesn't look like it belongs to a side, re-exported it without texture coordinates checked, and its not there)
I'm using jsoncpp to load the GLTF file, its format is based on JSON. Here is the gltf struct I'm using, and how I parse the file:
glBindVertexArray(g_pGame->m_VAO);
glDrawElements(GL_LINES, g_pGame->m_indices.size(), GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, (void*)0); // Only shows with GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE
glDrawArrays(GL_LINES, 0, g_pGame->m_vertexCount);
So, I'm asking what type should I use for the indices? it doesn't seem to be unsigned short, which is what I selected with the Khronos Group Exporter for blender. Also, am I reading part or all of the .bin file wrong?
Test.gltf
Test.bin

• That means how do I use base DirectX or OpenGL api's to make a physics based destruction simulation?
Will it be just smart rendering or something else is required?

# OpenGL OpenGL from remote computer

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Given that openGL lacks windowing facilities of course, you need window creation software, whether one uses SDL, X or windows, or whatever. However, framebuffer objects do not depend on the windowing system. Here is what I'd like to do: Create an openGL program that draws into a framebuffer object, retrieves the information, and sends it elsewhere using TCP or some other protocol. I should be able to run this program from a remote computer. In summary: I am not interested in creating a window or in processing events. Is this possible? If not, why not? Thanks, Gordon

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If I understand you want to be able to draw with openGL, without creating a window (on an invisable) window, and transmit that information.

Is this a simple screenshot, or you want to send like a 'recorded' scene, like a movie?

Either way, sounds like a trojan to me !!

Hey, whatever floats your boat !!

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Not a trojan, although any technology can be abused. We are building
collaborative software. Any remote rendering software on the market,
such as VNC, etc., essentially duplicate the server desktop on a client
machine for remote access. In that case, nobody can work on the remote
server since the screen is displaying the visual information requested
by the client. All I wish to do is draw into a framebuffer object, rather
than to the screen. Usually, one copies the contents of the framebuffer
object to the screen. I want to copy the contents of this buffer to a
screen on a remote computer. In that case, the windowing system on the server
is not required.

Can this be done?

Thanks,

Gordon

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You must create a window to get a opengl context. You dont have to display it though.

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Thanks Cody. That makes sense. However, isn't there any other way to get
an OpenGL context than by opening a window? The very act of using the
command GLCreateWindow when using glut prevents me from using the software
from a remote site. Note that I am not ssh'ing using the "-X" option, but
rather, I wish to execute the program from the console.

Here are my lines of code with glut:

glutInit(&argc,argv);
glutInitDisplayMode(GLUT_DOUBLE | GLUT_RGBA | GLUT_DEPTH);
glutInitWindowSize(imageWinWidth, imageWinHeight);
glutCreateWindow("gordon");
glewInit();

If I comment out glutCreateWindow, the context is not created and the program
will crash. If I use lower level X functions, then I still will not be
able to use the program from a remote site (without actually logging in)
since X will not be available.

Perhaps I could use the Linux Framebuffer directFB? I have no experience at
this level. Any thoughts?

Gordon

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OpenGL hardware cant work without a X server. The driver is for X.
So either you use X forwarding(though i dont know which libs must be installed on the client to make this work for opengl), or you use a software renderer like Mesa. That should run without X but will be extremely slow.

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Thanks Cody. That is unfortunate. But surely it is "possible" to create
a hardware driver that does not depend on X (or other windowing system).
After all, CUDA allows computation fully on the GPU and allows one to retrieve
data to the CPU. As long as displaying is not a requirement, there is no problem.
Computations can be done from a remote site. However, the use of glxxx routines
requires attachment to a windowing system. That means that even if I use
gl commands to write into a framebuffer (which is on the GPU and has nothing
to do with the X system), I cannot do so without switching back to software
mode. Something is not logical. X should not be required for the hardware.
If it were, hardware could not be run on windows or mac, or whatever.
Somehow, what is needed is bindings to the microcode of the GPU.

Thanks again,

Gordon

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Hi again,

Why don't you explain a little more about what you are trying to achieve, and maybe we could suggest an alterative solution.

Since you are trying this in OpenGL, and you mention remote software such as VNC, I can only imagine you are trying to capture a 3D enviroment.

Are you trying to remotely view, say someone elses 'in-game' play for example, or is it like VNC for example, for a purely support reason.
Again are you trying to 'stream' desktop info, like a real-time video such as VNC, PcAnywhere etc etc.
Or is this purely to capture a screenshot?

Is this some attempt to utilize video memory to enhance or speed up the application someway.

Cheers

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Thanks for your response. Here are some more details.

I have been interested for a long time in remote visualization: I am on a client in New York, but my visualization computer is in Florida. I'd like do all you
suggest, but mostly, for now, I'd like to debug from home. So I want to easily
run the CUDA programs that are linked to OpenGL, or any graphics program that I have on the visualization server, and display it on my client. Ideally, I'd like multiple people (say 2 or 3) to be able to this concurrently. This should be possible with the more recent cards that have more than enough internal memory to accomodate this.

Here is a particular example. I have written a program to visualize vector fields by tracking particles. The code is highly optimized on the Nvidia 7900. It updates approximately 40,0000,000 partices/sec. Everything occurs on the GPU using vertex array buffers, vertex buffer objects and framebuffer objects. At this time, I have versions linked to glut and to Qt. When I execute this program from my client, I get the message "Cannot open display:", which is expected. However, I do not
need a display, or a window. It should be possible to create a graphics context
without that. Hardware acceleration does not depend on X. It depends on some kind of external support for the library routines (but I am not cognizant of the details). I could log to the remote machine using ssh -X, and display the plot
on my local machine. But I want more flexibility. I want to have access to the
bitmap (generated with hardware acceleration), and have full control over how I
stream it, compress it, postprocess it (perhaps on another machine), etc.

Does this help,

Gordon

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I'm not sure I am following this, but I think you might be confused somewhat.

Are you trying to run an OpenGl program (lets say 'Snake3D') where the EXE is stored on the 'server' and you want it to run on your 'client' machine.

If so this has nothing to do with OpenGL, but more over remote access to those files, so you can run the application 'locally'

If you are trying to 'visual monitor' or watch someone else play the game on the 'server' and you view from the 'client' it's a different matter.

You suggest there is no window on the 'server', so I would think the second suggestion is not what you are doing.

If you want the 'server' to run and "Render" 'Snake3D' without a window, and use the 'servers' (graphics card) processing power, AND stream this data for viewing on client machines (you say 2 or 3 people), I think you are expecting an awful lot.
Remember if the server is doing the 'rendering' work, your 'client' graphics card isn't doing it.

Not only will a 3D application take most of the 'servers' CPU time, as well as whatever else the 'server' is meant to be doing (unless it's dedicated to this task), you also want to compress and stream this data to multiple clients.

Some challange if you plan to stream bitmap images at say a minimum of 60fps.

unless you explain even more about what you are trying to achieve, it's a little difficult to help.
I think what you might be looking for, is like a networked game (say quake) where the server is just sending 'packets' of information about players position, health, other info, to a client EXE which then handles that data, and does the 'rendering'