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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 Introduction to Modern Graphics Programming and Theory?

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## Recommended Posts

I've been programming for a very long time, and back when I got into game programming WinG was all the rage and books still covered using assembly modules interspersed with C to write nice 16-color games in DOS. Unfortunately for myself, as the world moved on and embraced DirectX and OpenGL and Shaders etc, I didn't move on so much - most of the programming I've done since then was limited to console utilities, form-based applications, and GDI-drawn graphics. In other words, I haven't kept up with the times in the world of graphics. I have, however, tried - I have books covering DirectX (such as "DirectX Complete", "3D Game Prgoramming with C++", and "Zen of Direct33D Game Programming", both outdated now and not so great even new) and I've read plenty of web tutorials on OpenGL (Such as those available from NeHe). One thing I've found in all such books (besides being generally terrible) and resources is that they don't really cover the "Right Way" to do things - for example, no real game should be calling glBegin/glEnd all over the place and should instead use things like vertex buffers. Not only that, but they often have very poor descriptions of each step involved in doing anything so the best you can come away with is a copy/paste manual (and their code is such that it really shouldn't be copied). Not only do I need to learn APIs, but I also need to learn algorithms - I hear a lot about Octrees for example, and I know what they are, but they really seem like pretty much the worst solution possible for spatial partitioning since they can have huge problems when things cross certain boundaries. What are the alternatives, what benefits and drawbacks does each have, etc? Besides spatial partitioning algorithms, there are all kinds of other algorithms I need to be familiar with if I want to write a modern graphical program - shaders make all manner of things possible but also require quite a bit of knowledge I simply don't have at the moment. I'd really love to catch up with everything so I can start working on some of my projects, but I really have no idea where to start since I've had such bad luck finding good resources. Are there any good resources that touch on these many topics to a useful degree?

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Some books:
Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, 2nd Ed.
Computer Graphics, Principals and Practice
The Geometry Toolbox
Essential Math for Games and Interactive Applications
Visualizing Quaternions
Curves and Surfaces in Geometric Modelling
Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques
Real-Time Rendering
Real-Time Collision Detection
Collision Detection in Interactive 3D Environments
3D Game Engine Architecture
Game Physics

I tend to recommend these for various purposes, but your asking for a pretty broad view of things so you should check them out and see if they seem like they'll work for you. I used to have a page on my website that broke them down based on why they were good and what they covered, but I've taken it down and have not yet fixed it, sadly.

As you noted, I generally find any book that touches on a specific API to be a complete waste of my money; usually they contain little more than stuff that already in the API docs or available elsewhere.

The ShaderX and GPU Gems books are good, but mainly after you have a good feel for modern graphics stuff. Also, the SDK documentation or the Red Book / Blue Book / Orange Book (for D3D and OpenGL respectively) can be useful. There's also some good stuff in the Game Gems books, but you have to evaluate if the rest of the content justifies the price, for you.

Also, get an ACM membership or access to the SIGGRAPH archives in some way, there are lots of papers (new and old) that are really useful to read.

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Quote:
 Original post by ExtrariusOne thing I've found in all such books (besides being generally terrible) and resources is that they don't really cover the "Right Way" to do things - for example, no real game should be calling glBegin/glEnd all over the place and should instead use things like vertex buffers. Not only that, but they often have very poor descriptions of each step involved in doing anything so the best you can come away with is a copy/paste manual (and their code is such that it really shouldn't be copied).
There is no 'right way'. Intermediate begin/ends are fine until you want to fine tune for speed later on. And even after that, there are a few different ways to go about it. Simple one is to create a list of things to be rendered, then sort by GL state, and render them all, by calling their vertex buffers instead of Begin/End pairs.

Reading the blue and red books should be enough to get you going.

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Quote:
 Original post by Vampyre_Dark[...]There is no 'right way'. Intermediate begin/ends are fine until you want to fine tune for speed later on. And even after that, there are a few different ways to go about it. Simple one is to create a list of things to be rendered, then sort by GL state, and render them all, by calling their vertex buffers instead of Begin/End pairs.Reading the blue and red books should be enough to get you going.
There are definitely 'more right' ways - using only intermediate mode would be silly and would not only be a potential speed problem but it would also probably cause significant 'code smell' instead of encouraging proper modularization and other such good things. I would appreciate the the ISBN numbers of the various colored books.

jpetrie: Thanks for the list. I already own Game Programming Gems 1 and 2 and found a lot of interesting information, but not exactly the kind of information I'm looking for here. The SDK documentation is a great reference, but not so great a learning tool. I can certainly use it to make a program, but I'm not sure it provides enough information for me to make informed decisions about different approaches etc since each API offers many ways to do things.

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Quote:
 Original post by ExtrariusThere are definitely 'more right' ways - using only intermediate mode would be silly and would not only be a potential speed problem but it would also probably cause significant 'code smell' instead of encouraging proper modularization and other such good things.
Begin/end is not 'wrong', it's just not the fastest way.

In the end, it's all a call to something like CMesh::Render() anyways. The code differences between making a vertex array, a display list, and just having a begin/end aren't much different.

I don't see where 'code smell' comes into play. It's all the same thing in your code give or take a few lines.

Quote:
 I would appreciate the the ISBN numbers of the various colored books.
They are linked free on GL's website, their numbers should be there.

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It seems you're interested in best practices more than the hardcore (mathematical) theory behind things, right?

Find yourself a good forum, such as this one [cool], and keep on top of new discussion. Even if you don't follow all the finer details you'll spot the occasional gem from some experienced member - just a one liner comment or short paragraph in the middle of something much bigger...

I lurk on DirectXDev for this reason - a very good signal:noise ratio with some extremely talented people frequenting it. You pick up a lot of experience and best practice by just keeping up with whatever they're on about!

Failing that, conference material is always a great place to pick up best practices. Lots of ATI/Nvidia slide decks will (with appropriate bias [wink]) pass on lots of information about how to make the most of a technology and give good examples of what to do and what not to do...

hth
Jack

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I can't recommend Dave Eberly's books enough. Check it out at www.GeometricTools.com, and you can download his engine source code for free. He covers the algorithms and math that are needed for modern engine design - which I think is what you are looking for!

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More than algorithms or APIs, it seems that what you really need to learn about is the way the hardware works. Concepts like "I should use vertex buffers/objects instead of DPUP/glVertex where possible" follow naturally from understanding the data flows involved in each case.

For this, I'd second jpetrie's first two books along with Real-Time Rendering by Moller and Haines; I'd also recommend reading this chapter from GPU Gems 2 that describes the architecture of a recent graphics device (the GeForce 6 series).

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Quote:
 Original post by jollyjeffersIt seems you're interested in best practices more than the hardcore (mathematical) theory behind things, right?[...]
Well, I need both really, but yes, I think resources on best practices is the thing I need most - the fundamental math behind it all is IME covered much better by books and random websites than any other relevant topic. Best practices and practical algorithm details are the things I need help finding information on.

Re All: Thanks for the many suggestions. This is probably the most helpful 'general advice' thread I've ever had. More is always appreciated, of course =-)

Learning as a hobby is frustrating - so many books and so little time =-( I'd love to complete my collection of Game Programming Gems and AI Game Programming Wisdom, start on GPU Gems and ShaderX, etc. Ah well, I've got a lifetime to go. If only they'd take a break on writing new books and give me time to catch up.

[Edited by - Extrarius on May 12, 2007 4:35:05 PM]