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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 Being prepared to learn shaders...

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Right now I am still assembling together what I know about OpenGL to produce various scenes. I don't feel the requirement to learn shaders until I have covered what else there is to learn.

But what particular problems do shaders directly solve that cannot be solved with older methods? Apart from generally being able to make everything look nicer and performing fast on-gpu calculations - what are the main benefits?

Do "old" techniques such as light mapping, decals etc still apply? (I suspect so, I am just making sure) Or are their implementations replaced? Do shaders help with dynamic lighting at all? Is bloom/hdr a 2d effect? How are shaders capable of implementing a depth of field effect? What data can shaders work from, do they have access to the z-buffer etcetera? Do shaders help with anti-aliasing etc?

At the moment, the prospect of delving into shaders seems a little far off in my 'learning timeline'. But if I wanted to take a look now, how simply could I implement a nice example? Does it merely take a few lines of code to get started?

Here is my current understanding:
There are vertex shaders per-polygon at an early stage in the rendering pipeline.
There are fragment shaders near the end of the rendering pipeline which operate per-'pixel'.
Shaders are compiled on the gpu, either at run-time for portability among different gpus or before distribution for security.
Shaders are programmed in a c-like language (glsl)

One thing that I havn't been able to understand (bearing in mind I don't believe I have been at a stage where I should be investigating shaders yet) is how you choose where shaders apply. Is there a state machine machanism when rendering geometry, which "marks" those fragments which are updated while rendering to be processed by the selected shader? And when overdraw is encountered, do the overdrawn pixels encounter (fragment) shaders?

I have some confusion as to how the rendering pipeline interacts directly with my code, are "draw calls" my glBegin functions, with the defined geometry follows the whole rendering pipeline? Because after that there may be no more functions until I swap buffers. It seems counter-intuitive because my initial understanding made it seem that all geometry was known by the system before the rendering pipeline began.

I think I am beginning to understand how it all comes together. The resources I had read through did not seem to explain it in a manner which suggested how the rendering pipeline actually takes place in relation to the programming carried out.

If anybody can give me any overall suggestions or clarifications, I would appreciate it.

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OK, what you do is you create two shaders with glCreateShader. One vertex, one fragment.

Stuff code into them. Compile them. Create a program with glCreateProgram.

What you do then is bind it -- the same sort of way you bind a texture.

Then you draw stuff. Each vertex goes to the vertex shader which manipulates it. They are then turned into primitives (triangles, lines etc) clipped and then each pixel which will be painted is passed to the fragment shader for manipulation.

They will not be passed to the frag shader if their Z depth indicates that they will not be painted -- this is called "early culling". If your fragshader contains any code which touches the depth value this will be disabled.

After that, they're culled by the Z buffer as usual.

When you need to pass stuff to the shaders, there's a bunch of calls to query a magic number for the variables and then to say "here, pass this to that magic number".

Similarly with arrays -- you can say "here, pass the data at this address to the vertex shader, one row each". This is how you pass in extra data.

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The best way to understand it is just... use it. GPUs supporting shaders was released more than 7 years ago - it's a lot of time. If U want to start:
http://www.ozone3d.net/tutorials/index_glsl.php - a lot of simple effects
http://www.lighthouse3d.com/opengl/glsl/ - U can find few interesting things like info log
http://nopper.tv/opengl.html - if U want to learn sth new

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Thanks for the clarifications.

I might take a look into shaders earlier than I had expected (I am relatively new to 3D in general).

They could help with different tasks and processes which I am still learning now.

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Quote:
 Here is my current understanding:There are vertex shaders per-polygon at an early stage in the rendering pipeline.There are fragment shaders near the end of the rendering pipeline which operate per-'pixel'.Shaders are compiled on the gpu, either at run-time for portability among different gpus or before distribution for security.Shaders are programmed in a c-like language (glsl)

Pretty much it. Although nowadays a little more.

The GPU also has 2 more stages:

A tessellation stage, this is used to perform things such as subdivision on polygons quickly. It saves a lot of bandwidth as you don't have to send as many vertexes to the gpu.

Geometry shaders. These can be used to generate geometry on the gpu. So you could use them for tessellation(if you don't have a tessallator), duplication of geometry to render the scene several times from multiple angles (say to render all six faces of a cube-map in one go) etc..

Quote:
 One thing that I havn't been able to understand (bearing in mind I don't believe I have been at a stage where I should be investigating shaders yet) is how you choose where shaders apply. Is there a state machine machanism when rendering geometry, which "marks" those fragments which are updated while rendering to be processed by the selected shader? And when overdraw is encountered, do the overdrawn pixels encounter (fragment) shaders?

Heres off the top of my head the steps to get something drawn on screen. Might give you something to work with or make no sense at all. It will at least give you some stuff to google. Lighthouse 3d has some good stuff to start with.

bind it
create uniform for projection matrix
create uniform for modelview(camera) matrix
create uniform for position matrix
create attributes for uvcoords/normals/tangents
get unforms for textures.

to draw:

bind textures

draw vbo

set a varying for your uv coords and assign your uv to it.

-Si

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Quote:
Original post by Simon_Roth
Quote:
 Here is my current understanding:There are vertex shaders per-polygon at an early stage in the rendering pipeline.There are fragment shaders near the end of the rendering pipeline which operate per-'pixel'.Shaders are compiled on the gpu, either at run-time for portability among different gpus or before distribution for security.Shaders are programmed in a c-like language (glsl)

Pretty much it. Although nowadays a little more.

The GPU also has 2 more stages:

A tessellation stage, this is used to perform things such as subdivision on polygons quickly. It saves a lot of bandwidth as you don't have to send as many vertexes to the gpu.

Geometry shaders. These can be used to generate geometry on the gpu. So you could use them for tessellation(if you don't have a tessallator), duplication of geometry to render the scene several times from multiple angles (say to render all six faces of a cube-map in one go) etc..

Quote:
 One thing that I havn't been able to understand (bearing in mind I don't believe I have been at a stage where I should be investigating shaders yet) is how you choose where shaders apply. Is there a state machine machanism when rendering geometry, which "marks" those fragments which are updated while rendering to be processed by the selected shader? And when overdraw is encountered, do the overdrawn pixels encounter (fragment) shaders?

Heres off the top of my head the steps to get something drawn on screen. Might give you something to work with or make no sense at all. It will at least give you some stuff to google. Lighthouse 3d has some good stuff to start with.

bind it
create uniform for projection matrix
create uniform for modelview(camera) matrix
create uniform for position matrix
create attributes for uvcoords/normals/tangents
get unforms for textures.

to draw:

bind textures

draw vbo

set a varying for your uv coords and assign your uv to it.

-Si

There's some intreguing info in thare, thanks.
So... In a modern game like, perhaps, MW2 or GTA4. In the underlying system they manage nearly everything with shaders in the way you say? And in an earlier adopter of shaders like counter strike source, the scene is generated in a more traditional way while shaders are used on top of that to enhance the image? This seems to make things far more complicated, but I would assume it's for the best in terms of performance and possiblities.

Quote:
 I might take a look into shaders earlier than I had expected

Maby I will retract that statement, I somehow knew that there would be more complexity that I originally imagined. I will have to make the move at some point though if I want to keep up with the ever increasing quality of modern graphics - if I tried to thoroughly learn everything that everybody before me had learnt, I would be 20-odd years behind in implementations forever...

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Quote:
Original post by Bozebo
Quote:
 I might take a look into shaders earlier than I had expected

Maby I will retract that statement, I somehow knew that there would be more complexity that I originally imagined. I will have to make the move at some point though if I want to keep up with the ever increasing quality of modern graphics - if I tried to thoroughly learn everything that everybody before me had learnt, I would be 20-odd years behind in implementations forever...

Of course you can do VERY complicated things with shaders, but you can start off with very simple things, too! You shouldn't feel intimidated by them!

You only have to initialize shaders once:
Create a shader program with an id (like textures and other things in opengl).
Attach a fragment and/or vertex shader to it. You don't even need both.

After that:
1. Bind the shader program using its ID (again, like textures etc).
2. Set some variables for the shader (a matrix to use, a special color) if it requires them.
3. Draw. You can use immediate mode, VBOs, whatever.. it doesn't really matter.

colored.vert:
uniform mat4 pmvMatrix;attribute vec3 vertexPosition;void main(){	gl_Position = pmvMatrix * vec4(vertexPosition, 1);}

colored.frag:
uniform vec4 vertexColor;void main(){	gl_FragColor = vertexColor;}

You don't even need the vertex shader here, for example. The fixed pipeline will do the transformation by default.