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DX11 [SlimDX] I fail at a simple triangle!?

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I've been fiddling around with SlimDX a few (many) months ago, and currently try to freshen up on it. I did some GPGPU mini projects and stuff, nothing proper or serious so far, thus the knowledge from then was not free from (major) gaps, and now seems to consist only of them :(

I have a darn simple wish: Draw a triangle using DX10 (I did DX9 back then, so there's changed quite a bit for me). Is stitched stuff from various tutorials together, and had this working with just compute shaders under DX11 quite well. I now wanted to downgrade my code to DX10, and do actual 3D stuff. Well, not even that: I want a simplistic 2D particle system in the end, but all I see from the following is the light blue cleared render target, but no triangle whatsoever. I'm almost sure it's something stupidly simple, but I seem unable to find it. Any hints are thus highly appreciated :)

The following would be my Form class, where I do pretty much everything so far while learning to at least get something on the screen.

public partial class MainForm : Form
private D3DDevice device;
private SwapChain swapChain;

private Particles Parts;
private SlimDX.Direct3D10.Buffer Vertices;
private PixelShader PShader;
private VertexShader VShader;
private InputElement[] InputElements;
private InputLayout ILayout;

private Texture2D DisplayTexture;
private RenderTargetView DisplayRenderTarget;

public MainForm()
// The InitializeComponent() call is required for Windows Forms designer support.

SwapChainDescription swapChainDesc = new SwapChainDescription()
BufferCount = 1,
Flags = SwapChainFlags.None,
IsWindowed = true,
ModeDescription = new ModeDescription(ClientSize.Width, ClientSize.Height, new Rational(60, 1), Format.R8G8B8A8_UNorm),
OutputHandle = Handle,
SampleDescription = new SampleDescription(1, 0),
SwapEffect = SwapEffect.Discard,
Usage = Usage.RenderTargetOutput | (Usage)1024

D3DDevice.CreateWithSwapChain(null, DriverType.Hardware, DeviceCreationFlags.Debug, swapChainDesc, out device, out swapChain);

ShaderBytecode vs = ShaderBytecode.CompileFromFile("Shaders.fx", "VShader", "vs_4_0", ShaderFlags.None, EffectFlags.None);
ShaderBytecode ps = ShaderBytecode.CompileFromFile("Shaders.fx", "PShader", "ps_4_0", ShaderFlags.None, EffectFlags.None);
VShader = new VertexShader(device, vs);
PShader = new PixelShader(device, ps);

InputElements = new[] {new InputElement("POSITION", 0, Format.R32G32B32_Float, 0, 0)};
ILayout = new InputLayout(device, ShaderSignature.GetInputSignature(vs), InputElements);

DisplayTexture = Texture2D.FromSwapChain<Texture2D>(swapChain, 0);
DisplayRenderTarget = new RenderTargetView(device, DisplayTexture);

Parts = new Particles(); // simply holds a DataStream with 3 vertices. Constructor shown at the end of this code
Vertices = new SlimDX.Direct3D10.Buffer(device, Parts.Points, 12*3, ResourceUsage.Default, BindFlags.VertexBuffer, CpuAccessFlags.None, ResourceOptionFlags.None);

device.InputAssembler.SetVertexBuffers(0, new VertexBufferBinding(Vertices, 12, 0));

void MainFormShown(object sender, EventArgs e)
while (true)
device.ClearRenderTargetView(DisplayRenderTarget, Color.LightBlue);
device.Draw(3, 0);
swapChain.Present(0, PresentFlags.None);

// The particle class that hold my vertices (not particles for now though, until I got it running with a tri...)
public class Particles
public DataStream Points;

public Particles()
Points = new DataStream(12*3, true, true);
Points.Write(new Vector3(0.0f, 0.5f, 0.5f));
Points.Write(new Vector3(0.5f, -0.5f, 0.5f));
Points.Write(new Vector3(-0.5f, -0.5f, 0.5f));
Points.Position = 0;

And finally my rather simplistic shaders:

struct VS_OUTPUT
float4 pos : SV_POSITION;

struct PS_INPUT
float4 pos : SV_POSITION;

VS_OUTPUT VShader(float4 position : POSITION)
vo.pos = position;
return vo;

float4 PShader(PS_INPUT pos) : SV_Target
return float4(1.0f, 1.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f);

I'd expect a neat yellow triangle on a light blue ground. The latter I have, but no yellow in my sky :( What am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance!

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Your vertex data doesn't match what you've declared in the shader. You're sending three floats for position, but the shader is expecting four. Also, I don't see you setting a viewport anywhere.

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I tried a float3 for the POSITION semantic already, that wasn't it unfortunately. Or at least not only: The viewport thingy has a nice ring to it, I remember now. Since this wasn't necessary for just number crunching and outputting directly to the render target, I see how I missed that. I'll try! Thanks!

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Also, you forget to bind your render target:

And make sure you got the right cull mode / triangle winding.

Additional "cosmetics": Dispose the resources before exit and use a proper render loop (e.g. SlimDXs message pump) or bind your drawing to the forms Paint event. Your current one is pretty blocking.

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Good thing I came here before continuing, thanks!

The loop surely isn't what I intend to use in a final program. Dirty "try to get other things working first" state. But I need to ask: If I bind it to the Paint-Event, that would only ever give me repaints whenever the form is invalidated, right? So that's not an option for a steady 60fps?

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DirectX has a way of making me feel a lot more stupid than I usually am. (It might stem from the fact, that there's not a single half decent tutorial or even book out there that gets one actually started. Especially with SlimDX. Even most references assume, that you otherwise know damn well what you're doing, and there is little comprehensive stuff. But that's another topic, which however concerns me a lot, being an avid autodidact. Meh.)

I put in the following, assuming I created a valid ViewPort with it and bound it to the device properly, and assuming this would set the RenderTarget to the right thing in the right place. My results however are unchanged. (Winding order wasn't it either, I checked that.)

DisplayTexture = Texture2D.FromSwapChain<Texture2D>(swapChain, 0);
DisplayRenderTarget = new RenderTargetView(device, DisplayTexture);
Viewport vp = new Viewport(-1, -1, 2, 2);

(This piece is inside my form's constructor shown above. The "DisplayTexture"-line is there already, that's where I added stuff.)

I also fixed the type mismatch for the POSITION semantic.

Another nudge? Please? :)

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Viewport dimensions are in screen pixels, e.g.

Viewport vp = new Viewport(0, 0, ClientSize.Width, ClientSize.Height);

Hint: Get familiar with PIX, the DirectX Debugger which comes with the SDK. Also: Install DebugView to grab the debug messages.

...It might stem from the fact, that there's not a single half decent tutorial or even book out there that gets one actually started....

I disagree.

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I tried pixel coords first, but since this also didn't get my tri to show up, I tried the posted version. I remembered fixing my datatype problem after the viewport addition, and tried again (with both winding orders), and still nothing. This is stuff, that frustrates me most. I had it up and running with DX9 more or less, then a few months and a version jump later it feels like I never coded before.

Then again, I really need to start using the tools you mentioned frequently. So far I didn't really get how to use them properly, the effort to try and learn however seems worth the wile.

My problem with the book you mentioned: I admit that I am a rather special case. I come from Pascal/Delphi programming (databases, PLC control, etc.), and did this long before I studied IT. During that time Java was the usually chosen language (ugh), and later on I jumped to C# (although I frequently need Delphi for work still). This was about the same time I got interested in hardware accelerated GFX. So I never ever got to work with actual C(++), don't own a copy of VS (grew fond of #Develop for .NET), and thus any tutorial stuff that is done in an actual language and/or references a particular IDE and its libraries, confuses me more than anything, especially because I then have to transfer it to SlimDX terms while reading. (Yeah, I'm a managed bitch!)
I have no use at all for how to set up a VS project for D3D, nor am I able to transfer it properly to C# without a lot of additional efforts for learning C++ and VS habits first. My current way of learning mostly consists of skimming through the code completion, looking for anything that sounds about right, and try if it actually does what I think it should do. This unfortunately does not tell me what I need to do, nor what is to be done further, or what the corresponding constructs to some structured buffer must look like in my shaders and such. Thus I mostly look for a sort of "recipe" for a bunch of usecases. Something like "Setting up a rather universal D3D environment: Create a device, there may be parameters that are roughly named X and affect Y (see more below). Then do foo and bar...".
I also often came across tuts where a later chapter that sounded interesting makes heaaaaaavy use of some custom frameworkish methods and utilities done 6 hours of reading before, in C++ which I don't use and know, and not intend to implement. To make it short: Most of the educational stuff on D3D out there comes with a considerable amount of "clutter" that has nothing to to with D3D itself, and thus is barely usable as a hybrid between reference and tutorial without spending hours on figuring out what all the unknown things I see do first, and then understand the simple solution to my problem at hand, which could have cost 10 minutes if done more focused.

If there is no other way, that's what I'll need to do, but it would get me a lot further a lot faster if I could just jump into D3D with SlimDX and learn the qiurks and quabbles from there, since there I at least feel at home in terms of the language, framework and IDE. Doing all 4 components at once is doable, but much less efficient. Certainly nothing for the meager ~3 hours I currently have between getting home and going to sleep :(
It is quite odd: I (quite successfully) wrote my bachelor thesis based on the first learning project I did for both, SlimDX (or D3D in general, but fullscreen quad and GPGPU doesn't really count I guess ;)) and C# (.NET in general), and even wrote a (DX9) pixelshader that implemented a quaternion fractal raytracer with camera, lights, shadows and stuff, but stitching together a friggin triangle in DX10 already proves to be so troublesome for me :/ (Saying: Once everything is set up and well, and all the managing stuff aside from the actual math is in my head, I am very well up to speed. I just need to get there properly once.)

But since the book you posted is of VERY reasonable price, I still will give it a shot. I hope bringing it to Germany won't be too much of a problem, but amazon usually is awesome.

But I guess my little happy birthday particle-message-minidemo is doomed, that's gonna need a miracle by now. I did not fathom such stupid problems that early on .

Umh, this got a tad more lengthy than intended, but I had to get it off my chest I guess ;) Thanks for the great help so far!!

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I come from Delphi, too, but since I'm used to C# I never want to go back. Neither do I like C++ very much. Admittedly, when it comes down to bare DX, docs, tutorials and books are mainly C++, so it's IMHO essential to be able to read it.

I started with XNA up to the point I understood enough to delve deeper. The DX 9 shader book from Luna helped a lot. Don't get discouraged. The dreaded triangle can drive people nuts (happens here regularly) but from there it gets easier. And you actually already know the DX 9 API a bit. Good start.

Additonal hints: Checkout the SlimDX source, [strike]only this will come with the samples and the (no longer supported!) framework[/strike] Edit: Oops, no, it's there, as a self extracting archive, sorry.
It's also very convenient to find the API counterpart (and vice versa) of a function or structure.

Show your complete code, I take a look.

PS: As an aside: It's usually recommended to learn DX 11 directly (search the forum). Problem is: Even fewer books.

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A fellow Delphi->C# admirer :) how sweet! If it wasn't for my daily work, I'd long had thrown Delphi aboard some time ago, but the legacy code base... aw well... no customer is going to pay you the painstaking platform transition, and then try to get that crap from Siemens to work on newer Windows versions. It's a bane! C# feels like Delphi taken to the right path in so many places at times.

It's not that I can't read C at all, that would be odd after all that time, but as you, I just don't quite like it too much, and try to avoid it where possible. Result: I know the syntax in general, but libs and practices... uhm, not so much. And I agree, the nut is in view already. I can smell it :)

I simply zipped and attached the whole #Dev project folder, it's really damn small. Don't get confused by the geometry shader. That's what I intended for making my particle quads later on, but is unused until theres a triangle. There is some commented stuff too from my earlier DX11 compute shader project which I copied for this as a template. Just ignore it, it has no meaning at all.

Also, I might really go with the SlimDX samples this time. In the past, for the more abusive stuff I did, these were of less use. Also I mostly prefer doing just about everything from the bottom up myself, to see and learn stuff at it's basis. I need that for comprehension in general. If I can't learn the innermost workings of something, I feel afloat. In a bad way =)

I would have went with DX11, but the target person for this is a very dear girl, whose computer probably won't support it. At least not without additional installations, which I did not want to impose on her for this little geeky message-packaging ;)

Many thanks again!

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Just a quick answer, since it's late here. I found the errors:

Your VS was bad:

vo.pos = float4(position, 1); // 1, not 0, or the perspective divide will go havoc.

Then I had to change the winding of your triangle (again?) and use smaller coords (+/- 0.5 or so).

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I'll be damned! One it is, of course! Argh. The winding order was fine here, but I need to apologize for my "50.5" coords, those were from my last try: Seeing if I needed screen space coords for untransformed vertices, matching the dimensions set through the view port.

Such a nifty little chain of three negligences in the end. I have a triangle, hooray! :D Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig thanks for taking me here!

And since it's way too late here, too (2 a.m. wow), I'll sign off as well. But I can have a good nights sleep finally, and have a decent chance at delivering my message on Wednesday, still. You saved my week!

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2 A.M ? Seems we're more or less in the same zone.

Got to tell you something - and now you gonna laugh - this were my first steps with DX 10, too, since I only got a capable machine / OS for about two weeks. So hooray for my dreaded triangle :lol:

Since I got some spare time I went a little further and played with the GS. First time, so take this with a grain of salt.

Seems you need to feed them a point list (since they operate on primitives rather than vertices). I extended your project to switch between GS and non-GS. One thing I saw in the SDK samples is they use POSITION - not the SV_POSITION - semantic between VS and GS. But I got no complaints from the runtime and it works. Again there was a winding problem. Also, no need to restart the strip, as it seems. I attached the project, here some info:

  • proper message pump (PIX just did not work with your "busy loop" variant). Note the different MainForm creation in Program.cs.
  • cleanup of the resources (disposing)
  • unbinding of the resources / states before cleanup. Not necessary, but it omits info logs in the debug. I like my logs clean.
  • Enable debug shaders and grabbing the error messages from the compiler (saved to a file).
  • explicit rasterizer state to disable culling altogether. I always found this more convenient for 2D rendering.
  • switch between GS and non-GS (hit space)
  • Enabled vsync. No need to explode my card with only three quads rendered ;)
  • Stripped it down to .NET 2. Could be your target does not have .NET 4 and you don't want to wait for that install to finish.
  • VS now with float4 again. It's funny: I often see this as a first reply to some first steps DX10/11 problems if the VS signature and the layout don't match. But it worked on DX 9, and obviously does with DX10/11, too. From a quick glance all SDK samples do this float3 / float4 "mismatch". Even works if you feed 2D vectors, I checked. This automatic expansion is documented for DX 9, but I haven't found it in the DX10/11/DXGI docs yet. Nonetheless: No complaints from the runtime.

    Something else to mention: DX 11 is actually better with hardware support with its feature level logic (you can access DX 9 level hardware with DX 11 device, obviously).

    Good luck with your birthday project !

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I have to admit: I didn't get too much out of the official tutorials, and didn't even realize that there's a coherent sample code available in my frustration. Silly me.

But unbird, your help has been so very... well, helpful! :) I took the liberty to go on with the edited project you attached, it runs just fine and does what I initially intended to do. SUCH a relief.

But I wouldn't be me, if there wasn't a small issue shortly afterwards that kept me busy this evening. I won't make it for the birthday, but now I am eager to do it anyways!
I now wanted to add a little alpha blending, for nicely overlying half transparent particles. Again an issue of "what do I have to do to enable this?". I figured I might need a DepthStencil for that, and tried to weave that in, since just using values <1.0 for the alpha channel in my pixelshader did not do the trick. (Anything with alpha <=0.5 just won't be drawn at all, so it's one-bittish.)

In the otherwise unchanged project I added these lines: (I kept two lines of the old code to make clear where I inserted that)

DisplayTexture = Texture2D.FromSwapChain<Texture2D>(swapChain, 0);
DisplayRenderTarget = new RenderTargetView(device, DisplayTexture);
DSTexture = new Texture2D(
new Texture2DDescription()
ArraySize = 1,
MipLevels = 1,
Format = Format.D32_Float,
Width = ClientSize.Width,
Height = ClientSize.Height,
BindFlags = BindFlags.DepthStencil,
CpuAccessFlags = CpuAccessFlags.None,
SampleDescription = new SampleDescription(1, 0),
Usage = ResourceUsage.Default
DSView = new DepthStencilView(
new DepthStencilViewDescription()
ArraySize = 0,
FirstArraySlice = 0,
MipSlice = 0,
Format = Format.D32_Float,
Dimension = DepthStencilViewDimension.Texture2D
device.OutputMerger.DepthStencilState = DepthStencilState.FromDescription(
new DepthStencilStateDescription()
DepthComparison = Comparison.Always,
DepthWriteMask = DepthWriteMask.All,
IsDepthEnabled = true,
IsStencilEnabled = false
device.OutputMerger.SetTargets(DSView, DisplayRenderTarget);

Additionally, in the render loop:
device.ClearRenderTargetView(DisplayRenderTarget, Color.CornflowerBlue);
device.ClearDepthStencilView(DSView, DepthStencilClearFlags.Depth, 1.0f, 0);

The results however stay unchanged once again: Anything with alpha <=0.5 is omitted, everything else is drawn fully opaque. Also using other formats like D24_UNorm_S8_UInt (I came across that one too while trying to solve this on my own) did not change anything.
I wasn't able to find any resources on the net where a working version was described. Since I did not find out where the GraphicsDeviceManager used here came from, and borrowing settings from there didn't help either, I unfortunately need to take this here again, although I feel like a lazy code sucker by now - a subset of mankind I usually despise :/

Why, oh why can't it just be something like "Device.AlphaMode = 32Bit; Device.AlphaTest = OnForCryingOutLoud;"?

Big big thanks again (and maybe in advance? :) )

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You want (alpha) blending not z-buffering. For particles alone you probably don't want z-buffering at all. Getting depth and transparency right is more complex. A common workaround is to use additive blending.

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I'm sorry for this taking so long, I finally got around to fiddle with this today. Thanks one more time unbird. I did try using a blend state desc before, but after that didn't do anything, I was mislead to think, that some form of depth/stencil must be involved. After looking long enough at my code again, I realized that I just bound the desc before setting it enabled and assigning a write mask. Simply putting the blend state assignment a few lines down solved my mystery. (But I wouldn't have looked that thoroughly if you hadn't insisted that this is all I needed :) )

I hope I can walk on my own from here on. Many thanks again!

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      As it was mentioned earlier, Diligent Engine follows next-gen APIs 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.). This approach maps directly to Direct3D12/Vulkan, but is also beneficial for older APIs as it eliminates pipeline misconfiguration errors. With many individual calls tweaking various GPU pipeline settings it is very easy to forget to set one of the states or assume the stage is already properly configured when in fact it is not. Using pipeline state object helps avoid these problems as all stages are configured at once.
      Creating Shaders
      While in earlier APIs shaders were bound separately, in the next-generation APIs as well as in Diligent Engine shaders are part of the pipeline state object. The biggest challenge when authoring shaders is that Direct3D and OpenGL/Vulkan use different shader languages (while Apple uses yet another language in their Metal API). Maintaining two versions of every shader is not an option for real applications and Diligent Engine implements shader source code converter that allows shaders authored in HLSL to be translated to GLSL. To create a shader, one needs to populate ShaderCreationAttribs structure. SourceLanguage member of this structure tells the system which language the shader is authored in:
      SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_DEFAULT - The shader source language matches the underlying graphics API: HLSL for Direct3D11/Direct3D12 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. SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_GLSL - The shader source is in GLSL. There is currently no GLSL to HLSL converter, so this value should only be used for OpenGL and OpenGLES modes. There are two ways to provide the shader source code. The first way is to use Source member. The second way is to provide a file path in FilePath member. Since the engine is entirely decoupled from the platform and the host file system is platform-dependent, the structure exposes pShaderSourceStreamFactory member that is intended to provide the engine access to the file system. If FilePath is provided, shader source factory must also be provided. If the shader source contains any #include directives, the source stream factory will also be used to load these files. The engine provides default implementation for every supported platform that should be sufficient in most cases. Custom implementation can be provided when needed.
      When sampling a texture in a shader, the texture sampler was traditionally specified as separate object that was bound to the pipeline at run time or set as part of the texture object itself. However, in most cases it is known beforehand what kind of sampler will be used in the shader. Next-generation APIs expose new type of sampler called static sampler that can be initialized directly in the pipeline state. Diligent Engine exposes this functionality: when creating a shader, textures can be assigned static samplers. If static sampler is assigned, it will always be used instead of the one initialized in the texture shader resource view. To initialize static samplers, prepare an array of StaticSamplerDesc structures and initialize StaticSamplers and NumStaticSamplers members. Static samplers are more efficient and it is highly recommended to use them whenever possible. On older APIs, static samplers are emulated via generic sampler objects.
      The following is an example of shader initialization:
      ShaderCreationAttribs Attrs; Attrs.Desc.Name = "MyPixelShader"; Attrs.FilePath = "MyShaderFile.fx"; Attrs.SearchDirectories = "shaders;shaders\\inc;"; Attrs.EntryPoint = "MyPixelShader"; Attrs.Desc.ShaderType = SHADER_TYPE_PIXEL; Attrs.SourceLanguage = SHADER_SOURCE_LANGUAGE_HLSL; BasicShaderSourceStreamFactory BasicSSSFactory(Attrs.SearchDirectories); Attrs.pShaderSourceStreamFactory = &BasicSSSFactory; ShaderVariableDesc ShaderVars[] = {     {"g_StaticTexture", SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_STATIC},     {"g_MutableTexture", SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_MUTABLE},     {"g_DynamicTexture", SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_DYNAMIC} }; Attrs.Desc.VariableDesc = ShaderVars; Attrs.Desc.NumVariables = _countof(ShaderVars); Attrs.Desc.DefaultVariableType = SHADER_VARIABLE_TYPE_STATIC; StaticSamplerDesc StaticSampler; StaticSampler.Desc.MinFilter = FILTER_TYPE_LINEAR; StaticSampler.Desc.MagFilter = FILTER_TYPE_LINEAR; StaticSampler.Desc.MipFilter = FILTER_TYPE_LINEAR; StaticSampler.TextureName = "g_MutableTexture"; Attrs.Desc.NumStaticSamplers = 1; Attrs.Desc.StaticSamplers = &StaticSampler; ShaderMacroHelper Macros; Macros.AddShaderMacro("USE_SHADOWS", 1); Macros.AddShaderMacro("NUM_SHADOW_SAMPLES", 4); Macros.Finalize(); Attrs.Macros = Macros; RefCntAutoPtr<IShader> pShader; m_pDevice->CreateShader( Attrs, &pShader );
      Creating the Pipeline State Object
      After all required shaders are created, the rest of the fields of the PipelineStateDesc structure provide depth-stencil, rasterizer, and blend state descriptions, the number and format of render targets, input layout format, etc. For instance, rasterizer state can be described as follows:
      PipelineStateDesc PSODesc; RasterizerStateDesc &RasterizerDesc = PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.RasterizerDesc; RasterizerDesc.FillMode = FILL_MODE_SOLID; RasterizerDesc.CullMode = CULL_MODE_NONE; RasterizerDesc.FrontCounterClockwise = True; RasterizerDesc.ScissorEnable = True; RasterizerDesc.AntialiasedLineEnable = False; Depth-stencil and blend states are defined in a similar fashion.
      Another important thing that pipeline state object encompasses is the input layout description that defines how inputs to the vertex shader, which is the very first shader stage, should be read from the memory. Input layout may define several vertex streams that contain values of different formats and sizes:
      // Define input layout InputLayoutDesc &Layout = PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.InputLayout; LayoutElement TextLayoutElems[] = {     LayoutElement( 0, 0, 3, VT_FLOAT32, False ),     LayoutElement( 1, 0, 4, VT_UINT8, True ),     LayoutElement( 2, 0, 2, VT_FLOAT32, False ), }; Layout.LayoutElements = TextLayoutElems; Layout.NumElements = _countof( TextLayoutElems ); Finally, pipeline state defines primitive topology type. When all required members are initialized, a pipeline state object can be created by IRenderDevice::CreatePipelineState() method:
      // Define shader and primitive topology PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.PrimitiveTopologyType = PRIMITIVE_TOPOLOGY_TYPE_TRIANGLE; PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.pVS = pVertexShader; PSODesc.GraphicsPipeline.pPS = pPixelShader; PSODesc.Name = "My pipeline state"; m_pDev->CreatePipelineState(PSODesc, &m_pPSO); When PSO object is bound to the pipeline, the engine invokes all API-specific commands to set all states specified by the object. In case of Direct3D12 this maps directly to setting the D3D12 PSO object. In case of Direct3D11, this involves setting individual state objects (such as rasterizer and blend states), shaders, input layout etc. In case of OpenGL, this requires a number of fine-grain state tweaking calls. Diligent Engine keeps track of currently bound states and only calls functions to update these states that have actually changed.
      Binding Shader Resources
      Direct3D11 and OpenGL utilize fine-grain resource binding models, where an application binds individual buffers and textures to certain shader or program resource binding slots. Direct3D12 uses a very different approach, where resource descriptors are grouped into tables, and an application can bind all resources in the table at once by setting the table in the command list. Resource binding model in Diligent Engine is designed to leverage this new method. It introduces a new object called shader resource binding that encapsulates all resource bindings required for all shaders in a certain pipeline state. It also introduces the classification of shader variables based on the frequency of expected change that helps the engine group them into tables under the hood:
      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. Shader variable type must be specified during shader creation by populating an array of ShaderVariableDesc structures and initializing ShaderCreationAttribs::Desc::VariableDesc and ShaderCreationAttribs::Desc::NumVariables members (see example of shader creation above).
      Static variables cannot be changed once a resource is bound to the variable. They are bound directly to the shader object. For instance, a shadow map texture is not expected to change after it is created, so it can be bound directly to the shader:
      PixelShader->GetShaderVariable( "g_tex2DShadowMap" )->Set( pShadowMapSRV ); Mutable and dynamic variables are bound via a new Shader Resource Binding object (SRB) that is created by the pipeline state (IPipelineState::CreateShaderResourceBinding()):
      m_pPSO->CreateShaderResourceBinding(&m_pSRB); Note that an SRB is only compatible with the pipeline state it was created from. SRB object inherits all static bindings from shaders in the pipeline, but is not allowed to change them.
      Mutable resources can only be set once for every instance of a shader resource binding. Such resources are intended to define specific material properties. For instance, a diffuse texture for a specific material is not expected to change once the material is defined and can be set right after the SRB object has been created:
      m_pSRB->GetVariable(SHADER_TYPE_PIXEL, "tex2DDiffuse")->Set(pDiffuseTexSRV); In some cases it is necessary to bind a new resource to a variable every time a draw command is invoked. Such variables should be labeled as dynamic, which will allow setting them multiple times through the same SRB object:
      m_pSRB->GetVariable(SHADER_TYPE_VERTEX, "cbRandomAttribs")->Set(pRandomAttrsCB); Under the hood, the engine pre-allocates descriptor tables for static and mutable resources when an SRB objcet is created. Space for dynamic resources is dynamically allocated at run time. Static and mutable resources are thus more efficient and should be used whenever possible.
      As you can see, Diligent Engine does not expose low-level details of how resources are bound to shader variables. One reason for this is that these details are very different for various APIs. The other reason is that using low-level binding methods is extremely error-prone: it is very easy to forget to bind some resource, or bind incorrect resource such as bind a buffer to the variable that is in fact a texture, especially during shader development when everything changes fast. Diligent Engine instead relies on shader reflection system to automatically query the list of all shader variables. Grouping variables based on three types mentioned above allows the engine to create optimized layout and take heavy lifting of matching resources to API-specific resource location, register or descriptor in the table.
      This post gives more details about the resource binding model in Diligent Engine.
      Setting the Pipeline State and Committing Shader Resources
      Before any draw or compute command can be invoked, the pipeline state needs to be bound to the context:
      m_pContext->SetPipelineState(m_pPSO); Under the hood, the engine sets the internal PSO object in the command list or calls all the required native API functions to properly configure all pipeline stages.
      The next step is to bind all required shader resources to the GPU pipeline, which is accomplished by IDeviceContext::CommitShaderResources() method:
      m_pContext->CommitShaderResources(m_pSRB, COMMIT_SHADER_RESOURCES_FLAG_TRANSITION_RESOURCES); The method takes a pointer to the shader resource binding object and makes all resources the object holds available for the shaders. In the case of D3D12, this only requires setting appropriate descriptor tables in the command list. For older APIs, this typically requires setting all resources individually.
      Next-generation APIs require the application to track the state of every resource and explicitly inform the system about all state transitions. For instance, if a texture was used as render target before, while the next draw command is going to use it as shader resource, a transition barrier needs to be executed. Diligent Engine does the heavy lifting of state tracking.  When CommitShaderResources() method is called with COMMIT_SHADER_RESOURCES_FLAG_TRANSITION_RESOURCES flag, the engine commits and transitions resources to correct states at the same time. Note that transitioning resources does introduce some overhead. The engine tracks state of every resource and it will not issue the barrier if the state is already correct. But checking resource state is an overhead that can sometimes be avoided. The engine provides IDeviceContext::TransitionShaderResources() method that only transitions resources:
      m_pContext->TransitionShaderResources(m_pPSO, m_pSRB); In some scenarios it is more efficient to transition resources once and then only commit them.
      Invoking Draw Command
      The final step is to set states that are not part of the PSO, such as render targets, vertex and index buffers. Diligent Engine uses Direct3D11-syle API that is translated to other native API calls under the hood:
      ITextureView *pRTVs[] = {m_pRTV}; m_pContext->SetRenderTargets(_countof( pRTVs ), pRTVs, m_pDSV); // Clear render target and depth buffer const float zero[4] = {0, 0, 0, 0}; m_pContext->ClearRenderTarget(nullptr, zero); m_pContext->ClearDepthStencil(nullptr, CLEAR_DEPTH_FLAG, 1.f); // 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); Different native APIs use various set of function to execute draw commands depending on command details (if the command is indexed, instanced or both, what offsets in the source buffers are used etc.). For instance, there are 5 draw commands in Direct3D11 and more than 9 commands in OpenGL with something like glDrawElementsInstancedBaseVertexBaseInstance not uncommon. Diligent Engine hides all details with single IDeviceContext::Draw() method that takes 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); For compute commands, there is IDeviceContext::DispatchCompute() method that takes DispatchComputeAttribs structure that defines compute grid dimension.
      Source Code
      Full engine source code is available on GitHub and is free to use. The repository contains tutorials, sample applications, asteroids performance benchmark and an example Unity project that uses Diligent Engine in native plugin.
      Atmospheric scattering sample demonstrates how Diligent Engine can be used to implement various rendering tasks: loading textures from files, using complex shaders, rendering to multiple render targets, using compute shaders and unordered access views, etc.

      Asteroids performance benchmark is based on this demo developed by Intel. It renders 50,000 unique textured asteroids and allows comparing performance of Direct3D11 and Direct3D12 implementations. Every asteroid is a combination of one of 1000 unique meshes and one of 10 unique textures.

      Finally, there is an example project that shows how Diligent Engine can be integrated with Unity.

      Future Work
      The engine is under active development. It currently supports Windows desktop, Universal Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS, and iOS platforms. Direct3D11, Direct3D12, OpenGL/GLES backends are now feature complete. Vulkan backend is coming next, and Metal backend is in the plan.
    • By trojanfoe
      I hope this is the right place to ask questions about DirectXTK which aren't really about graphics, if not please let me know a better place.
      Can anyone tell me why I cannot do this:
      DirectX::SimpleMath::Rectangle rectangle = {...}; RECT rect = rectangle; or
      RECT rect = static_cast<RECT>(rectangle); or
      const RECT rect(m_textureRect); despite Rectangle having the following operator RECT:
      operator RECT() { RECT rct; rct.left = x; rct.top = y; rct.right = (x + width); rct.bottom = (y + height); return rct; } VS2017 tells me:
      error C2440: 'initializing': cannot convert from 'const DirectX::SimpleMath::Rectangle' to 'const RECT' Thanks in advance
    • By isu diss
      I'm trying to duplicate vertices using std::map to be used in a vertex buffer. I don't get the correct index buffer(myInds) or vertex buffer(myVerts). I can get the index array from FBX but it differs from what I get in the following std::map code. Any help is much appreciated.
      struct FBXVTX { XMFLOAT3 Position; XMFLOAT2 TextureCoord; XMFLOAT3 Normal; }; std::map< FBXVTX, int > myVertsMap; std::vector<FBXVTX> myVerts; std::vector<int> myInds; HRESULT FBXLoader::Open(HWND hWnd, char* Filename, bool UsePositionOnly) { HRESULT hr = S_OK; if (FBXM) { FBXIOS = FbxIOSettings::Create(FBXM, IOSROOT); FBXM->SetIOSettings(FBXIOS); FBXI = FbxImporter::Create(FBXM, ""); if (!(FBXI->Initialize(Filename, -1, FBXIOS))) { hr = E_FAIL; MessageBox(hWnd, (wchar_t*)FBXI->GetStatus().GetErrorString(), TEXT("ALM"), MB_OK); } FBXS = FbxScene::Create(FBXM, "REALMS"); if (!FBXS) { hr = E_FAIL; MessageBox(hWnd, TEXT("Failed to create the scene"), TEXT("ALM"), MB_OK); } if (!(FBXI->Import(FBXS))) { hr = E_FAIL; MessageBox(hWnd, TEXT("Failed to import fbx file content into the scene"), TEXT("ALM"), MB_OK); } FbxAxisSystem OurAxisSystem = FbxAxisSystem::DirectX; FbxAxisSystem SceneAxisSystem = FBXS->GetGlobalSettings().GetAxisSystem(); if(SceneAxisSystem != OurAxisSystem) { FbxAxisSystem::DirectX.ConvertScene(FBXS); } FbxSystemUnit SceneSystemUnit = FBXS->GetGlobalSettings().GetSystemUnit(); if( SceneSystemUnit.GetScaleFactor() != 1.0 ) { FbxSystemUnit::cm.ConvertScene( FBXS ); } if (FBXI) FBXI->Destroy(); FbxNode* MainNode = FBXS->GetRootNode(); int NumKids = MainNode->GetChildCount(); FbxNode* ChildNode = NULL; for (int i=0; i<NumKids; i++) { ChildNode = MainNode->GetChild(i); FbxNodeAttribute* NodeAttribute = ChildNode->GetNodeAttribute(); if (NodeAttribute->GetAttributeType() == FbxNodeAttribute::eMesh) { FbxMesh* Mesh = ChildNode->GetMesh(); if (UsePositionOnly) { NumVertices = Mesh->GetControlPointsCount();//number of vertices MyV = new XMFLOAT3[NumVertices]; for (DWORD j = 0; j < NumVertices; j++) { FbxVector4 Vertex = Mesh->GetControlPointAt(j);//Gets the control point at the specified index. MyV[j] = XMFLOAT3((float)Vertex.mData[0], (float)Vertex.mData[1], (float)Vertex.mData[2]); } NumIndices = Mesh->GetPolygonVertexCount();//number of indices MyI = (DWORD*)Mesh->GetPolygonVertices();//index array } else { FbxLayerElementArrayTemplate<FbxVector2>* uvVertices = NULL; Mesh->GetTextureUV(&uvVertices); int idx = 0; for (int i = 0; i < Mesh->GetPolygonCount(); i++)//polygon(=mostly triangle) count { for (int j = 0; j < Mesh->GetPolygonSize(i); j++)//retrieves number of vertices in a polygon { FBXVTX myVert; int p_index = 3*i+j; int t_index = Mesh->GetTextureUVIndex(i, j); FbxVector4 Vertex = Mesh->GetControlPointAt(p_index);//Gets the control point at the specified index. myVert.Position = XMFLOAT3((float)Vertex.mData[0], (float)Vertex.mData[1], (float)Vertex.mData[2]); FbxVector4 Normal; Mesh->GetPolygonVertexNormal(i, j, Normal); myVert.Normal = XMFLOAT3((float)Normal.mData[0], (float)Normal.mData[1], (float)Normal.mData[2]); FbxVector2 uv = uvVertices->GetAt(t_index); myVert.TextureCoord = XMFLOAT2((float)uv.mData[0], (float)uv.mData[1]); if ( myVertsMap.find( myVert ) != myVertsMap.end() ) myInds.push_back( myVertsMap[ myVert ]); else { myVertsMap.insert( std::pair<FBXVTX, int> (myVert, idx ) ); myVerts.push_back(myVert); myInds.push_back(idx); idx++; } } } } } } } else { hr = E_FAIL; MessageBox(hWnd, TEXT("Failed to create the FBX Manager"), TEXT("ALM"), MB_OK); } return hr; } bool operator < ( const FBXVTX &lValue, const FBXVTX &rValue) { if (lValue.Position.x != rValue.Position.x) return(lValue.Position.x < rValue.Position.x); if (lValue.Position.y != rValue.Position.y) return(lValue.Position.y < rValue.Position.y); if (lValue.Position.z != rValue.Position.z) return(lValue.Position.z < rValue.Position.z); if (lValue.TextureCoord.x != rValue.TextureCoord.x) return(lValue.TextureCoord.x < rValue.TextureCoord.x); if (lValue.TextureCoord.y != rValue.TextureCoord.y) return(lValue.TextureCoord.y < rValue.TextureCoord.y); if (lValue.Normal.x != rValue.Normal.x) return(lValue.Normal.x < rValue.Normal.x); if (lValue.Normal.y != rValue.Normal.y) return(lValue.Normal.y < rValue.Normal.y); return(lValue.Normal.z < rValue.Normal.z); }  
    • By Karol Plewa
      I am working on a project where I'm trying to use Forward Plus Rendering on point lights. I have a simple reflective scene with many point lights moving around it. I am using effects file (.fx) to keep my shaders in one place. I am having a problem with Compute Shader code. I cannot get it to work properly and calculate the tiles and lighting properly. 
      Is there anyone that is wishing to help me set up my compute shader?
      Thank you in advance for any replies and interest!
    • By turanszkij
      Hi, right now building my engine in visual studio involves a shader compiling step to build hlsl 5.0 shaders. I have a separate project which only includes shader sources and the compiler is the visual studio integrated fxc compiler. I like this method because on any PC that has visual studio installed, I can just download the solution from GitHub and everything just builds without additional dependencies and using the latest version of the compiler. I also like it because the shaders are included in the solution explorer and easy to browse, and double-click to open (opening files can be really a pain in the ass in visual studio run in admin mode). Also it's nice that VS displays the build output/errors in the output window.
      But now I have the HLSL 6 compiler and want to build hlsl 6 shaders as well (and as I understand I can also compile vulkan compatible shaders with it later). Any idea how to do this nicely? I want only a single project containing shader sources, like it is now, but build them for different targets. I guess adding different building projects would be the way to go that reference the shader source project? But how would they differentiate from shader type of the sources (eg. pixel shader, compute shader,etc.)? Now the shader building project contains for each shader the shader type, how can other building projects reference that?
      Anyone with some experience in this?
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