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    • By kanageddaamen
      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.
    • By DiligentDev
      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.
      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
      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.)
      Creating Shaders
      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:
      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
      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:
      m_pDev->CreatePipelineState(PSODesc, &m_pPSO); Binding Shader Resources
      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:
      PixelShader->GetShaderVariable( "g_tex2DShadowMap" )->Set( pShadowMapSRV ); Mutable and dynamic variables are bound via a new object called Shader Resource Binding (SRB), which is created by the pipeline state:
      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.
      Tutorial 01 - Hello Triangle This tutorial shows how to render a simple triangle using Diligent Engine API.   Tutorial 02 - Cube This tutorial demonstrates how to render an actual 3D object, a cube. It shows how to load shaders from files, create and use vertex, index and uniform buffers.   Tutorial 03 - Texturing This tutorial demonstrates how to apply a texture to a 3D object. It shows how to load a texture from file, create shader resource binding object and how to sample a texture in the shader.   Tutorial 04 - Instancing This tutorial demonstrates how to use instancing to render multiple copies of one object using unique transformation matrix for every copy.   Tutorial 05 - Texture Array This tutorial demonstrates how to combine instancing with texture arrays to use unique texture for every instance.   Tutorial 06 - Multithreading This tutorial shows how to generate command lists in parallel from multiple threads.   Tutorial 07 - Geometry Shader This tutorial shows how to use geometry shader to render smooth wireframe.   Tutorial 08 - Tessellation This tutorial shows how to use hardware tessellation to implement simple adaptive terrain rendering algorithm.   Tutorial_09 - Quads This tutorial shows how to render multiple 2D quads, frequently swithcing textures and blend modes.
      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:
      #define GLTF_TARGET_ARRAY_BUFFER (34962) #define GLTF_TARGET_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER (34963) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_BYTE (5120) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_BYTE (5121) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_SHORT (5122) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_SHORT (5123) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_INT (5124) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_INT (5125) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_FLOAT (5126) #define GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_DOUBLE (5127) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_BYTE (5120) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_UNSIGNED_BYTE (5121) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_SHORT (5122) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_UNSIGNED_SHORT (5123) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_INT (5124) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_UNSIGNED_INT (5125) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_FLOAT (5126) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_FLOAT_VEC2 (35664) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_FLOAT_VEC3 (35665) #define GLTF_PARAMETER_TYPE_FLOAT_VEC4 (35666) struct GLTF { struct Accessor { USHORT bufferView; USHORT componentType; UINT count; vector<INT> max; vector<INT> min; string type; }; vector<Accessor> m_accessors; struct Asset { string copyright; string generator; string version; }m_asset; struct BufferView { UINT buffer; UINT byteLength; UINT byteOffset; UINT target; }; vector<BufferView> m_bufferViews; struct Buffer { UINT byteLength; string uri; }; vector<Buffer> m_buffers; vector<string> m_Images; struct Material { string name; string alphaMode; Vec4 baseColorFactor; UINT baseColorTexture; UINT normalTexture; float metallicFactor; }; vector<Material> m_materials; struct Meshes { string name; struct Primitive { vector<UINT> attributes_indices; UINT indices; UINT material; }; vector<Primitive> primitives; }; vector<Meshes> m_meshes; struct Nodes { int mesh; string name; Vec3 translation; }; vector<Nodes> m_nodes; struct Scenes { UINT index; string name; vector<UINT> nodes; }; vector<Scenes> m_scenes; vector<UINT> samplers; struct Textures { UINT sampler; UINT source; }; vector<Textures> m_textures; map<UINT, string> attributes_map; map<UINT, string> textures_map; }; GLTF m_gltf; // This is actually in the Mesh class bool Mesh::Load(string sFilename) { string sFileAsString; stringstream sStream; ifstream fin(sFilename); sStream << fin.rdbuf(); fin.close(); sFileAsString = sStream.str(); Json::Reader r; Json::Value root; if (!r.parse(sFileAsString, root)) { string errors = r.getFormatedErrorMessages(); if (errors != "") { // TODO: Log errors return false; } } if (root.isNull()) return false; Json::Value object; Json::Value value; // Load Accessors array, these are referenced by attributes with their index value object = root.get("accessors", Json::Value()); // store object with key "accessors", if not found it will default to Json::Value() if (!object.isNull()) { for (Json::ValueIterator it = object.begin(); it != object.end(); it++) { GLTF::Accessor accessor; value = (*it).get("bufferView", Json::Value()); if (!value.isNull()) accessor.bufferView = value.asUINT(); else return false; value = (*it).get("componentType", Json::Value()); if (!value.isNull()) accessor.componentType = value.asUINT(); else return false; value = (*it).get("count", Json::Value()); if (!value.isNull()) accessor.count = value.asUINT(); else return false; value = (*it).get("type", Json::Value()); if (!value.isNull()) accessor.type = value.asString(); else return false; m_gltf.accessors.push_back(accessor); } } else return false; object = root.get("bufferViews", Json::Value()); if(!object.isNull()) { for (Json::ValueIterator it = object.begin(); it != object.end(); it++) { GLTF::BufferView bufferView; value = (*it).get("buffer", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) bufferView.buffer = value.asUInt(); else return false; value = (*it).get("byteLength", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) bufferView.byteLength = value.asUInt(); else return false; value = (*it).get("byteOffset", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) bufferView.byteOffset = value.asUInt(); else return false; value = (*it).get("target", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) bufferView.target = value.asUInt(); else return false; m_gltf.m_bufferViews.push_back(bufferView); } } else return false; object = root.get("buffers", Json::Value()); if(!object.isNull()) { for (Json::ValueIterator it = object.begin(); it != object.end(); it++) { GLTF::Buffer buffer; value = (*it).get("byteLength", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) buffer.byteLength = value.asUInt(); else return false; // Store the filename of the .bin file value = (*it).get("uri", Json::Value()); if(!value.isNull()) buffer.uri = value.asString(); else return false; } } else return false; object = root.get("meshes", Json::Value()); if(!object.isNull()) { for(Json::ValueIterator it = object.begin(); it != object.end(); it++) { GLTF::Meshes mesh; value = (*it).get("primitives", Json::Value()); for(Json::ValueIterator value_it = value.begin(); value_it != value.end(); value_it++) { GLTF::Meshes::Primitive primitive; Json::Value attributes; attributes = (*value_it).get("attributes", Json::Value()); vector<string> memberNames = attributes.getMemberNames(); for(size_t i = 0; i < memberNames.size(); i++) { Json::Value member; member = attributes.get(memeberNames[i], Json::Value()); if(!member.isNull()) { primitive.attributes_indices.push_back(member.asUInt()); m_gltf.attributes_map[member.asUInt()] = memberNames[i]; // Each of these referes to an accessor by indice, so each indice should be unique, and they are when loading a cube } else return false; } // Indice of the accessor used for indices Json::Value indices; indices = (*value_it).get("indices", Json::Value()); primitive.indices = indices.asUInt(); mesh.primitives.push_back(primitive); } m_gltf.m_meshes.push_back(mesh); } } vector<float> vertexData; vector<USHORT> indiceData; int vertexBufferSizeTotal = 0; int elementBufferSizeTotal = 0; GLTF::Meshes mesh = m_gltf.m_meshes[0]; vector<GLTF::Meshes::Primitive> primitives = mesh.primitives; // trying to make the code easier to read for (size_t p = 0; p < primitive.size(); p++) { vector<UINT> attributes = primitives[p].attributes_indices; for(size_t a = 0; a < attributes.size(); a++) { GLTF::Accessor accessor = m_gltf.m_accessors[attributes[a]]; GLTF::BufferView bufferView = m_gltf.m_bufferViews[accessor.bufferView]; UINT target = bufferView.target; if(target == GLTF_TARGET_ARRAY_BUFFER) vertexBufferSizeTotal += bufferView.byteLength; } UINT indice = primitives[p].indices; GLTF::BufferView bufferView = m_gltf.m_bufferViews[indice]; UINT target = bufferView.target; if(target == GLTF_TARGET_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER) elementBufferSizeTotal += bufferView.byteLength; } // These have already been generated glBindVertexArray(g_pGame->m_VAO); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, g_pGame->m_VBO); glBufferData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, vertexBufferSizeTotal, nullptr, GL_STATIC_DRAW); glBindBuffer(GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER, g_pGame->m_EBO); glBufferData(GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER, elementBufferSizeTotal, nullptr, GL_STATIC_DRAW); int offset = 0; int offset_indice = 0; for (size_t p = 0; p < primitive.size(); p++) { vector<UINT> attributes = primitives[p].attributes_indices; int pos = sFilename.find_last_of('\\') + 1; string sFolder = sFilename.substr(0, pos); for (size_t a = 0; a < attributes.size(); a++) { LoadBufferView(sFolder, attributes[a], data, offset); } UINT indice = primitives[p].indices; GLTF::BufferView bufferView_indice = m_gltf.m_bufferViews[indice]; UINT target_indice = bufferView_indice.target; bool result = LoadBufferView(sFolder, indice, data, offset_indice); if(!result) return false; } return true; } bool Mesh::LoadBufferView(string sFolder, UINT a, vector<float> &vertexData, vector<float> &indiceData, int &offset_indice) { ifstream fin; GLTF::Accessor accessor = m_gltf.m_accessors[a]; GLTF::BufferView bufferView = m_gltf.m_bufferViews[accessor.bufferView]; GLTF::Buffer buffer = m_gltf.m_buffers[bufferView.buffer]; const size_t count = accessor.count; UINT target = bufferView.target; int elementSize; int componentSize; int numComponents; string sFilename_bin = sFolder + buffer.uri; fin.open(sFilename_bin, ios::binary); if (fin.fail()) { return false; } fin.seekg(bufferView.byteOffset, ios::beg); switch (accessor.componentType) { case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_BYTE: componentSize = sizeof(GLbyte); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_BYTE: componentSize = sizeof(GLubyte); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_SHORT: componentSize = sizeof(GLshort); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_SHORT: componentSize = sizeof(GLushort); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_INT: componentSize = sizeof(GLint); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_UNSIGNED_INT: componentSize = sizeof(GLuint); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_FLOAT: componentSize = sizeof(GLfloat); break; case GLTF_COMPONENT_TYPE_DOUBLE: componentSize = sizeof(GLfloat); break; default: componentSize = 0; break; } if (accessor.type == "SCALAR") numComponents = 1; else if (accessor.type == "VEC2") numComponents = 2; else if (accessor.type == "VEC3") numComponents = 3; else if (accessor.type == "VEC4") numComponents = 4; else if (accessor.type == "MAT2") numComponents = 4; else if (accessor.type == "MAT3") numComponents = 9; else if (accessor.type == "MAT4") numComponents = 16; else return false; vector<float> fSubdata; // I'm pretty sure this is one of the problems, or related to it. If I use vector<USHORT> only half of the vector if filled, if I use GLubyte, the entire vector is filled, but the data might not be right vector<GLubyte> nSubdata; elementSize = (componentSize) * (numComponents); // Only fill the vector I'm using if (accessor.type == "SCALAR") { nSubdata.resize(count * numComponents); fin.read(reinterpret_cast<char*>(&nSubdata[0]), count/* * elementSize*/); // I commented this out since I'm not sure which size the .bin is storing the indice values, and I kept getting runtime errors, no matter what type I used for nSubdata } else { fSubdata.resize(count * numComponents); fin.read(reinterpret_cast<char*>(&fSubdata[0]), count * elementSize); } switch (target) { case GLTF_TARGET_ARRAY_BUFFER: { vertexData.insert(vertexData.end(), fSubdata.begin(), fSubdata.end()); glBindBuffer(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, g_pGame->m_VBO); glBufferSubData(GL_ARRAY_BUFFER, offset, fSubdata.size() * componentSize, &fSubdata[0]); int attribute_index = 0; // I'm only loading vertex positions, the only attribute stored in the files for now glEnableVertexAttribArray(attribute_index); glVertexAttribPointer(0, numComponents, GL_FLOAT, GL_FALSE, componentSize * numComponents, (void*)(offset)); }break; case GLTF_TARGET_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER: { indiceData.insert(indiceData.end(), nSubdata.begin(), nSubdata.end()); glBindBuffer(GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER, g_pGame->m_EBO); // This is another area where I'm not sure of the correct values, but if componentSize is the correct size for the type being used it should be correct glBufferSubData is expecting the size in bytes, right? glBufferSubData(GL_ELEMENT_ARRAY_BUFFER, offset, nSubdata.size() * componentSize, &nSubdata[0]); }break; default: return false; } if (accessor.type == "SCALAR") offset += nSubdata.size() * componentSize; else offset += fSubdata.size() * componentSize; fin.close(); return true; } these are the draw calls, I only use one at a time, but neither is currently display properly, g_pGame->m_indices is the same as indiceData vector, and vertexCount contains the correct vertex count, but I forgot to copy the lines of code containing where I set them, which is at the end of Mesh::Load(), I double checked the values to make sure.
      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?
    • By ritzmax72
      That means how do I use base DirectX or OpenGL api's to make a physics based destruction simulation? 
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OpenGL Efficient GUI rendering

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This has probably come up before here, so feel free to link me straight to a good source of info .. but ..

Anyway for various reasons I have written a little GUI system for a game I'm working on, and decided to have a go at fleshing it out to make it useful for writing tools or little apps, possibly cross platform. Oh gawd, yet another reinventing the wheel I hear you cringe, yes, well, can't say much on that ...

Here's a screeny showing I have it working ok, it didn't take too long:


For the game I was using directx to do the actual GUI rendering, but I've swapped over to opengl for general use, and it's a long time since I did much opengl, I'm very out of date with it.

So my question is probably to people who have done this before, what did you find the most efficient way of rendering the GUI objects? I can see there's a few trade offs involved. I was until recently just doing everything in software, writing to one big software surface, then locking a big viewport size texture and copying the RGB data across. Not particularly elegant or fast, but simple and it works.

That is until I realised I wanted to have some opengl 3d viewports displaying 3d models inside the app, with GUI elements possibly overlayed (such as menus, or dialog boxes). And to future proof things it would be nice to not lock the entire viewport every time there is a little change, so it works at reasonable speed.

So my guesses for some alternative methods are:

1) As each 'widget' is changed, I render this to the big software texture, and lock and upload just a part of the texture (using glTexSubImage2D?). This isn't as simple as it could be though, because it appears the source data can't have a 'pitch' to jump across the x coord on each line (if the viewport is much wider than the 'dirty rectangle'), so I'd have to first convert the big software texture to a temporary smaller one before uploading to opengl.

I could also keep a list of dirty rectangles that need uploading to opengl to avoid uploading the same area more than once in a frame.

2) Same as above but keep a separate software surface for each 'widget'. That way it can be uploaded without fiddling. However it makes changing the size of widgets potentially more problematic (as the software surface size will change), and would be nicer to avoid all those unnecessary memory allocations (although I could use memory pools I spose).

3) Have a separate opengl texture for each widget. Probably faster for rendering but pretty ugly in terms of memory allocation / deletion.

4) Try and render everything directly on the 3d card, without using software textures.

So, anyone know is there a standard good way of doing this? Anyone know what CeGUI, MyGUI etc do?
Cheers smile.png

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what did you find the most efficient way of rendering the GUI objects?
The one that takes less work to implement. I've had quite some stir with GUI systems and I can tell for sure performance has never been a problem for me. Never. They just are not performance paths.
But, as a design rule, I'd try to minimize memory consumption rather than runtime performance.

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[quote name='lawnjelly' timestamp='1341420449' post='4955665']
what did you find the most efficient way of rendering the GUI objects?
The one that takes less work to implement. I've had quite some stir with GUI systems and I can tell for sure performance has never been a problem for me. Never. They just are not performance paths.
But, as a design rule, I'd try to minimize memory consumption rather than runtime performance.
Well that sounds encouraging. :)

I'm beginning to think the idea of trying to render GUI items on top of the opengl 3d windows is overkill, and opening up a bag of worms. Instead I could just render the GUI in the background, then just update the 3d window on top and assume nothing is overlaying it. And in the case of where the user opens a menu or something, I could pause the 3d window, kind of avoiding the problem.

I kind of agree on the memory consumption and also simplicity versus performance, after all I don't want to spend that much time on it, and create the greatest kickass GUI known to man if I'm only going to use it for a couple of apps. Just didn't want to paint myself into a corner later on with early design decisions if it's not necessary.

At the moment I'm thinking in terms of keeping the current approach with one big software surface, then just optimizing the amount of locking / dirty rectangles uploaded to the opengl texture. It may well stall the 3d pipeline, but it shouldn't matter that much if I'm not doing it every frame, and it's just for tools.

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A GUI rendering can be slow, because text rendering can be slow if there's a lot of text. So you can look into text rendering optimization.

I know you didn't ask for comments on the reinventing thing, but it's pretty strange that you are really reinventing the look of the standard win32 GUI.
If you want to release stuff with this GUI, it will kick your ass. And it will kick the users' ass. A GUI that just looks like the well known Windows GUI but doesn't work like it is a major user-anti-experience.

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The one that takes less work to implement. I've had quite some stir with GUI systems and I can tell for sure performance has never been a problem for me. Never. They just are not performance paths.
But, as a design rule, I'd try to minimize memory consumption rather than runtime performance.

I'm guessing that you've never worked with Scaleform. tongue.png Edited by MJP

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A GUI rendering can be slow, because text rendering can be slow if there's a lot of text. So you can look into text rendering optimization.

I know you didn't ask for comments on the reinventing thing, but it's pretty strange that you are really reinventing the look of the standard win32 GUI.
If you want to release stuff with this GUI, it will kick your ass. And it will kick the users' ass. A GUI that just looks like the well known Windows GUI but doesn't work like it is a major user-anti-experience.

I agree about the user experience, there are some well executed and user-friendly third party GUIs and some that just leaving you scratching your head.

In this case I'd already written the basics of the GUI for a light weight in-game menu system, so thought why not add regular application menus and try running with it for a simple app. It's all good experience. I'm just planning on using it for a simple internal 3d model editor for now, nothing fancy.

And of course not being tied to win32 leaves you more options, me and a couple of friends have just released an app on iOS that used a simplified version of this.

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that you've never worked with Scaleform. tongue.png
Of course not. I'm referring to the shitty systems I use here.

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Have you come across GWEN? Its a GUI system aimed at games.

It comes with renderers for GDI, Allegro, OpenGL, Direct2D, DirectX and SFML.

I've used it with SFML. I had to modify the SFML renderer slightly to suit my needs and because it's open source it was easy to do.

Heres the link:

From the website:


  • Coded in C++
  • Fully Namespaced
  • All standard window controls
  • Behaves like you'd expect
  • Lightweight

    • No XML readers, no font loaders/renderers, no texture loaders - your engine should be doing all this stuff!
    • Easy to integrate (comes with renderers for Windows GDI, Allegro, OpenGL, Direct2D, DirectX and SFML)
    • Totally portable & cross platform
    • Doesn't need RTTI

      Released under a "do whatever you want" MIT license.

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I've written this, but am not really sure it answers any questions, but perhaps you will find something useful here ;)

I would say that what you do would largely depend on your end goals (and those may change as time progresses). By this I mean if it's only ever going to be for use in your own projects, or if you intend a more general purpose library for use by the masses.

I guess some of what I put here is more aimed at a public lib and so it may not apply if what you're doing is only ever going to be for use in your own stuff.

It has to be said that to be completely general purpose and suitable for all possible scenarios is exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to pull off. GUIs used for games and such may usually make assumptions and impose limitations that perhaps you can not if your GUI is to be used for non-game things. Editors and such can fall into either category, and which category any given tool falls into depends on many things IMO.

I suggest to create a brief “mission statement” that describes specific roles for your GUI and stick to that at all costs. Decide early on some limitations and stick to them rigidly. While “rigidity” sounds like bad advice, in the long run it will save you time, effort and keep your project lean, mean and on target at all times. Trying to be all things to all people is a slippery slope, and ultimately will split users into two camps – those that love the fact that you're willing to implement their feature request or modification, and those that think your lib sucks because it is complex or bloated – you cannot please all of the people, all of the time ;)

Current CEGUI performs rendering at various levels. The base level caches geometry for a window's rendering which remains unmodified and thus is reused until something changes on that window. By geometry, I do not mean four corners, 2 triangles or whatever, but geometry for all imagery drawn, so if the window has tiled a background and text, the geometry for drawing all those quads is stored.

In addition to this, we also support rendering the base level cached geometry back to a texture along with rendering for all attached child elements. This is generally used either for special effects or for optimisation purposes (if you have a page of text, rendering it to a texture first can be a massive performance boost – because drawing the two triangles needed to display the 'cache' texture is likely faster than drawing 20,000 triangles or more needed for a page of text). CEGUI makes this cache texture optional, and under the users control, since scenarios exist where always rendering to texture first will be slower – if we exclude special effects where it might always be needed, if some UI element is changing every frame, using a middle-man texture will slow things down instead of speeding them up.

We give access to the user to various parts of this pipeline so they can do their own thing, such as rendering 3D models. Having said that, it is also possible if the user renders the 3D model to texture, and then uses that texture to put the rendered model into a window. For our purposes that can be beneficial since it allows the user to cleanly update that model without having to hook into the CEGUI rendering process directly.

TL;DR: Keep it as simple as possible. Avoid mission creep. Don't let other people pull you off of your original vision. There is no one right answer and only you can decide what is best for your project!


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Thanks for the advice guys, especially thanks to Eddie as you are probably one of the most qualified guys to give answers having done it all! smile.png

Yes I am sure trying to make a GUI for others to use is a whole other kettle of fish. You can end up trying to be all things to all people, but it's difficult because there are always trade-offs, as you say adding all the features that users demand, versus bloating the code and making it more complex to maintain.

I expect like other aspects of games (3d rendering, physics etc) the 'best' solution for your particular constraints only becomes apparent after several entire redesigns.

After a little investigation it turns out there is a way to easily upload just part of a software surface (canvas I'm calling it) to opengl, using

glPixelStorei(GL_UNPACK_ROW_LENGTH, uiWidth);
prior to calling

which deals with the problem of the pitch of source surface, although it may not work on opengl ES (I'll cross that bridge when I come to it).

So I'll go with the keep it simple stupid approach for now and do it all in software, and just upload dirty rectangles where pixel data changes.

And render to texture does sound like it may add extra possibilities to any problems of integrating 3d windows with the rest of the GUI. Good points too about having a cached surface for things like text, but it not being faster in all cases.

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