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Aqua Costa

InputLayout Permutations

4 posts in this topic



I was checking Hieroglyph 3 source code and I think I found something really useful...


It looks like you can use the same array D3D11_INPUT_ELEMENT_DESC array to create multiple InputLayout permutations.

m_iPointLightIL = Renderer.CreateInputLayout( inputElements, m_PointLightEffect[0].GetVertexShader() );
m_iSpotLightIL = Renderer.CreateInputLayout( inputElements, m_SpotLightEffect[0].GetVertexShader() );
m_iDirectionalLightIL = Renderer.CreateInputLayout( inputElements, m_DirectionalLightEffect[0].GetVertexShader() );

As you can see the CreateInputLayout function is called 3 times using the same inputElements to create multiple (different) InputLayouts.


So the D3D Device goes through the inputElements and picks the ones that match the semantics (and format, etc) in the vertex shader input and ignores the rest?


Is this referred somewhere in the documentation and I simply missed it?


This will greatly simplify my tools and InputLayout management so thanks MJP smile.png .

Edited by TiagoCosta

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Actually if that's from one of the deferred rendering samples, then I'm pretty sure that I wrote code. tongue.png

Fixed happy.png 

A good example would be if you had a mesh, and you had two sets of shaders: one for normal rendering, and one for shadow map rendering. The main vertex shader will probably require all of the vertex elements, but the shadow map vertex shader will probably require only the positions. Since the two shaders have different input parameters you'll need to 2 different input layouts, but if you use the same vetex buffer for both then you can re-use the same vertex element array.


Will this improve performance of the Input Assembler? The memory performance will be the same right? Because the IA will still have to read all data from the vertex buffer and select the vertex elements it needs.

How is the vertex data passed from the IA to the VS? Is it copied by "value" to a temporary buffer that the vertex shader reads from?


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