• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
blueskies9041

OpenGL
Using OpenGL for particle systems...

4 posts in this topic

I'm a beginner programmer taking a game programming class here in good ole Seattle. I'm ahead of my assignments and my teacher wanted me to find something to do and I decided that a particle system would be a good occupation of my time since the game I'm desining at the moment is very mega man esque (boy do I really want the charge up effect on his blaster).

 

So after reading multiple OpenGL tutorials I've found that I could either generate a particle system using instancing or a combination of geometry shaders and transform feedback. I've heard arguments for both, instancing will work on almost every computer but uses CPU side processing and therefore would be slower in a more graphic intensive game (not important to my 2D game at the moment), whilst geometry shaders and transform feedback would provide an immense performance increase by taking advantage of GPU processing and would be more useful to me in the future.

 

So, which do you guys think is a better idea? 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were just trying to implement a particle system for the sake of getting it done, I'd recommend you keep it simple, and generate all four vertices on the CPU and submit as indexed triangles. In a simple 2D title, neither of the more complex approaches are likely to make any material difference to the final performance. However, it sounds like pushing yourself to learn new techniques is a big part of why you want to do it.

 

I think instancing doesn't bring much to the table for a particle system. Per instance, you'll need to send position, size, rotation, texture coordinates and it probably won't end up measurably faster than generating and sending all four vertices.

 

If I understand what you mean by the geometry shader/transform feedback approach, you're talking about using the vertex shader to update your particles using transform feedback and the geometry shader when rendering to expand a single particle into a quad. That sounds much more worthwhile both in terms of learning about interesting parts of the pipeline, and for getting some impressive particle throughput if you want to reuse the system for future demos.

 

I'd recommend you still start with the CPU approach first though, that way you have a reference point to check that your fancy rendering path is producing correct results, you have a fallback path for older graphics cards that you can use for your game, and you have a reference point to measure the speed boost against (in a job interview situation it's always nice to have solid performance numbers if you're talking about optimisations you made).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geometry shading is one of those things that looks great on paper and works terribly in real life. You're better off driving particle systems from the CPU. Also I've found that once you move into production with actual art goals, instancing doesn't help a lot for particles either. There's too much you want to do and instancing isn't very helpful for performance. It's easiest just to keep a double or triple buffered VBO (two or three buffers marked GL_STREAM_DRAW and switched every frame), and write the vertices manually.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bCeNzgiJ8I

 

I had seen the slides before but Valve released the video. First thing in the talk is a way to efficiently manage buffers for particle rendering.

 

The bad side is that the solution depends on ARB_buffer_storage. Which is a very, very new extension (as in only available in OpenGL 4.4 hardware). Though it explains why the conventional approach is slow, so you might get something out of it anyway.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bad side is that the solution depends on ARB_buffer_storage. Which is a very, very new extension (as in only available in OpenGL 4.4 hardware). Though it explains why the conventional approach is slow, so you might get something out of it anyway.

That's an interesting video, but only Nvidia supports OpenGL 4.4 so far

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Toastmastern
      So it's been a while since I took a break from my whole creating a planet in DX11. Last time around I got stuck on fixing a nice LOD.
      A week back or so I got help to find this:
      https://github.com/sp4cerat/Planet-LOD
      In general this is what I'm trying to recreate in DX11, he that made that planet LOD uses OpenGL but that is a minor issue and something I can solve. But I have a question regarding the code
      He gets the position using this row
      vec4d pos = b.var.vec4d["position"]; Which is then used further down when he sends the variable "center" into the drawing function:
      if (pos.len() < 1) pos.norm(); world::draw(vec3d(pos.x, pos.y, pos.z));  
      Inside the draw function this happens:
      draw_recursive(p3[0], p3[1], p3[2], center); Basically the 3 vertices of the triangle and the center of details that he sent as a parameter earlier: vec3d(pos.x, pos.y, pos.z)
      Now onto my real question, he does vec3d edge_center[3] = { (p1 + p2) / 2, (p2 + p3) / 2, (p3 + p1) / 2 }; to get the edge center of each edge, nothing weird there.
      But this is used later on with:
      vec3d d = center + edge_center[i]; edge_test[i] = d.len() > ratio_size; edge_test is then used to evaluate if there should be a triangle drawn or if it should be split up into 3 new triangles instead. Why is it working for him? shouldn't it be like center - edge_center or something like that? Why adding them togheter? I asume here that the center is the center of details for the LOD. the position of the camera if stood on the ground of the planet and not up int he air like it is now.

      Full code can be seen here:
      https://github.com/sp4cerat/Planet-LOD/blob/master/src.simple/Main.cpp
      If anyone would like to take a look and try to help me understand this code I would love this person. I'm running out of ideas on how to solve this in my own head, most likely twisted it one time to many up in my head
      Thanks in advance
      Toastmastern
       
       
    • By fllwr0491
      I googled around but are unable to find source code or details of implementation.
      What keywords should I search for this topic?
      Things I would like to know:
      A. How to ensure that partially covered pixels are rasterized?
         Apparently by expanding each triangle by 1 pixel or so, rasterization problem is almost solved.
         But it will result in an unindexable triangle list without tons of overlaps. Will it incur a large performance penalty?
      B. A-buffer like bitmask needs a read-modiry-write operation.
         How to ensure proper synchronizations in GLSL?
         GLSL seems to only allow int32 atomics on image.
      C. Is there some simple ways to estimate coverage on-the-fly?
         In case I am to draw 2D shapes onto an exisitng target:
         1. A multi-pass whatever-buffer seems overkill.
         2. Multisampling could cost a lot memory though all I need is better coverage.
            Besides, I have to blit twice, if draw target is not multisampled.
       
    • By mapra99
      Hello

      I am working on a recent project and I have been learning how to code in C# using OpenGL libraries for some graphics. I have achieved some quite interesting things using TAO Framework writing in Console Applications, creating a GLUT Window. But my problem now is that I need to incorporate the Graphics in a Windows Form so I can relate the objects that I render with some .NET Controls.

      To deal with this problem, I have seen in some forums that it's better to use OpenTK instead of TAO Framework, so I can use the glControl that OpenTK libraries offer. However, I haven't found complete articles, tutorials or source codes that help using the glControl or that may insert me into de OpenTK functions. Would somebody please share in this forum some links or files where I can find good documentation about this topic? Or may I use another library different of OpenTK?

      Thanks!
    • By Solid_Spy
      Hello, I have been working on SH Irradiance map rendering, and I have been using a GLSL pixel shader to render SH irradiance to 2D irradiance maps for my static objects. I already have it working with 9 3D textures so far for the first 9 SH functions.
      In my GLSL shader, I have to send in 9 SH Coefficient 3D Texures that use RGBA8 as a pixel format. RGB being used for the coefficients for red, green, and blue, and the A for checking if the voxel is in use (for the 3D texture solidification shader to prevent bleeding).
      My problem is, I want to knock this number of textures down to something like 4 or 5. Getting even lower would be a godsend. This is because I eventually plan on adding more SH Coefficient 3D Textures for other parts of the game map (such as inside rooms, as opposed to the outside), to circumvent irradiance probe bleeding between rooms separated by walls. I don't want to reach the 32 texture limit too soon. Also, I figure that it would be a LOT faster.
      Is there a way I could, say, store 2 sets of SH Coefficients for 2 SH functions inside a texture with RGBA16 pixels? If so, how would I extract them from inside GLSL? Let me know if you have any suggestions ^^.
    • By KarimIO
      EDIT: I thought this was restricted to Attribute-Created GL contexts, but it isn't, so I rewrote the post.
      Hey guys, whenever I call SwapBuffers(hDC), I get a crash, and I get a "Too many posts were made to a semaphore." from Windows as I call SwapBuffers. What could be the cause of this?
      Update: No crash occurs if I don't draw, just clear and swap.
      static PIXELFORMATDESCRIPTOR pfd = // pfd Tells Windows How We Want Things To Be { sizeof(PIXELFORMATDESCRIPTOR), // Size Of This Pixel Format Descriptor 1, // Version Number PFD_DRAW_TO_WINDOW | // Format Must Support Window PFD_SUPPORT_OPENGL | // Format Must Support OpenGL PFD_DOUBLEBUFFER, // Must Support Double Buffering PFD_TYPE_RGBA, // Request An RGBA Format 32, // Select Our Color Depth 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, // Color Bits Ignored 0, // No Alpha Buffer 0, // Shift Bit Ignored 0, // No Accumulation Buffer 0, 0, 0, 0, // Accumulation Bits Ignored 24, // 24Bit Z-Buffer (Depth Buffer) 0, // No Stencil Buffer 0, // No Auxiliary Buffer PFD_MAIN_PLANE, // Main Drawing Layer 0, // Reserved 0, 0, 0 // Layer Masks Ignored }; if (!(hDC = GetDC(windowHandle))) return false; unsigned int PixelFormat; if (!(PixelFormat = ChoosePixelFormat(hDC, &pfd))) return false; if (!SetPixelFormat(hDC, PixelFormat, &pfd)) return false; hRC = wglCreateContext(hDC); if (!hRC) { std::cout << "wglCreateContext Failed!\n"; return false; } if (wglMakeCurrent(hDC, hRC) == NULL) { std::cout << "Make Context Current Second Failed!\n"; return false; } ... // OGL Buffer Initialization glClear(GL_DEPTH_BUFFER_BIT | GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT); glBindVertexArray(vao); glUseProgram(myprogram); glDrawElements(GL_TRIANGLES, indexCount, GL_UNSIGNED_SHORT, (void *)indexStart); SwapBuffers(GetDC(window_handle));  
  • Popular Now