• 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
Ubik

OpenGL
Cases for multithreading OpenGL code?

12 posts in this topic

I have wanted to support multiple contexts to be used in separate threads with shared resources in this convenience GL wrapper I've been fiddling with. My goal hasn't been to expose everything it can do but in a nice way, but the multi-context support has seemed like a good thing, to align the wrapper with a pretty big aspect of the underlying system. However, multithreaded stuff is hard, so I finally started to question if supporting multiple contexts with resource sharing is even worth it.

 

If the intended use is PC gaming - a single simple window and so on (a single person project too, to put things to scale, and currently targeting version 3.3 if that has any relevance), what reasons would there be to take the harder route? My understanding is that the benefits might actually be pretty limited, but my knowledge of all the various implementations and their capabilities is definitely limited.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I honestly hadn't expected this to be so clear-cut. A bit sad and maybe a little ironic too that GPU rendering can't be parallelized from client side too, with OpenGL anyway.

 

Thank you for sharing the knowledge!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, it's only a partly parallelisable problem as the GPU is reading from a single command buffer (well, in the GL/D3D model, the hardware doesn't work quite the same as Mantle shows giving you 3 command queues per device but still...) so at some point your commands have to get into that stream (be it by physically adding to a chunk of memory or inserting a jump instruction to a block to execute) so you are always going to a single thread/sync point going on.

However, command sub-buffer construction is a highly parallelisable thing, consoles have been doing it for ages, the problem is the OpenGL mindset seems to be 'this isn't a problem - just multi-draw all the things!' and the D3D11 "solution" was a flawed one because of how the driver works internally.

D3D12 and Mantle should shake this up and hopefully show that parallel command buffer construction is a good thing and that OpenGL needs to get with the program (or, as someone at Valve said, it'll get chewed up by the newer APIs).
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doing texture streaming in parallel works great on all GPUs I've tested on, which include a shitload of Nvidia GPUs, at least an AMD HD7790 and a few Intel GPUs. It's essentially stutter-free.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a silly but related question. If I use a second context to upload data that takes, for example, a second to transfer over the PCI bus, will the main rendering thread stall while it waits for it's own per-frame data, or will the driver split the larger data into chunks, thereby allowing the two threads to interlace their data?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's only a partly parallelisable problem as the GPU is reading from a single command buffer (well, in the GL/D3D model, the hardware doesn't work quite the same as Mantle shows giving you 3 command queues per device but still...) so at some point your commands have to get into that stream (be it by physically adding to a chunk of memory or inserting a jump instruction to a block to execute) so you are always going to a single thread/sync point going on.

However, command sub-buffer construction is a highly parallelisable thing, consoles have been doing it for ages, the problem is the OpenGL mindset seems to be 'this isn't a problem - just multi-draw all the things!' and the D3D11 "solution" was a flawed one because of how the driver works internally.

D3D12 and Mantle should shake this up and hopefully show that parallel command buffer construction is a good thing and that OpenGL needs to get with the program (or, as someone at Valve said, it'll get chewed up by the newer APIs).

Good clarification. Makes sense that even if the GPU has lots of pixel/vertex/computing units, the system controlling them isn't necessarily as parallel-friendly. For a non-hw person the number three sounds like a curious choice, but in any case it seems to make some intuitive sense to have the number close to a common number of CPU cores. That's excluding hyper-threading but that's an Intel thing so doesn't matter to folks at AMD. (Though there's the consoles with more cores...)

 

I'm wishing for something nicer than OpenGL to happen too, but it's probably going to take some time for things to actually change. Not on Windows here, so the wait is likely going to be longer still. Might as well use GL in the mean time.

 

Doing texture streaming in parallel works great on all GPUs I've tested on, which include a shitload of Nvidia GPUs, at least an AMD HD7790 and a few Intel GPUs. It's essentially stutter-free.

Creating resources or uploading data on a second context is what I've mostly had in mind earlier. I did try to find info on this, but probably didn't use the right terms because I got the impression that actually parallel data transfer isn't that commonly supported.

 

I've now thought that if I'm going to add secondary context support anyway, it will be in a very constrained way, so that the other context (or wrapper for it to be specific) won't be a general purpose one but targeting things like resource loading specifically. That could allow me to keep the complexity at bay.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, so it's more like different handlers for different tasks instead of three general-purpose units, though by the sound of it it's not even that clear with the distinction between drawing and computing. The latter was for whatever reason my first assumption. From that perspective it felt reasonable to think that there would be no reason to be more of them than there are CPU cores to feed them with commands. Teaches me to not make quick assumptions!

 

Thanks for taking the time to tell about this. Even though I obviously haven't delved into these lower level matters much, they are interesting to me too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might even make some sense for Khronos to have some kind of "low-level GL" specification alongsinde OpenGL, because that way the latter could have an actual cross-platform and cross-vendor implementation built on the former. Then the folks who still want or need to use OpenGL would have to fight against just one set of quirks. Well, as long as the LLGL actually had uniformly working implementations...

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 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));  
    • By Tchom
      Hey devs!
       
      I've been working on a OpenGL ES 2.0 android engine and I have begun implementing some simple (point) lighting. I had something fairly simple working, so I tried to get fancy and added color-tinting light. And it works great... with only one or two lights. Any more than that, the application drops about 15 frames per light added (my ideal is at least 4 or 5). I know implementing lighting is expensive, I just didn't think it was that expensive. I'm fairly new to the world of OpenGL and GLSL, so there is a good chance I've written some crappy shader code. If anyone had any feedback or tips on how I can optimize this code, please let me know.
       
      Vertex Shader
      uniform mat4 u_MVPMatrix; uniform mat4 u_MVMatrix; attribute vec4 a_Position; attribute vec3 a_Normal; attribute vec2 a_TexCoordinate; varying vec3 v_Position; varying vec3 v_Normal; varying vec2 v_TexCoordinate; void main() { v_Position = vec3(u_MVMatrix * a_Position); v_TexCoordinate = a_TexCoordinate; v_Normal = vec3(u_MVMatrix * vec4(a_Normal, 0.0)); gl_Position = u_MVPMatrix * a_Position; } Fragment Shader
      precision mediump float; uniform vec4 u_LightPos["+numLights+"]; uniform vec4 u_LightColours["+numLights+"]; uniform float u_LightPower["+numLights+"]; uniform sampler2D u_Texture; varying vec3 v_Position; varying vec3 v_Normal; varying vec2 v_TexCoordinate; void main() { gl_FragColor = (texture2D(u_Texture, v_TexCoordinate)); float diffuse = 0.0; vec4 colourSum = vec4(1.0); for (int i = 0; i < "+numLights+"; i++) { vec3 toPointLight = vec3(u_LightPos[i]); float distance = length(toPointLight - v_Position); vec3 lightVector = normalize(toPointLight - v_Position); float diffuseDiff = 0.0; // The diffuse difference contributed from current light diffuseDiff = max(dot(v_Normal, lightVector), 0.0); diffuseDiff = diffuseDiff * (1.0 / (1.0 + ((1.0-u_LightPower[i])* distance * distance))); //Determine attenuatio diffuse += diffuseDiff; gl_FragColor.rgb *= vec3(1.0) / ((vec3(1.0) + ((vec3(1.0) - vec3(u_LightColours[i]))*diffuseDiff))); //The expensive part } diffuse += 0.1; //Add ambient light gl_FragColor.rgb *= diffuse; } Am I making any rookie mistakes? Or am I just being unrealistic about what I can do? Thanks in advance
    • By yahiko00
      Hi,
      Not sure to post at the right place, if not, please forgive me...
      For a game project I am working on, I would like to implement a 2D starfield as a background.
      I do not want to deal with static tiles, since I plan to slowly animate the starfield. So, I am trying to figure out how to generate a random starfield for the entire map.
      I feel that using a uniform distribution for the stars will not do the trick. Instead I would like something similar to the screenshot below, taken from the game Star Wars: Empire At War (all credits to Lucasfilm, Disney, and so on...).

      Is there someone who could have an idea of a distribution which could result in such a starfield?
      Any insight would be appreciated
  • Popular Now