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OpenGL OpenGL VSync stutter issue in main game loop

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I’m working on a home project a small graphics engine written in C++11 using GLFW for windowing, but I ran into a vsync related stuttering that I was unable to fix. In the last few weeks I’ve spent countless hours trying to understand what might be wrong in the below game loop but I just can’t figure it out. Even worse is that on a system with Intel HD Graphics 4000 the animation is butter smooth even with vsync Enabled, but on my home PC with nVidia GTX480 I see a lot of animation stutter. sad.pngsad.pngsad.png  ohmy.png
 
Game Loop:

void Engine::run()
{
	if (isRunning_)
		return;

	isRunning_ = true;

	initialize();

	bool vSyncEnabled = window_->getVSyncEnabled();
	
	int frames = 0;
	double frameCounter = 0.0;

	int granularity = 480;

	State current = {};
	current.time.t_ = 0.0;
	current.time.dt_ = 1.0 / granularity;
	current.time.accumulator_ = 0.0;
	
	State previous = current;
	previous.time.start_ = time_->getTime();

	while (isRunning_)
	{
		current.time.start_ = time_->getTime();
		current.time.elapsed_ = current.time.start_ - previous.time.start_;
		previous.time.start_ = current.time.start_;

		if (vSyncEnabled)
			smoothDelta(current.time.elapsed_, granularity);

		if (current.time.elapsed_ > 0.25)
			current.time.elapsed_ = 0.25;

		current.time.accumulator_ += current.time.elapsed_;
		frameCounter += current.time.elapsed_;

		///-- Update
		while (current.time.accumulator_ >= current.time.dt_)
		{
			current.time.accumulator_ -= current.time.dt_;
			previous = current;
			renderManager_->update(current);
			current.time.t_ += current.time.dt_;
		}
		///--

		///-- Render
		renderManager_->interpolate(previous, current);
		renderManager_->render();

		window_->swapBuffers();
		frames++;
		///--

		window_->poolEvents();

		if ( window_->windowShouldClose() )
		{
			stop();
		}
	}

	terminate();
}

Render manager Test Code:

...
void GlRenderManager::update(const State& current)
{
	prevTriangle_ = currTriangle_;

	if ( currTriangle_.x_ >= 0.8 )
		currTriangle_.dir_ = -1;
	if ( currTriangle_.x_ <= -0.8 )
		currTriangle_.dir_ = 1;

	currTriangle_.x_ += currTriangle_.dir_ * current.time.dt_;
}

void GlRenderManager::interpolate(const State& previous, const State& current)
{
	 double alpha = current.time.accumulator_ / current.time.dt_;

	 if (alpha > 0.0)
	 {
		 triangle_.x_ = currTriangle_.x_ * alpha + prevTriangle_.x_ * (1.0 - alpha);
	 }
	 else
	 {
		triangle_ = currTriangle_;
	 }
}

void GlRenderManager::render()
{
	glClear(GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT | GL_DEPTH_BUFFER_BIT);

	GLfloat attrib[] = { (float)triangle_.x_ * 1.0f,
						 0.0f,
						 0.0f,
						 0.0f };

	// Update the value of input attribute 0
	glVertexAttrib4fv(0, attrib);

	glDrawArrays(GL_PATCHES, 0, 3);

	checkErrors(); ///-- Check for OpenGL errors.
}
...

 
Any help would be appreciated rolleyes.gif

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First off, your time handling is quite chaotic smile.png You have a global(?) time state which get manipulated and used in different contexts, eg. your update methods behavior depends on an outer loop where you increase the time. My preferences would be a more clear time management:

	State previous = current;
	previous.time.start_ = time_->getTime();

	while (isRunning_)
	{
                 // update time
		current.time = time_->getTime();
                // update render manager
	        renderManager_->update(current);
		///-- Render
		renderManager_->interpolate(current);
		renderManager_->render();

		window_->swapBuffers();
		frames++;
		///--

		window_->poolEvents();

		if ( window_->windowShouldClose() )
		{
			stop();
		}
	}

Next, let your sub-systems manage its behavior over-time themself. A physic engine will work in a different ways then a render engine or game logic.

...
void GlRenderManager::update(const State& current)
{
       // get render manager previous state
       State& previous = GlRenderManager:: getPreviousUpdateState()

      // time elapse too large ?
      if( (previous.time+MAX_FRAME_TIME)<current.time) {
         previous.time = current.time-MAX_FRAME_TIME;
      }

       // fix your timestep :D 
       while( (previous.time+FIX_TIME_STEP)<current.time) {
   	  prevTriangle_ = currTriangle_;

	  if ( currTriangle_.x_ >= 0.8 )
	  	currTriangle_.dir_ = -1;
  	  if ( currTriangle_.x_ <= -0.8 )
		currTriangle_.dir_ = 1;

	  currTriangle_.x_ += currTriangle_.dir_ * FIX_TIME_STEP;
           previous.time += FIX_TIME_STEP;
      }
}

void GlRenderManager::interpolate(const State& current)
{
       // get render manager previous state
       State& previous = GlRenderManager:: getPreviousUpdateState()

         // works only after update methods has been called
	 double alpha = (current.time-  previous time) / FIX_TIME_STEP;

	 if (alpha > 0.0)
	 {
		 triangle_.x_ = currTriangle_.x_ * alpha + prevTriangle_.x_ * (1.0 - alpha);
	 }
	 else
	 {
		triangle_ = currTriangle_;
	 }
}

void GlRenderManager::render()
{
	glClear(GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT | GL_DEPTH_BUFFER_BIT);

	GLfloat attrib[] = { (float)triangle_.x_ * 1.0f,
						 0.0f,
						 0.0f,
						 0.0f };

	// Update the value of input attribute 0
	glVertexAttrib4fv(0, attrib);

	glDrawArrays(GL_PATCHES, 0, 3);

	checkErrors(); ///-- Check for OpenGL errors.
}
...

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Tried to fix the stutter the way you proposed, moved time management out of the main loop (sort of), but the stutter is even worse now. I have no idea what’s actually wrong. The time step was written based on http://gafferongames.com/game-physics/fix-your-timestep/. And while it works with the downloadable demo project from that site my implementation is behaving strange.

Edited by CrHasher

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Anytime you are dealing with the GPU. If you want to have smooth animation, you need to sync all your animation to vsync, otherwise you will end up with exactly what you are seeing which is micro stuttering. The problem is that your update delta are changing too much between frames and they are not consistent. In DX11 you can DXGI_PRESENT_STATS to get info on whenever vsync happens. I am not sure how you would go about doing that with OpenGL.

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