Uw extension certificate program in game development 2 nd quarter advanced graphics
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UW Extension Certificate Program in Game Development 2 nd quarter: Advanced Graphics. The GPU. Goals. Understand how the GPU works (high-level) Review the basic rendering pipeline. GPU as a state machine. GPU records state and renders based on that state Examples of state:

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Uw extension certificate program in game development 2 nd quarter advanced graphics

UW ExtensionCertificate Program inGame Development 2nd quarter:Advanced Graphics

The GPU


Goals
Goals

  • Understand how the GPU works (high-level)

  • Review the basic rendering pipeline


Gpu as a state machine
GPU as a state machine

  • GPU records state and renders based on that state

  • Examples of state:

    • Resources: textures and geometry

    • Transformations

    • Alpha blending function

    • Render targets

  • State management can be complex

    • Multiple components must cooperate with each other

    • Redundant/inappropriate state changes can hurt perf


Gpu as a sequential command processor
GPU as a sequential command processor

  • GPU reads commands from a FIFO and runs them

  • CPU fills the FIFO, GPU consumes it

  • There is a lag between CPU and GPU

    • Depends on the FIFO length and run-time timings

  • If the FIFO is typically empty, the CPU is bottleneck

    • But there’s no lag

  • If the FIFO is typically full, the GPU is bottleneck

    • This allows CPU to do “other stuff” while GPU works

  • High-performance games require paying attention


Gpu render algorithm
GPU render algorithm

  • Convert all vertices into an internal representation

    • Run the vertex pipeline or vertex shader

  • Group internal vertices into triangles

  • Clip (cut) triangles to the view frustum

  • Rasterize the triangles into pixels

  • Convert the pixels into colors

    • Run the pixel pipeline or pixel shader

  • Apply colors to the output render target


What does the state specify
What does the state specify?

  • It specifies how to perform all rendering operations:

    • Input data (geometry, textures…)

    • Output data (render target)

    • Vertex pipeline transform

    • Grouping, clipping and rasterization parameters

    • Pixel pipeline transformation

    • Z-buffer and stencil operation values

    • Blending formula: applying colors to render target

  • Sometimes, multiple states affect a single operation

  • Sometimes, a single state affects multiple operations


Vertex and pixel pipelines
Vertex and pixel pipelines

  • Why move calculations between them?

    • It’s good for balancing the computation load

    • Typically there are many more pixels than vertices

    • Pixel stage allows us to add some detail in a balanced way, without multiplying the calculations

  • Mind the extreme cases:

    • Far-away object  Many vertices with fewer pixels

    • Close-up object  Many pixels with fewer vertices

  • State-based or fully programmable (shaders)