Updated Vulkan deferred shading example video

Over the past few weeks and months I’ve been constantly working on my Vulkan examples, enhancing existing demos, adding new ones, fixing bugs reported and merging pull requests (thx to anyone that has contributed!). I even found some time to work on a Vulkn deferred shading playground using Crytek’s famous Sponza model. You can find the repository for it here.

This Sunday I decided to visually upgrade the deferred shading example included in my samples repository. Deferred shading is commonly used nowadays, and I felt that the example didn’t showcase the technique properly. And so I went on to add some normal mapped surfaces, render multiple meshes and make the light sources dynamic.

And thanks to nvidia’s ShadowPlay I can even capture the Vulkan samples at nice frame rates, so I decided to upload a small video of the updated example to my YouTube channel:

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Updated Vulkan deferred shading example video

Vulkan is here!

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Khronos finally launched Vulkan 1.0!

After 18 months of hard works and a huge industry-wide collaboration, this is a huge success. And this is not only an API-launch, but a hard launch with drivers for Vulkan from NVidia, AMD, Intel, etc. on mulitple platforms.

My launch contributions

Some time ago I was invited to be a part of the Vulkan Advisory Panel board. So I actually got a head-start and also released some Vulkan related stuff to the public on launch day. I even made it onto the Vulkan Launch page and was quoted in a press release by NVIDIA 🙂

Vulkan examples

You can find a bunch of Vulkan examples (C++) over at my github repository. They contain over two dozen examples, and even a few for getting started on Android (if you own Android hardware that supports Vulkan). Feel free to fork and contribute!

Vulkan hardware database

My OpenGL and OpenGL ES hardware database are frequently used (and quoted) by many developers, so I went on and also created a Vulkan Hardware Capability Database (and viewer). Vulkan is a bit more explicit than OpenGL and offers much more information, so once the database is filled with enough hardware reports this should become a valuable resource for developers.

 

Being part of this was a great experience, and I’d like to thank everybody on the Vulkan Working Group and Advisory panel, and the fine people over at LunarG and the IHVs I’ve worked with!

Vulkan is here!

Introducing gpuinfo.org

gpuinfoAside from playing around with a certain new API, I’ve also been working on the web front end OpenGL and OpenGL ES hardware database.

Though I redid the visual side of both some time ago they differed too much for my taste and especially the OpenGL ES database was lacking lots compared to the OpenGL one. No live search, bad visuals (especially for the reports), lacking compare features and much more.

So I did put lots of work in getting both database up to the same standards, optimize the visual presentation and also created a landing page at www.gpuinfo.org, that is home to the current hardware databases (OpenGL, OpenGL ES), with at least one new database (Vulkan) coming in the near future.

The OpenGL database is now available at opengl.gpuinfo.org. New features include a list of maximum supported OpenGL version by device and listing of compressed texture formats for comparing multiple reports.

The OpenGL ES database is located at opengles.gpuinfo.org. Aside from the complete visual overhaul, it now offers (mostly) the same functionality as the OpenGL database. All tables now support a live search (thanks to datatables), report information is now presented in tabs and the launch page has been replaced by a report listing like the one on the OpenGL database.

Source for all the pages (including gpuinfo.org) are available at my github repository, so if you find any bugs feel free to report them there.

Introducing gpuinfo.org

Parallax offset mapping with WebGL

webgl-logo

Years ago I wrote a demo showcasing different normal mapping techniques with Delphi, but never got around cleaning up the source and releasing it. While working on my WebGL dungeon crawler prototype I dug out the old code, cleaned it up and ported it over to WebGL, so you don’t need a compiler to see it in action and play around with it.

Parallax mapping uses an additional heightmap (together with a normal map) to add more depth to flat surfaces depending on the current camera angle. It’s currently lacking shadowing, but that’s something I might add in the future.

01 03

(Left : Normal mapping , right : Parallax offset mapping)

You can get the sources from my GitHub repository : https://github.com/SaschaWillems/webgl/tree/master/parallaxmapping

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Parallax offset mapping with WebGL

Geometry instancing with WebGL 2

webgl-logoWebGL, based on OpenGL ES, brings hardware accelerated OpenGL to your browser, and version 2.0 is around the corner (specs). I’ve been playing around with WebGL (via JavaScript) for some time now (see my GitHub WebGL repo) and recently Google’s chrome (canary) got WebGL 2 support.

WebGL 2.0 adds some interesting new features, with geometry instancing being one of them, so I sat down and wrote a small demo that shows how to render the same instance of a single mesh with differing shader attributes using instancing and only one drawcall :

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Geometry instancing with WebGL 2

2014 – Final posting

9903c7c14add3fd0758b7b5b80c24d48101f296f13ce34736799a82c71f61bc2As another year ends, it’s time for a small retrospect. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of my personal blog, so I’ve been posting about my programming adventures for over a decade now (the first version of www.delphigl.de went online 2003 afair) and I’m still having lots of fun hacking code into different IDEs with different languages, though focus is shifting from time to time. And that’s actually what makes coding so much fun, it’s a constant learning progress that forces you to constantly sharpen your coding skills, learn new languages, adopt to new technologies etc.

So yes, it’s very time consuming, but it’s also very rewarding and surely has positive effects on your brain and all other mind-related skills. And I don’t think that I’ll ever stop coding, ’cause that would surely leave a whole in my life that would be hard to fill, especially since it’s so creative.

So here we are at the end of 2014, and lot’s of things happened during that year, so I’ll post a quick summary of the programming related things that moved me during 2014.

Twitter

I’m on twitter now (like anybody else on this tiny planet I guess). The main reason I’m not posting as much on my personal blog as I used to to is twitter. I initially decided to use it because people were talking about my OpenGL and OpenGL ES hardware databases and tools, and wanted to reply to them.

But in the end it turned out to be much more and I’m using twitter now  on a daily basis now. It’s the perfect way of finding like-minded programmers, and you often get instant feedback and end up with interesting discussions. And you also realize that all those coders at google, nvidia, amd, valve, etc. are just regular people like yourself 😉

JavaScript and WebGL

2014-11-16 19_35_20-Unscheinbar (WIP) - Copyright © 2014 by Sascha Willems (www.saschawillems.de)I also did lots of experimenting with JavaScript and WebGL. Though I must admit that it’s a complete different world compared to the strongly typed languages I normally use. I kinda like JavaScript (although it seems most “real programmers” wouldn’t agree with me on that), and compared with WebGL it’s great to see how easy it is to use OpenGL on almost every device out there by simply opening up a browser.

Though WebGL is still in it’s early stages, it’s already shaping up very well, and khronos is putting in a lot of effort to make WebGL the open 3D standard for the web. And I wish them the best luck.

And if you followed my tweets, you may have seen that I’m developing a new game with JavaScript and WebGL. It’s called “unscheinbar” and will be using the random dungeon generator I posted to JS some time ago. It’ll be more of an experiment than a game, with visuals and elements found on trugbild. There’s not much to see yet, as it’s still in it’s very early stages, but I hope to have it up and running some time within the first half of 2015.

And since JS and WebGL are so great for rapid prototyping, I also have a few more game ideas written down somewhere for which I’d like to create some prototypes in 2015.

C++ rocks (again)

A few weeks ago Microsoft dropped the bomb that made m2014-12-21 13_07_00-glcapsviewer 1.0 - © 2011-2015 by Sascha Willems (www.saschawillems.de)e completely move away from Delphi/Free Pascal for my private programming stuff : They released the Visual Studio 2013 community edition.

So with a full (free) Visual Studio available to everyone, I completely stopped using and Pascal related languages for my private coding (Delphi and Free Pascal with Lazarus). The IDE is just awesome, and if you compare it to the fat, slow and buggy Delphi-IDE it just shows that MS is driving circles around Embarcadero.

So for my first (real) C++ projects in over a decade I decided to port the OpenGL hardware capability viewer (glCapsViewer) over to C++, using Qt for the Gui. And it’s awesome. I’m having so much fun writing C++ code in Visual Studio that I can hardly stop (screw the dishes 😉 ).

It’s coming along very nice, and won’t become a simple but port. It’ll be getting some new features and I also plan on releasing the sources to it, so other people can contribute to it.

 

Going open source

For a long time, I had severe reservations on releasing my sources to the public, and with the exception of a few simple projects and headers, most of my source was closed and not available to the public. But with the switch over to new programming languages and platforms, I decided it would be a great way to put my new sources into the public, and that’s why I decided to open up a repository over at bitbucket.

And that’s what I’ll pursue even more for 2015 : Making more of my sources available to the public. Sure, there may be drawbacks like people “stealing” your code and not giving a single f**k on your license, but the advantages easily outweigh these, so I’m still sure that this is a good idea.

Closing words

And so ends another great year, with lots of great stuff happening on the programming front. If 2015 will be anything like 2014, I’d be totally happy 🙂

So I wish you all happy holidays a happy and healthy 2015!

 

2014 – Final posting

Soruces for simple OpenGL 2.0 HUD/GUI for android

device-2014-07-18-210940As I’m currently prototyping a new game for Android, I was in need of a quick (and simple) way of adding some selectable text elements on top of my 3D OpenGL ES scene. So I created a simple demonstration with full source (you can get them from my OpenGL ES git repository) that renders a 3D scene and a basic hud with clickable text elements on top of it in orthogonal mode.

The text elements are rendered to an OpenGL ES texture, using android’s canvas, making this a very flexible way of drawing text on top of an OpenGL ES scene. Note that this isn’t very fast, so the texture should only be updated when necessary. The demo has a menu along with a fps counter, so the texture will be updated every second, and the elements can be clicked and the hud’s observers will be notified with the clicked element’s id so you can easily react on user input.

Though this isn’t something you’d use in a production app where performance is crucial, it should be good start for rapid prototyping needs where you need to have some basic gui or hud to issue commands. And you’re always free to improve the sources (feel free to fork) to make it perform better, by e.g. only updating the areas of the texture where text changed, instead of updating every time if one of the elements is changed.

Soruces for simple OpenGL 2.0 HUD/GUI for android

Android OpenGL ES repository

device-2014-06-29-171344Following the C++ (OpenGL) repository, I recently added an Android OpenGL ES repositry (using Java) over here. It currently only contains two public demos, one for a simple stl viewer and another one for using the camera input of an android device as an OpenGL ES texture, but over time I plan on adding more and more demos.

And though I used to mock Java in the past I really like coding with Java nowadays. It’s partially because of the language itself (with all it’s modern features) but also because Eclipse is an awesome IDE. So expect more android demos and sources from me in the future.

Android OpenGL ES repository