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Forum » Art Discussion » 3D Digital Art » 3D Realtime Rendering?
3D Realtime Rendering?
Guest Date: Monday, 19.10.2009, 19:30 | Message # 11

I depend heavily upon the capabilities of "real-time" GPU hardware, not only because I really don't have the time to wait, but also because I know I shouldn't have to.

In the environment in which I work, Blender, there is already a GPU-based "preview render" feature which cranks-out what's on the screen using the GPU (GLSL) hardware. You'd be quite surprised just how far this alone can get you, if you put your mind to it.

Real-world rendering tasks always use "nodes," and I have likewise found that many of Blender's rendering and texturing features do exploit the GPU ... partly because Blender has a built-in game engine. But I am also very actively exploring its PyNodes (Python nodes) features to see just how much can be reached through programming.

I agree that "it is the software that's lacking now, not the hardware."

At the same time, I do not frame this requirement in terms of "real time," because really it is not a "real time" requirement, and that's what makes it so different from "gaming." This requirement is really for hardware-accelerated rendering nodes. You are ... first of all ... using the node-based rendering capabilities of your software (not "the big fat Render button").

You just can't expect to support "the big fat instant-gratification Render Button."

You are doing work without the expectation of "real time." Instead, you are asking the software to, at particular times and in particular ways, hand-off tasks to the GPU for completion. You are consciously designing both the render-network and the project itself to exploit hardware capabilities.

You're not shooting for "frames per second," but rather, "seconds per frame."

I can see that Blender can do a lot of this now, and as I further explore the Python features (it sure helps to be an experienced programmer! ) I'm sure that I have only scratched the surface.

Anyhow... it definitely qualifies as "a huge win." I have shaved numerous days off project times with even the little bit that I have done. The results are "satisfactory to my requirements" (which may or may not be yours!) and the speed increase is compelling.

If folks are using GPUs for ordinary array-math tasks, then I'm sure they'll be using them more and more as a "vector processor" for otherwise-conventional rendering pipelines.

Czoss Date: Monday, 19.10.2009, 19:33 | Message # 12

Says who?

I mean I can understand why the technology evolved that way since early computers could barely move a few polygons without choking. But there is no good reason that today viewport rendering and final image rendering should be separate.

Think about it, a GPU is making pretty much all the same calculations that a rendering engine makes to give you a nice (yet usually simplified) representation of your model. It has to compute lights and textures and all that other good stuff. Yet all that hard work and all those calculations (that were getting done in near RT) get thrown away the second you hit the RENDER button. Why? It makes zero sense.

At the very least a rendering engine should take all that info that was computed by the GPU already and add that last 10% of realism... things that might not be practical to calculate in RT like true reflections or caustics or what have you.

WYSIWYG. It has become the norm in tasks like wordprocessing and even in most web design. But it used to be that you worked in a separate screen where you added your formatting (fonts, sizing, colors, etc) and then had to let the computer "render" the final look of the text in a preview window because it was too slow to actually work in an environment that showed you what the page would really look like. While I understand that it isn't a direct comparison, I feel that this is where 3D rendering technology is at today.

Forum » Art Discussion » 3D Digital Art » 3D Realtime Rendering?
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