“Delay streams for graphics hardware” by Aila, Miettinen and Nordlund

  • ©Timo Aila, Ville Miettinen, and Petri Nordlund




    Delay streams for graphics hardware



    In causal processes decisions do not depend on future data. Many well-known problems, such as occlusion culling, order-independent transparency and edge antialiasing cannot be properly solved using the traditional causal rendering architectures, because future data may change the interpretation of current events.We propose adding a delay stream between the vertex and pixel processing units. While a triangle resides in the delay stream, subsequent triangles generate occlusion information. As a result, the triangle may be culled by primitives that were submitted after it. We show two-to fourfold efficiency improvements in pixel processing and video memory bandwidth usage in common benchmark scenes. We also demonstrate how the memory requirements of order-independent transparency can be substantially reduced by using delay streams. Finally, we describe how discontinuity edges can be detected in hardware. Previously used heuristics for collapsing samples in adaptive supersampling are thus replaced by connectivity information.


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