“Shader-driven compilation of rendering assets” by Lalonde and Schenk

  • ©Paul Lalonde and Eric Schenk




    Shader-driven compilation of rendering assets



    Rendering performance of consumer graphics hardware benefits from pre-processing geometric data into a form targeted to the underlying API and hardware. The various elements of geometric data are then coupled with a shading program at runtime to draw the asset.In this paper we describe a system in which pre-processing is done in a compilation process in which the geometric data are processed with knowledge of their shading programs. The data are converted into structures targeted directly to the hardware, and a code stream is assembled that describes the manipulations required to render these data structures. Our compiler is structured like a traditional code compiler, with a front end that reads the geometric data and attributes (hereafter referred to as an art asset) output from a 3D modeling package and shaders in a platform independent form and performs platform-independent optimizations, and a back end that performs platform-specific optimizations and generates platform-targeted data structures and code streams.Our compiler back-end has been targeted to four platforms, three of which are radically different from one another. On all platforms the rendering performance of our compiled assets, used in real situations, is well above that of hand-coded assets.


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