from geometry to pixels


Ray-Tracing Hardware

Ray-Tracing vs. Rasterization The question which of these techniques is “better” is nearly as old as the field of computer graphics itself. As ray-tracing simulates light transport it is simple to get realistic images using this technique. This is why it is often used when realism is the top priority, e.g. in rendering movies. Rasterization […]


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Some thoughts about the Vulkan API (glNext) and the future of OpenGL

Today the Khronos group announced officially the name of the new cross-plattform 2D/3D and compute API which will be (kind of) the successor of OpenGL. So far it was named “Next Generation OpenGL Initiative” or shorter: “glNext”, the official name will now be Vulkan (btw. the german name for Vulcano). I read at some places, […]


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What’s the big deal with Apples Metal API?

During the WWDC 2014 keynote Apple surprised us all by announcing a new 3D graphics API: called Metal (try to google that…). But this one is not a new high level API on top of OpenGL ES (like SceneKit) but a new low level rendering and compute API which can replace OpenGL ES in games. […]


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Understanding the parallelism of GPUs

A lot of tasks in (3D) graphics are independent from each other, so the idea to parallelize those tasks is not new. But while parallel processors are nowadays very common in every desktop PC and even on newer smartphones, the way GPUs parallelize there work is quite different. Understanding the ways a GPU works can […]


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Is the GPU of the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro too weak?

When Apple can first out with ‘retina’ (high resolution) displays for there Macs the big 15″ notebooks were upgraded first, not the smaller 11″ – 13″ ones. At first you wonder why, as it is probably simpler to build smaller displays with high dpi. But on second thought you realise, that you need a good […]


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Intel Ivy Bridge documents released

Intel has released there documents describing the HD 2500 and HD 4000 graphics chips embedded in the Ivy Bridge processors. I updated my Low-Level GPU Documents collection and moved it from a blog post to a seperate page. Thanks Intel for these detailed and up-to-date information!


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Book Review: GPU Pro, GPU Pro 2, GPU Pro 3

The GPU Pro book series is some kind of unofficial successor of the quite good ShaderX series. Both are edited by Wolfgang Engel and both are focused on real-time graphics programming. The first book of this series, GPU Pro, came out 2010 and presents 41 articles on 706 pages (not counting the author introduction at […]


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NVidias Adaptive Vertical Sync

One new feature of NVidias new GPU line GeForce 600 (aka Kepler) is called ‘Adaptive Vertical Sync’ and from the slides and first descriptions it seems to be the OpenGL feature that Carmack was lobbying for: WGL_EXT_swap_control_tear / GLX_EXT_swap_control_tear. As long as the framerate is below 60Hz it behaves like no VSync is active – […]


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Low-Level GPU Documentation

NOTE: As this document is growing, I moved it to a seperate page. Click here to get to the most recent version. Old content: While programming graphics applications means programming against an API that abstracts us from the actual hardware (OpenGL, Direct3D), it can still be interesting to dig a bit deeper. Having a good […]


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GPU Rasterizer Pattern

Visualizing the pattern in which the fragment processors are called for the individual fragments are some kind of ‘Hello World’ for atomic counters. The order in which the fragments generated by a draw call are created and the fragment shaders are calles are not defined, so the hardware can choose each order that best matches […]


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