Vulkan could improve the limited battery life on the Oculus Go and help Oculus deliver a console level experience on the Quest. While a mobile chip is unlikely to ever deliver the same performance as a home console or gaming PC, Vulkan may help narrow the gap and deliver more realistic graphics than OpenGL would.
The 2018 X.Org Developer’s Conference (XDC2018) videos have now been posted online. XCD 2018 saw many Khronos members sponsor this conference, including Igalia, AMD, Arm, COLLABORA, Google, NVIDIA, Intel and Valve. The talks covered Vulkan, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL, SPIR-V, GLSL and OpenXR. We’ve compiled a list of all the videos discussing these Khronos standards here, or you can watch all the videos from the conference on the X.Org Foundation YouTube channel.
NVIDIA’s new Turing GPU unleashed real-time ray-tracing in a consumer GPU for the first time. Since then, much virtual ink has been spilled discussing ray tracing in DirectX 12. However, many developers want to embrace a more open approach using Vulkan, the low-level API supported by the Khronos Group. Vulkan enables developers to target many different platforms, including Windows and Linux, allowing for broader distribution of 3D-accelerated applications. NVIDIA’s 411.63 driver release now enables an experimental Vulkan extension that exposes NVIDIA’s RTX technology for real-time ray tracing through the Vulkan API. Head over to the NVIDIA blog to read all about this update.
Khronos has formed a liaison agreement with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in the interest of jointly advancing open geospatial standards related to AR and VR, distributed simulation, and 3D content services. The liaison will let Khronos and OGC assess standards in these fields as well as identify future potential standards that will facilitate interoperability and hardware capabilities of relevant data sharing and analysis. The collaboration will occur through working groups, forums, workshops, committee activities, etc., and OGC will adopt Khronos standards where appropriate.
During the two weeks of October 17-26, Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group, will visit a few cities in China to speak at local conventions, universities and member companies. Khronos is looking forward to meeting with local Khronos members, academias and the developer community, to share the latest updates about Khronos APIs. A complete list of public talks at conferences and free public sessions & registration is now online.
GLOVE (GL Over Vulkan) is a cross-platform software library that acts as an intermediate layer between an OpenGL ES application and Vulkan. GLOVE is focused towards embedded systems and is comprised of OpenGL ES and EGL implementations, which translate at runtime all OpenGL ES / EGL calls & ESSL shaders to Vulkan commands & SPIR-V shader respectively and finally relays them to the underlying Vulkan driver.
A libre-licensed software implementation of Vulkan has started up again. Originally started in c++ in 2017, for a reimplementation Rust has been chosen for its concurrency and memory-safety features, and Rust’s LLVM support makes it highly portable. With OpenGL having both llvmpipe and MesaGL for fallback and testing purposes, it seems strange that there does not exist a corresponding Reference Implementation for Vulkan: the only implementations available are in hardware, making it extremely challenging for anyone considering entering the market. Kazan helps fill that gap. Sponsorship of this entirely libre-licensed project welcomed.
NVIDIA has released the new VRWorks Graphics SDK V3.0 for application and headset developers along with the NVIDIA display driver 411.63, both updated for NVIDIA’s new Turing GPU generation. The drivers are available for download and the SDK has been posted. The SDK includes an OpenGL sample to demonstrate Turing’s “Variable Rate Shading” (VRS) feature showing how to vary fragment load across the screen, e.g. for foveated rendering. Another sample demonstrates Turing’s “Multi-View Rendering” (MVR) feature by showing how to render the same scene from different viewpoints. There are Vulkan versions of the samples too.
Qualcomm released a new version of Snapdragon Profiler this week. The system profiler for mobile-based hardware using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips now includes support for Vulkan frame captures. Labelling the new Vulkan capability as a beta feature, the 2018.2 release of Snapdragon Profiler includes additional fixes for OpenGL ES frame captures, saving and loading Profiler sessions, and more.
If you’re coding 3D visualizations with Three.js, sooner or later you’ll want to move beyond using the library’s basic native shapes to using complex custom 3D shapes wrapped in UV mapped material. Since Three.js dropped support of its Blender exporter plugin in favor of relying on its glTF loader, exporting via the popular and versatile glTF file format is now the way to go for bringing Blender objects into your Three.js projects. This tutorial will walk through each step from creating a Three.js-compatible UV-wrapped 3D object in Blender to loading the object into a Three.js scene.
In this talk from the 2018 Game Dev Days, Jörg Müller answers questions you may have about the Vulkan API. with the knowledge and experience I gained during over a year of using it. Jörg is currently a PhD student at the Insitute for Computer Graphics and Vision at Graz University of Technology under the supervision of Ass. Prof. Markus Steinberger and Prof. Dieter Schmalstieg. From 2015 to 2016 Jörg worked as a researcher in the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Intel’s driver team has published a new graphics driver for all recent GPUs (Intel 6th, 7th and 8th Gen processors) on Windows 10. This new driver (version 126.96.36.19923) brings support for Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809 with WDDM 2.5) and HDR for embedded laptop panels. Hardware support now included up to Vulkan 1.1.83, OpenCL 2.1 and OpenGL 4.5. Complete details are in the Intel Release Notes PDF.
LunarG has released a new Vulkan SDKs for Windows, Linux, and macOS based on the 188.8.131.52 header. This SDK contains new extensions released by NVIDIA to support the Turing GPU architecture. An overview of new features in the release and links to the release notes and the SDKs in the LunarG post.