Starting with v3.0, Babylon.js supports rendering using WebGL1 and WebGL2 contexts. The support is transparent for developers. By default the engine tries to get a WebGL2 context. If none is available then a WebGL1 one is retrieved. Learn more about Babylon.js v3.0 or get started on Github.
The Vulkan working group has released a major Vulkan 1.0 specification update that adds eighteen new KHR extensions. They include KHR replacements for the experimental KHX_external_memory_* and KHX_external_semaphore_* extensions released earlier this year, incorporating changes based on developer and implementer feedback. The release also adds a set of KHR_external_fence_* extensions. Together, these extensions allow applications to share memory and synchronization primitives across process and API boundaries. Two new extensions, KHR_dedicated_allocation and KHR_get_memory_requirements2, provide more expressive and extensible ways for applications to optimize their GPU memory allocation policies. KHR_16bit_storage, KHR_storage_buffer_storage_class, and KHR_variable_pointer allow Vulkan implementations to accept shader programs containing new programming constructs recently added to the SPIR-V intermediate shading language.
Microsoft announced updates to Paint 3D: Magic select enhancements & drawing tools. Paint 3D also now supports a new industry-wide open standard for 3D file sharing called GLB, a part of gLTF (GL Transmission Format). This allows for faster and more efficient transfer of 3D assets by outputting only one container for all assets, minimizing the file size and the ability to use the files across other programs as a universal format. glTF (GL Transmission Format) is a royalty-free specification for the efficient transmission and loading of 3D scenes and models by applications. The glTF specification is managed by the Khronos Group.
The Khronos Group has posted their Birds of a Feather schedule online. If you will be at #SIGGRAPH2017 be sure to visit the BOF Blitz and After Party! BOFs include: OpenVX, NNEF, OpenCL and SYCL; COLLADA; glTF; WebGL; OpenXR; and Vulkan, OpenGL & OpenGL ES to wrap up the day. glTF has just posted their list of speakers, and what a line they have for you in store for you. At the end of the day, be sure to hang around for the BOF Blitz After-Party. The BOFs will be live streamed with video available afterwards, and t-shirts available online, for all those folks not attending.
Games developers know how to engage players and keep them interested, and how to tell stories in a non-linear fashion. And they have for years created content in three dimensions, a basic requirement for VR. Indeed, virtual reality is integrating games and the broader technology industry as never before. “It’s like two continents that were apart, and continental drift is bringing them together,” says Neil Trevett of the Khronos Group, a non-profit industry group.
The Khronos Group would like to introduce the latest Khronos Portland Chapter to the family. Joshua Young has been running the Portland meet up group for quite awhile now and currently has over 1600 members! If you are in the Portland area and have an interest in OpenXR and Virtual Reality, please take a moment to join the group. Learn more about starting your own Chapter.
Radeon ProRender is a powerful physically-based rendering engine that enables creative professionals to produce stunningly photorealistic images. Built on efficient, high-performance Radeon Rays technology, Radeon ProRender’s complete, scalable ray tracing engine uses open industry standards to harness GPU and CPU performance for swift, impressive results. One of those open industry standards is OpenCL 1.2. AMD's requirements state: "Hardware agnostic – if your computer can run OpenCL 1.2, it can run Radeon ProRender." Download the Windows or Linux version directly or learn more about Radeon Pro.
Neil and Yuval Boger (VRguy) talk about VR/AR standards, overlapping standards organizations and what’s the best way for companies to get involved. There is also a complete transcript of the podcast. In Neil's own words "...the key thing to realize about the Khronos Group, if people haven’t come across Khronos before, is that it’s an open organization. So, any company is welcome to join."
Vulkan 1.0.53 does have a number of document clarifications and fixes, but most exciting is a handful of new extensions. The new ones to Vulkan 1.0.53 are VK_AMD_gpu_shader_int16, VK_EXT_blend_operation_advanced, VK_EXT_sampler_filter_minmax, and VK_NV_framebuffer_mixed_samples. Read more about this update from Phoronix, or hop on over to the Vulkan Change Log for more details on this update.
This post from Don McCurdy will walk through the process of exporting an animated glTF 2.0 model from Maya LT. The workflow includes Maya LT, FBX Converter, Blender and the Blender glTF exporter. Since Blender cannot import recent versions of FBX, the workflow also uses COLLADA as an intermediate format.
Synopsys announced that it has enhanced the convolutional neural network (CNN) engine in its DesignWare EV6x Vision Processors to address the increasing video resolution and frame rate requirements of high-performance embedded vision applications. To simplify software application development, the EV6x processors are supported by a comprehensive suite of tools and software. Combined with software development tools based on OpenVX, OpenCV and OpenCL C embedded vision standards, the MetaWare EV Development Toolkit offers a full suite of tools needed to accelerate embedded software development.
Following on from the renderer refactoring and DirectX 12 implementation, the CryEngine team has been hard at work implementing a Vulkan renderer. The Vulkan Renderer is not functional yet, but is available in Github for feedback.
Apple announced several updates to the Mac lineup earlier this month at WWDC. Geekbench 4, which includes a new GPU Compute Benchmark that measures the performance of GPUs at performing compute tasks, shows that GPU performance with OpenCL has improved considerably with an increase of up to 80% when compared to the equivalent 2015 model. If you’re interested in how your computer compares you can download Geekbench 4. Find the complete benchmark results on the Geekbench website.