Be sure to check out the first Boston meetup of the year hosted by Jim Susinno. One of my favorite applications for accelerated graphics is video games. I've been working on some simple games lately using OpenGL directly without any engines or frameworks - and it's fun! Let's discuss our game-making techniques and how to keep things as fast as possible - minimizing state changes and per-frame uploads, packing bits into channels, re-using data... playing to the strengths of the silicon as enabled by OpenGL. Pizza will be provided.
If you are attending GDC 2019, be sure to mark March 19th in your calendar. Khronos will be hosting the annual Developer Day sessions in the Moscone West, Room 2020 from 10am to 6:30PM. This year there will be six (6) sessions covering glTF, WebGL, OpenXR, Vulkan and OpenGL ES. There will also be an OpenXR table at VRDC where you can learn more about OpenXR, talk with OpenXR working group members, and learn how your company can implement or join in the development of this important industry standard. The Khronos Group is once again sponsoring the WebGL/WebVR Meetup. Last year we had over 200 RSVPs and an amazing lineup of speakers. Join Khronos member Patrick Cozzi (Cesium) and other speakers for this gathering of the Silicon Valley WebGL/WebVR meetup group.
Wine 4.0 is released bringing initial Vulkan graphics API support, Direct3D CSMT is enabled by default, early Direct3D 12 support via VKD3D, continued HiDPI work, various OpenGL improvements, and more. There is a very brief but official announcement on the Wine News feed.
In a recent update, Diligent Engine now gives applications direct control of state transitions in Vulkan API and DirectX12. Diligent Engine includes support for Vulkan and OpenGL 4.2 on Win32 and Linux, as well as OpenGL ES 3.0 on iOS and OpenGL 4.1 on macOS.
Basemark has releases version 1.1 of the its multi-platform graphics hardware evaluation tool Basemark GPU for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Basemark GPU 1.1 Benchmark offers unparalleled, objective comparisons between Vulkan, OpenGL, OpenGL ES and now DirectX 12 for graphics performance analysis across both mobile and desktop platforms.
Shader Conductor is one of several open-source projects for going from one shading language to another. With Microsoft's Shader Conductor the focus is on converting HLSL to GLSL or SPIR-V (OpenGL/Vulkan), ESSL (OpenGL ES), MSL (Apple Metal), and older HLSL shader models. Shader Conductor can handle all shader stages, including geometry and compute shaders. Learn more about this new Open Source project from Microsoft.
Magic Leap has made the session on Seedling from Insomniac Games available to the public. Featuring Joel Bartley, lead gameplay programmer for Insomniac Games, and Michael Liebenow, lead software engineer for Magic Leap, the session examines how to integrate a 3D engine into an app using the Vulkan API. "We support two low-level rendering APIs, both Vulkan and OpenGL, but we feel that Vulkan provides more opportunities for optimization, which is especially important when you're trying to get all the performance you can out of a mobile system, and that is one of the main reasons why we recommend Vulkan for your development," said Liebenow during the session.
Samsung has announced an enhanced iteration of the Vulkan API, which offers a 10% performance improvement as compared to the OpenGL ES. Samsung has also announced new features for GPUWatch, a tool that aids developers monitor and measure performance between Vulkan and OpenGL ES.
Unreal Engine 4.21 continues their pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100% feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1. Projects that utilize Vulkan can run up to 20% faster than the same project that uses OpenGL ES.
Zink is an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan. Or to be a bit more specific, Zink is a Mesa Gallium driver that leverages the existing OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available.
Qualcomm has introduced the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 Mobile Platform. The Snapdragon 675 offers outstanding gaming, a leap in artificial intelligence (AI) capability and a cutting-edge camera. Premium features in the Snapdragon 675 are enabled by the Qualcomm AI Engine, Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Qualcomm Kryo CPU and Qualcomm Adreno GPU. A number of specific games and game engines have been optimized including Unity, Unreal, Messiah, and NeoX. Qualcomm Technologies also supports popular tools and APIs, including Vulkan, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL, and Snapdragon profiler.
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.
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.