Improved Performance for OpenGL Viewport

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giannis
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Dear friends,

during the course of the core engine enhancement and plugin development, we are also trying to improve the studio experience, so as the workflow inside the standalone application is as good as possible. One of the bottlenecks we observed, is that in many cases, the OpenGL viewport navigation is slow; sometimes, this can make the application nearly unusable due to high poly count being drawn and the user waiting many seconds after each change. This can be very frustrating given that the core render engine has an amazingly low memory footprint eating high-poly heavy scenes for breakfast. ;)


This is why, we decided to put effort into accelerating the OpenGL viewport. And here are 3 enhancements that are currently working in our internal revision:

1. We optimized the brute-force drawing code, that is responsible for drawing the meshes in the OpenGL viewport. This is now much much faster than before and the difference is evident when the mesh complexity goes up.

2. If we stayed with the above, then the viewport would be just faster... but still problematic when displaying high poly meshes in heavy scenes. So, we went one step further and we implemented a "level-of-detail" scheme. This helps, since objects far from the viewpoint are not seen with all their geometric complexity and need not be fully drawn. Our level-of-detail scheme greatly accelerates all these far away meshes, displaying them by at least one order of magnitude faster!

3. And to finalize the improvements, we also added a timer when drawing the scene in the viewport. This means, that whenever drawing the scene takes too much, the control returns back to the user to keep the interactiveness of the application at all costs! The application continues to refresh and draw remaining objects iteratively afterwards.


We are very happy that changes like this add value to the standalone studio and contribute positively to the greater experience with Thea. :)

Best wishes
Attachments
InstancedTerrainResized.jpg
A landscape instanced with the heavy birch trees. The scene contains nearly 3 billion polygons and navigation is still interactive.
InstancedTerrainResized.jpg (155.93 KiB) Viewed 15001 times
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warnotte
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:47 pm

Thanks for that because sometimes it was a pain to explore the 3D world in thea when too much geometry. (compared to blenderviewport for instance).
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Rosco
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:12 pm

great news. :clap:
For me, more than speed the lack was softness with high-poly scenes. Guess they go together.
Thanks.
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Rombout
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:30 pm

Sounds like music to my ears
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Pixero
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Yes, yes, yes! :clap:
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Rombout
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:09 pm

Very curious when the next update will be
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seraleklee1
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:28 pm

Your work is always in the right direction :thumbup:
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SandroS
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:37 pm

great news!
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Bob James
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:44 pm

This and all the other teasers are great news. Even nicer, at this point, would be a timetable 8-)
How about a blockbuster announcement at BaseCamp next month? :idea:
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Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:38 pm

Really nice news Giannis, with Integration, these improvements were the most important for me ! Thanks a lot for this effort !
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