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A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting

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Steven ToveySteven Tovey

A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting

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A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting,[object Object],Stephen McAuley & Steven Tovey,[object Object],Graphics Programmers, Bizarre Creations Ltd.,[object Object],stephen.mcauley@bizarrecreations.com,[object Object],steven.tovey@bizarrecreations.com,[object Object],http://www.bizarrecreations.com/,[object Object]
“Welcome, I think not!”,[object Object],Let us start by wishing you a good bonfire night!,[object Object]
Agenda,[object Object],A sneak preview of Blur,[object Object],Light Pre-Pass Rendering,[object Object],10 Step Guide to free Lighting on PS3,[object Object],The Future...,[object Object]
Blur,[object Object],Coming 2010 on X360, PS3 and PC.,[object Object],Twenty cars on track for intense wheel-to-wheel racing.,[object Object],Exciting power-ups bring depth and strategy to racing.,[object Object],Real-world cars and locations, set between dusk and dawn.,[object Object],Extensive multiplayer options.,[object Object]
A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting
Technical Analysis,[object Object],So, we have twenty cars, racing around a track in the dark…,[object Object],…they all have headlights, rear lights, brake lights…,[object Object],…not to mention any other effects we might have going on around the track…,[object Object],…therefore, we need some sort of real-time lighting solution.,[object Object]
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A Bizarre Way to do Real-Time Lighting

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Editor's Notes

  1. We drop the view space normal z and assume that it’s always negative. This is technically incorrect, but no artefacts were visible and everything still looked great, so we went with it.
  2. Here’s some code to pack and unpack a depth value into and from two 8-bit components. We’re assuming the depth value is in between 0 and 1, and it really needs to be linear for this compression method. So just multiply and divide by the far clip value. As you can see, the x component contains the hi-bits, and the y-component the lo.
  3. Here’s some code to reconstruct the view space position from texture coordinates (vUV) and depth (fDepth, which is now in the [0, FarClip] range). Obviously, this is really fast as it involves a mad, mul and maybe a mov too. The scale factor moves the texture coordinates first into screen space (so in the [-1, 1] range) and then scales by the inverse projection matrix x and y scale values. (This of course assumes you have a simple projection matrix, but you do in 99% of cases). In some circumstances you can even move the scaling to the vertex shader, which means this whole thing is just one mul making it very, very fast indeed.
  4. Especially since on the PLAYSTATION®3 we had some free SPU time, which we’d be best off using for something.
  5. Don’t need a full run-down, everyone’s heard it all before...
  6. Never read from GDDR3... Put things in the correctly mapped memory.
  7. Data brought into memory thought explicit DMA.Limited local store, not enough for the frame buffer.
  8. The frame time using the same techniques as the XBox360 was simply too long – lighting was a big number.Image quality could not be compromised, no reduction in number of dynamic lights or their radii.No weird hacks in the lighting which breaks the accuracy even more... Lighting is already hacky enough.Deferring as in [Swoboda09] not an option for us.Blur runs at FULL 720p with MSAA on both platforms.
  9. Before doing anything look at what you’re actually trying to achieve.Data is really, really important.Stream processing is hugely scalable, since we’re porting from GPU data has already been thought about.
  10. So it’s pretty obvious that what our inputs and outputs are here...We want to produce a buffer containing light.We have: Normals, depth and lights.
  11. Originally normals and depth in separate buffers. We sacrificed depth precision for more optimal data layout, this helped the GPU too on all platforms. This means no stencil buffer access, but we can get round that as we’ll see later.
  12. As mentioned, moving from stream processing model which is already highly suited to parallelisation.Obvious benefits to moving over multiple cores.Begs the obvious questions: What size should the unit of work be?Too small, too much overhead, sub-optimal use of DMA engine.Too large, not enough parallelism...
  13. Frame buffers are not linear. RSX processes pixels in quads, makes no sense to store frame buffer linearly for that reason alone.Sampling from the buffer presents similar problems for cache performance if the buffer was linear.Sized based on format of RSX generated buffer.
  14. It should be a goal of multi-threaded system to avoid sync points, sometimes tricky to do.In this case it’s easy since SPU has an ATO.Explain ATO -- lets you atomically modify an ATO cache line, use this to move the index.Fetch tile corresponding to index into local store for processing. Small cache 4 cache lines.
  15. Explain multi-buffering:+ trade memory for speed+ no contention for LS (DMA engine trumps SXU)+ triple buffer means: 1 in, 1 out, 1 being processed+ 2us of time spent waiting for data...
  16. Our multi-buffering strategy, avoid contention for LS from MFC and SXU.
  17. Pre-computation is good, costs a little extra memory per light, but we can load anything from this structure in 6 cycles as it’s 16 byte aligned.
  18. Reads and writes to and from LS are always 16 byte aligned and sized.Smaller read-modify-writes are done with, load-shuffle-store pattern, less than efficient.Large wins (especially in pixel writing code) from batching in 16byte chunks... This means writing 4 pixels at once in our case.
  19. Program limited by instructions issued, especially in inner loop.If we have dual-issue it’s wise to use it, can increase program speed two-fold by doubling the rate of instruction issue.Needs write type of instructions no dependancies.No need for C programmers to worry about alignment, compiler does a reasonable job of placing nop/lnop to align for dual-issue.More dual-issue can usually be achieved by large batches if you have a reasonable balance of work (i.e.: not all even pipe). Costs register file, but usually worth it assuming no spillage.
  20. Batch size is important, batch means number of pixels lit in your inner loop.Too large and you get register spilling.Too small and you pay increase setup cost, and have wasted cycles in your inner loop.Perfect balance is no spilling + no stalled cycles.This will be linked to the complexity of your lighting equation, for us this number was ~16 pixels.
  21. We don’t have access to the stencil buffer, so that means we can’t use that to cull.Instead we use depth buffer – maintain min and max depth for a tile, if there are both far clip then we can discard the tile (in practise almost as good as stencil buffer ).We cull more granularly than the tile sized which is our “unit of work”. Your mileage may vary.
  22. Need to be careful at which level you branch.Discard tile rather than pixel, branching at a low-level is a sure-fire performance killer.
  23. Synchronisation can be really painful.We had a few hard to find bugs synchronising between RSX and SPU, worth the pain in the end though.Must focus on the bigger picture too!! Micro-optimisation is fun, but we must be aware of our impact on the system at large – very hard to predict this type of thing up front.