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Unit testing OpenGL applications by Daniel Rákos

Categories: Developers |

Feb 23, 2010

Nowadays comprehensive testing is a must for any software product. However, it isn’t such a general rule when it comes to graphics applications. Many developers face difficulties when they have to test their rendering codes. Manual tests and visual feedback is sometimes satisfactory but if one would like to have automated regression tests usual approaches seem to fail. Even if at first sight unit testing of rendering code doesn’t look really straightforward, in fact it is. OpenGL is not an exception from this rule as well. In this article I would like to briefly present a few methods how to unit test OpenGL rendering code and also present my choice and the reasons behind the decision.

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GPU Pro 2: Call for Authors - advanced rendering techniques for OpenGL

Categories: General | Developers |

Feb 22, 2010

After the tremendous success of the first seven entries to the ShaderX book series, and the upcoming success of the GPU Pro book, we are looking for authors for GPU Pro 2. The upcoming book will cover advanced rendering techniques that run on the DirectX and/or OpenGL run-time or any other run-time with any language available. It will include topics on: Geometry Manipulation; Rendering Techniques; Handheld Devices Programming; Effects in Image Space; Shadows; 3D Engine Design; Graphics Related Tools; Environmental Effects and a dedicated section on mathematics used in graphics programming. Proposals are due by May 17th, 2010. Contact information, an example proposal, writing guidelines and a FAQ can be found at http://gpupro2.blogspot.com/.

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ATI Catalyst Driver 10.2 offers Better CrossFire and OpenGL Support

Categories: General | Developers |

Feb 19, 2010

ATI just released Catalyst 10.2. Along with improved OpenGL and OpenCL support, Catalyst 10.2 adds 3 new OpenGL extensions. The AMD blogs are promising this is just the first wave of updates to their driver suite.

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A layman’s approach explaining what is OpenCL

Categories: General |

Feb 19, 2010

The Khronos family of websites has a lot of technical information on OpenCL and their technologies. For those who are less technically savvy, this can be frustrating at times. The fine folks over at Develop3D have posted a great article explaining in some detail what OpenCL is, how it applies to the business sector and the manufacturing sector, and of course, how it can help you.

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OpenGL 3.2 examples for Linux released with source code

Categories: Developers |

Feb 18, 2010

The nopper.tv website has updated the OpenGL 3.2 and GLSL 1.50 examples by adding source code for Linux computers.

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TNGViewer 1.2.1.500 improves OpenGL and system compatibility

Categories: Applications |

Feb 18, 2010

Immaginaria Ltd. is happy to announce an update to TNGViewer, featuring improved OpenGL compatibility for automatic texture mipmaps generation: a new option in the Preferences->General tab chooses between the SGI and the EXT mipmaps generation methods; the former is now the default. Furthermore, system compatibility has been vastly improved on Windows 7 and Mac OS X Tiger. Finally, this release fixes several caching issues in Top Scenes, and provides close-up thumbnail inspection with the right mouse button.

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Drishti 2.0 volume exploration and presentation tool using GLSL released

Categories: Applications |

Feb 16, 2010

Drishti is a volume exploration and presentation tool using OpenGL Shading Language shaders and 3D textures. Version 2.0 provides new functionality and allows for large (2K^3) volume exploration even on 32-bit systems. Linux and MacOSX executables will be available shortly. Windows executables and source code are available for download from the google code site.

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Calling Open Source Graphics Fanatics to write for Packt

Categories: General | Developers |

Feb 16, 2010

Packt Publishing is looking for Open Source Graphics enthusiasts with an interest in writing to become authors for their Open Source Graphics range. No previous writing experience is necessary, just expert knowledge and a passion for the subject. Complete details are available on the Packt website.

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AMD GPU Performance Counters Integration in gDEBugger v5.5

Categories: Developers |

Feb 16, 2010

Graphic Remedy announced the release of gDEBugger version 5.5, an OpenGL and OpenGL ES debugger and profiler which runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and the Apple iPhone. New in this version is a powerful AMD GPU performance counters integration, displaying AMD graphic hardware and driver performance counters in gDEBugger’s Performance Graph and Performance Dashboard views, allowing developers to optimize their application.

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gDEBugger for OpenCL - Beta Program

Categories: Developers |

Feb 15, 2010

Graphic Remedy announced the upcoming release of gDEBugger for OpenCL, a real-time OpenCL debugger, performance analyzer and computing memory optimizer. gDEBugger CL will allow OpenCL based application developers to enjoy advanced debugging, profiling and memory analysis capabilities, helping them reduce development time, deliver high quality applications and significantly improve parallel computing performance. For more information and for joining the gDEBugger CL Free Beta Program visit our website.

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SilverLining Sky & Weather SDK Introduces HDR support, GLSL shaders

Categories: Applications |

Feb 15, 2010

Sundog Software released version 1.95 of the SilverLining Sky and Weather SDK, used for physically-based visual simulation of the sky and 3D volumetric clouds in games, broadcast video, visualization, and training applications. This new release moves SilverLining to GLSL shaders in OpenGL, increasing compatibility across video cards from different manufacturers. It also introduces support for high-dynamic range (HDR) applications, rendering the sky and clouds in raw units of kilo-candelas per square meter when HDR mode is enabled. Lens flare effects, support for legacy compilers, and various visual quality improvements are also added in version 1.95.

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Seac02 LinceoVR 3.3 adds realtime GPU based raytracing to augmented reality mode

Categories: Applications |

Feb 10, 2010

Seac02 LInceoVR 3.3, now supports realitme opengl GPU based raytracing in augmented reality mode, new improvement in standard Opengl mode, realtime shadows or every GPU, and added support to realtime video texure, free trial and free student available.

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star3map iPhone 3Gs OpenGL app is Open Source

Categories: Developers | Applications |

Feb 10, 2010

star3map is an augmented reality star and planet charting app for the iPhone 3Gs. It uses your phone’s global position, compass, accelerometer, and the current time to display an image of the sky in whatever direction you point your phone. The full source is available. Some of it under GPL, but the r3 library uses a BSD style license, and it includes Sean Barrett’s truetype and image loading code which is public domain.

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TNGViewer 1.2.0.495 extends Top Scenes features and preferences

Categories: Developers |

Feb 10, 2010

Immaginaria Ltd. announced a major update to TNGViewer, featuring cache and navigation enhancements to the Top Scenes option. OpenGL thumbnails are now kept updated with respect to their original files’ modification dates every time a scene is opened. Non-native content (e.g. Autodesk, LightWave) is now cached as native TNG 3D scenes for instantaneous import, and it is kept updated just like OpenGL thumbnails. Furthermore, the Top Scenes option can now be scrolled via the mouse wheel, providing access to the entire Open Recent list. Finally, the preferences dialog contains options to configure all the new features, as well as an option to turn on or off multithreaded QuickTime movie export.

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Hardware Tessellation on Radeon in OpenGL

Categories: Developers |

Feb 10, 2010

Here is an article that explains the current state of hardware tessellation on Radeon graphics cards and how to use it in OpenGL. A demo showing tessellation in real time is provided.

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Instance culling using geometry shaders by Daniel Rákos

Categories: Developers |

Feb 09, 2010

Since the appearance of Shader Model 4.0 people wonder how to take advantage of the newly introduced programmable pipeline stage. The most important feature enabled by geometry shaders is that one can change the amount of emitted primitives inside the pipeline. The first thing that a naive developer would try to do with it is geometry tesselation. However, the new shader performs very bad when used for tesselation in a real life scenario even though there are demos show casting this possibility. If we take a closer look at the new feature we observe that the most revolutionary in it is not that it can raise the number of emitted primitives but that it can discard them. This article would like to present a rendering technique that takes advantage of this aspect of geometry shaders to enable the GPU accelerated culling of higher order primitives. Also it features an OpenGL 3.2 demo for showing the technique in practice.

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OpenCSG 1.3.0 image-based CSG renderer with better support for MDI applications

Categories: Applications |

Feb 08, 2010

OpenCSG is an OpenGL API-based library for doing image-space rendering of shapes made up by constructive solid geometry (CSG). The new release 1.3.0 implements support for applications with a multiple document interface and use OpenCSG in different OpenGL windows.

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The Cafu Engine using OpenGL is now open source

Categories: Applications |

Feb 08, 2010

The Cafu Engine (formerly Ca3D-Engine) is now available to everyone as free software under the GNU General Public License! The source code as well as precompiled binaries are available at our Downloads page, and the new Developers page explains how to get started with the source code quickly. In addition to the compressed archives, the source code is also available directly from the Subversion repository. Learn more

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ATI Radeon HD 5450 provides OpenGL 3.2 graphics

Categories: Processors |

Feb 04, 2010

AMD launched its least expensive video chipset capable of OpenGL 3.2 and DirectX 11 graphics. The ATI Radeon HD 5450 has all the same visual effects as the 5600 and 5800 lines but is trimmed down to 80 stream processors, 8 texture units and a 650MHz engine clock speed. The design allows for extremely quiet cards: it can either use a low-speed fan in a single slot or a completely fanless design in a slightly larger space.

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Irrlicht Engine 1.7 using OpenGL has been released

Categories: Developers |

Feb 03, 2010

Irrlicht version 1.7 has been released. New rendering features are: Multiple Render Target (MRT), geometry shaders (OpenGL only), possibility to access texture mipmaps and to provide custom mipmaps, separate TextureWrap modes for U and V coordinates and the option to mirror wrap. Enhanced options for 2D drawing like thickness, anti-aliasing and filtering. We added a new VertexManipulator interface for simple creation of vertex manipulation algorithms. Zipfiles now support Bzip2 and LZMA compression and AES encryption. Enabled VBO Support for skydomes and other standard meshes. Ogre .mesh format skeletal animations now supported, and Ogre 32bit index meshes as well. NPK (Nebula device archive) support added. Support for external windows under OS X. And of course lots of other improvements and bug fixes.

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Tech Soup OpenGL 3 Training announced

Categories: Developers |

Feb 03, 2010

TechSoup has announced a new OpenGL 3 training course in Los Angeles from March 30 to April 2. Regardless of if you’re new to graphics, new to OpenGL, or just looking to uncover the latest techniques that OpenGL will allow, this is your course.

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FurMark 1.8.0 OpenGL Stress Test Available

Categories: Developers |

Feb 03, 2010

The new version of FurMark, the popular graphics card stress test for overclockers, is available. FurMark is an OpenGL 2 stress test and benchmark for Windows and uses fur rendering to overheat the graphics card. This new version adds a new effect based on vertex displacement mapping as well as an increased rendering workload.

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Optimizing OpenGL on the iPhone

Categories: Developers |

Feb 02, 2010

Tim Omernick from the popular gaming company, ngmoco, provides a broad overview of OpenGL on the iPhone. The focus is on optimization and includes demo’s and samples in the Video.

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