[x3d-public] Vulcan, Metal, WebGPU impact on x3d NG

GPU Group gpugroup at gmail.com
Mon May 13 13:30:00 PDT 2019

DXR (directX) and RTX (Vulkan) can raytrace in real-time on capable
(primarily recent RTX series nVidia) GPUs.
- DXR (DirectX) will run in fallback mode on slightly older GPUs iet GTX
- that may relate to PBR, like Blender Disney or shader materials
- can do 'computational geometry' - no triangles, you write a shader to
decide what to do with a ray
- otherwise triangles is builtin
But how would it all work with web3d?
Hypothesis: on mouse-up or button press you could raytrace the last frame.
Doug Sanden

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 1:46 PM Andreas Plesch <andreasplesch at gmail.com>

> There is a new generation of low level graphics programming which aims
> to (slowly) replace OpenGL. I think the goal is to better match modern
> GPU hardware capabilities. These interfaces are becoming more widely
> used. For example, Vulcan is used increasingly by games and Chrome
> Canary on Macs now has WebGPU support:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2JzIUIHIhc
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebGPU
> https://doc.babylonjs.com/extensions/webgpu
> So we may ask if development of X3D would be impacted by these new
> technologies.
> One might say, X3D is high level and abstract and therefore only
> implementations in X3D browsers are affected.
> But it is also important to realize that there is a pretty strong
> connection from OpenGL to Inventor to VRML to X3D. In fact, some X3D
> nodes are direct reflections of OpenGL constructs.
> So these new low level technologies may be good opportunity to see if
> X3D should adapt. I do not know much about those technologies but one
> common theme seems to be less or no distinction with compute programs
> (shaders) and graphics programs (shaders) on the GPU, better sharing
> between CPU and GPU, and also shared memory on the GPU for parallel
> access by many GPU units. Wikipedia has some overviews.
> All web 3d frameworks are currently WebGL based. It will be
> interesting to see how their abstractions fit with WebGPU, the
> designated successor to WebGL.
> As a concrete matter, it seems likely that the Programmable shaders
> component would be affected. For example, WebGPU uses WHLSL:
> https://github.com/gpuweb/WHLSL
> It may make sense to start thinking about these interfaces early for
> those of us so inclined,
> -Andreas
> --
> Andreas Plesch
> Waltham, MA 02453
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